2011 Lexus IS 250 Photo
Quick Take
From the outside, there are few differences between the 2011 Lexus IS 250 and the IS 350. But the... Read more »
7.4 out of 10
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From the outside, there are few differences between the 2011 Lexus IS 250 and the IS 350. But the differences underhood really do give these two models quite different personalities.

And we don't see much reason—other than price, perhaps—to get the IS 250 over the IS 350. While the IS 350's 306-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 gives this sport sedan truly strong acceleration and quick responses to go with its capable rear-wheel-drive platform, the IS 250 is another story altogether; its 204-hp, 2.5-liter V-6 is agreeable with the manual transmission but a little sluggish with the six-speed automatic. And the clincher is that in real-world driving, you won't see much of a gas mileage difference between the two models.

The IS models are sized about the same as the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is to say they're remarkably small and compact, and considerably less roomy than the larger, front-wheel-drive Lexus ES 350. The design is quite simple, but interior appointments are top-notch; many of the tech and luxury features of Lexus's larger sedans are offered here, too, including voice-activated navigation, ventilated front seats, and excellent Mark Levinson audio.

Browse the pages of our full review covering the 2011 Lexus IS 350 for up-close information about the entire IS line, including the high-performance IS F.

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