2012 Lexus IS 250 Photo
Quick Take
The 2012 Lexus IS 350 and IS 350 aren't as focused and fun to drive as sport sedans from BMW or Infiniti, though especially in F Sport guise they still look great. Read more »
7.4 out of 10
Browse Lexus IS 250 inventory in your area.


The Basics:

The 2012 Lexus IS 250 sedan is virtually identical to the IS 350 sedan--at least until you start the engine. At that point, it will be readily apparent that these two variants really do have different personalities. 

Other than price, we don't see much reason to get the IS 250 over the IS 350. The IS 350's 306-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 gives it strong acceleration and a very responsive feel--along with enough torque to help make the most of its capable rear-wheel-drive platform. The IS 250 is another story altogether; its 204-hp, 2.5-liter V-6 does just alright with the six-speed manual gearbox, but it's borderline sluggish with the automatic. And although the IS 250 might hold an advantage in the EPA ratings, we've never seen much of a difference in real-world results compared to the IS 350, as you have to press the 250 so much harder in fast-moving commute conditions, for example.

The 2012 IS sedans are right in the heart of the compact sport-sedan genre--so roughly the same size as the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4. The design is aggressive, though a bit conservative, and even though the interior design is looking a little dated, the cabin appointments are top-notch. As with most sedans of this type, there tends to be a rather non-luxury level of road noise and tire roar, but provided you're in the front seats, the IS cabin is a pleasing place.

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.

For more information, see our full review of the 2012 Lexus IS models.



  • Composed ride
  • Standard-feature list
  • Strong, smooth engine (IS 350)
  • Lexus ownership experience


  • Bland, dated interior design
  • Tight back seat
  • Road noise
  • IS 250 can feel sluggish
/ 10
TCC Rating
How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

Reviewed by Bengt Halvorson
Deputy Editor, The Car Connection
$17,000 - $31,513
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

© 2015 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Read Our Cookie Policy.