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2011 Lexus IS 250C Comfort & Quality

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The 2011 Lexus IS C is actually a bit larger than the sedan; although it has two fewer doors than the sedan, it manages to package a usable trunk, even with the top down, and that takes some extra length. While the proportions might not look as neat as they could have, the tradeoff is that trunk space, plus decent back seat legroom—well, depending on your expectations.

The piece de resistance of the Lexus IS C is its retractable hardtop arrangement. The hardtop is a home run, as it's made of lightweight aluminum, folds into three neat sections, and forms a tight, weatherproof barrier from weather and noise. It's fast (opening or closing in around 20 seconds), yet one of the smoothest-actuating of any we've experienced. With the top stowed, wind buffeting is quite good, and it's even better with the available windscreen.

Seating and cargo are IS C's strengths, too. Top up or down, the IS C has more of a spacious feel inside than most might expect—especially in back. While the seats in front are well proportioned and comfortable for daily driving, with a slimmer-seatback design that aids rear legroom, they won't hold you in place in corners like the aggressively bolstered sport seats in the high-performance IS-F. The two seats in back are real ones—not just a bench for kids, as in some convertibles—and two normal-size adults will be just fine for a few hours. Getting in and out isn't a big deal either; a simple rocker switch powers the seat forward and then back to the original position. This 6'6" editor even fit in the backseat with knees splayed apart, but it should be noted that rear headroom is still very tight in back with the top up, so you might only be able to cruise with taller companions top-down.

The IS C models are top-notch for practicality and refinement, with a roomy cabin and spacious trunk to boot; a claustrophobic back seat is the only exception.

Especially with the top up, some might find themselves feeling a little pinned-in; the tall, wide side sills, rather tall doors, and tall roll hoops in back help impart a feeling of security, but especially in back there's something of a bathtub feel. Everyone gets a cup holder, and there are plenty of smaller cubbies. Interior trims aren't anything special in appearance of feel, but the perforated, ventilated leather seats (optional) are a boon to comfort. Trunk space is vast with the top up, and there's still enough space for weekend bags with the top stowed away.

Overall, the Lexus IS 250 C and IS 350 C are top-notch for refinement; they're very quiet and refined at highway speeds, and even with the top down there's not as much wind rush as most other convertibles.

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