2012 Lexus IS 250C vs. Its Competition

2011 Lexus IS 250C 2-door Convertible Auto Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2012 IS 250C and IS 350C models occupy a middle ground among convertibles--sportier and more premium compared to mainstream offerings like the Chrysler 200 and Volkswagen Eos, but more comfort-oriented than the likes of the BMW Z4 or Mercedes-Benz SLK.

In this pack of luxury-brand convertibles, the IS C has more of a performance edge than the Volvo C70; the front-wheel-drive Volvo has great seats and a roomy trunk however.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet feels heavier and more grown-up, but it's a lot more expensive.

The Audi A5 Convertible sticks with a traditional soft top, but its interior is absolutely stunning.

Those seeking a little more performance might consider the Infiniti G37 Convertible, though its retractable hard top is done in steel rather than the IS C’s lighter-weight aluminum.

Other than the G37, the IS C's most direct rival is probably the BMW 3-Series Convertible.

The IS 250C simply doesn't keep up with the base six-cylinder 328i Convertible, but compared to the 335i Convertible the Lexus IS 350C offers a comparable feature set at thousands less.

2011 Lexus IS 250C 2-door Convertible Auto Angular Front Exterior View2012 Lexus IS 250C
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2012 Audi A5 2-door Coupe Auto quattro 2.0T Premium Plus Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi A5
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2012 BMW 3-Series2012 BMW 3-Series
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2012 Infiniti G37 Convertible2012 INFINITI G37 Convertible
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2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class 4-door Wagon Sport 3.5L 4MATIC Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class
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2012 Volvo C70 Inscription2012 Volvo C70
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Quick Specs
The 2012 Lexus IS 250C strikes a good middle ground between racy roadsters and luxury convertible cruisers, but its sluggish powertrain performance will be a deal-breaker for many.
Both the Audi A5 Coupe and its Cabriolet convertible sibling are striking designs that offer comfortable, easy-to-drive capacity for two people--and four in a pinch
The 2012 BMW 3-Series delivers the class-leading sport-sedan performance and handling enthusiasts have come to expect, yet it makes substantial improvements in fuel-efficiency, active safety, and connectivity.
The Infiniti G37 Convertible doesn't suffer the usual styling compromises, but it's a little less exciting to drive than its Coupe cousin.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class models have sharper driving appeal than in the past, while also returning to the classy interior appointments and vault-like construction that have made them longtime luxury benchmarks.
With a healthy dash of Scandinavian style and Volvo's excellent reputation for safety, the 2012 C70 makes a solid all-around choice for a hardtop convertible.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas V6Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I5
EPA Class     
SubcompactSubcompact CarsCompact CarsSubcompactSubcompact CarsSubcompact
Style Name     
250C 2-Door Convertible Manual2-Door Coupe Manual quattro 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEV2-Door Base2-Door Coupe E 350 RWD2-Door Convertible T5
Rear Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
ConvertibleCoupeSedanConvertibleCoupe2 Door Convertible
ManualManualAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Lexus IS 250C vs. 2012 Audi A52012 Lexus IS 250C vs. 2012 BMW 3-Series2012 Lexus IS 250C vs. 2012 INFINITI G37 Convertible2012 Lexus IS 250C vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class2012 Lexus IS 250C vs. 2012 Volvo C70