9tro issue #9
Photos by Adrian Wong
Over the last two years, I have been in touch with the Lexus IS range quite frequently. First it was the minor facelifted Lexus IS250 few years ago, then the Lexus IS-C (the convertible version) in 2009 and the high-performance Lexus IS-F sedan end of last year, before a major enhancement of the IS250 early this year.
Although I have test driven all of the above four versions, the IS250 did not fail to surprise me. Housing about 20 new features, the IS250 sports a redefined look, taking cues from its fiercer sibling – the IS-F.
Redesigned headlamps and front fog lamps, as well as redesigned combination lamps, accompanying a new front grille and bumper, gives the IS250 its improved look. The Premium variant has LED (Light Emitting Diode) daytime running lights. In addition, the rear bumper has a stability plate attached to it so as to increase steering stability.
Performance remains the same – with power output of 205bhp at 6,400rpm and a peak torque of 252Nm at 4,800rpm, taking 8.4 seconds to hit 100km/h from a standstill. Its 2.5-litre V6 four-cam 24-valve with Dual VVT-i engine is mated to a six-speed automatic – which you can control using the paddle shifts – making it quite an easy drive on our busy streets. Whether it is a trip to the supermarket or drinks with your friends uptown, the IS250 has the smart executive image to match the occasion.
The Premium variant comes with a lot more goodies, including the Electro Multi Vision (EMV) display that has an integrated navigation system and a rear view display, Bluetooth telephone connectivity and the Mark Levinson premium surround sound system with 14 speakers.
Internally, the IS250 gets new colour coatings to the paddle shifts and steering wheel switch bezel. There are also a lot more metallic touches within the cabin, as noted on the meter rings and glove box door.
Starting at $171,000 with COE for the base model, the standard IS250 serves the basic purposes and bears few frills. Fork out another $20,000 or so and you can get the Premium variant which has automatic headlight leveling, headlight cleaner, a back monitor with rear view camera, cruise control, rain sensor, rear sun shade, power-tilt and telescope steering column (instead of manual), the Mark Levinson audio system and the all-important navigation system with the touch-screen EMV display and Bluetooth telephone connectivity.
Then there is a higher Premium variant at another $4,000 more that comes with all the additional bells and whistles as mentioned above, along with a moonroof. If you are wondering what the difference between a moonroof and a sunroof is, I think essentially there is none and that it is all part of marketing. But if you insist, then think of the moonroof as a type of sunroof.
I feel the Premium variant of the IS250 (without the moonroof) makes a good fit into the fast-paced lifestyle we all lead these days. It has enough power to take you through the packed-from-morning-to-night roads and also offers you comfort while you are stuck in traffic jams.
At the same time, it is a luxury brand and you will have some level of respect from other knowing motorists.
Lexus IS250 Premium
Engine: 2,500cc V6 Four-cam 24-valve with Dual VVT-i
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Max Power: 205bhp at 6,400rpm
Max Torque: 252Nm at 4,800rpm
0-100km/h: 8.4 secs
Top Speed: 225km/h
Price: S$192,000 with COE
Distributor: Borneo Motors