2006 Lexus IS 220D SE-L 2.2 turbo diesel


Nice machine, let down by the engine and gearbox


Head gasket failed.

General Comments:

Beautiful car overall, well made interior, very quiet. Looks good from the outside.

The SE-L model has some nice little touches, lighted sills, leather heated seats etc... Downside... Engine and gearbox; had the head gasket fail at 87k miles, I believe it's a common problem on these engines and was replaced under recall; they shouldn't have put this engine on a Lexus badge or put a Lexus badge on this engine. Gearbox and engine are a total mismatch, undriveable in everyday use with so much turbo lag. By the time you change gear, the turbo has stopped spinning and has to spool up again, making it impossible to drive in any way smooth. There is only one, and I mean one great thing about this car; 6th gear on the motorway at 140 kph and above, it pulls like a train. Unreal torque and can pull from 140kph to 180kph like I've never seen.

OK and it's very hard on diesel; I struggled to get anything over 30 MPG, but it is what it is, different. Just be sure to have one that has the head gasket done under recall.

Don't buy one to save money on fuel... I can't think why one would justify the diesel over the more reliable petrol model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2017

2006 Lexus IS 250 SE-L 2.5


It will be a great secondhand car in 5 years time


No problems since delivery.

General Comments:

This is the second generation Lexus IS, which I'll be using for the next 6 months. So far the car has been fine although the key-less entry system worries me - If someone finds the card, they could walk around until they see a Lexus and the interior lights will come on indicating which car to drive away in!

The engine is one of the quietest I've ever encountered. As a former BMW driver, I actually prefer an engine with character.

There are many nice touches, for instance the white interior lighting. The touchscreen navigation can be tricky to use, but it is easier than some that I've used in the past.

The tiptronic/ steering wheel gear change is rubbish. I used it twice, but never again.

Rear cabin space is adequate and the stereo system is awesome.

Lots of looks from people curious to know what it is.

In summary, it is a great car, but not the sort of thing I would spend my own money on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th February, 2006

6th Mar 2006, 20:32

Try using the paddles a few more times. Once you get the hang of them they are fantastic.

6th Mar 2006, 20:34

Keyless entry is brilliant.

16th Apr 2006, 08:29

The point about finding the keys and stealing the car because of the automatic lights is ludicrous.

For the key-less entry to trigger the puddle lamps on the mirrors, you must be within 1 - 2 feet of the car.

Don't you think anyone finding a key and wanting to steal a car (what are the chances?) would find it easier to press the unlock button and see the hazard lights flash. This works from a much greater distance, and surprisingly, not only on Lexus cars.