2009 Lexus IS 250 SE-i Nav / sunroof/ 18" AW 2.5 V6 from UK and Ireland
Simply superb. The refinement, quality, finish and drive are unrivalled for the money
Nothing has failed as yet.
I haven't had the car long, but so far I am very impressed. It has a lovely smoothness to the ride, which feels like you are driving on glass. It's amazingly quiet and you really know you are driving something special. For a Japanese car, there is also minimal road noise, although perhaps a tiny bit more than certain German brands. The gear change is very smooth, but once or twice it's been a touch lumpy. The paddle shift is also very good, albeit with a very slight delay as you find with kickdown. This is no different to other autos I have driven.
Being the SE-i Nav model, the car has the built in 6 CD changer with full navigation, but is not the 'multimedia' grade, so does not have the Mark Levinson sound system or DVD changer. However the sound quality is fantastic, and navigation system is great once you get the hang of it. The rear parking camera also really helps. The electric tilt/slide sunroof is a lovely feature too, but needs closing near half way on faster roads to stop buffeting. 18" Baransu alloys look the part - a huge improvement from the standard 17 inch wheels. I also like the orange 'rev' warning around the tachometer when approaching 5500 RPM. Neat!!
The fit, finish and attention to detail are second to none. Everything feels meticulously put together with the finest materials used. Two exceptions, and being really critical, are the stalks on the steering wheel and electric window/mirror switches, which are a little Toyota like in their shininess. Also no USB connector or 3 click indicators?! The ride is a little firm, but these are my only real tiny complaints.
Performance from the 2.5 V6 is strong enough for what it is - I'm very pleased, and think the economy is also not bad. Best to get it in auto as the manual shoots the road tax up to almost double, and it does not suit the character of the car.
I previously had a VW Eos 3.2 for a matter of weeks, before it went back to the dealer and stayed there, after having some problems which it seemed couldn't be fully and easily rectified. I got a refund, and then found this lovely Mesa red low mileage Lexus. Did the EOS really have a 3.2 under the bonnet? The Lexus feels quicker, but maybe it's the way it executes the power! The EOS actually cost more brand new, but the Lexus feels like the more expensive car, and just feels built to last. As a brand, I definitely have a lot more confidence in this car.
I've driven Japanese cars before the EOS, and probably won't ever go German again - you just hear horror stories. The only one I would consider is BMW. I'm sure this Lexus will be as reliable and long lasting as the Mazda I had before the VW - we all make mistakes, and that Eos was one of them!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th July, 2013