These days Lexus is working a two prong strategy.
To keep it's luxury oriented Mercedes alternative audience happy.
And go after a younger audience, looking for something more urban, more sporty, and more affordable.
Let's drive a key part of the strategy, the 2015 IX 250
Now this 15 IS is the second year of a dramatic new redesign, the swoopy, sporty new styling is a carry over from 14.
Some improvements now.
We've got LED fog lights on the 15.
Siri Eyes Free is supported.
You can do remote telematics via the in form app now, not just infotainment apps.
And they've improved the rear camera with some better trajectory lines.
Let's get inside.
Now inside the IS
The first thing I like is this lay back console they've been doing lately.
Everything is just so beautifully laid out, ergonomically.
I give 'em great props on this.
Really well thought out and very comfortable.
We've seen that head unit before.
I wish I was happier to see it.
Not much has changed.
It's a little crunchy looking, but it gets the basics done.
But pretty is not one of its attributes, nor is widescreen.
Voice command's very logical on this car.
From just about any screen, you can issue a command for any other function.
Please say a command.
Go to navigation.
Please say a navigation.
Address and as you can see, you can enter addresses in one gulp.
I like that.
We have app support through Lexis [UNKNOWN] a basket of apps as well as remote telematics.
My one big gripe is this controller.
Now that's not a touch screen.
You couldn't reach it anyway.
But you got this upside down puck that Lexus likes.
I just find it to be a festival of overshoots and undershoots.
I'd kill for a nav in a click or even a touchpad but this thing is an upside down mouse and I hate it.
Now upfront in an IS 250 is a baby V6, two and half liters.
The numbers are kinda compact as well.
204 horse power, 185 pound feet of torque.
Those are not overwhelming by today's standards.
You're looking at this car getting up to 60 in 7.7 seconds.
Respectable but no one's gonna call that super fast.
Your MPG's not bad.
21 city But 30 highway.
You should get in the mid 20s reliably.
And your only drive train choice base is a six speed automatic.
Rear wheel drive is your standard set up, but you can also get all wheel drive.
First think I notice on the IS 250, is it's a little more hat than cattle.
Which is to say it's more suspension than it is power train.
The car looks like a barn burner on the outside, but at least in 250 configuration, those numbers.
Numbers don't lie, it's just a little short on power.
Especially by today's standards of cars on steroids.
The handling is really nice, the cornering is fantastic and the ride quality, is silky.
So it's a good everyday driver.
Shifts are a little sleepy though.
There's about a heartbeat and a half, even when I'm here in sport.
Mode before I get a reaction to the paddle.
Definitely a step behind the game.
Driver assist is all optional on this car.
You can get passive blind spot and lane departure alerts.
Also a pre-collision option that just amplifies the brakes but doesn't stop for you.
And that's bundled with adaptive cruise control.
Overall the IS250 is a really nice daily car.
Not gonna be the one you take to the autocross track, though, and get the best time.
But I love driving it.
The handling is outstanding.
Powertrain is, you know.
Pricing is about $37,500 delivered.
Levinson audio and navigation is another $3,000.
That's gonna roll in a number of other desirable tech features.
Luxury and tech package is how you get to lane departure warning.
And that's about $4,000.
The pre-collision technology is a la carte $500, typically special order.
And you have to get 18 inch wheels to get the rest of this stuff.
All in about $46,000 loaded up CNet style.