What's the Difference Between the Lexus IS 250 and the IS 250 F-Sport?
After careful consideration you have decided that your next car should be a Lexus.
Why, you ask? Because it's a great overall decision, given the outstanding reliability and competitive performance for which Lexus vehicles are known.
The trouble is, between the Lexus IS 250 and Lexus IS 250 F Sport, you're not sure which one to choose. The good news is either model is available as a Lexus lease, which offers great value and flexibility when compared to purchasing a Lexus outright.
Both of these cars have lots in common, but the somewhat subtle differences between them are what will ultimately guide your decision. So if you were wondering what makes the IS 250 a great purchase, or want to know why you should upgrade to the high-end F-Sport trim, we have the answers.
Sophistication and Style
The Lexus IS 250 offers a racy design with LED daytime running lamps and LED fog lights. Siri Eyes Free comes standard and passengers riding in the back will notice that they have more legroom.
This car is comfortable and delivers what you would expect from an entry-level sedan, but also comes available in a convertible model.
Equipped with a 2.5-L V6 engine which gets 204 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque, six-speed automatic transmission available in rear or all-wheel drive, this sedan is more performance-oriented than its predecessors.
Optional upgrade for the drivetrain consists of a 3.5-L V6 eight-speed automatic capable of 306 horsepower also comes as a six-speed transmission in all-wheel drive.
A more rigid chassis with high-performance tuning enhances its performance, giving competitors like the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-class, the Audi A4, and the Cadillac ATS a serious run for their money.
The IS 250 has improved handling and class-leading steering with driver-selectable performance driving modes.
The IS 250 has 17-inch wheels and a fuel economy of 24 mpg combined on the rear-wheel drive option and 23 mpg combined on the all-wheel drive.
Awarded an overall five out of five stars in federal safety tests, the IS 250 is an excellent choice for a family sedan with serious style.
With plenty of exterior and interior color options, you'll be able to personalize your IS 250 to reflect your own unique style.
Seven choices are available for the exterior, including: Starfire Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl, Silver Lining Metallic, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Matador Red Mica, and Deep Sea Mica.
Interior options include: Black Leather Linear, Stratus Gray Leather Linear, both in Dark Gray Wood Trim; Parchment Leather Linear, and Flaxen Leather Linear, both in Brown Wood Trim; and the new Piano Black Trim, which complements either the Black NuLuxe Illustrious, Parchment NuLuxe Illustrious, Stratus Gray NuLuxe Illustrious, or Flaxen NuLuxe Illustrious finishes.
The Sporty Sibling
If you like the sounds and specs of the Lexus IS 250 but wish it packed a little extra punch, you will want to consider the Lexus IS 250 F Sport.
Powered by 2.5-L V6 engine, the F Sport shares the same 204 horses as the IS 250. But with its details based off the Lexus LFA supercar, these horses certainly look more muscular.
The full-faced black mesh grille has bigger cooling ducts to protect against brake fade.
Heated and ventilated sports seats with enhanced bolsters complement a series of LFA-based features, including the gauges, steering wheel, shift knob, and aluminum sport pedals.
The interior is covered in luxurious perforated leather, with an optional Rioja Red NuLuxe trim. Even the 18-inch alloy wheels offer a nod to the LFA, sporting its original split-spoke design with either summer or all-season tires.
The F Sport also features upgraded brake pads and precise, highly responsive steering system. Engaging to drive, the Lexus IS 250 F Sport has been track-tested more than any other IS model.
Although both the IS 250 and IS 250 F Sport were extensively tested on famous stomping grounds, including the Fuji Speedway, and both reportedly boast extremely impressive and responsive steering, the major difference between these two comes down to their comfort zones.
Although its a quiet ride, which Lexus can be consistently relied on, the overall driving experience left much to be desired as far as ultimate comfort. But, drivers report that it is fun to drive. Zippy enough, with excellent handling and an energetic feel, the sort of experience you would expect to have when driving a sportier sedan.
Clean Retail Price
The MT clean retail price reflects a reasonable asking price by a dealership for a fully reconditioned vehicle (clean title history, no defects, minimal wear) with average mileage.
|5-Year Cost to Own / Rating|
|$34,965||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$33,795||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$34,965||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$37,425||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$41,190||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
|$42,360||N.A.||N.A. / N.A.|
Lexus IS250 Expert Review
The Lexus IS range is the automaker's entry-level line, consisting of the 2012 IS 250, 2012 IS 350, and convertible variants of each (IS 250C, IS 350 C). The IS series is slotted below the slightly larger ES range of midsize sedans, and competes against the Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class, and the BMW 3 Series in the upscale compact sedan segment. It's expected the IS range will undergo a major redesign soon, as the second-generation (redesigned for the 2006 model year) comes near the end of its lifespan.
The 2012 IS 250 is available as a four-door sedan or two-door convertible. Both are equipped with the 2.5-liter V-6, rated at 204 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, that can be mated to 6-speed automatic or manual transmissions. All-wheel drive is available for the sedan version only.
For those who want more visual pizzazz in their IS 250, the F Sport package is available for RWD and automatic sedans only. The F Sport upgrade adds a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch dark chrome wheels, F Sport upper and lower grille insert and F Sport seats. For all other models, a Luxury Package, and navigation package add extra goodies.
Body styles: Sedan, convertible
Engine: 2.5L V-6
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Models: IS 250, IS 250C, IS 250 F Sport
Last year the IS 250 received a new front grille and bumper, a next exhaust tip, and minor updates in the interior. The compact Lexus sedan may undergo a redesign in 2013, so the sedan and convertible are mechanically and visually the same for 2012. A few minor changes include two new paint options: Nebula Gray Pearl replaces Smoky Granite Mica, and Fire Agate Pearl replaces Glacier Frost Mica.
The sedan's exterior is sophisticated yet sporty. It has a wide stance and a 107.5-inch long wheelbase. Fog lights, LED brake lights, stainless steel exhaust pipes, 17-inch wheels, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and heated outside rearview mirrors are standard. Park assist, HID headlights, and 18-inch wheels are optional, and the F Sport package throws in dark-finished 18-inch wheels, scuff plate, front lip and rear deck lid spoiler, and of course, F Sport exterior badging.
Displays and controls are easy to see and use. DC outlet and USB/auxiliary jacks or located in the center console so plugged in devices are out of the way. A Homelink programmable garage door opener is standard, as is Bluetooth connectivity. There is a trunk-pass through in the rear seats, and an armrest with a storage box. Black Metallic accent trim is standard, but Dark Gray Bird's-eye Maple or Espresso Brown maple accent trims are optional, and can be paired with Black, Ecru, and Light Grey interior colors.
The engine is smooth in its power delivery, but the car doesn't feel as quick as its 0-60 mph time of 7.1 seconds suggests. The V-6 isn't loud enough to be heard until close to full-throttle, and steering is responsive, but feels heavy at low speeds. Braking from 60-0 mph took 115 feet, and road is felt a tad bit more in an F Sport compared to a basic IS 250 because of its sport-tuned suspension. All-wheel drive is also available on the IS 250 sedan.
Dual front airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, and front seat-mounted side airbags are standard. Knee airbags for the driver and passenger are also included. The IS line also comes with four-wheel disc brakes, four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution, (EBD) and brake assist (BA). Traction and vehicle stability control (VSC) are also standard, and VSC can be disengaged when needed in certain situations. Park assist is available.
IS 250, IS 250C: 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway (manual), 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway (automatic), 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway (AWD for IS 250)
- Excellent chassis
- F Sport package
- Upscale gauges
- Stiff suspension
- Rear seat room
Stylish sedan, awkward drop-top
- BMW 3 Series
- Infiniti G37
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Acura TSX
- Audi A4
2012 Lexus IS 250
AM/FM stereo radio
AM/FM stereo radio with auxiliary input jack and USB port
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Diversity glass-imprinted antenna
Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Courtesy Dome Light
Driver Vanity Mirror
Illuminated driver vanity mirror
Front Wipers (Option)
Rain sensing wipers
Variable intermittent windshield wipers
Universal garage-door opener
Illuminated entry with fade out
Intelligent Key System
Interior Air Filter
Cabin air filter
6-CD Changer/MP3/WMA player
Navigation System (Option)
Hard drive based Navigation system
Number of Speakers
Passenger Vanity Mirror
Illuminated passenger vanity mirror
12-volt power outlet
Power windows with auto up/down for all windows
Premium Sound System
Lexus Premium Audio
Front reading lights
Rear Seat Heater Ducts
Rear View Mirror
Electrochromic rear view mirror
Remote Audio Controls
Audio controls on steering wheel
Integrated XM Satellite Radio
Interior trunck acces
Steering Wheel Adjustment (Option)
Power tilt and telescopic steering wheel
Steering Wheel Adjustment
Tilt/telescopic steering wheel
Remote trunk hatch release
Windshield wiper defroster
2012 Lexus IS 4dr Sdn AWD Features and Specs
Leather heated front bucket seats -inc: 10-way pwr driver seat
Rear bench seat w/trunk pass-through
Foldable rear headrests
Center console -inc: sliding armrest, storage box, USB & aux input, pwr outlet
Rear seat w/console, dual cupholders
Carpeted floor mats
Illuminated scuff plates
Tilt/telescopic steering wheel w/audio/phone/display controls
Optitron gauges -inc: speedometer, tachometer, fuel level, coolant temp
Exterior temp gauge
Pwr windows -inc: auto-up/down, jam protection
Retained accessory pwr
Pwr door locks -inc: anti-lockout, speed-sensitive auto lock/unlock
Lexus personalized settings (LPS)
SmartAccess remote keyless entry -inc: lock, two-stage unlock, trunk open, panic feature, volume-adjustable tone, rolling code tech
HomeLink programmable garage door opener
Illuminated trunk & fuel filler door release
Vehicle theft-deterrent system w/engine immobilizer
Automatic climate control
Rear window defogger w/timer
Cigarette lighter & ashtray
Dark Bird's-eye maple interior wood trim
Leather trimmed interior
Silver metallic finish interior accents
Electrochromic rearview mirror w/compass
Dual sun visors w/vanity mirrors
Front seatback pockets
Lighting -inc: door courtesy, glovebox, trunk, front/rear dome & lighting, LED map, outside mirror button controls, illuminated entry
(2) front/(2) rear assist grips
Retractable coat hooks
Is250 specs 2012
Base 4dr All-wheel Drive Sedan
2012 Lexus IS 250 Specs
|Front head room||37 "|
|Rear head room||37 "|
|Front shoulder room||54 "|
|Rear shoulder room||53 "|
|Front hip room||54 "|
|Rear hip room||54 "|
|Front leg room||43.9 "|
|Rear leg room||30.6 "|
|Luggage capacity||13.0 cu.ft.|
|Maximum cargo capacity||13.0 cu.ft.|
|Body width||70.9 "|
|Body height||56.7 "|
|Ground clearance||5.3 "|
|Gross weight||4,615 lbs.|
|Fuel tank capacity||17.1 gal.|
|EPA mileage estimates||20 City / 27 Hwy|
|Base engine size||2.5 liters|
|Base engine type||V-6|
|Drive type||all-wheel drive|
|Turning radius||17.7 ''|
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