Current Lexus IS 250

Lexus sells the IS 250 in a single trim level, with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. For power, the 250 comes with a 2.5-liter V6 rated for 204 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Rear-drive models can be had with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic, while the AWD car is only available with the automatic.

The standard equipment list includes 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, power front seats, leather upholstery and a 13-speaker sound system. Major options include xenon headlights, heated/ventilated front seats, a Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, a navigation system and an F Sport package that includes a sport-tuned suspension and sport seats.

On the move, the Lexus IS 250 is smooth-riding and quiet but a bit light on emotion. Handling is secure and precise, particularly with the sport package fitted, but the IS never communicates with its driver the way a BMW 3 Series sedan does. Otherwise, the IS 250's dynamics are certainly on par with the other leading entry-luxury sedans. Acceleration is adequate for a car in this price range, but with 0-60-mph estimates falling around the 8-second mark, we'd hardly call it pulse-quickening.

Inside, the leather-lined Lexus IS 250 feels luxurious even in standard spec -- something that can't be said of many entry-level luxury sedans in this price range. Seat comfort and passenger room are excellent up front, but the backseat offers considerably less legroom than most competing luxury sport sedans do.

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