The compact IS sedan is one of Lexus’ sportier cars with the IS 350 offering a much more engaging driving experience compared to the IS 250. Lexus says the IS 350 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds compared to 7.9 seconds for the IS 250.
IS 250 models come with a 204-horsepower, 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine; the IS 350 has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, making 304 hp. As expected, that extra 100 hp isn’t free; the MSRP for the base 2009 IS 350 is $5,450 more than the IS 250. The entry level IS 250 with manual transmission is rated with EPA gas mileage ratings of 18/26 mpg city/highway while the optional automatic is 21/29 mpg; the IS 350 is 18/25 mpg.
Standard interior features are nearly equal between both models. The IS 350 adds larger brakes that translate to stronger, more precise braking. Only IS 250 rear-wheel-drive models come with a six-speed manual transmission; the more powerful IS 350 uses a six-speed automatic transmission.
All-wheel drive is available on the IS250, but unless you travel to wintry areas outside of your Southern California location, all-wheel drive might not be a deciding factor in your purchase.
See if your question has already been asked and answered
Your question has been successfully submitted to Ask.cars.com. It will now be reviewed by our editors and we'll answer it soon if we think it's a useful question. You will be notified via e-mail when the answer is posted. Ask.cars.com tackles your questions about new cars and the car-buying process. Unfortunately we can't answer questions regarding:
Have our experts answer any of your questions about new cars.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org