Looking for a Used IS 250 in your area?
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Average User Score
4.6 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 26 reviews
2008 Lexus IS 250 Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 26 reviews
Redesigned in 2006 with only minor tweaks for 2008, the IS 250 continues Lexus's luxury sports sedan tradition. The IS line competes directly with BMW's 3 Series as well as Audi's A4 and Mercedes-Benz's C300.
The "little brother" of the IS line is powered by an all-aluminum 2.5-liter V6 with dual Variable Valve Timing and direct fuel injection that produces 204 hp. With the standard six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, it makes the 0-60 jump in 7.5 seconds. A six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters - a half-second slower - is optional with rear-wheel drive, but standard on the AWD trim. Fuel economy is best with the automatic, rear-wheel drive combination: 21/29 mpg city/highway. The manual and the AWD with automatic are rated at 18/26 mpg and 20/26 mpg respectively.
Handling, as expected in a sports sedan, is quick, responsive, and balanced, and the IS 250 is a hoot to drive. It sticks to the corners and stops with the best of them. The six-speed automatic comes with paddle shifters, making it much more fun to drive hard. The IS 250's AWD makes it ideal for year-round driving entertainment in the snow belt - 70% of the power normally arrives at the rear wheels, with torque-split ratios varying from 30:70 to 50:50 front/rear, depending on driving conditions and driver input. Pushing the fun level up a notch, Lexus offers the X-Package, which includes a sports suspension, 18-inch alloys, front spoiler, sport pedals, and the ability to turn off the electronic stability programs by turning off the traction control.
The interior is Lexus-level luxury - the finest fit and finish, using upscale trim materials and the latest electronics. But, as with most sports sedans, the back seats are cramped for adults and larger children on long trips. Controls wrap around the driver, putting everything within easy reach and sight. Leather seats are standard, as is metallic trim, with genuine maple optional. Lexus has put much effort into making the cabin a quiet place. They start with a rigid body structure, then add strategically placed noise-suppression materials, which even include special window and door seals, acoustic windshield glass, and sound-absorbing sun visors.
Lexus builds the IS with a reinforced passenger compartment that includes front- and rear-crush structures. The standard airbag system includes advanced dual-stage front airbags, front-seat-mounted side airbags, knee airbags for both front occupants, and side-curtain airbags. Vehicle Stability Control is standard, with an optional pre-collision system that employs radar to warn of impending crashes. Fast, luxurious, and safe, the Lexus IS 250 is right up there with its German competitors.
What's your take on the 2008 Lexus IS 250?
Looking for a Used IS 250 in your area?CarGurus has 5,458 nationwide IS 250 listings starting at $8,990.