Lexus ups the luxury ante with additional standard features to its IS250 model, while at the same time adding a new IS250 Sport model to the range.
For 2009, minimal changes throughout sees the IS retain its appearance.
At the front, a new bumper adds 10 mm to the car's overall length, and IS also sports a different grille. Larger door mirrors are new, too, and come with integrated indicator lamps. New tail lights are evident at the rear.
New 17- and 18-inch wheel options are available and the IS250 S now loses the 16-inch rims in favour of 17-inch wheels.
Concerning its interior, the only changes are to the upholstery fabrics and trims, and the shape of the switches and graphic on the centre console. All models now come with folding rear headrests.
A lack in customer demand sees the IS250 SE manual being culled and the revised range comprises the IS250 S, with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, the IS 250 SE automatic and the IS250 Sport (which takes the specification level of the SE model).
Same power, more features
The IS250 continues to be powered by a 2.5-litre quad-cam V6 with VVT-i and electronic direct fuel injection.
This powerplant develops 153 kW at 6 400 r/min and peak torque of 252 Nm at 4 800 r/min. Lexus claims it is able to reach a top speed of 230 km/h and sprints from 0-100 km/h time in 8.1 seconds. Combined cycle fuel consumption is quoted as 9.1 l/100 km.
Specification levels remain high. Keyless entry with a start/stop button is standard all models, as is one-touch electric windows all round, eight-way adjustable electric seats with lumbar support, a multi-function steering wheel, cruise control and a 13-speaker six-CD front loading audio system with iPod and MP3 player functionality.
SE models add PDC front and rear with a rear-view camera, seat heaters and coolers, an electric rear blind, an adaptive lighting system and a 14-speaker Mark Levinson digital surround sound system. Navigation is via a seven-inch LCD touch screen with voice recognition.
IS250 Sport, on the other hand, is distinguished from the rest of the range by its revised bumpers, side skirts and boot lid spoiler and an interior equipped with aluminium accents.
For added dynamic appeal, a sports suspension package lowers and stiffens the car's body, while the standard issue 18-inchers further aid its handling prowess. A six-speed paddle shift automatic transmission is standard.
IS250 S man - R370 300
IS250 S auto - R387 600
IS250 SE auto - R457 700
IS250 Sport auto - R482 600