Seat Time: 2015 Lexus IS 250 F-Sport

August 20th, 2014 at 3:00pm

2013 Lexus ISC

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: John McElroy
Manufacturer: Toyota
Make: Lexus
Model: IS 250 F-Sport
Type: 2-door convertible
Competitors: BMW 4-series convertible, Mercedes SLK, Audi A5 convertible
Price: $51,065
Made in: Tahara, Japan
Drivetrain: 2.5 L V-6, 6-speed automatic
EPA Ratings: 21 city, 30 highway, 24 mpg combined

Final Impression:

2013 Lexus ISCIf you enjoy going out on a nice sunny day and motoring down a pleasant country road in a car with the top down, stop reading this review right now and go out to your local Lexus dealer. This car is ideal for open-top motoring at leisurely speeds.

The hard-top roof opens and closes easily at the touch of a button, with no latches, covers or snaps to deal with. And all the other controls seem to be located where ever you intuitively reach for them, making this car a breeze to drive. OK, there. Now I’ve said everything nice that I have to say about this car.

I drove the F-Sport package, which provides a “sport” suspension, “sport” grille, “sport” steering wheel “sport” pedals and a number of other other “sport” things. Good thing they tell you about all those “sport” features, because otherwise you’d never know there was anything sporty about this car. Not by driving it with the 2.5 liter V-6, that is.

The 204 horsepower rating is overly optimistic, because peak power doesn’t come on until you hit 6,400 rpm. Same with peak torque (185 lb-ft) which comes on at 4,800 rpm. That means you have to have your foot buried deeply into the gas pedal before this car even thinks about getting going. Heaven help you if you get caught in a situation where you need to get out of the way of that Mack truck barreling down on you. At low and mid-speed acceleration the car feels positively sluggish and not at all confidence-inspiring. There is an optional 3.5 liter V-6 with about 100 more horsepower, but I’m not sure it will solve the problem.That’s because the steering and suspension are fairly numb, too.

Let’s put it this way: this is not a car that is begging you to get it on.

Even if this IS did not have an F-Sport badge on it I would be disappointed–unless I was that that kind of milquetoast soul who prefers living quietly at speeds below 45 miles an hour.

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