Lexus IS (2005–2013)

Model History

March 2005

'L-Finesse design' 4-door saloon launched at Geneva Motor Show. On sale in Europe at the end of 2005 with the diesel model following in 2006. Aluminium chain cam 2.2 litre four-cylinder diesel unit is most powerful in its class, producing 175bhp, and has class-leading torque output, 400Nm from 2,000 to 2,400rpm.

New IS also features new stoichiometric direct-injection chain cam 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine. Six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift gearchange offered on V6. 10 airbags standard, including double knee airbag. Radar-controlled Pre-crash Safety System (PCS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Intelligent Adaptive Front Lighting System (I-AFS) available. Performance, traction control and vehicle stability will be further enhanced by Lexuss Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System (VDIM). Expected to be one of the best-handling sports saloons in its segment.

November 2005

Launched in the UK

New IS features 204bhp 2.5-litre V6 direct injection petrol engine plus a Lexus first diesel, a 175bhp 2.2-litre unit, followed in the IS 220d in January 2006. All versions equipped with eight airbags, including front knee airbags plus ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS) and Traction Control (TRC) standard on all models. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) standard on all except IS 220d Sport.

Standard equipment list includes climate control, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, smart keyless entry and start-up, sequenced LED interior lighting and electric folding and heated door mirrors. IS 250, SE and SE-L on sale in the UK from 19 November and IS 250 Sport and IS 220d models due January 2006. IS 220d Sport in April 2006. IS220d Sport lower geared than original IS220d. On-the-road prices from £22,400 (IS 250)

19-05-2006 IS 250 SR on sale in UK, priced £24,990 (manual) and £25,800 (automatic). Full body kit and 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, aluminium scuff plates and pedals add subtle visual enhancements inside. Heated front seats fitted as standard. Extra features have a combined customer value of more than £3,500, yet the price tag is less than £1,000 greater model-for-model. Powered by a 204bhp 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine, the IS 250 SR will accelerate from rest to 62mph in 8.1 seconds (8.4 with the optional six-speed automatic transmission) and go on to 140mph. Three exterior colours: Velvet Black and Cadoxton Slate and Argento Ice metallic finishes. All are matched to Worcester Black interior fabric trim.

November 2008

Emissions and Price Cuts Announced

New styling details and improved specifications for Lexus IS. On-the-road prices reduced by up to £1,057. Revised range available from £22,490 (IS 220d SE). IS 220d emissions reduced to 163g/km, giving lower Band D road tax (VED) rating. Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management now standard on all models. On sale from 15 November 2008.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the 175bhp (177 DIN hp) 2.2-litre diesel engine in the IS 220d reduced from 168 to 163g/km, moving the model down a band for VED (E to D). This saves £25 on a years road fund licence and also reduces the Benefit in Kind (BIK) rate for company car tax calculation to 23 per cent. Emissions from the 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine in the IS 250 are unchanged at 231g/km (manual) and 214g/km (automatic).

New three-grade structure for the 2009 IS range: SE, SE-I and SE-L, with enhanced specifications across the board. Vehicle Integrated Dynamics Management (VDIM) as standard on all models. VDIM co-ordinates the operation of the cars ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with the Electric Power Steering (EPS), providing smooth, optimum assistance as the car reaches its performance limits. Also new to all models are folding rear headrests for better rearward vision when the back seats are unoccupied.

Cellensia suede-effect upholstery is fitted to the entry level SE models, while the new SE-I versions build on the current SE grade with the addition of front and rear parking sensors. For the top-of-the range IS 250 and 220d SE-L models, 18-inch alloy wheels become a standard feature. These and the 17-inch rims featured on the SE-I versions both have a new design.

Satellite Navigation Pack, available as an option (£1,825) on IS SE and SE-I models comprises: Pan-European satellite navigation system, 7" VGA display. Touch screen operation. Bluetooth connectivity. 13-speaker audio system with six-CD changer. Rear parking monitor.

Multimedia Pack option for the IS SE-L (£2,710) provides the same features, but with a 14-speaker Mark Levinson hifi system with 5.1 surround sound and six-DVD changer. The satellite navigation offers an additional Dynamic Route Guidance function to provide automatic diversion routes to avoid any delays detected on a pre-programmed journey.

New front bumper with a revised grille. New door mirrors with larger glass sections for improved vision and integrated indicator lamps. Changes to rear lamp clusters, and to the rear bumper of the IS 250. New-design 17-inch and 18-inch alloys are introduced and two new paint finishes join the IS palette: Atacama Gold and Sable. Paddle shift function is newly available on D mode in the six-speed automatic transmission.

IS 220d SE £22,490 saving £702

IS 220d SE-I £24,995 Saving £847

IS 220d SE-L £27,160 Saving £782

IS 250 SE £23,200 Saving £927

IS 250 SE auto £24,010 Saving £927

IS 250 SE-I £25,720 Saving £1,057

IS 250 SE-I auto £26,530 Saving £1,057

IS 250 SE-L £28,850 Saving £837

January 2009

Revised Lexus IS 220d produces lower emissions. CO2 figure down from 163 to 148g/km. Means significant savings in Benefit-in-Kind tax rates and Corporation Tax. IS 220d moves into Band C for Vehicle Excise Duty. Improved fuel economy, but no loss in performance. Improved general specifications for 2009.
Available to order January, deliveries from mid-March. On-the-road prices unchanged, starting at £22,015 for the IS 220d SE.

September 2009

F-Sport package available on IS sedan. New audio and navigation systems. A refreshed IS model range incorporates navigation and audio system upgrades, a new F Sport trim package and a revised IS F ultra-high performance sports sedan now available with a Limited Slip Differential.

March 2010

Improvements across the Lexus IS range for 2010 model year. Introduction of new F-Sport grade, inspired by the ultra-high-performance IS F and has lowered suspension (IS 250 only), 18-inch alloy wheels, bootlid spoiler, sports seats, steering wheel and aluminium pedals, alcantara and leather upholstery.

Also includes new HDD navigation system, new DAB-ready audio system featuring USB connectivity and Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels now standard feature on IS 250 SE and IS 220d SE, improvement in fuel consumption and emissions performance. Revised range on-the-road prices from £24,350

The new F-Sport grade, available for both IS 250 and 220d models, takes its cue from the high impact styling of the IS F and is positioned in the IS line-up between the established SE-I and SE-L models.

The dedicated F-Sport exterior features include lowered suspension (IS 250 only), exclusive 18-inch wheels and an IS F-style front grille and rear bootlid spoiler. In the cabin there are aluminium sports pedals, IS F-style sports seats, steering wheel and (on the IS 250 automatic) gear lever. The seats are finished in a combination of Alcantara upholstery with leather side bolsters.

A black-on-black interior colour scheme is complimented by a black headlining and grey stitching detail on the front seats and steering wheel. F-Sport models share a number of premium equipment features with SE-L grade, including rain-sensing wipers, HID headlights with AFS, 13-speaker audio system and memory settings for the front seats and door mirrors.

Lexus has developed one of the most accurate and fast-responding navigation systems on the market. Using a 40GB hard disc drive (HDD), it provides Europe-wide coverage and is able to gather live local traffic intelligence in each country to help plot the most efficient route, wherever you may be.

A further benefit of the HDD system is its “sound library” function. Up to 10GB of disc space is available for owners to store audio tracks from CD – room enough for about 2,000 songs.

The touch-screen, full-map system is available as an option on SE and SE-I models as part of package that also includes a rear park assist monitor. For F-Sport and SE-L versions of IS, it is included in the optional Multimedia Package, together with a 14-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound System and the rear park assist monitor.

All Lexus IS audio systems can be upgraded to receive DAB digital broadcasts and are equipped as standard with USB and audio jack plug connection for fully controlled use of portable music players, and Bluetooth with an audio streaming function. The Mark Levinson audio package now features a “sound library” function, using the navigation system’s HDD to transfer and store music files from CD up to 10GB capacity.

Lexus IS 250 SE and 220d SE have been given more street appeal for 2010 with 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels fitted as standard, in place of the previous 16-inch rims.

The revisions made to the IS 250 for the 2010 model year have yielded improvements in fuel consumption andemissions. With manual transmission, combined cycle economy is now 29.1mpg, compared to 28.8mpg for the 2009 model; the new figure for the automatic is 31.7mpg (from 31.0mpg). Emissions have fallen from 231 to 227g/km for the manual and 214 to 209g/km for the automatic.

Lexus IS prices, insurance and VED



50 group


IS 220d SE




IS 250 SE manual




IS 250 SE automatic




IS 220d SE-I




IS 250 SE-I manual




IS 250 SE-I automatic




IS 220d F-Sport




IS 250 F-Sport automatic




IS 220d SE-L




IS 250 SE-L automatic




August 2010

Special edition IS F-Sport model announced for the price of an equivalent new IS 250 or 220d SE-I. Spec includes:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Leather and Alcantara sports front seats
  • Aluminium pedal set
  • Sports steering wheel
  • Bootlid spoiler
  • Mesh front grille
  • Lowered suspension (IS 250 F-Sport only)
  • F-Sport badging

These items have a combined customer value of £1,680.

August 2010

Lexus IS undergoes its most significant revisions since the current generation model was launched in 2005. Changes for the 2011 model year formally revealed at the Paris motor show, are not simply a matter of sharper styling: Lexus has gone to the heart of the ownership experience to make the IS an even more appealing prospect, not least to those choosing it as a company car.

Central to this strategy is the introduction of the new IS 200d, which delivers improved fuel economy, lower emissions and reduced tax bills. Replacing the previous IS 220d, it is available to order now, priced from £24,350 (IS 200d SE) on the road.

The V6 petrol engine featured in the IS 250 and IS 250C coupe-convertible with six-speed automatic transmission has also been revised to meet future Euro5 emissions standards, achieving better fuel economy and CO2 emissions with no penalty in performance.

Focus of the styling changes is the F-Sport grade, which now echoes even more loudly the looks of its ultra-high-performance sister, the IS F, to strengthen its appeal among younger drivers. Meanwhile all IS models equipped with high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights gain LED daytime running lights and across the range there are new wheel designs, new rear light designs and a revised choice of exterior colours.

Replacing the previous IS 220d, the new IS 200d delivers stronger fuel economy, lower emissions and a more refined and smoother drive.

The new 148bhp version of the 2.2-litre diesel engine benefits from detailed engineering revisions and is equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to meet Euro 5 emissions standards and enhance the engine’s driving quality.

The changes include a re-shaped combustion chamber and the use of new-generation piezoelectric fuel injectors to give a more efficient, cleaner and complete fuel burn. Pressure in the common rail injection system has been increased. a higher flow exhaust gas recirculation valve has been introduced and the adoption of a new oil-cooled, variable nozzle turbocharger improves torque performance at low speeds and cuts overall engine noise.

Maximum power of 148bhp is delivered at 3,600rpm, with peak torque of 340Nm on tap from 2,000rpm, allowing for nought to 62mph acceleration in 10.2 seconds. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 55.4mpg and emissions are 134g/km, compared to 50.4mpg and 148g/km for the IS 220d.

As well as saving money at the pumps, owners enjoy a lower annual road tax charge – Band E rather than F for Vehicle Excise Duty. For company car tax payers there is a further bonus in the reduction of the Benefit-in-Kind tax rating from 21 to 18 per cent for the new model.For the 2011 model year the IS 250 becomes and automatic-only model, with revisions to the powertrain that ensure compliance with Euro 5 emissions standards.

Power and torque are unchanged from the super-smooth V6 are unchanged at 205bhp and 252Nm, but combined cycle fuel consumption improves from 31.7 to 33.6mpg, with a concurrent fall in CO2 output from 209 to 194g/km. As a result the model’s BiK tax rating is cut from 30 to 27 per cent.

Changes to the IS 250 and 220d F-Sport models’ exterior and interior make them even more of a stand-out choice, heavily influenced by the styling of the ultra-high-performance IS F. For 2011 F-Sport specification includes a new deep front spoiler with faired-in fog lights, new grille design and a rear spoiler with integrated stop light. The new-design 18-inch alloy wheels have a dark silver finish and black centre Lexus roundel, directly inspired by the IS F.

Inside the sports factor continues with F-Sport steering wheel, gear lever and sports pedals and front seats finished in leather and Alcantara. Extra touches of titanium-effect trim and a dark, anthracite roof liner are also introduced.

New specifications and options

Revisions elsewhere in the IS range included improvements to the SE-I specification to introduce rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming electrochromic rear view mirror and a new leather upholstery with heated front seats. There is a modest change to the rear light clusters and on IS 250 the exhaust tailpipe has a bolder circular profile in place of the previous ellipse.

New-look 17 and 18-inch wheels are available and the choice of exterior colours has been adjusted, with Ultra Blue metallic making its debut in the range.




IS 200d SE



IS 250 SE



IS 200d SE-I



IS 250 SE-I



IS 200d F-Sport



IS 250 F-Sport



IS 250 SE-L



January 2011

New high-value Lexus IS 250 and 200d Advance announced. Specification builds on standard SE trim with wide range of luxury and hi-tech features:

HDD satellite navigation system, rear parking camera, heated, electrically adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, auto windscreen wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control. In addition to the regular SE specification, the new IS 250 and 200d Advance models come equipped with a hard disc drive (HDD) satellite navigation system, rear parking camera, heated electrically adjustable front seats, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.

It’s the kind of options tick-list that should add up to a hefty price premium, yet the new Advance IS 250 costs just an extra £340 compared its SE equivalent (£26,495 on-the-road), with the IS 200d coming in at an additional £130 (£24,995). Comparing like for like specifications, the V6 petrol-powered IS 250 is more keenly priced than the BMW 320i and 325i SE, with the IS 200d diesel – returning an official 134g/km CO2 emissions and 55.4mpg combined cycle fuel economy – offering better specification than the BMW 318d SE and the Audi A4 2.0 TDI 140 Technik.

What does a Lexus IS (2005 – 2013) cost?

Contract hire from £339.31 per month