Review: Lexus IS 250C (2009 – 2013)
Incredibly refined. Barely any top-down turbulence. Metal-folding roof retracts smoothly. Effortless performance.
Thirsty and expensive to run. Soft handling means it's no sports car. Lacks the feelgood factor you'd expect of a convertible.
Lexus IS 250C (2009 – 2013): At A Glance
When I first read the price of the Lexus IS250C, I have to confess my jaw dropped a bit. I was expecting an entry level of £28,000 to £30,000. So £34,550 came as a bit of a shock. And that doesn't even include satnav. For the Navigator version you are asked to hand over a cool £36,750.
Lexus justifies this with a list of standard equipment as long as your arm (see below). Enough to pull the price of its closest competitor, the BMW 325i coupe convertible, way south of £40,000. So it's actually quite brave of Lexus to quote an all-in price rather then tempt buyers with a low list price, then keep adding to it to put you into the specification you really want.
What does a Lexus IS 250C (2009 – 2013) cost?
Lexus IS 250C (2009 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 235–583 litres
The Japanese design and engineering team, lead by Keiichi Yonada seems to have thought of everything. For example, with the top up the cavernous trunk can take up to 583 litre of luggage. And with the top down, instead of leaving a letterbox through which to post a slim briefcase, they have left a broad 235 litre expanse right at the rear of the compartment, still capable of taking two golf bags laid across.
Instead of rear seats suitable only for legless dwarfs, 5' 9" of me could happily sit behind myself.A huge difficulty in creating a four-seater convertible is preventing top down turbulence. Most manufacturers, including Audi, BMW and Peugeot, counter this with windbreak arrangements that fit over the back seats and prevent anyone from sitting there. But that wasn't good enough for Keiichi Yonada's team. Instead they have used a windtunnel to refine the shape of the screen and body, so the airflow passes smoothly over the top. As a consequence, very little external noise feeds into the car and there is no buffeting at all, even for rear seat passengers.
As well as that the engineers organised the aircon so you can be cooled while the sun is on your face. The SE-L version even has built in seat coolers. Conversely, if you choose to drop the top in mid winter, seat warmers that extend all the way up your back to keep you nice and snug even if it's below zero outside.
Child seats that fit a Lexus IS 250C (2009 – 2013)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Lexus IS 250C (2009 – 2013) like to drive?
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 29–36 mpg
Where the Lexus scores highest is in refinement. From the seamless 6-speed automatic transmission that cushions gearchanges beautifully, whether left to its own devices or summoned by the steering wheel paddles, to the astonishing lack of wind noise and buffeting with the top down, this is a seriously smooth convertible.
Even on 18" wheels with 225/40 and 255/40 tyres front and rear, the ride quality was fine. Steering feedback was good, handling surefooted. The rigid body has extra strengthening underneath so none of the dreaded scuttle shake.
And, the car has a pleasant, relaxed nature, making it the perfect open-topped cruiser. It's smooth, sweet and undemanding, yet powerful enough when you need it to be. Driving normally on normal roads, you simply leave it in auto. Ascending or descending the Col de Vence, you use the paddles. But even if you don't, that excellent transmission makes sensible decisions, rarely dropping a cog half way round a bend or getting flustered on an uphill hairpin.
It isn't an economy car. Combined economy is a mere 30mpg. But neither is it a car that encourages you to rag it, so I suspect that many owners will at least equal and probably better that combined figure.
And economy is still not bad for a car that makes you feel so good.
The Lexus IS250C is a true all year round car. It's exceptionally refined. It's a genuine four-seater. And it has an enormous boot. It's a summer car that doesn't need a winter car as back-up.
|250C||31 mpg||9.0 s||213 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Lexus IS 250C (2009 – 2013)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Lexus IS 250C (2009 – 2013)?
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Should I buy a Lexus IS 250C to accompany my Mercedes-Benz SLK and Chrysler 300C?
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