Terrific overall performance; plenty of luxury features and high-tech options; standard safety.
The Lexus IS comes in two primary models for 2008. The IS 250 has a 204-horsepower, 2.5L V6 engine, and the IS 350 comes with a 306-horsepower, 3.5L V6. Both engines have aluminum construction and variable valve timing for intake and exhaust, along with direct injection. There's also an IS 250 AWD model, which adds all-wheel drive; the other IS models have rear-wheel drive.
The IS 250 has a standard six-speed manual gearbox with an optional six-speed automatic with paddle-shifters. The automatic is standard on the IS 250 AWD model and on the IS 350. The IS 350 has particularly strong acceleration; it can get to 60 mph in only 5.3 seconds.
Electronic stability control, which helps restore vehicle stability by applying the brakes at individual wheels, is standard on the IS 250, while the IS 350 gets the more sophisticated vehicle dynamics integrated management (VDIM), which integrates all of the vehicles electronic management systems, such as the anti-lock brakes and electronic power steering system, for more seamless assistance in maintaining stability. Eight air bags are standard on the IS, and there's also an optional pre-collision system (PCS) that retracts front seatbelts and readies brake assist when it anticipates a collision with radar sensors.
Other high-tech options on the IS include dynamic radar cruise control, which is packaged together with PCS, high-intensity discharge headlamps with an adaptive front-lighting system (AFS) to help illuminate into corners, and an intuitive park assist system for gauging the distance to adjacent vehicles. There's also a DVD-based touch-screen navigation system, a premium audio system with a six-disc changer and 13 speakers, or the top-of-the-line Mark Levinson premium surround sound system, which has 14 speakers, 300-watts, and ten amplifier channels and can play DVD movies when the vehicle isn't moving.
The X Package brings a sport suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, a front lip spoiler, and sport pedals to either of the models. A Premium Plus Package brings perforated leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats.
Also new late in the model year is the new high-performance IS-F. The model is the first of a new line of limited-volume performance vehicles from Lexus to carry the "F" designation and will have a new 5.0L V8 engine with more than 400 horsepower, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with Sport Direct-Shift manual control, plus 19-inch forged BBS wheels, big Brembo brakes, plus special equipment inside and out. Lexus promises a 0-60 time of less than 4.9 seconds.
A new performance-oriented model called the IS-F, with more than 400 horsepower and a full roster of track-ready equipment, joins the Lexus lineup later in the 2008 model year.
The rest of the IS sport sedans carry over to 2008 with only a few minor changes. Seats have been redesigned, and IS 250 AWD models now also get standard leather seats, with the front being heated. Door scuff plates and the outside mirror control get new illumination, a coin holder has been added, and the standard 17-inch alloy wheels get a new finish.
The 2008 Lexus IS sport sedans bring the driving feel of a sports coupe, in a more practical four-door sedan body style, and have some available high-tech features that aren't offered by its head-on competitors. The IS 250 AWD model appeals to the more practical-minded, and the IS-F that's set to debut late in the model year may just win over some buyers who want a new track toy that's practical enough for everyday driving.
Vehicle Price: 31,730.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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