Sedans & Coupes

The 2015 Lexus IS250 Is a Budget Luxury Car That Lacks Power

If you’re looking to buy a used luxury sedan that’s budget-friendly, sensible, and has plenty of power, then the 2015 Lexus IS250 is not what you’re looking for. It’s not that the Lexus IS250 was a bad car by any means, it just needed some refining, specifically in the power department.

The 2015 Lexus IS250 needed more power

The Lexus IS250 made its debut in 2006 and 2015 was the last year that it was in production when it was ultimately replaced with the IS200t for the 2016 model year. It had a starting price of around $36,000, which was $6,000 less than its IS350 stablemate, but that price differential came with a smaller engine. The IS250 was powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produced 204 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, while the IS350 was motivated by a bigger 3.5-liter engine that pumped out 100 more horsepower.

And while those power figures really aren’t that bad on paper, they translated to some lackluster performance in the real world, at least for a luxury sedan that was touting sporty driving characteristics. Car and Driver tested the 2015 IS250 and logged a 0 to 60 time of 7.6 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 15.7-seconds. In contrast, its IS350 bigger brother clicked off a 0-60 run in five seconds and went down the quarter-mile in 13.6. That’s a massive difference in performance for just $6,000.

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2015 Lexus IS250
2015 Lexus IS250 | Lexus

The IS250 might be kind of slow, but it’s still a Lexus

2015 Lexus IS250
2015 Lexus IS250 | Lexus

Although the 2015 IS250 was somewhat slow, even by the standards of five years ago, it still had the same pristine Lexus fit and finish as you would come to expect. If you can get past its lack of power, then you’ll be treated to a lavish leather interior, LED head and taillights, a sunroof, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch screen. However, don’t expect it to be touch-sensitive as it can only be controlled via a center console-mounted mouse. To be honest, that functionality was really annoying too, but we won’t gripe about it.

Other amenities included the available Mark Levinson premium audio system with 15 speakers, wood trim, a power tilt, and telescoping steering, and heated seats. If you want other tech goodies like a navigation system and blind-spot monitoring, then you’ll have to find one with the luxury package. Otherwise, even in its base form, the Lexus IS250 exuded all of the panache that you would want in a luxury sedan and it can now be found on the used market for a very fair price.

RELATED: The Original Lexus IS300: A Supra-Engined Reliable BMW

2015 Lexus IS250
2015 Lexus IS250 | Lexus

How much does a 2015 Lexus IS250 cost now?

In case you’re yearning to get into a luxury starter car like the Lexus IS250, you’ll be happy to know that you can find them for sale all over the nation for anywhere between $20,000 to $25,000 depending on the car’s location, condition, and mileage. Considering Lexus cars hold their values well, you’ll likely get a lot of use out of it.

However, if you want more power, then you can find an IS350 of the same model for anywhere from $25,000 up to $35,000 for a really low-mileage example. If anything, we would recommend the trim upgrade whether or not power is what you’re seeking.