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The Positives & Negatives Of Owning An Is250?


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Hey Guys & Gals,

I've been a proud owner of a '99 Mitsubishi Verada Xi for the past 6 years and have loved my leather, sunroof, climate control and comfort. It's come to the time where I need to upgrade to a newer model, but i've been struggling to find cars that I "love" like I did when I bought my Verada 6 years ago. However after months of searching for different models, I've ended up with the IS250 on my short list, I won't be buying new, I'm searching in the lower end of the S/H market with a $35,000 budget, and at current market price that can be me something with around 70-80kms on the clock and about 3-4 years old, which works good for me.

While I have driven an IS250, that was back in 2007 and it was a brand new one in the showroom, what I want to know is, how are they holding up 4 years later, and what are your predictions for the next 5 years? As owners, what do you love about your car? and what do you hate about it? How to you find the power? Is there enough grunt to over-take on a freeway, zip in front of someone at the lights? What would you compare the power to from other manufactures? As I'm coming from a 3.5lt V6 down to a 2.5lt, one concern is the power.

Lexus/Toyota are quite well known for their build quality, but every car has it's issues, I've had a look around on these forums for problems and so far they seem to be pretty clean, is there something in particular I should be looking out for when purchasing? Tell tail signs of issues that are known?

One last question for you to ponder on; If you had $35,000 to spend on a car, and you couldn't get an IS250 - what else would you get?

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The Verada had 147kW, the IS250 has 153kW. You'll actually be getting an increase in power and lower fuel use of a 2.5L.

I've been in 3 year old IS250s and they feel identical to new.

When I went car shopping, my budget was $20k, I looked into the old IS300, budget had to increase to $30k for a decent one.

Then I started seeing used IS250s for $40k, so I increased my budget once again, knowing how good they are. I somehow ended up buying a brand new one and don't regret it for one second.

There is no other car on the market in the price bracket which is reliable, good economy, decent power and still rear wheel drive.

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MIGHT consider a new/demo/second hand second gen Honda Accord Euro. Haven't driven one but they have received good reviews and Honda generally does a good manual for those searching for more of a driver's car feel.

Agree with Atlantis tho on the 250 - for the money, hard to buy better in terms of features, build quality and reliability and perhaps most important.... RWD handling.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the 'power' output of the 2.5L. Unless you're obsessive about 0-100/ 1/4 mile times or have a lazy $50K to spend on a 350 - the car's nicely balanced and you can still have some fun when you use the steering wheel paddles.

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postivie... hm.. thats a hard 1

the car is too good.

it has everything

Negative

Power and the brakes

im a rev head power and handling is important for me as well as comfrot and luxury

hence y i sold my 250 but im still staying in the IS250 chassis

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One last question for you to ponder on; If you had $35,000 to spend on a car, and you couldn't get an IS250 - what else would you get?

Toyota Aurion.

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Thanks for your thoughts guys.

Has anyone driven/compared Audi A4's & Mercedes C180's to the IS250? Would be good to get different opinions on how each drive etc. I've got a mate who has an A4 and is selling it in the price range I'm looking at, it seems quite sharp and responsive, although has a smaller engine than the IS250.

I'm planning on heading to some dealers to do my own comparisons, but would be good to get opinions from others, particularly if you've owned them or driven them for a long period of time. I know in here people will be a bit bias (aren't we all with our own car?) but try to be as objective as you can :)

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IS250 competes with 320's C200 and base model A4's

non of them come close to equipments and power

power and equipment levels are more closely matched to mid to higher level A4's and C and 3's

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My five cents worth.....(sorry for the long post)

I have two negatives - 1. the programming of the automatic (it hits the next gear too early - but thats overcome by driving it in Sports mode and doing the changes yourself - heaps more fun, and you get far more out of the car) and 2. back seat leg room. The back seat is beautiful and incredibly comfortable, but that's after you've contorted yourself to get in. Not that my back seat gets used much, but if you're taking more than 1 passenger often you need to consider it. The main problem is with the fuel tank being placed over the back axle (for balance) leading to no foot space whatsoever underneath the rear seat.

That's the negatives out of the way!.....

Too many positives to mention, but the overall one for me is build quality and driveability of the car. It is simply beautifully put together (and rivals the mid-Europeans (ie. 5-series, E-class and A6 etc.) in finish, and the only cheap finish in my eyes (which youll see plenty of cheap finishes in the base model BM or Merc) is the faux-aluminum trim on the door handles and the digital clock, but that's pretty trivial when you think about it. The rest of the car is second-to-none in its class (at the time 2006/07) on materials used, finish, panel fit etc.). Driveability is first class, and I've test driven plenty. It beats the C200, 159, A4 and Passat. It would be just pipped by the 3-series, but only because the steering is more fun and direct in the BM. BM ride is nice also (the run-flat issue with BM is a bit of a beat up). The FWD makes I mention below dont come close in terms of handling and road manners. BTW, its still a head turner even 4 years on. Im still being cornered in car parks by people wanting to comment about the car, and ask about it. People are stunned when I tell them its nearly 5 years old - a garaged well cared for Lexus will stay more youthful than just about anything on the road.

Other options to consider for 35k would be a 2008 Accord Euro (Luxury spec, but brakes a worry for me - plenty of fade), 2008 Mazda 6 (Luxury spec - still an underrated car IMO), 2007 A4 (but Ive never liked the steering, ride and front-wheel dynamics of the Audis), or perhaps an Aurion (plenty of guts and reliable).

Personally, Id give Merc and BMW a wide berth (and Audi to a point) - great makes and vehicles but in this budget you have to do those 3 brands properly (never go base-model, you'll feel you've cheated yourself and you bought a badge and nothing else) - so that means getting a much older vehicle for your budget, and could lead to higher running costs and reliability issues (ever noticed how many 5-8yr old BMWs you see broken down on the road?!). A 3-yr old 325i from a BMW dealer with an extended factory warranty would be a great buy, but for $35k? Nup. I had a Audi 1.8T for a week (on loan from dealer) a few years ago - found the turbo-lag very unnerving and a fair bit of understeer as well. I'd never ever buy Audi new (due to their extortionist polices re. options lists), but a 3 year old one might be ok - still think their driveability is a fair way behind BMW and IS250.

In the "entry-level prestige" class at $35-40k (ie. 2006-2007) I simply can't go past the IS250. Id put far more trust in the reliability also in a Lexus that age than a German. I researched and researched and test drove to death over a dozen models back in 2006 and as desparate as I wanted a European, in the end the IS250 won hands down. Surprised even myself! No drivetrain issues to look out for on the IS250, and if its been serviced through Lexus, a few little niggles that the model may have (like all cars), would be fixed promptly.

Here endeth my essay!! Good luck with your hunt. This is one of the hardest classes to make a decision on. The German badge does have strong pulling power (nearly sucked me in), so stay as objective as possible. You might find a Honda or Mazda or even Nissan might be to go. Just don't buy a French car!!!

Again, sorry to all for the stupidly long post!

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One last question for you to ponder on; If you had $35,000 to spend on a car, and you couldn't get an IS250 - what else would you get?

Toyota Aurion.

Hmmm if you're not too fussed about luxury badges then for $35k you could the top of the Range 08/09 Aurion Presara which is jam packed with features(basically all features of the is250 SL except for radar cruise control). It has a 3.5L V6 which will output 200kW however it will use up slightly more fuel with a combined fuel rating of 9.9L/100km compared to the 250's 9.1L/100km. It also comes standard with a lot more accessories. If your back seats are going to be used, then the Aurion would be worth having a look due to the back seats being roomier- the car itself is also larger as it competes in the large car market with the Commo's/Falcons.

However, the is250 has a more aggressive look, is more fun to drive AND IS RWD. I have driven both cars and i would recommend the is250 :)

...this last comment may start a flame war but if your after power and have got $35k to spend and don't mind the aurion then maybe a TRD Aurion may be worth having a look..sadly it is FWD like the aurion but it does kick out with 241kW @ 6400rpm and max Torque 400Nm @ 4000rpm. Just my opinion tho..

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35,000$ for a car

hmmm

Aurion is good, but FWD, maybe a VE SV6?

yes, it is a holden, but the power you get from them is pretty good for the money, and a larger car than the IS250

driven a few commodores, and the new VE SV6's are powerful compared to the IS250

IMO, cant really go to FWD after driving a RWD

also driven a Aurion, 200kw in a FWD is just...., WHY WOULD YOU DO SUCH A THING!!!

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I think FWD is out of the question to be honest, I've put up with it for the past 6 years, and rather not have to deal with it for another 5 haha.

The other car that's currently on my short list, is a 06-07 Subaru Liberty GT/SpecB/STI range. Not quite as much luxury as the IS250, but still a decent amount of goodies & comfort. So i'm torn between the two at the moment.

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The liberty is a nice car too. I came from one. Power is much more raw then the 250. It feels like you're going faster.I have the 3l h6 and it is very torquey. The torque makes me sick sometime. After driving the more sedate 250. But then again I'm getting older :P

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It is interesting, I happen to own a TJ Magna which I bought 8 years ago and purchased an IS250 a year ago. In terms of comparing just power, in a IS250 you will not get the torquee low down response of a Magna but you will get a decent accelration once you rev it up. And when you do rev it, you get the most rewarding sound (almost a muted V8 sound) which will make go there again and again and again. Although the Mitsu 3.5 were smooth , it is not even comparable to the smoothness of a Lexus 2.5, its pure silk at at any rev range.

You will be plesently surprised about how economical it is, I get constantly 8.5-9l/100km compared to 15.5l/100km in a Magna for the same weekly route.

In my opinion, the IS250 is the best balance between Power, Handling and Comfort. A very good package.

Good luck....

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One last question for you to ponder on; If you had $35,000 to spend on a car, and you couldn't get an IS250 - what else would you get?

Toyota Aurion.

Noooooooooooo..........

That is not a drivers car. Sure it'll get you from A to B, and be reliable etc. But the toyota product has no soul. At least with the IS you get a far better drive experience when you want to push it, but the luxury calmness for the rest of the time. Id rather drive a local product, commodore or falcon, than an Aurion. Just my 2c worth.

Another option is something from Subaru.

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What I like about the IS250 (mine's a 2007 sports luxury)

Whisper quiet while driving

The Active Cruise Control

The Mark Levinson sound system (I let the active cruise control "drive" for me and I enjoy the music)

Safety (if something were to happen, it's got plenty of airbags, all the preventive stuff PCS BA etc etc)

The touch screen (I dislike using joysticks)

What I don't like?

The lack of rear seat space. This was mentioned before by someone else prior. For comfort, 2 adults in the car and that's it!

Can't program the SatNav while the car is in motion (the passenger I'm talking about, not the driver)

Alternative for $35k? Toyota Camry Grande ???

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How can people name camry/aurion as the alternative for the IS???? They're totally different cars!! FWD vs RWD. Small size vs big family size. Luzury vs bread and butter. And so on. It's crazy to call them alternatives, they're not in the same class at all, far from it! It's like comparing a VW Jetta to an E class Merc, or a Holden Cruze to a Statesman, it's crazy!

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How can people name camry/aurion as the alternative for the IS???? They're totally different cars!! FWD vs RWD. Small size vs big family size. Luzury vs bread and butter. And so on. It's crazy to call them alternatives, they're not in the same class at all, far from it! It's like comparing a VW Jetta to an E class Merc, or a Holden Cruze to a Statesman, it's crazy!

dude .. calm down.

Do one better on us and let's hear your alternative for the IS for a budget of 35k or under.

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How can people name camry/aurion as the alternative for the IS???? They're totally different cars!! FWD vs RWD. Small size vs big family size. Luzury vs bread and butter. And so on. It's crazy to call them alternatives, they're not in the same class at all, far from it! It's like comparing a VW Jetta to an E class Merc, or a Holden Cruze to a Statesman, it's crazy!

I guess a lot of us buy Lexuses for their refinement and incredible reliability. In those two areas, only Toyota immediately comes to mind. Perhaps there are some others ... Nissan Maxima?

Given the question was an alternative "other than an IS250", it doesn't rule out other Lexuses. How about a 2005/6 GS300? Or you could wait a few months for a CT 200h demonstrator (may be a few on sale after the Melbourne F1GP?).

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Or you could wait a few months for a CT 200h demonstrator (may be a few on sale after the Melbourne F1GP?).

... Or maybe not. I was thinking about the list price of a CT when I wrote that. But $44,644 driveaway (NSW) down to $35K is a huge drop that's unlikely to be seen with a demonstrator.

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How can people name camry/aurion as the alternative for the IS???? They're totally different cars!! FWD vs RWD. Small size vs big family size. Luzury vs bread and butter. And so on. It's crazy to call them alternatives, they're not in the same class at all, far from it! It's like comparing a VW Jetta to an E class Merc, or a Holden Cruze to a Statesman, it's crazy!

dude .. calm down.

Do one better on us and let's hear your alternative for the IS for a budget of 35k or under.

LOL, post came across not calm haha.

For 35K? Most obvious alternatives for a used IS250 would be the cars it competes against, one would imagine? ;) For that price you can get any of IS250's competitors on the second hand market, A4, 3 series, C class...

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