The 2015 Lexus IS250 AWD Sedan is one good looking luxury car and this year’s model keeps the momentum going as the brand tries to remake its image. The IS250 jumps in the highly competitive sports sedan market with the Germans who have dominated for decades. IS250 makes a statement for the Japanese automaker that they are serious about challenging the status quo.
This week we took the 2015 Lexus IS250 AWD Sedan out in the snow to see how it compares.
What’s New for 2015?
The 2015 Lexus IS 250 remains relatively unchanged after last year’s complete redesign. For 2015, IS250 is newly compatible with an Enform Remote mobile app that offers numerous handy features, including remote start, location finder and vehicle status check.
2015 Lexus IS250 Options
This 2015 IS250 tester ($39,085) came with the optional 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels ($935), Luxury Package ($3,095) that included LED headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, leather upholstery, wood trim and power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. It also includes driver memory seat, mirrors and steering column plus a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.
The Navigation system ($1,855) included a backup camera, Lexus’ Remote Touch mouse-type controller and Enform App Suite.
Total MSRP on this AWD model including destination: $46,395.
2015 Lexus IS250 Interior
Inside, the IS250 is comfortable, sporty and one of the nicest in this segment. The seats are well-bolstered and comfortable and kept us from moving around in the corners during more spirited driving this week. The cabin grew a bit over the previous generation in the front and feels roomy. The supple leather seats coddle the driver and passenger and this model came with real wood trim that adds to the luxury feel.
There is plenty of soft materials throughout the cabin and the fit and finish is top notch. In the back, legroom was improved over the previous generation.
Engine and Fuel Mileage Specs
The 2015 Lexus IS250 is still powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produces 204 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The V6 comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters.
The IS250 gets an EPA estimated 20/27 city/highway, 23 combined mpg.
The 2.5-liter has more power than expected for its 204 hp but it’s not a performance sedan by definition. The 6-speed automatic transmission shifted in the right spots and got the most out of the smaller displacement engine. We were able to test this IS250 AWD at altitude west of Denver, Colorado and the luxury sedan can hold its own in the thin air.
We pushed the sedan hard up the mountain highway and the 2.5-liter V6 did well when we needed to pass slower vehicles.
This week, Denver had a major snow storm that dumped 12 inches of fresh powder in our area. It was the ideal test of the Lexus IS250’s full-time, all-wheel-drive system. We were impressed with the sedans sure-footed ability as we powered up the mountain interstate on the snow packed and icy roads.
There was minimal slip with the 18-inch all season Bridgestones. We took the luxury sedan up curvy snow packed mountain roads and the full-time AWD left us with a feeling of security in the adverse conditions.
Before the snow hit our region, on dry roads, we powered through the tight mountain curves with minimal body lean. We were able to take 25 mph curves at 45 with no problem. The IS250 stayed flat and all four wheels remained planted.
The 2014 Lexus IS also uses a new multi-link rear setup that makes a noticeable difference. The automatic gearbox in the IS250 offers the driver three selectable modes: Eco, Normal and Sport that auto-adjusts throttle control, steering and fuel management to suit the drivers need.
We used the standard steering wheel paddle shifters for manual shifting during our more spirited driving this week.
The 2015 Lexus IS250 AWD needs to be applauded for its segment leading interior and new head-turning exterior styling. The IS250’s full-time, all-wheel drive is a must have for those who live in Northern climates. The AWD system kept us safe and secure this week in the major snowstorm that hit the Rockies.
If the IS250 has a weak spot, it would be the 2.5-liter V6. The engine could use about 50 more horsepower to make it a more competitive sports sedan.