Saturday, 22 September 2007

Lexus IS250: Brief Driving Impression

By Dr Long

There are many reasons why the IS 250 is a much anticipated junior executive from Lexus. Firstly, it is not a secret that Toyota Motor Corp. built this compact sedan to challenge the BMW 325i primarily and even for that matter, the Mercedes-Benz C230 V6. Secondly, it is one of the rare Japanese sedan of this class to have a front-engine/rear wheel drive layout. Last but not the least its premium pricing versus once again, the other Teutonic junior execs.

Hallmark of any Lexus is the 'dead' silence experience of refinement. I must say the IS 250 cabin must be one of the quietest around, possibly even better than the GS300. The 2.5 V6 is just as sonically muted, picking up revs with sheer smoothness and finesse. Pleasantly torquey too for a normally aspirated motor. I can safely vouch for the lower decibels of rolling noise from the Bridgestones here, as opposed to the Yokohamas shod on its elder brethren, the GS300.

Deserving a compulsory mention is the superbly pliant and comfortable suspension of the IS despite its shorter wheelbase relative to the GS. In the IS250 everything just felt so well-oiled, silent and refined in execution. Lexus engineers’ attention to details is amazing, an example being the extendable padded door pockets with a water bottle holder.

It was a short drive and it will be unfair to pass a verdict on the IS’ handling. While the steering is accurate with just-adequate feel, the initial impression was that the rack weighting was more on the lighter side, as sampled on a few occasions at three digit velocities. Tracking stability is acceptable but the overall feedback from the chassis and suspension is perhaps a little soft and light. All for the goodness of ride comfort and super compliant damping I guess.

There you have it, a very brief driving impression of the new IS250 from Lexus Malaysia.

Have a good weekend, wherever you may be!

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