Same But Better! | Lexus IS 250

BY Joel Tam

This is the newly restyled Lexus IS 250. Not much has changed you say? Well, you couldn't be more right, and wrong.

Photos : Joel Tam

So how do you make a good thing better?

Well, by not changing it too much for one. When the IS 250 first landed on our shores, it immediately made the outgoing model it was replacing - the IS 200 - look like it came from the stone ages. With it's rakishly handsome looks and a creamy V6 engine, it was and still is, a hot-selling car.

It has been four years since that day though, and despite already having had a previous face-lift, the car has undergone yet another update. A version 3.0, if you will. Enter the 2011 Lexus IS 250. It is in essence, the same car, but better.  In the premium trim we drove, the car was equipped with a host of new features that might have gone unnoticed had you skipped this article altogether. We will try to cover them below.


The 2.5-litre V6 unit is unchanged and pushes out a healthy 205bhp from its 24-valve Dual VVTi set-up. It is a quiet and smooth powerplant and dispatches the century sprint in a rather quick 8.4 seconds. Yet somehow, the car seems to lack the 'oomph' the figures suggest. It could be partly due to the overall (excellent) refinement that masks the speed.

The face of the car has been further enhanced with a new front bumper. The arrowhead inspired styling cues give the front a more aggressive stance.

L is for luxury. While the entry-level Lexus may not be the most luxurious model out there, it still packs class leading refinement.

Restyled 17" wheels are one of the ways to spot the new IS 250. Fully extended spokes make the rims look bigger than they are.

I would buy the IS 250 just because of these. Arrowhead LED Daytime Running lamps are sleek and blend very well with the edgy front-end .

New silver coating and metal-like ornamentation has been added to the switch bezel, meter rings and glove box door. With black metallic high-gloss finishing generously used to give the aging interior more lift.

Our test car was equipped with the Electro-Multi Vision Display. A 7-inch LCD touch-panel screen with an in-dash 6-DVD changer. New functions include the Lexus Navigation System, reverse camera as well as Bluetooth connectivity. Also standard on the Premium model is a Mark Levinson 13-speaker Surround Sound System.

Purchase a Lexus IS 250/ IS-C now to enjoy an exclusive Race Track experience with the 417bhp IS F at the Sepang International Circuit. Includes driver training by professional instructors and a 2D1N Hotel stay with meals.