2007 Lexus IS


$6,182 - $7,478

2007 Lexus IS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2007 Lexus IS was new.


Performance: 8.0

The majority agree the 2007 Lexus IS offers solid driving performance for its class, and is solid competition for its top German and Japanese rivals. During a comparison test drive between the Acura TL and Infiniti G35, Road and Track determined "the Lexus IS 350 is the king of the Japanese sports-sedan hill."

Motor Trend calls the IS 350 "quicker than just quick" and "downright fast," and even the less powerful IS 250 is considered "a piece of sporting equipment," rather than a "transportation appliance," according to Kelley Blue Book.

Acceleration and Power

The 2007 Lexus IS 250 comes equipped with a 2.5-liter V6 engine and 204 horsepower. The majority of reviews finds the IS 250 lacking speed, while some note it as athletic and arguably quick. According to The Auto Channel, the IS 250 "certainly isn't underpowered" in comparison to most cars in its class. In fact, its test drivers found that they "were able to zip around corners and reach illegal highway speeds quite quickly."

Many critics evaluate the IS 250 in comparison to the rocket-like IS 350. Edmunds finds that the Lexus IS 250 is light on emotion, stale in excitement. The Press Enterprise applauds the car's luxury, but calls its' speed "unresponsive."

The 2007 Lexus IS 250 has good estimated fuel economy for a high-performance sedan, getting 21 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway with an automatic transmission. Buyers can choose a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.

The Lexus IS 350, the 250s sportier sibling, is quick and responsive, receiving "Ward's 10 Best Engines Award," for its "over-the-top fueling arrangement" and "dazzling throttle response." Most reviewers agree the Lexus IS 350 is an exhilarating ride, equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine packing 306 horsepower. During a test drive alongside the Infiniti G and the Acura TL, Road and Track notices the 350 "comes to life with a ferocious growl, and you won't be able to resist giving the throttle pedal a few extra taps just to hear the throaty exhaust note again. Then it's off to the races. Punch the throttle and every bit of the engine's 306 bhp and 277 lb-ft. of torque is transferred to the rear wheels via a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission."

In Edmunds' comparison tests, the Lexus IS 350 "just dusts" the famed BMW 330i in 0-60 time: 5.6 seconds compared to the 330i's 6.7 seconds. That's also faster than the more expensive Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG, and brings the IS 350 into the category of respectable, true luxury sports cars.

The IS 350 has an estimated fuel economy of 21 mpg during city-driving and 28 on the highway.

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers are in agreement that both models of the 2007 Lexus IS provide a smooth Lexus-quality ride, with responsive handling.

Forbes claims that the 2007 Lexus IS 250 is "balanced, handles exceptionally well in the curves and isn't fatiguing." Premium for highway cruising, the Lexus IS 250 "slips though the air with quiet stability," wrote New Car Test Drive. "In around-town, freeway commute and open two-lane touring, the IS 250 feels completely in its element," adds Kelley Blue Book.

The Lexus IS 250 comes standard with four-wheel independent suspension, with front double-wishbone coil springs and rear multi-link coil springs for optimum shock absorption and stabilization. The Lexus IS 350 comes standard with a double-wishbone front and independent multilink rear suspension and an optional sport-tuned suspension. Edmunds test drivers credit the IS models' "sophisticated suspension" and "powerful brakes" for delivering sports car-like performance. MSN finds the same. Yet, Forbes claims that for those "who prefer suppleness over responsiveness might find the suspension too firm."

Performance Options

IS 250 RWD Manual

The 2007 Lexus IS 250 rear-wheel-drive comes with a 2.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed manual transmission.

IS 250 RWD

The 2007 Lexus IS 250 rear-wheel-drive comes with a 2.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission and four-wheel independent suspension.

IS 250 AWD

The 2007 Lexus IS 250 all-wheel drive also has a 2.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission and four-wheel independent suspension.

IS 350 RWD

The 2007 Lexus IS 350 is rear-wheel-drive, with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission and four-wheel independent suspension.

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