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2008 Lexus IS Review

Pros & Cons

  • Responsive handling on both models

  • Top class interior, with high quality materials and excellent ergonomics

  • IS 250 is "bargain priced" for a Lexus, and for the entry luxury segment in general

  • IS 350's straight line acceleration impresses critics

  • Cramped rear seat, uncomfortable for most adults

  • Some feel the IS 250 shows sluggish acceleration compared to the 350

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IS
Used
2008
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IS
Used
2008

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2008 Lexus IS Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Lexus IS was new.

The IS sedan is sporty with Lexus luxury. While the IS 250 is described as a respectable sport sedan, the IS 350 is known as a hot rod.

Pros & Cons

  • Responsive handling on both models

  • Top class interior, with high quality materials and excellent ergonomics

  • IS 250 is "bargain priced" for a Lexus, and for the entry luxury segment in general

  • IS 350's straight line acceleration impresses critics

  • Cramped rear seat, uncomfortable for most adults

  • Some feel the IS 250 shows sluggish acceleration compared to the 350

Features & Specs

Mileage
18-21 city, 25-29 hwy
Drivetrain
RWD, AWD
Horsepower
204-306
Seating
5

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Lexus IS has a score of 8.80 based on our evaluation of 69 pieces of research and data elements using various sources

8.80

Scorecard

  • 8.9Critics' Rating
  • 8.0Performance
  • 7.4Interior
  • 9.1Safety

2008 Lexus IS Overview

Our analysis shows the 2008 Lexus IS has become a very respectable choice for a midsize luxury sport sedan. Universally compared to the bellwether BMW 3-Series, the IS 250 stacks up well for its tight handling, luxuriously appointed interior and more affordable pricing. But, the car's performance score suffers because the IS 250 is considered underpowered by many. In stark contrast, reviewers describe the IS 350 as a hot rod compared to others in its class.

Relatively unchanged for the 2008 model year, the IS sedan is available in four trims. This year, Lexus adds the IS-F, a two-door, performance-oriented model, to its line-up. If you're in the market for upscale midsize cars, consider the popular 3-Series.

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The IS250 offers tremendous value to anyone looking for an affordable, sexy luxury car. But we strongly suggest a high-protein diet to beef up the motor.

Car and Driver
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After testing the 250 and 350 models in 2007, About.com's reviewer notes, They still appeal to people who buy BMWs

About.com
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The IS could easily pass the entry-lux manhood test, it just chooses not to take it.

U.S. News
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Virtually everything about the car, aside from its looks, says 'sports car,' king of the Japanese sports-sedan hill, surpassed our expectations in performance and touring, and have earned the right to shed the 'near luxury' moniker.

Road and Track
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The Lexus is like the perennial A student who has yet to declare a major. The car shows perfection in individual disciplines. Its creators have done their homework assignments well. But the better-rounded BMW remains the class valedictorian.

New York Times
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