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$8,073 - $9,294 $31,305 - $36,755

8.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.4
Reliability:
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2009 Lexus IS Review

The highly-ranked 2009 Lexus IS is a decent handler with an upscale interior.

Pros & Cons

  • Refined handling
  • High-quality interior
  • Ample power in IS 350
  • Small back seat
  • Limited front-seat headroom

2009 Lexus IS Overview

When it was new, critics liked the 2009 Lexus IS for its welcoming interior and composed handling. It isn’t the most agile sport sedan available, but critics said it handles well enough to spice up your daily commute. Some testers did note that the IS’ cabin isn’t especially spacious, so it may not be the best choice for families.

The IS has two available engines. The base IS 250 has a 204-horsepower 2.5-liter V6, while the IS 350 has a larger 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Critics said the IS 250 is strong enough for day-to-day driving, but those who want more than merely adequate power will be much happier with the IS 350. The standard drivetrain configuration is an automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, though the IS 250 sedan is also available with a manual transmission or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy for a rear-wheel drive IS 250 with an automatic transmission is 21/29 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for the class. However, adding all-wheel drive or selecting the IS 350 does lower fuel economy some. Maximum trunk space is 13 cubic feet, which is a bit low for the class.

Inside, critics liked the IS for its good fit and finish and welcoming design. They said the front seats are very comfortable, although headroom is in short supply for taller passengers. Additionally, most agreed that the back seat lacked adequate space for passengers to get comfortable. Standard equipment includes leather seats with 10-way front power adjustment, a power sunroof, dual-zone climate control and a 13-speaker stereo. Major options when it was new include a 14-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, navigation and heated and ventilated front seats.

See the full 2009 Lexus IS specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking for something sportier, consider the 2009 Infiniti G. Critics said the G37 is one of the better sport sedans in the class, thanks to its agile handling and powerful engine. For those who don’t need the practicality of a sedan, the G is also available in coupe and convertible body styles. 

The 2009 Acura TL is a bit larger than the IS, so it has more interior space, especially in the back seat. If you’re looking for good handling, make sure you try the TL with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system, which makes the TL one of the best-handling sedans in the class, according to reviewers.

Compare the IS to the G and TL »

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