The facelifted Lexus IS range was only introduced last year, so for 2012 the updates have been kept to a minimum. Nevertheless, the latest 2012 Lexus IS still has a lot to offer, especially in its hard-top convertible bodystyle, which not only looks great but is also very luxurious.
The convertible IS comes in two different flavors, both of them powered by V-6 engines. They are the entry-level IS 250C and range-topping IS 350C. Unlike the IS sedan, there’s no sporty IS F version
of the convertible.
The IS convertibles, then, are targeted more at buyers looking for a comfy cruiser with plenty of style and luxury.
The IS 250C model offers great value considering its basic starting price of $41,190. This gets you a rear-wheel-drive hard-top convertible, which means you essentially have two cars in one - a coupe and a convertible. The engine in the IS 250C is a silky smooth 2.5-liter V-6, which is rated at 204 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque.
You can equip the car with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The auto is the pick here, as it’s not only a lot easier to live with, it’s also more fuel efficient too. The EPA rates the automatic 2012 Lexus IS 250C’s gas mileage at 21/30 mpg city/highway.
Note, the IS 250C’s 1 to 2 mpg advantage in official EPA fuel economy ratings over its more powerful sibling, the IS 350C, is quickly erased in real-world driving. But that’s not the only sticking point. While the tiny V-6 is just adequate in the sedan, it’s borderline sluggish in the convertible - especially if you plan to pack some friends in (four adults can fit in this convertible). In fact, we can’t see a single good reason to go with the IS 250C instead of the IS 350C, other than its somewhat lower price.
If performance isn’t a major draw card for you, then you’ll be happy to know that the IS 250C offers excellent comfort and ride quality, as well as interior trim and materials that are luxury grade all the way. Some of the premium touches worth mentioning include available heated-and-ventilated front seats; push-button start; an available Mark Levinson surround sound system; hard-drive navigation; and the Lexus Enform suite of concierge services.
For a closer look at the 2012 Lexus IS 250C, and all it has to offer, head over to our sister site The Car Connection
for the full review.