Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Whilst the IS250 C shares its name with the IS250 Sedan - amazingly it only shares the bonnet, headlights and side-mirrors with the saloon. From behind, the IS convertible hides it’s large-sized boot very well, we like how the design tapers inwards to create a more lithe-looking rear.

To satisfy the necessary refinement levels of a model wearing the Lexus badge, the engineers spent countless hours ensuring the electric (not noisy hydraulic) motors for the roof mechanism are as quiet as possible.
Not so good The sophisticated three-piece roof has to fit somewhere when stowed so the price to pay for this excellent technology is a rather large rear-end (most noticeable from side on - definitely its least 'flattering' angle).

The roof is far heavier than a less-refined canvas top PLUS when combined with the weight of the necessary cross-bracings to ensure vehicle rigidity, the IS convertible is significantly heavier than the four-door IS sedan.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The front seats are ever so comfortable and offer good support, they also feature the mandatory (for a convertible, that is) front seat warmers (as well as coolers). All grades come standard with an excellent satellite navigation system. With the roof in place the boot storage space on offer is excellent.
Not so good Instrument lighting might be a little 'tacky' for some, upon start-up the speedo & tacho are illuminated in a flash of bright white light (but the kids loved it). The driver's seat should go lower to aid in the sporty feel. As with many hardtop convertibles, forget about carrying much in the boot with the roof down. “Sorry kids I’m putting the golf clubs on your lap.”
Performance

Performance

Good V6 sounds the business with a restrained muscular note on startup, and thereafter is as silky as they come. The 6-speed sequential auto is a smooth unit, with the nice addition of paddles behind the steering wheel ensuring you can leave your hands on the wheel during more 'spirited' driving. There is even a unique shift light when your foot is feeling heavier than usual: the tacho ring lights up red.
Not so good Lacks raw speed - 153kW doesn’t exactly overpower the IS. It’s currently only available in one engine type...fingers crossed for an IS-F convertible!
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good Overall the IS' ride is excellent; even over rougher tarmac the IS250C stays smooth and composed. However, at the same time the IS Sports and Sports Luxury grades have impressive levels of grip during cornering. At highway speeds with the roof up it's remarkably quiet inside, even with the top down wind noise is kept to a minimum thanks to excellent dynamics (wind tunnel testing).

The electrically-assisted steering is better than most of these systems – it’s well weighted and responsive to the driver’s inputs; ride quality is satisfactory considering the low profile rubber (standard on Sports Luxury). The rear-wheel drive chassis is well-balanced – encouraging spirited driving when the roads twists and turns.
Not so good Performance capability is good but no way near groundbreaking - accelerating out of a corner feels delayed and underpowered. It performs best when the VVT-i engine is in its optimum rev-range; keep it above 4500 rpm - you'll enjoy it up there...
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Excellent value for money – standard luxuries on the IS250 C are often options on the big 3 Euro competitors and would end up costing you thousands more. High levels of build quality and reliability should translate to stress-free ownership. Plus, you'll get Lexus' impeccable customer service.
Not so good If you’re after an aggressive sports convertible, keep looking. If you intend on seating passengers in the rear, keep looking. It's a tight squeeze back there.