What to Look for When Buying a Used Lexus IS 250

  • By: Sean Cooper
  • Date: December 1, 2022
2014 Lexus IS 250 Sport

If you are scanning the market for a used, top-quality, luxurious sedan that’s on par with the dependability of a Toyota but with the iconic Lexus style, the IS 250 can be an excellent option. Lexus has earned a well-deserved reputation for reliability and quality. Thanks to its taut proportions, high levels of technology, incredible powertrains, and luxury status, the Lexus IS 250 continues to wow its fans with its nearly unmatched performance, style, and comfort. So, continue your reading and learn more about what to look for when buying a used Lexus IS 250.

A brief history of the Lexus IS 250

The Lexus IS 250 is a meticulously crafted, top-quality luxury sedan manufactured since 2005. It is a head-turning vehicle that not only oozes class but also boasts a strong reputation for reliability and a powerful engine capable of handling those back twisty terrains. And when you take into account its overall comfort, top-notch interior materials as well as available all-wheel-drive, a used model is still a highly exciting choice.

The Lexus IS (XE20) is the 2nd generation of the Lexus IS line of executive compact sedans. Sold by Lexus since 2006, the line features numerous V6 gasoline-powered models, in two-door and four-door convertible design styles. The IS 250 made its debut for the 2005 model year and had fairly few significant alterations.

Before you even think about parting with your hard-earned money for any used car, please make sure you know what you’re buying by getting a vehicle history report you can trust like one from EpicVIN. If you’re buying from a dealer they should provide one, but if they don’t, get your own and it could save you a fortune in the long run.

Powering the IS 250 is a potent 2.5 L V6 engine that produces that generates 204 HP and 185 pound-feet of torque. It’s worth mentioning that used models are only available in either 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Also, the AWD model is only available in 6-speed automatic.

In 2008, the design of the IS 250 was refreshed, and both its steering wheel and suspension were updated for enhanced vehicle stability and control.

Potential used Lexus IS 250 buyers should note, however, that 2009 got received a revised suspension tuning, a two-tone interior option, and a slightly different grille. What’s more, it underwent a couple of tech-based upgrades, including enhanced Bluetooth, a hard-drive-inspired navigation system as well as a new iPod interface.

2010 Lexus IS 250

Some of the notable advantages of the 2009 Lexus IS 250 model year include a somewhat smooth ride, numerous high-tech features, a relatively quiet interior, and a sporty design. In terms of drawbacks, the model had mediocre headroom, tighter rear quarters, and not a particularly sporty engine.

Again, in 2010, the vehicle’s design was slightly updated and its interior was improved it was now referred to as the IS 250C, a hardtop convertible car. And while the vehicle was way much bulkier than a comparable sedan, its folding top at least impressed.

A manual was available in models featuring the 2.5 L V6. A 3.5 L V6 was also available as an option. Even though it wasn’t as sporty as its sedan cousin, the IS was commendably fast when fitted with the bigger engine.

What are some of the most common problems with the Lexus IS 250?

Like most models of Lexus, the IS 250 is fairly reliable and consistent and hasn’t experienced many significant issues. According to research, some of the most prevalent issues associated with the IS 250 include:

  • Interior Accessory issues: This is arguably the most prevalent problem experienced by many early model years. However, even the most recent IS 250 models are plagued by this particular issue. The AC shutters and fails quite often. Also, the braking and the steering systems stick, jeopardizing the drivers’ safety.
  • Poor fuel economy: Another negative aspect of the IS 250 is that users have to use premium fuel for the engine. And this means that the engine will knock if you apply any other fuel. And even after filling your tank with the premium fuel, you will only get around 500km on the engine, which is not economical at all.
  • Melting dashboard issues: Usually, the dashboard gets serviced and maintained under a warranty. But this issue often pops up after the expiry of your warranty. When this problem occurs, the door panel as well as the dashboard melts, and the only solution is to replace the entire dashboard. This is a huge problem, bearing in mind that it can be both unsightly and exposes the safety systems and electronics. What’s more, the fumes emanating from the melting plastic can be potentially harmful!
  • Malfunctioning infotainment system: This is a relatively minor issue that happens in just a few different individual model year vehicles. However, it has been proven that it’s more prevalent in the 2007 and 2008 model years. There are numerous issues that may occur, ranging from the touch screen failing to work properly to certain functions stopping to work. With that in mind, any symptoms of a potential infotainment system failure should be looked into as quickly as possible.
  • Intermittent power steering: This is another potential issue experienced by the IS 250 Lexus models. This is a potentially dangerous issue because when your steering goes out at the wrong time, it can make it quite tough to keep your car under control, even if the problem only lasts a second.

What are the worst Lexus IS 250 model years?

2007 Lexus IS 250

Overall, there are numerous reasons to purchase a Lexus, IS 250, and even the model years to avoid are generally more reliable and consistent than most of the available alternatives. When looking to buy any used IS 250 Lexus model vehicle, as a general rule of thumb, look at the history of the car, whether it has experienced problems with its engine or any other common issues before. Overall, however, the Lexus IS 250 is reputable and reliable, but it does have a few model years that are best to avoid, including:

  • 2006 model year: According to various consumer reports, 2006 IS 250 vehicles suffer from a lot of carbon buildup issues, which can easily result in fire incidences. What’s more, they are highly to go into limp mode after around 20,000 miles. The limp mode occurs because of the engine’s bad solenoid. The engine also produces a loud rattle during start-ups.
  • 2007 model year: While there are multiple issues associated with the 2007 Lexus IS 250, the airbag issue is arguably the most common. The airbags don’t deploy on time, potentially due to a sensor failure. What’s more, the airbag lighting doesn’t go off even during normal conditions. What’s more, both the dashboard and the door panels are likely to melt into a thick substance, which can prove expensive to solve.
  • 2008 Model year: Besides other problems, the 2008 model also exhibited the same airbag issue. It was also plagued by numerous engine problems, potentially triggered by carbon buildup. Sensory, as well as electrical defects, are also commonplace.

What are the best Lexus IS 250 model years?

It is widely accepted that the Lexus IS 250 models produced from 2010 to 2013 are highly reliable, with very few problems associated with them. These models are not only very dependable, but run very smoothly and quietly. Users will not miss having a lower Horsepower and smaller engine. They are durable enough to withstand rough weather such as icy storms and rains.

It’s also important to note that all these three model years boast superior material as well as interior quality. However, all of them suffer a fuel economy problem. In this regard, the 2011 model year has the worst fuel economy. What’s more, this particular model has relatively less room on the front seat area.

In general, though, 2012 is the highest quality overall. It not only boasts the best interior, but excellent fuel economy. The seats are snug and highly comfortable as well.

How reliable are Lexus 250 IS vehicles?

As already explained throughout the article, Lexus has a reputation for producing dependable, robust, and durable cars. And the IS 250 model advances this reputation with above-average dependability ratings. The Lexus is equally known for its nearly unmatched solid construction quality.

The reliability rating of the IS 250 Lexus is 4.0 out of 5.0, a statistic that ranks it higher than most luxury midsize vehicles. What’s more, it has an average repair cost of $480, which implies that it has relatively low ownership costs. And while repairs are fairly common, the chances of those problems becoming severe are very minimal. If well-maintained and cared for, your IS 250 can potentially last between 250,000 and 300,000 miles on average.

2012 Lexus IS 250

Does Lexus IS 250 hold its value?

Thanks to their superior quality materials and craftsmanship, Lexus cars are very reliable and will most certainly hold their resale value. The IS can be a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a reliable, comfortable, luxury vehicle capable of holding its value fairly well. The vehicle has a predicted five-year depreciation rate of around 30%.

Are Lexus IS 250 cars good on fuel economy?

Fuel efficiency isn’t IS 250’s strongest point, but it’s not what you’d call a gas-guzzler either. The early models were rated at 21 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined in two-wheel-drive format, while all-wheel-drive reduced those numbers to 20/26/22 mpg respectively. The ratings changed a little over the years, but not significantly.

Basically, the IS 250 isn’t a car you’d buy because of its fuel economy ratings, but it’s also not a car you’d overlook because of them either. There are lots of more important attributes to consider here, so the fuel economy ratings are relatively inconsequential.

What is the cost of a used Lexus 250 IS?

Prices for a second-hand Lexus IS 250 vary between $5,000 and $35,000. Generally, the exact price you’ll pay for a used IS 250 will depend on its model year, its current condition in terms of maintenance, and the mileage covered!

There are lots of 2006/2007 model year Lexus IS 250s for sale on Autotrader, and they start from around $5,000 for any that are worth considering. That’s not cheap for a car of that age with anywhere between 150,000 and 250,000 miles, but it does indicate the quality of the Lexus.

If you’d like something newer, a 2015 Lexus IS 250 with anywhere from 75,000 miles to 125,000 miles on the odometer will set you back at least $16,500.

Should you buy a used Lexus IS 250?

There is no doubt that Lexus is a trusted and reputable brand in the automotive marketplace. And the IS 250 is its typical product, boasting numerous astounding features. But like any other device, the IS 250 model isn’t free from problems.

Carbon buildup, dashboard issues as well as engine and interior problems are more prevalent in some years than others. Thankfully, this article has provided you with a list of both the best and worst model years of the IS 250, so you can be able to make the most informed decision when buying one!