2012 Lexus IS Preview

Lexus offers Canadian consumers quite a few versions of the IS. There’s the rear-wheel-drive IS 250 and IS 350, the all-wheel-drive IS 250 and IS 350 and, finally, the IS 250 C and IS 350 C with a power-retractable hardtop.

The IS 250s are powered by a 2.5L V6 that punches out 204 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque and can be coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel paddles or a more conventional 6-speed manual transmission. As for the IS 350s, they team up with a 3.5L V6 that puts down 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque as well as an automatic transmission.

Though the IS 250 is one of Lexus’ entry-level models, it features a high-end sound system with MP3 compatibility and a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a smartkey. The Touring 1 Edition, new for the 2012 IS 250 AWD, includes heated front seats, leather appointments, HID headlamps and a power sunroof.

The IS 350 adds dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable heated front seats, rain-sensitive wipers and a power-adjustable steering column. The cabin of the IS C Special Edition is draped in red leather.

The combined fuel economy rating stays below the 10L/100 km mark: 9.4L (manual) and 8.1L (automatic) for the IS 250 RWD; 9.1L and 9.0L for the AWD; 8.4L and 9.8L for the drop-top.

In Canada, the 2012 Lexus IS targets the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. The IS 250 RWD is available from $32,900, the IS 250 AWD from $38,000 and the 250 C from $49,100. The IS 350 will set you back between $51,250 and $62,000.