Spending Time with the 2009 Lexus IS 250 AWD

2009 Lexus IS 250 AWD Truffle Mica

Early this morning, I made my way to Toyota Canada’s corporate HQ outside of Toronto and took possession of a Lexus IS 250 for review. It’s the AWD config, an automatic, with Truffle Mica exterior and Ecru leather interior, a very flattering combination.

The rest of the day was spent powering through highway traffic and testing the car on my favorite winding roads, stopping only to take photos and explore the interior. Even after a full eight hours behind the wheel, I still took the IS 250 out after dinner, to see how it drove at night:

2009 Lexus IS 250 AWD at Night

With my previous experience limited to a single short dealership test drive, this extended time behind the wheel has provided a lot of insight into Lexus’ entry-level sedan. It most certainly put both the praise and the criticism into perspective, and I can definitely see the appeal of the Lexus F-Sport accessories much clearer now.

I still have some time with the IS 250 tomorrow, and will be putting together an actual review, but the experience alone was something to share. Very satisfying, to say the least.

More shortly.



  1. glad you like it, cause i love my IS250 LOL

  2. How is it like testing the IS 250 on the freeways after switching from your LS - changing lanes?

    My LX’s annoying lack of bhp with such a big engine in such a big car can only back itself up with the available torque at low revs that the gearbox is usually able to figure out. When buying the vehicle, I had to make sure that fuel costs wouldn’t be a problem for a decade, something people usually didn’t worry about back in late 2002.

  3. Btw, I love the IS’s timeless exterior!

  4. Top Bikes reviews

    thats sounds really cool,
    Would Love To see some pics Of The cool interior,
    Lexus Is Always My favorite,

  5. Cool, wish the AWD was available in Europe…

  6. My driving style is more suited towards the LS than the IS, but that didn’t stop me from doing my best impression of a 20-year-old in a modded Honda Civic. wink

  7. I was seriously amazed by the interior, every single surface is top-notch and the design is pure quality.

  8. Photos will be posted with the review, probably in two-three days.

  9. I think it might be time to put together a chart of which model is available where. I had no idea you couldn’t buy an AWD IS in Europe!

  10. Does the AWD version handle any different than the regular IS 250 or any more powerful? Because the current IS250 feels heavy when driving, you almost need a 300 engine and the IS 350 is a completely different car!

  11. Well iám sorry to say that we in Europe only have the Is 250 rwd and the Is 220d (onely in manual).
    Gs 300 (249hp) and the 450h. Not the Awd!
    Soon the Rx 450h but not the Rx 350, and Ls 460 and awd anmd 600h. And ofcourse the Sc430.
    Is 250c will come in july i think!
    I think it´s sad that Lexus won´t take in the Is 350 and awd to Europe and make a new sportcross of the Is!
    Same thing with the Gs release the Gs350 and awd model, and you´ll see that Lexus would increase there market!
    And if i´ll would deside, i´ll should have put in a bigger diesel in the Gs and Ls to! And made a sportcross
    of the Gs too!
    Well good night from Sweden!!!

  12. to worldofluxury: the freeway experience with an IS is the best…so easy to steer for me, and i have 2wd, and this awd so it must be a snap

    to tyler: i have an is250 rwd. the steering is unbelievable controllable and smooth, so im guessing the awd is a bit better. i dont feel it as heavy though its a light car, but i guess that’s cause i went from an RX to an IS lol

  13. maybe ures is heavy because of what year it is, mine is 2008 we bought 4 days before the 2009 came out

  14. When I say heavy I mean that the engine isn’t really powerful enough for the weight of the car, there just isn’t a whole lot of power. But I was used to driving my moms GS around so it’s going to be hard to match that with an IS 250 lol

  15. I think the combination of the AWD and the engine made the car feel heavy off the line, but once you’re past the initial acceleration and handling becomes more important, it balanced itself out.

  16. I don’t think there was a weight difference between 2008->2009, was there?

  17. Thanks for the info, Patrick!

  18. i think theres 200 pounds difference and is it just me or are the dates all messed up for us in the US? im pretty sure i posted my comment on today, April 2nd, not March 31st :o <—- these smilies are glitching too, this is the one with the open mouth

  19. The comment date is definitely right, but the smileys need to be fixed.

  20. Shane T. Queensland, Australia

    In Australia ... we have the IS250 & IS-F (what a fantastic piece of machinery), GS300 / 460 & 450h, LS460 & 600h, SC430, the new RX350 and soon the 450h aswell as the LX570. Additions i would to see is defantly the IS350 and the IS220d aswell as the AWD options. All-in-all ... i have alot of respect for Lexus and honestly believe they engineer amoung the finest motor vehicles that can be found anywhere in the world. Also like the TRD Aurion and TRD Hilux as something different to the everyday Toyota.

  21. Thanks for the breakdown, Shane!