Lexus IS Saloon 2005 -2012

Lexus IS Saloon 2005 -2012

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • Excellent reliability and aftersales support
  • Refined and tuned engines
  • Generously equipped as a standard
  • A diesel option available


  • Still quite expensive even as a used car
  • A questionable exterior design


The Lexus IS Saloon is an ideal car for those who like their car to be a bit different, as it is not quite as well-known as some of its competitors. That said, lack of fame does not mean lack of reliability, and the IS Saloon proves that particular point splendidly; the fact that it's backed up with outstanding dealer service, and comes with a generous level of peripheral equipment as standard, really reinforces the point. It is quite the performer as well, not least in terms of acceleration.

Exterior and Interior

They have tried to make the new IS look more aggressive by increasing the height of the flanks and reducing the glass area. However, the critics think that the car has lost its distinctive shape and now looks too similar to other cars in the traffic stream. It's really a matter of taste. The IS provides a good quality design, however, it might have lost its edge slightly. The interior of the IS Saloon is very easy on the eye indeed, and offers fantastic comfort. It's also well insulated which means that noise is kept to a minimum as you drive, which drastically increases your drive comfort. The leather seats offer great support regardless of driving conditions. The good-size boot closes electronically, which means you will no longer have to look like a caveman, doing unnecessary manual labour. Another possible downside is that it only offers room for 2 passengers in the rear, but they will be very comfortable indeed.

Performance and Economy

The little Lexus is a high-performance car. The main modifications are available with highly tuned V6 petrol engines and they all deliver superb performances. Even the smallest 2.5-litre V6 can accelerate the car to 60mph in less than 8 seconds. Even though it's not a big engine, it likes its petrol and consumes around 28mpg. For the bigger engines, the mileage decreases considerably. That's why they decided to offer a diesel option. The 2.2-lite turbo diesel is a good engine. It may not be as quick as its petrol alternatives but 8.6 seconds to 60mph is not bad. It delivers a 46mpg fuel economy. The smaller 2.0-litre diesel can achieve 55mpg. An over 50-mpg Lexus sounds like a fantasy, unfortunately, the performance is not quite there and if you're buying a Lexus for all the right reasons, the smaller diesel should probably be avoided. It certainly isn't a cheap car, but quite a lot is included in the price. Standard features include headlights that follow your steering, leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, and heated and electric seats. Even so, the unfortunate truth is that its German rivals offer better 'bang for your buck'.

Like to Drive

The IS (05-) Saloon is definitely a joy to drive and be driven in. The tyres grip nicely to the road, the steering is as light as a feather, and the design of the driver's side of the car offers great comfort for long-distance journeys. As for shorter distance journeys around cities and towns, the car is extremely quiet and easy to manoeuvre.

Faults and Repairs

Lexus are well known for their reliability, in fact, it's one of their main selling points. The Lexus IS is no exception and it also offers great safety features (10 airbags, stability control, you get the drift). Another reason why people love Lexus, and are willing to spend that little bit of extra cash to buy one, is their outstanding customer service. So even if something did go wrong, you'd get it sorted in a jiffy.