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2007 Lexus IS

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2007 Lexus IS Review

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Fresh from a complete transformation in 2006, the sporty and affordable Lexus IS touts an aggressive look, a more responsive chassis and a choice between two potent six-cylinder engines. With its increased interior volume the rear-wheel-drive IS is now better situated to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G35 and Audi A4. While some purists will grumble about the availability of a manual transmission and all-wheel drive only on the less-powerful IS 250, the IS 350's 5.6-second zero to 60-mph time and advanced VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management) stability system should go a long way toward pleasing most. The availability of such uncommon options as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) place the IS a step above the competition.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you consider your car as not just a transportation appliance but, instead, as a piece of sporting equipment, you'll feel right at home behind the wheel of the IS 250 or IS 350. An added benefit—you won't see clones of your car on every street corner.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You might be convinced that no Japanese car, no matter how competent, can match the driving enjoyment delivered by the BMW 3 Series. And if you seek a car with styling so distinct you can discern its brand without seeing its badging, the IS's handsome but derivative styling might not push your buttons.

What's Significant About This Car?

A new X Package is offered on rear-wheel-drive models and includes a sport suspension, five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, sport pedals and illuminated door scuff plates.

Driving the IS

Driving Impressions Test drives quickly revealed that both the IS 250 and the IS 350 offer significantly better-than-adequate acceleration. Of course, the IS 350 is the hot rod of the two, boasting...

a laudable zero to 60-mph sprint of 5.6 seconds. In around-town, freeway commute and open two-lane touring, the IS 250 feels completely in its element, but we have to admit the added 102 horsepower of its IS 350 sistership is appealing.

Steering is sharp and direct, although some might complain of a bit too much boost. With a double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear, plus either Vehicle Stability Control (IS 250) or the more sophisticated Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system (IS 350), the car has both traditional and New-Age technology to foster superior handling.

Paddle-Shift Automatic Transmission
The sequential-shift six-speed automatic, offered in the IS 250 and standard in the IS 250 all-wheel drive and IS 350, allows you to cruise in full automatic mode, or shift it yourself via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters or an up-down push on the console-mounted gear lever.

Back-Up Camera
The Back-Up Camera system, which displays its view on the dash video screen, comes on automatically when you shift into reverse.

2007 Lexus IS Details
2007 Lexus IS photo Interior

The IS interior is well-designed, well-finished and intelligently laid out but, at the same time, lacks the distinctive style some of its European competitors bring to the table. Bright, clear Optitron gauges, which are illuminated even in daylight, are extremely readable and deliver an upscale aura. The seats are firm and properly adjustable, but rear-seat passengers might struggle a bit for foot- and legroom—although the interior will accommodate five (friendly) adults. Where the interior really shines is in its features. For example, keyless entry with push-button start is standard, so you needn't remove the key from your pocket or purse before you start the vehicle. Welcome features such as a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and touch-screen navigation system plus "back-up" camera are available as well.

Exterior
2007 Lexus IS photo

The new IS is the second Lexus model (after the GS) to incorporate the new Lexus design "language" that was first introduced to the public in the LF Series of concept cars. The goal is to combine sporty and luxurious elements, but the net result is not nearly as distinctive as the BMW 3 Series or the Audi A4, for example. Still, the IS represents a significant styling improvement over the original model. The wide stance and long wheelbase, coupled with tightly-drawn bodywork, give the car a presence and sophistication the previous one lacked. Interior space benefits from increases in overall length (3.5 inches), width (3.0 inches), wheelbase (2.4 inches) and rear tread (1.9 inches.)

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard features on the IS 250 include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), six-speed manual transmission, front side-impact airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, 10-way power adjustable front seats, power folding side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, one-touch open/close power moonroof, tilt-telescopic steering wheel, SmartAccess keyless entry and start, Homelink, 194-watt 13-speaker sound system with in-dash six-disc CD changer and auxiliary input and a multi-information trip computer. The IS 350 adds a 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel mounted shift paddles, Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) and 10-spoke alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Notable options for the IS include an Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) that enables front headlamps to turn with the wheels to help see into corners, heated and ventilated front seats, Pre-Collision System (PCS) that senses an impending crash and prepares safety systems, a power tilt-telescope steering wheel and a new 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. The system offers 300-watts of power, 14 speakers (including a center speaker and sub woofer) and 7.1-channel speaker architecture.

Under the Hood

Two new engines are on tap for the IS. The 2.5-liter version found in the IS 250 uses dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and a new direct-to-cylinder fuel injection system to create 204 peak horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, which for most people, most of the time, is more than enough. A conventional six-speed manual or a sequential-shift six-speed transmission are available and, unless you really like to row gears, the automatic is the recommendation. While the 2.5-liter V6 is a good choice, those of us with heavy right feet prefer the new 3.5-liter engine, which uses an intriguing mix of port- and direct-fuel injection to develop 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. With this engine the six-speed sequential-shift automatic is the only transmission choice, and performance drivers won't be disappointed.

2.5-liter V6
204 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
185 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 (manual), 24/32 (automatic), 22/28 (AWD automatic)

3.5-liter V6
306 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
277 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 (automatic)

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2007 Lexus IS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 402 Ratings for the 2006 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Best fun car I've ever had.

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Most fun to drive."

Cons: "Interior gets dusty with the top down. Duh??"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I really don't want to sell it. I'm waiting for the new Lexus convertible coupe. It's will be my 5th Lexus in a row."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Amazing car - if you have good roads

By on Friday, May 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Refined luxury with power in spades"

Cons: "Harsh ride on poor roads."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Absolutely fantastic car - it just wants to go. Daily driver for me, but most fun is on road trips. Only issue I have (not the car) is that if you relocate to somewhere like the snow belt that has poor roads - it takes a lot of the fun out of it. Definitely feel each expansion joint. Again, on good roads, that feel is great. Quality interior, holds up very well. Ergonomics are very good - although I'm not a big fan of the Toyota/lexus nav system (at least in 2008). Our Acura nav is more intuitive. Front buckets wrap around very nicely, extremely comfortable. Back seat isn't spacious, but much better than others (ie Mustangs, GS-35/37). 8 speed xmission allows for some surprising gas mileage - I get 24/25 out on the highway and high teens around town."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Great Automobile

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. I have had it for 6 months and enjoy it everyday. It has been very reliable, and the top works perfectly. The car has excellent driving matters and changes from cruiser to a car that is very fun to drive simply with additional pressure applied to the gas pedal. The only issue I have had so far is an occasional squeak of the brakes, which has been described as the most common compliant about this automobile."

14 people out of 30 found this review helpful

The REAL Ultimate Driving Machine!

By on Monday, March 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,325

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Power, handling, luxury"

Cons: "several minor recalls"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought the car new, as a gift for my wife, and got all the options. I felt that it was a good combination of power and luxury. At the same time, my brother bought a BMW 335i, so I have been able to do a lot of continual comparing as our cars age. I bought the Lexus because of comfort, power, and handling (pretty much in that order). Lexus did an outstanding job in this car in that they are all equal. The interior details are better than any other vehicle I've driven then and now. It has super-soft tight leather, bright clear instrument cluster, and a very quiet ride. The car is very quick with about as much useable power as can be used on-highway. The traction control is super smooth at all speeds and most average drivers would never know it was actually engaging. The handling is amazing for a sedan (as I recall, it beat the BMW 330 in the slalom by 1 mph, 66/65). The navigation still works nicely, but is not as intuitive as modern systems, of course. In comparison of the 2007 Lexus IS350 to the 2007 BMW 335i, the Lexus is a far superior car. It is equally powered, handles the same, but is way more comfortable (quiet, amazing sound system, supple leather, bright instrument cluster, etc.). Additionally, reliability has been much better for the Lexus. Tire life is about 25K per set, vs 15K for his 335 (he has had terrible problems with inner rear tire wear). Final (disappointing) thought... The newer Lexus IS's do not have nearly the quality of leather as our 2007. I have driven the new Lexus', BMW's, and Audi S4 (my top contenders for power, handling, luxury), but none of them impress me more than my 2007 IS350. I guess I'll be keeping it until someone steps up and makes a better car."

18 people out of 24 found this review helpful

My Baby

By on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Driveability, Gas mileage"

Cons: "Quirky, Expensive upkeep"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"If this car were more dependable or less expensive to repair, it would be a perfect 10. Handles like a dream. Steering, stopping and maneuvering, as well as, pick up are what you dream a car could be. The recalls and quirks were a pain to deal with but although expensive, fairly convenient since the dealership provides a loaner. Moved from So. Cal. to Pacific NW and now need an AWD vehicle. I will miss this car but need something larger now."

8 people out of 18 found this review helpful

the best for value and reliability

By on Monday, February 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own a 2010 is 250 and i can say that owning it and driving it always puts a smile on my face.the interior is flawless with all the creature comfort that you can imagine plus an addition of some f-sport upgrades like exhaust system, air intake and f sport springs all around.all in all i rate the car as 10 for everyday driving with luxuries."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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