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While the Lexus IS has a plush interior and a relaxed driving manner, it lacks the sporty feel of some cars in this segment. Also, the interior is quite snug. Inside are high-quality materials, a hushed cabin, and a refined-sounding engine. Acceleration is quick, and fuel economy is commendable. However, the ride is stiff and the steering lacks feedback.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2002. ESC available from 2002, standard from 2006.
Road Test

While the Lexus IS has a plush interior and a relaxed driving manner, it lacks the sporty feel of some cars in this segment. Also, the interior is quite snug. Inside are high-quality materials, a hushed cabin, and a refined-sounding engine. Acceleration is quick, and fuel economy is commendable. However, the ride is stiff and the steering lacks feedback.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
convertible
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter V6 (204 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (306 hp)
  • 5-liter V8 (416 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Lexus IS owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“convertible top seals failed”

Anonymous, FL (2011 Lexus IS 250 Unsure)
Squeaks or rattles

“Lots of noises coming from the retractable roof mechanism when the roof is on”

Brian C., MA (2011 Lexus IS 250 2.5-L V6)

“Had squeaks coming from rear of car. Dealer applied lubricant to the rubber seals about a month ago and all is well. The dealership was fantastic addressing this issue as well as the 30k required maintenance”

Charles F., PA (2011 Lexus IS 250 2.5-L V6)

“Sunroof had wind noise. Dealer had to install a new seal which eliminated the wind noise, under warrenty”

Jeffery H., CA (2011 Lexus IS 350 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

“* iphone no longer pairs with bluetooth * Also the car would randomly reset my phone. All of a sudden all of my contacts and shortcut phone numbers would be erased so I would have to re-import them. Got a firmware update from the dealership, and i”

Anonymous, MD (2011 Lexus IS 350 Unsure)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“System failed six months after warranty expired. Entire navigation, radio, music, system failed. Was very expensive to replace. Lexus seel junk!”

Warren M., CA (2011 Lexus IS 250 Unsure)

“Radio/gps system quit working. Replaced at 10k, went bad again at 49k”

Bruce N., MD (2011 Lexus IS 350 3.5-L V6)

“The radio was cutting out, and the dealer replaced it at no charge”

Anonymous, FL (2011 Lexus IS 250 2.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Convertible top

“Required new seals all around to eliminate wind noise. All work done as part of original factory issued at no cost”

Rick D., TX (2011 Lexus IS 350 3.5-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“Pistons in trunk lid and the fan motor for the htg. system needed to be replaced. Total cost of about $900. Covered by extended warranty for $50”

Rick D., TX (2011 Lexus IS 350 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Shocks or struts

“Struts leaking. Rear end bottoming out”

Anonymous, CO (2011 Lexus IS 350 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Evaporator

“Rotten egg small from AC system”

Anonymous, FL (2011 Lexus IS 250 2.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Tire pressure monitor

“Tire pressure checking system frequently gives a FALSE positive indication of tire pressure problems, requiring an unneeded stop to check tire pressure”

Warren M., CA (2011 Lexus IS 250 Unsure)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

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