Refined Yet Capable
Ripping the roof from their entry-level sports sedan was a smart move by Lexus. Not only is this segment searing hot these days, participation in this market can also be highly effective in transforming a manufacturer’s reputation from soft and boring to youthful and free-spirited.
Roof ripping – well not quite
Creating the IS 250 C wasn’t quite as simple as tearing the roof and a couple of doors from the IS 250 sedan. A tremendous amount of engineering, bodywork and structural adaptation accompanied the addition of the ‘C’ in the vehicle’s nomenclature.
In fact, pretty much the entire vehicle body, sans hood, headlights, door handles and mirrors, is completely new. Its overall wedge shape beautifully accommodates the three-panel hardtop roof when in place or retracted; it also minimizes wind buffeting while creating a slick, atmosphere piercing 0.29 co-efficient of drag.
Unique exterior styling
Like hair in need of re-dying, Lexus IS roots are plainly visible in the IS 250 C. Unlike the failing hair-do though, the visible IS roots are a welcome attraction to most but perhaps to not all.
The complex lines of the IS 250 C exhibit flair and sportiness that can by some standards appear over the top; like what you see or not, the overall look is distinctive and aggressive.
The interior execution is fairly conservative yet attractive, with quality permeating throughout the 4-seat cabin. Seating up front is roomy and restorative with seats that provide plenty of support, comfort and adjustment.
Rear seating is limited to two passengers, hopefully without long legs. Unless front seat occupants are feeling benevolent, legroom in economy class is downright dreadful.
A massive speedometer and matching tachometer situated directly in front of the driver dominate the instrumentation while an attractively designed centre stack holds HVAC, audio and other secondary functions.
A large touch-screen interface provides navigation, audio and climate settings. My only complaint is that when the sun hits the screen while motoring topless, it washes-out becoming illegible. Polaroid sunglasses further erode screen visibility.
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