By Cars.com EditorsOctober 29, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2010 Lexus IS 250C. It competes with the Infiniti G37 and BMW 328i.
<v Narrator>cars.com auto review. (energetic rock music) Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with cars.com. I have with me a 2010 Lexus IS 250C convertible. It's a retractable hard top convertible. Now it's not the first.
It's actually one of many at this point. I've just spent a few hundred miles in it, trying to figure out if there's anything that makes it special, different from what's out there. Retractable hardtops always go into the trunk and that can compromise your storage space. You'll notice when the top is up, it's actually quite good in the IS. It's about 10 cubic feet, maybe a little more. By the numbers, it's not that big, but it's actually really wide, roomy. You have to pull a partition down before you put the top down. It keeps luggage from getting in the way of the top, okay? So once you have this in here, you'll notice it's not that easy to do. The top is fully automatic. All you have to do is push a button, and retractable hard tops fold in different segments. One thing I like about this one is it's kind of coordinated. It's synchronized, so different parts are moving at different times. That makes it pretty quick. The thing operates in about 20 seconds from fully closed to fully open and vice versa. It's actually quite smooth, too. With the top down, things change, the panels are in the trunk. One good thing about the IS, actually quite good, is how much room there is here. It doesn't look like a lot, certainly, but compared to others, this opening is very wide. One shortcoming to the design of the retractable hard top mechanism is, as you can see, the trunk moves backward. If there were a car here that might not matter because it's low, but a wall, an SUV, a van, something like that, it's possible that this could crash right into it. Compared to other convertibles in the class, it's actually pretty roomy in here, especially for the outside space. I've got a little headroom to spare. I'm six feet tall here in the back seat. And the backrest isn't too upright, as some are, actually not that bad, I must say. If you put the seat back, obviously leg room becomes an issue. We'll see how close it gets automatically. That's enough. (chuckles) So really it depends on how much space the driver gives you. One thing this model gives you is choice. This is an IS 250C, which means it has a smaller engine, 204 horsepower, which is modest. It doesn't give you sporty driving. You can also get the IS 350C. If you look at something like the Infiniti G 37, it only comes with over 300 horsepower and it doesn't have the price that comes with it. Again, this is under 39,000. That one's more than 43. Some of the details about this car will be in my full review on cars.com. But the thing that actually sticks out the most is the gas mileage. It's rated at 21 city, 29 miles per gallon highway because of the smaller engine, because it's a 250. And actually I was turning 31.5 miles per gallon, maybe a little bit higher on the highway. That's one thing that really makes this model stick out. <v Narrator>For more correlated news, go to cars.com or our blog KickingTires.net.