Which Lexus IS 250 Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Since 1999, Toyota’s luxury division has operated independently. Originally, the IS was marketed as the Toyota Altezza. There’s a lot to this one than meets the eye.

While searching on this car, I did find very little on complaints. That says a lot about the manufacturing of this one. However, no car is without fault.

The worst years Lexus IS 250 has seen will be discussed in this article. I will also tell you some of the common problems those models have. And I’ll top it up with the models you should buy instead!

So read till the end of this article to find out all about it!

Lexus IS 250 Years to Avoid (With Reasons)

It is powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produces 210 horsepower. It comes with a 4 year warranty or 50,000 mile warranty. Add a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission to that.

The engine is a gas engine. And with a rare drive type, this is already a favourite. But it has many hidden features too that are quite amazing!

Having said that, it is best to avoid the following Lexus IS 250 years if you’re looking for a used car:

The worst Lexus IS 250 problems of the bad years 2006, 2007 and 2008 include problems such as bad start, electrical problems and all things in between. All these issues are discussed below.  

2006 Lexus IS 250 Problems:

This one suffers a lot from carbon buildup. It also goes to limp mode after around 20,000 miles. Some vehicles of this year had material chipped off.

The camshaft problem is common on this one. The engine has a loud rattle at the start up which turns into a bad ticking. On top of that the fuel economy of this engine is bad.

The limp mode is due to the engine’s bad solenoid. The carbon buildup can cause misfires too.

2007 Lexus IS 250 Problems:

The number one complaint with this model has to be the airbags. It does not deploy on time, possibly due to a sensor failure on it. The airbag lights also stay on in normal conditions.

The wiring harness of the airbag is too short as well. The dashboard light may create a distraction for the driver. So much so that you will have to end up changing the airbags.

Door panels and dashboard melts into a thick gooey substance that spreads everywhere. This problem is often reported and is very costly to fix. Whenever you touch the dashboard, it will get in your hands.

It also causes sticky cracks that may result in leaks. Additionally, the shiny glare on the melted substance can cause issues with driving.

2008 Lexus IS 250 Problems:

In continuation of the 2007 line, 2008 Lexus IS 250 also display air bag and structure issues. In addition to that, there are many engine problems as well. Particularly due to carbon buildup.

Due to the same reason, the fuel economy on this one just falls bad! Rattling, stuttering, gear changing issues, and missing smooth gear change are other few things. The model is not spared from electrical and sensory defects either.

2009 Lexus IS 250 Problems:

Engine and airbag problems are prominent on this one. And these problems are related to each other.

The vehicle has poor speed control. When you are going on a slightly inclined road (left or right), the speed control becomes very difficult. The vehicle also skids or slips often.

To eliminate the instability of speed, you will have to put low acceleration. So you have to compromise speed for safety.

If you end up hitting anything, the airbag may not deploy. Various sensory lights like the parking brakes, airbag lights etc keep flashing.

What Are The Worst Years of Lexus IS 250?

  • Worst: 2007- engine, airbag and dashboard problems. Also has bad paint issues. Comes with the most costly repairs.
  • Second Worst: 2008- in addition to the engine and airbag problems, the body paint peeling is a big problem with this one.
  • Third Worst: 2006- the carbon buildup and the limp mode causes financial depletion as well as loss of time for the users while also posing safety threats.

Most Common Problems of Lexus IS 250:

The Lexus IS 250 years to avoid are more likely to have minor issues rather than major safety or effectiveness issues. Some of the most prevalent issues are listed below.

1. Dashboard Melting

The dashboard usually gets maintained under the warranty. However, this problem mainly starts after a few months past the warranty. Lexus issues a recall for this but the users still faced the problem even after it.

The door panel and dashboard melts for some weird reason. The only fix of this problem is to replace the dashboard.

2. Engine Issues

The engine issues cause loss of traction control. Especially while the check engine light blinks indicating “CHECK VSC.” The car shakes at idle and bubbling from the exhaust (or at least sounds like it) occurs.

The burbling or bubbling of exhaust occurs due to carbon buildup, especially on the intake valves. It may also happen due to engine failures or misfires. The fix to carbon buildup is getting it to the shop to remove it.

The Lexus IS 250 has rarely reported transmission issues.

3. Fuel Consumption

The good, as well as the bad aspect of the IS 250 is that you have to use premium fuel for the engine. The engine would knock if you use any other fuel. And this costs about 70 to 80 dollars.

With one filling of tank, you would get around 500 kilometers on the engine. This is quite a poor fuel economy.  Moreover, oil sludge and build up occurs if you use a different oil.

4. Interior Accessory Problems

This is the most prominent issue in many early years. Even in the recent ones, these are the sole issues to show up.

The steering and brake stick and frequently keeps happening. The air conditioner stutters and does not work properly.

Which Lexus IS 250 Years are Safe to Buy?

I’ve listed all of the most popular Lexus IS 250 models ever made. These models have been tried and tested and are available for purchase by anybody.

  • 2010 Lexus IS 250
  • 2011 Lexus IS 250
  • 2012 Lexus IS 250
  • 2013 Lexus IS 250

Compared to the bigger engines in the IS 350, these models running from the years 2010-2013 are very smooth and quiet. You would not miss having a smaller engine and lower HP.

It holds very well in rough weather such as rain and icy storms. I would go as far as saying that 2010 IS competes solidly against G37 or BMWs.

The 2013 may not be as fast. However, if it’s hailing outside, you won’t know a thing! Its not faster but definitely more! Even the NHSTA rates it superior to others. Because very few repairs need to be made on it.

All of these model years have a superior interior and material quality. The fuel economy is an issue in all of these.

But the 2011 has a lesser fuel economy than the other years in this list. This one has a slight lesser room on the front seat area too. But the back seat rest, as well as front seat area, is comfortable and spacious on all these years.

Among these, the 2012 is the best quality. One of the best interiors the users have ever seen! Although the backseat is a tad cramped, the seats are comfortable and snug.

The ride and steering are both a little stiff. But that’s how electric power steering works. The V6’s fuel economy is excellent on this one.


Which Lexus IS 250 Years has the most interior accessory problems?

2007 and 2008

How costly is it to fix worst Lexus IS 250 problem?

Depends on the repair but around $4,000-6,000.

Why was 2007 Lexus IS 250 recalled?

Dashboard melting issues.


The Lexus IS 250 a class-tested brand. It has all high-quality vehicles. But the dashboard issues and other interior and engine problems exist in particular years than others. So you must avoid the worst years enlisted. Go for the years that are more preferable as I’ve discussed here.

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