What is the one thing people do not like about convertibles? Most people would say the lack of insulation and the road noise. Well welcome to the 2012 Lexus IS 250C, a convertible with a hard top that drives, feels and sounds like a coupe.
Having said all that, one must realize that to have this luxury you have to pay for it. Having a hard top on a convertible is pricey, but if you can afford it the IS 250C is a great option to consider. Powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that gives you 204 horsepower with a standard six-speed manual transmission (driving purists will love this transmission), the IS 250C will go from 0-60 in 8.4 seconds and give you fuel economy at 21/30 with a combined 25 mpg.
Unlike many hard tops that have to be lifted off and stored, the IS 250C has a retractable hard top that folds into the trunk. Of course, this means practically no trunk space when the top is retracted, but it also means that taking the top off is quite easy, just a push of a button and a couple latches to unfasten.
As you would expect from a Lexus, the list of standard features is impressive, with a great stereo system, 17-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, AC and heated mirrors and foglamps. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional but seriously, why would you get it if driving enjoyment is your thing?
One thing that might disappoint is the relative weak handling. This car does not have the great handling you would hope for in a convertible, but it does have a smooth ride and enough responsiveness to make a driver happy. You might also be happy to hear that it comes with anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist and has a high safety rating.
The 2012 is virtually unchanged this year, and it has been around long enough now so that replacement parts are relatively easy to come by. New aftermarket parts are plentiful, but so too are quality replacement auto parts of the used variety, and many used parts can be found at local salvage yards for half the price of new aftermarket parts.
All in all, the Lexus 250C is a great option for those looking for a top-down driving experience with more safety and quietness in the ride. Yes, you will pay more for the 250C, but the extras are well-worth it. This is, after all, a Lexus, and that stands for quality any old way you look at it.