The Lexus IS250 was released at a transformative time for the Lexus brand. The Lexus brand had immense success in the 1990s, with high-quality cars well designed. The IS250 was different than what else was being sold at the time. It was a compact sports sedan with less emphasis on luxury and more focus on performance (via Consumer Reports).
There was a lot to like about the IS250, the driving characteristics were excellent for such a lightweight car. The interior was also well designed with plenty of comfort for the driver. The Lexus IS250 was also the first car to introduce the world to the “Altezza”-style tail lights that became popular throughout the early 2000s.