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Lexus IS 250/IS 350 driving experience in the snow



  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    thisis my 3rd winter with a 250 AWD, have the bridgestone potenzas. I live in the northeast

    i think the car handles very well in the snow, even withoiut snow mode engaged. drives very well. slips very little

    has a 1995 maxima. that thing was awful in the snow.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    To LexusSled:
    Keep in mind that even the smallest wheels that come with the IS 250/350, which I'm guessing your 250AWD has (and my IS350 also has), are 17 x 8", which means a larger contact patch with the road surface. There is likely nothing wrong with your car that a good set of snows won't fix. I am having the same trouble with mine...had it out in the first REAL snow of the season last week. It was scary beyond all reason, and I was wishing for my old 97 Maxima (don't know why "ajmbtm" thinks his was so bad, mine was I have been sick all weekend so I did not take it out to get new tires but I checked around and got quoted about $700 for Hancook Ice Bear's at Discount Tire and will be getting those put on ASAP. That's pretty expensive in my book, but I was quoted all the way up to $1100...$700 was the bargain price. :sick: I have gone back and forth on my car, occasionally thinking I should've just gotten a WRX or something like that. But I've heard that the IS does well with good snow tires and it makes sense, given that the tires it comes with are biased toward dry weather performance. All Season just means that they are not a dedicated summer tire...doesn't mean it's a good snow tire. Besides, I love it and I'm in the same boat as LexusSled where I have not owned mine very long and would take a huge hit trading it in on a more capable snow car, so I'm not even considering that an option. I sort of knew what I was getting into when I bought it. I was set on getting a G35x for its AWD when I went out shopping, but after I drove them back to back, I could not justify the G35x because it did not impress me in certain categories, whereas the IS350 I just just figured I'd find a way to deal with the poor snow traction. I know many people who drive RWD cars with snows and swear they have no trouble. When spring comes, I'm sure I'll forget this :shades:
  • Anyone:
    I am wondering if there are any recommendation on tires for driving in the SNOW. Unfortunately I don't even have a AWD, since I bought my car in the West Coast but now that i'm in New York, I was researching on Tires, and with our car, the only recommendation I can get for snow tires are Blizzak LM-25's, since I have 18" wheels. They got really good reviews but has anyone drove an IS250 RWD w/ snow tires to the mountains before and/or to go skiing or snowboarding? Just want to hear from hear say that it has been done so maybe I won't get stuck!?

    And there has been many people saying that the is250 maneuvers well in the snow when you have the snow-mode on with a good set of snow tires. But I think that may be referring to the AWD though. For those of you that plans to keep the IS, I would say just invest in a set of good snow tires! has a good range of tires for comparison.
  • I drive a rear-wheel drive 2007 IS 350, and I also have 18" wheels. I live in Boston. I tried driving my car in about 1/2 inch of snow earlier this winter with the stock tires and was appauled by the terrible performance. It was nearly impossible to drive in minimal snow or ice. Believe it or not, I even considered trading in my IS for an RX to improve my chances of surviving the winter commute.

    To solve this problem I picked up a set of Blizzak LM-25's and put them on my stock 18" rims. Then it really snowed--and snowed, and snowed. With my new tires I was able to drive in the nastiest conditions -- ice, snow, you name it -- without difficulty. These tires, on stock 18" wheels are miracle-workers. Despite what people say on various websites, I have found that you don't need to get smaller wheels (i.e., 16s or 17s) to get good traction. It got even better in "snow" mode - nice and slow with Blizzaks is the only way I could imagine driving a rear-wheel drive sportscar in New England in the winter.
  • After my initial poor experience with my IS 250 AWD in snow this season I put on 4 Blizzak WS 60s and that made all the difference. With those winter tires the car now performs up to my expectations. Happily the Blizzaks are not noisy and don't change the ride noticeably. All prospective purchasers should know that when the salesperson tells you this car "is like a tank in the snow" what they really mean is it will be AFTER you put on better tires than the tires they sell it with. I just went straight to snows and did not try a better set of all season tires. That may have been a workable solution too. Maybe someone else has experience with that.
    I really wish Lexus would add a small SUV to their lineup!
  • I've had two IS 250's and both cars are literally tanks in the snow. So much so I find it difficult to spin them even when trying.

    Sounds like some of the folks commenting on here about poor handling/control might want to familiarize themselves with a driving course.
  • wdouadhewdouadhe Posts: 1
    edited February 2015
    LexusSled said:
    A couple of days ago was the first real snow of the season where I live and there is no polite language to describe how poorly my Lexus IS 250 AWD handled in the snow. A few inches of snow on the road and the car was all over the place. I have contacted Lexus regarding how disappointed I am in the car's performance and handling in snow. I really wanted a car that could handle snow and this is not it. It handled so poorly that I do not have confidence that 4 good winter tires would make it safe enough in snow. The AWD badge is on the car but, it handles like RWD. Perhaps the AWD does not work on the car. Could the problem be inadequate tires? The car only has 5300 miles on it. How can they sell an AWD car with tires that are so bad in snow? The car in no way compares to Audi or even Subaru performance in the snow. I even had someone else take it out for a ride in the snow and they confirmed how bad it was. I am looking into good snows or just trading the car. I have owned the car less than six months so a trade would be a financial loss. However, I have to drive to work in bad weather and I need to feel secure in my vehicle. It was a lot of money to spend for a car that feels like a sled in snow.
    I couldn't agree more to this review.. I have a 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD, and it is just horrible in the snow. It should be against the law to label this an AWD car.. I'm surprised that I lasted last winter and this winter.. Unfortunately, I can't say the same. This car has horrible traction in the lightest bit of snow, and its very upsetting especially because I decided to pay the extra for an AWD car. If you live on the east coast, I highly discourage this car for the winter. Buyers/ leasers beware!! I always thought highly about Lexus until now.. I rather spend the extra on an Audi A4.. 

    @LexusSled‌ I'm curious on what happened when you called Lexus? I plan on calling them as well but Im guessing it's not worth my breath.. Also, when you brake did it feel like the brake pads just locked? Because I second I lost control of the car it was as if I didn't have brakes anymore.. I'm wondering if this could be another recall... 
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