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Totaled my Lexus. Can you recommend a replacement?


I’m a noob here so please excuse me if this post is considered bad form, or redundant. I recently got in an accident and my 2014 Lexus IS250 was totaled. I can’t seem to find a replacement at any nearby dealers. Could anyone recommend a make and model that would have similar features and a relatively close sticker price?

I’m hoping for something reliable, comfortable, with a nice tech package. I don’t necessarily need to go fast.

FWIW I’m looking at the 2015.5 Volvo s60, the Acura TLX but I can’t find many testimonials for either.

Anyone got any comments or suggestions? Is there a car I should be considering, in your opinion?

Somewhat tangential question: do I need the tire warranties or any of that stuff they (successfully) tried to sell me when I bought the Lexus?

Much appreciated!

I cant help with the car selection, but instead of buying a warranty you probably wont need, just take that money and set it aside for repairs. The return on those warranties is about 30 cents on the dollar.

Are you looking for a used car to buy with the insurance payoff? You might buy the Consumer Reports car buyers guide, lots of info there. The ES350 would be a bit bigger, a bit roomier, a bit ‘softer’ in the suspension. Very reliable.

The ExtraCar!

Yes. In fact I bought the IS250 used three short weeks ago. I got a great deal on it and can’t find the same make and model within $2500.

I’ll look into the Consumer Reports car buyers guide. Thanks!

I drove a TLX for awhile while my Acura was in the shop. I enjoyed it. The interior’s very nice looking, especially if you get the “espresso” leather. I wish the styling was a little different, but if you get the 2017 and not the 2018 at least you won’t have that weird plasticky grille.

I’d get the V6, not the 4, and if you’re thinking at all about resale, get at least the tech package, and preferably the advance package. The GT package is funny, but I wouldn’t waste money on it.

My only real complaint was that the 9 speed transmission hunted around for gears sometimes because the ratios are simply too close together, but that’s the case on a lot of modern cars. Personally I was happy with a 5 or a 6 speed transmission. I see no need for 7,8,9 speeds.

For what it’s worth my neighbor just got one and he absolutely loves it.

I stay away from Volvos. They tend to be costly to maintain.

As for warranties… You don’t need a warranty until you need it, y’know? Personally I wouldn’t pay extra for a road hazard warranty, but I’m happy to take the one that’s included when you buy tires at Costco.

When I’m looking for a type of car in a budget range, I’ll use a site like and use the ‘more search options’ to narrow down the type/make/year/miles/cost/distance, see what pops up. Also do it with CarMax.

Yes, CarMax. Search them. If that car is available ANYwhere in their system, they can likely ship it for free, in state, or for $250 or so across state lines.

Depending on how many options you have on the IS250, you could get a 2015 Mercedes Benz E350 Sport for the same value, about $34,000. Consumer Reports says it is a Best Buy and is among the most reliable midsize luxury sedans. Go for a test drive and see if you like it. A two year old is likely to be off lease. You can often find a CarFax for it at the dealer web site, and the leased cars are often maintained at the dealer. That means there is more CarFax input than many other vehicles.

Good news for you Mr. Bradshaw. Most of those warranties allow you to cancel and recoup some money. I bought an extended warranty on a Lexus IS and when I traded it in (before the warranty was up) I followed the instructions and recouped about $600. As you may already know, the Lexus IS 250 was sort of a dog (slow) and Lexus recently replaced it with the IS 200t model as the base IS. Not a rocket, but better in pretty much every way. If you like the IS, I suggest you consider it, or at least try it. Or maybe the Lexus RC coupe? I’m not a fan of the two cars you are considering having tested them. For my money, the new Infiniti Q50 has the best rear-drive compact sports coupe in the market. We tested it at BestRide and were shocked by how good it was. And that is coming from a former IS owner. Let us know what you get and if any of those un-used warranties pay you back!

I heard some inside news, that the IS250 is known for SERIOUS automatic transmission problems . . . apparently mechanical problems

There’s a Steve on this website, who I believe is a mechanic at a Toyota/Lexus dealer, and may be able to confirm or disprove what I heard

The transmission may have issues but the big topics of issues with the IS 250s are the carbon buildup problem that kills the engines and the interior dash and trim melting issue. Those were both prior-generation issues. The new IS 200t from 2016 on has a different engine and different interior.

I found a 2015 Acura TLX with a VS and the tech package that is priced so reasonably I’d be hard pressed to pass on it. Gonna test drive it tomorrow.

By the way, thanks to you (and everyone else) for the helpful responses.

Personally I’d watch for a deal on an Advance package. You can get one off lease for around $26k. The heated seats and auto-dim side mirrors alone would make me lean toward that version.