The 2014 Lexus IS has completely redeemed itself from the previous model which was a good car in its own right. It’s not that much quicker, it’s not that much larger and the important bits are not that impressive when compared to the last model. Nevertheless, the 2014 Lexus IS 250, 350 and 350 F-sport represent some of the best vehicles in their class.
The 204 horsepower 2.5-liter 2014 Lexus IS 250 is a solid little car in its own right. It’s bigger than the last one with a (very welcome) addition 3-inches of space in the back seating area, but it feels lighter on its toes. As we drove through lovely Oakland, CA, launching off the line and avoiding flaming Molotov cocktails was remarkably easy. The 2014 Lexus IS 250 never ran out of breath and it kept its feet in the meat of the power-band. It does lack torque, 185-lb-ft of torque ain’t a lot, but the six-speed keeps everything groovy. I know – I know… a SIX-speed? Toyota is confident in two things: no turbos and all regular IS models get six-speeds.
I’m convinced about the transmission, but these cars could use a turbocharger.
The 306 hp 3.5-liter V-6, 2014 Lexus IS 350 is a more potent mix of awesome, but it has a completely different personality than the 250 IS. It felt more like a small Lexus GS than a beefier IS. That’s not a bad thing. Overall feel is coack mpliant and the additional weight of the V6 cannot be felt. The power increase is easily handled with the 277 lb-ft of torque giving an extra kick in the ass it needs for proper passing.
The IS-F has an eight-speed automatic transmission which gives it smoother acceleration, quicker gear changes and a tighter control of torque through the power-band. Suspension doodads and upgrades, along with a sportier overall appearance give the 2014 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport an advantage when paired against low to mid-level BMW 3-Series, Audi A4s and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans. It cannot contend with the M3, RS4 or any AMG C-Class to be sure; hopefully, that’s what the next generation Lexus IS-F will be slated to do.
Lexus let us compare the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 on a short autocross-style course. I think this was unnecessary as a tight course is not a particularly good venue to compare. This is especially true when you consider different tires, a CVT A4 and the short distances used to evaluate. Still, it was fun to hustle the Benz and Bimmer.
I did test the AWD 2014 Lexus IS 350 on the autocross comparison circuit, but I honestly didn’t get any useful feedback to present to you. The only thing I can say is that it felt heavier and more planted out of the corners. A full evaluation in the Rocky Mountains is definitely in order with the AWD 2014 Lexus IS sedans.
The interiors of all of the 2014 Lexus IS sedans have been improved. They are comfortable, roomier and they lowered the driver’s seat bottom by 30mm… which makes a big difference. The 2014 Lexus IS is a much more comfortable vehicle while providing better seating support along with a more driver-centric cockpit. On the F-Sport, they added a display that’s similar to the LFA supercar’s display. It’s mighty cool and I cant wait to get video of it.
We have no video of the event, so it will have to wait a few months until Toyota gives us one for the test fleet.
Fortunately, I am delighted to tell you that the 2014 Lexus IS 250 and 350 are worth the wait.
According to Lexus:”The IS 250, powered by a smooth 2.5-liter V6 delivering 204 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque, will have a starting MSRP of $35,950 for RWD and $38,485 for AWD. The IS 350, which produces 306 horsepower from its 3.5L V6 power plant, will have a staring MSRP of $39,465 for RWD and $41,700 for AWD. The base price for the 2014 IS 350 is 2.1% lower than the model it replaces.”
So, it’s cheaper, better looking, better to drive and more comfortable. Cool.
Check out this Lexus LS video that Roman and I could not agree on.
I think Roman and I will agree a lot in regards to the 2014 Lexus IS.