Thursday, June 5, 2014


The Lexus IS is a series of entry-level luxury cars / compact executive cars sold by Lexus since 1998. The IS was introduced as an entry-level sport model slotted below the ES in the Lexus lineup (and outside of North America, the Lexus GS). 

The redesigned IS sedan comes standard with a V6 engine that test drivers agree makes sufficient power. A more powerful V6 comes in the Lexus IS 350, which reviewers say makes the IS more engaging to drive. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, which is praised for its smooth shifts. Rear-wheel drive versions of the IS 350 get an eight-speed automatic, which reviewers say makes better use of the engine’s power. 

Fuel economy is up to an EPA-estimated 21/30 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low among comparable sport sedans. Test drivers say the IS has refined handling and a comfortable ride, though many write that class leaders like the Cadillac ATS are a bit more athletic. Still, the IS' steering is praised for being well-weighted and providing good feedback.

Reviewers write that the redesigned Lexus IS sedan's cabin is a huge step up from last year's model, and features great build quality and plenty of high-end materials. They report the front seats are comfortable and supportive, and appreciate that the back seats offer plenty of legroom. 

Reviewers note that the IS' touch-sensitive climate controls work pretty well, though some say the mouse-like Remote Touch system that controls the optional navigation system takes some getting used to. Standard features include Bluetooth, a 7-inch display screen, an eight-speaker stereo and a USB port. Optional features include navigation, a backup camera, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo system, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

IS F SPORT models include enhanced handling and performance, Adaptive Variable Suspension and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (IS 350). Not only does the F-Sport handle differently, but it's more aggressive styling certainly sets it apart from the basic production model. F-Sport styling includes an edition specific F-Sport pattern front grill, F-Sport logo badges, and five spoke split graphite wheels. 

Inside the cabin, you'll find bright, carbon fiber like trim, extra bolstered performance seats, an all black headliner, and an impressive moving vessel gage cluster that displays navigation and audio information. The F-Sport models have an edition specific *Ultra White exterior and vibrant, rojo red interior. The 2014 model year also served as the first year to offer All-Wheel Drive in the IS F-Sport line up.

On a scale of 1 to 10 Carwarriors gives the Lexus IS 350 an 8!

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