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2014 Lexus IS

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2014 Lexus IS Review

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Lexus has long been known for its conservative approach towards automotive design. In recent years, however, the Japanese automaker has rejuvenated its product portfolio with some bold style. The new-for- 2014 Lexus IS sedan represents the ultimate expression of Lexus design, and, at long last, poses a credible threat to European rivals like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Engine choices are largely carried over from the previous IS 250 and IS 350 models, which means middle-of-the-road fuel economy. Still, a higher degree of refinement combined with an exemplary reliability record make the 2014 Lexus IS a solid choice for an entry-level luxury sedan. Meanwhile, a retractable-hardtop convertible and the high-performance IS F – both essentially carried over from 2013 – add diversity to the lineup. That's why we named the IS one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

Opting for the most visually appealing vehicle in a particular segment can sometimes mean settling for less when it comes to long-term reliability and value. Not so with the 2014 Lexus IS, as it blends eye-catching style and luxurious interior treatments with one of the most enjoyable ownership experiences in the industry.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Though we applaud Lexus for pushing the limits of exterior design with the 2014 IS, some might find the front-end styling to be a bit over-the-top. If engaging driving dynamics are of the utmost importance, the BMW 3 Series or the new Cadillac ATS deserve a spot on your shortlist.

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Lexus IS sedan highlights a compelling new design, improved handling and more interior space. Also, Lexus’ revamped infotainment platform makes its debut in the 2014 IS and no manual transmission is available. The IS C hardtop convertible carries over unchanged from 2013, while the high-performance IS F receives only minor updates.

Driving the IS
Driving Impressions

In a straight line, the 2014 IS 250 and IS 350 sedans are no quicker than the cars they replace. But when the road begins to twist, the IS’s extensively...

... revised suspension and chassis yield significant improvements in steering feel, body control and grip. Despite its newfound athleticism, the new IS is, after all, a Lexus. Supple damping combined with a well-insulated cabin turn America’s crumbling infrastructure into an afterthought. Moreover, the front seats are superbly shaped. F Sport versions boast an array of sport-oriented hardware, though a marginal increase in real-world performance makes the $3,000-plus upgrade a tough sell. Outward visibility is good, and the tight turning radius makes quick work of U-turns and low-speed parking maneuvers. In terms of power, the carryover 2.5-liter and 3.5-liter V6 engines offer plenty of thrust for passing and merging. Those seeking serious performance can still get it in the IS F, the V8-powered wild child in the IS lineup, while the IS C convertible adds open-air cruising to the equation.

8TH-GENERATION INFOTAINMENT
Befitting its status as a technological powerhouse, the 2014 IS becomes the first Lexus model to offer the brand’s thoroughly revised 8th-generation infotainment system. Goodies like a reconfigurable home screen, 3D building icons, and Lexus’ Enform mobile application suite are sure to scratch your digital itch.

TWIN PROJECTOR LED HEADLIGHTS
Compared to xenon headlight assemblies, LED systems last longer and occupy less space due to their compact size. Other noteworthy advantages include lower energy consumption and a color temperature that more closely resembles daylight, providing greater contrast during nighttime driving.

2014 Lexus IS Details
2014 Lexus IS photo Interior

Complementing its substantial exterior makeover, the 2014 Lexus IS sedan also receives a refreshed cabin. The overall look coincides with Lexus’ sophisticated new interior design language, which first appeared in the latest GS sedan. The conventional and capacitive touch switches are easy to operate, as is the mouse-like joystick that governs the infotainment system. Rear legroom is up 1.6 inches over the outgoing model, a small yet crucial increase that makes it far more livable than before. Front and rear headroom is likewise generous. Inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar, F Sport models feature a futuristic digital instrument cluster with a sliding mechanical bezel. Like the IS C, IS F models carry over mostly unchanged lest for some updates to upholstery and accents.

Exterior
2014 Lexus IS photo

Like it or not, the daring new styling of the 2014 IS stands out more than any previous model. Borrowing key styling cues from the Lexus LF-CC concept, the 2014 IS demonstrates the most aggressive form of the brand’s design philosophy – besides the LFA supercar, of course. The front end is dominated by the now-signature spindle grill, and particularly so in F Sport guise. The stretched wheelbase and wider stance allow for greater high-speed stability, while wind-cheating underbody panels and vortex generators on the outside mirrors and taillights serve to improve aerodynamics. The IS C stands out with its folding hardtop roof that transforms the car from a coupe to a convertible.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As a value-based proposition, the 2014 Lexus IS comes suitably furnished in standard spec. Feature highlights include xenon headlights, an 8-speaker audio system with a 7-inch LCD display, keyless access and start, LED running lights, NuLuxe faux-leather upholstery and a 60/40-split rear seat (optional or unavailable on most competitive offerings). And, unlike the BMW 328i and Infiniti G37 (now known as the Q50 for 2014), the 2014 IS includes a moonroof at no additional cost. Standard safety equipment consists of 10 airbags, an advanced suite of electronic stability controls, and Safety Connect telematics services with automatic collision notification, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location.

Optional Equipment

Thanks to a number of useful improvements, Lexus’ optional navigation system finally earns a spot on our list of recommended add-ons. Similarly, the 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system is a must-have for discerning audiophiles. Crafty car shoppers who seek fundamental vehicle enhancements like LED headlights and heated/ventilated front seats should opt for the Premium package rather than the more expensive Luxury Package. To that end, the standard NuLuxe upholstery exudes a similar, if not deeper, feel of refinement than the traditional leather seating found in the Luxury Package. Convertible models offer a windscreen fitted over the rear passenger seats to reduce buffeting.

Under the Hood

Motivation for the 2014 IS 250, IS 350 and IS C convertible comes from the same all-aluminum V6 engines that entered production nearly eight years ago. While most luxury automakers embrace modern turbocharging technology, the IS, along with every Lexus model, forges ahead with an aging fleet of normally aspirated powerplants. The slow-selling manual gearbox is scrapped for 2014, as Lexus execs insist that their automatics – 6-speed in the IS 250 and all-wheel-drive (AWD) models or 8-speed in the rear-drive IS 350 – deliver superior precision and performance. The 2014 Lexus IS F also carries over its engine, a ferocious 5.0-liter V8 that propels this performance sedan from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. Like the rear-drive IS 350, the IS F has an 8-speed automatic transmission. All 2014 Lexus IS models use premium unleaded gasoline.

2.5-liter V6
204 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
185 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 20/27 mpg (AWD)

3.5-liter V6
306 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
277 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 (rear-wheel drive), 19/27 (IS C), 19/26 (AWD)

5.0-liter V8
416 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm
371 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

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2014 Lexus IS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 21 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

so much fun to drive with an excellent sleek look

By on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,900

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "absolute fun to drive, insanely good looks"

Cons: "getting in/out with no seat memry-for big/tall ppl"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car for 3 main reasons: 1) small / speedy / nifty / sporty 2) insane good looks 3) price range (around 40k). I shopped around and toyed with Mercedes CLA / C300, BMW 3 series, Audi A3/A4/A5, and Infiniti Q50 - before finally choosing the 2014 Lexus IS 350. It came good (and how!) on all the 3 factors listed above. It drives like a little beast (306 hp V6 - yeah baby!) with very quick acceleration, and great maneuverability (getting in and out and weaving through traffic feels like child's play on this car). Even then, this is one of the smoothest rides I have experienced (ofcourse probably not as smooth as a Merc but this lexus IS has much superior drivability than a Merc) This is probably one of the best looking cars on the streets currently - I lost count of how many times I have been complemented on its good looks, not just by family/friends but even random strangers. If you want to stand out in the driveway, on the parking lot or on the road, then go for this little beauty (ours is a black beauty). The only con I can really say is that the interiors do feel a little cramped but you really cannot expect vast/roomy interiors on a sports sedan like this one. The Merc C300 in fact felt a lot more crampy. Getting in and out especially for those accustomed to larger cars can take some time to get used to, but once inside its all OK. And of yeah, no seat position memory - that could have actually solved the getting in/out problem (NOTE to Lexus). In short, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this car and so does my wife (who is slowly turning into a speed junkie driving this car) and feel that we made one of the wisest decisions of our lives by going for this one."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

2014 IS350 F Sport AWD superb handling

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Seats, Gear shift speed, cornering and fun to driv"

Cons: "OEM tires NG, cup holder location is odd."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The IS350 F Sport AWD that I have purchased had F Sport Exhaust and Intake installed. It is not as loud however it is noticeably loud when cruising at low or very high rpms it is as expected for performance exhaust. I have driven this car on long trips about 2000 miles and have taken it on to curvy roads. So far I have been very pleased with the performance and the handling I have gotten from IS350. It opens up a new level of confidence when driven hard. It is very reliable I have not had any major issues. Front breaks had to be changed out around 30k miles and factory tires are poorly chosen for this car. Would not even last 15k miles just as mentioned on tech spec of VHL. With better tires this car would surpass your confidence level wile driving in to a tight corner. Great value for the tech, comfort, performance and reliability you get on the Lexus vehicle. And the customer service so far at dealership you get is by far top natch."

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Slow!

By on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Looks great, controls are right at your finger tip"

Cons: "SLOW and not fun to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Very nice looking car, but not fun to drive. It's just a car. There's nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't wow me for how much I paid. If you enjoy zippy cars go with bmw; if you want a nice ride there are plenty of other nice rides for cheaper. For this vehicle no families or people over 200#, they would not be comfortable in this car."

26 people out of 56 found this review helpful

Worst car ever

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,200

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Cute"

Cons: "does not start every time, noise not dampened"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"does not start if left for 8 days due to significant battery drain when the car is shut off. Car has no means to dampen road noise. Cute car if you don't mind a car not starting every time."

13 people out of 35 found this review helpful

great car...fun to drive....Lexus superior quality

By on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love this car & it is not easy to get in and out of for most people. It sits low to the ground and is not for everyone. It handles well and is very fast. Easy to speed ;)! I get compliments on the car's design, color and style all the time."

14 people out of 26 found this review helpful

My First Luxury Sports Car

By on Thursday, February 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smooth, sexy, fun to drive"

Cons: "Lexus Enform is not campatible with Samsung 5"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I LOVE my IS 250 F Sport, it's smooth yet sporty driving feel is something I look forward to everyday. I previously owned a 4 Runner, Tundra, Tacoma....I miss the size of those vehicles (my husband has the Tundra still and my son drives the 4 Runner) but it was time for me to have "MY" car. I've heard my passengers complain about the lack of arm rest/space. I also noticed the cup holders are too far back. All the electronics are in perfect reach for me. Complaint: My car isn't compatible with My Galaxy S5 so I don't get my messages as I'm suppose to. It only works with Iphone and I think older Galaxy phones."

33 people out of 51 found this review helpful

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