Lexus IS sedans for 2014: New design, new technology, wicked new grille

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The newly desiged 2014 Lexus IS sedans, which will feature revamped seats, technology upgrades, more interior and cargo room and a wicked-looking futuristic front grille in a sport trim, will debut in the summer of 2013 and with priced ranging from $35,950 to $41,700.

The Lexus IS 250, powered by a 2.5-liter V6 delivering 204 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque, will have a base 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 starting MSRP of $39,465 for RWD and $41,700 for AWD. The base price for the 2014 IS 350 is 2.1 percent lower than the model it replaces.

New front grille on 2014 Lexus IS 350 Sport
2014 Lexus IS 350 Sport. Images © James Raia/2013

The new IS models were available for testing driving on at a recent regional debut in San Francisco.

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During a 90-minute test from Alameda to Orinda that included freeway driving and negotiating rolling country roads, the new Lexus showcased its signature attributes — powerful, confident maneuvering, superior comfort to strong and steady quick acceleration.

One of the few criticisms of Lexus in recent years has been tight rear seating. For 2014, there’s substantially more rear seat legroom, while the front seats have been repositioned for better body comfort.

Lexus has redesigned its IS 250 and 350 models
The newly designed 2014 Lexus IS 250

Like others mentioned, I noticed the new seating positions immediately. While driving, I felt more like I was maneuvering a sports cars rather than a sedan. As a passenger in a rear seat, I was far more comfortable, with the traditional Lexus luxury feel more apparent.

The new IS will be equipped with a substantial list of standard features: HID headlamps, L-shaped LED daytime running lights, Drive Mode Select, paddle shifters, a dual zone climate control system, a next-generation Remote Touch Interface, Display Audio, a color 4.2 inch TFT multi-information display and 10 airbags.

In an industry first, the all-new multimedia system delivers real-time traffic and weather information without a subscription.  In all, more than $1,400 in previously optional equipment has been made standard for the 2014 IS.

Premium, Luxury and F SPORT packages will be available across the model range. The available Premium Package ($1,050 for RWD models) includes LED headlamps and heated and ventilated front seats.  The Luxury Package ($3,665 for RWD models) includes Premium Package features plus a perforated leather-trimmed interior, linear wood trim, electrochromic exterior mirrors with reverse tilt, rain-sensing wipers, driver seat memory, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, center stack knee pads and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

A revamped F SPORT Package ($3,115 for IS 250 RWD and $3,620 for IS 350 RWD) offers a unique full-mesh grille and front bumper, LED headlamps, 18” split 5-spoke wheels, front sport seats, and a more aggressive sport-tuned suspension. Inside, all F SPORT models feature a center-mounted tachometer with moving bezel adopted directly from the LFA.

The IS 350 F SPORT adds standard Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) with a Sport S+ drive mode. For the first time, the F SPORT package is also available for IS AWD models.

PERFORMANCE STATISTICS
(IS 250, IS 250 AWD, IS 350 IS, 350 AWD)
0–60 mph acceleration (mfg. estimates) — 7.7 secs. 8.3 secs. 5.6 secs. 5.7 secs.
Quarter mile — 15.6, 16.0, 13.8, 14.0.
Top Track Speed (mfg. estimates) — 140 mph, 131 mph, 143 mph, 131 mph
Estimated Fuel Economy (City/Hwy/Combined)
21/30/24, 20/27/23, 19/28/22, 19/26/21

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