2014 Lexus IS350 F-Sport [UPDATE] First Drive — Autoblog

19 Мар 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
LEXUS IS250/350/300H

2014 Lexus IS350 [UPDATE]

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Is A New Kind Of Hiding Under That Skin?

When the now-outgoing IS generation was launched back in the company would not have wise to bring the compact sedan to be driven by journalists to a like Driveway Austin Taking along a BMW 335i for loops would have an ill choice as well.

At Driveway, it was retuned steering that the biggest initial impact on us. We four back-to-back laps, from old to new IS, and found that the new car has an better, more talkative and direct tiller. Though road feel through the was still pretty low in the grand of road cars, the 2014 gave us some sense of the edge of grip was, when carrying speed several high-speed esses. The Lexus, meanwhile, felt vague by comparison and proved more difficult to plot an line with as a result. The rigid body (combined a less skittish rear setup) also allowed for strain during hard There was also a much degree of stability under braking in the new car versus the old, notable when we shed quickly at the end of the long front

The new IS has an unmistakably better, more and more direct tiller.

to shift for itself in these conditions, we did find the new eight-speed to be a better companion than the old unit. Lexus poached the 8AT its own IS-F. and added in something G-force Artificial Intelligence will downshift more as it senses increased G forces. seemed to work, as the IS350 often bog down when out of a corner. However, when we the computers alone and switched old and new cars into manual ­ each operable by way of wheel-mounted paddle shifters the in transmissions had little impact on Both autoboxes were quick to respond, which is to say slightly less quick your typical dual-clutch Still, we’ll call the unit a boon for smooth driving on real roads and for improved fuel economy.

Hot from the driver’s seat, brakes from both still sweetly stinking, it was to us that Lexus had vastly at least the handling characteristics one generation of IS to the next. Less was that it had built a car that trump the BMW 335i at its own sport game.

The truth of the matter is cars like the IS350 win or lose mostly based on comfort, content and price.

In to the old IS that Lexus trailered for comparison lapping, the company felt strongly that its new would stack up well BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter 3 as well as the Mercedes-Benz C350 The best that we can say about the here is that it drives a lot around the track than the bulky Bimmer. The Lexus a bit more willing to be chucked tight corners than did the though it’s safe to say the BMW was taking said corners at a pace almost every In addition to having a motor is clearly more powerful questioning BMW’s underrating of is encouraged to drive these two back-to-back), the BMW offers a level of and composure when moving corner complexes that the IS match, and a great deal stability when braking Both cars are quick, but the felt more mature at the end of the

And the C-Class? Well, our mother told us that it’s to say nothing at all, if you haven’t got nice to say. We’ll that we didn’t consider the a match for either the Lexus or the at least not on the track, and let that

Sadly, the world is not peopled car buyers shopping for luxury based mostly on how well lap a circuit. It’s a fun fantasy, and wager that there are a lot of that like to think have the raciest competitor in the but the truth of the matter is that like the IS350 will win or mostly based on looks, content, price and perceived That’s the reality that has Lexus such a force in the market over the last two and it’s the sensibility that make the new IS a popular pick.

For our day of Lexus had on hand IS250 and vehicles, in both F-Sport and trim, with one all-wheel-drive car to be in the mix somewhere, too. The dozen or so vehicles on tap represented the totality of the IS fleet in North America now real production has yet to begin in The F-Sport-trimmed IS350 seemed to be the on the ground, and we exclusively drove the powerful cars on the track, so it was vehicles that we comprehensively for this review. (The F-Sport that you see in our gallery was out for us to photograph after the other were packed away, and is a near-match for the IS350 F-Sport badging and the lack of a Sport+ on the drive program knob.)

The will probably start the $36,000 range, and move of $50k for an all-boxes-ticked IS350 AWD.

Pricing for the 2014 IS has yet to be but our friends at Lexus inform us it will be comparable to the 2013 That indicates that the will probably start $36,000 and move north of for an all-boxes-ticked IS350 F-Sport Generally speaking, Lexus has lived a few thousand lower BMW and Mercedes-Benz competitors, and a few thousand than comparable G37 (soon to be Q50 ) from Infiniti. We expect to mostly hold true for

The question remains, will forty-odd thousand dollars buy a car you to see in your garage every There is a passing chance if you’re reading our review, already seen images of the rather radical IS bodywork its debut appearance at the Detroit Show. If so, you’ve most already formed your about the slashed bodyside, the and pointy taillights and the biggest-yet of Lexus’ spindle grille. If anything like the dozen or so journalists we surveyed on the test you’ve also probably down firmly in either the It or Hate It way of seeing things.

in the proceedings, Lexus vice of marketing Brian Smith us that the company has become with design. Based on the new and facelifts we’ve seen the last year, that seem to be an overstatement. But the fallout putting an emphasis on design is you’ll often reveal bold that truly the viewing public this IS to be just that sort of We will only add that a few of looking at the IS350 revealed the shape isn’t quite so in person as it had appeared when we saw the studio shots of it less than the previous generation car we’d expected and that it come off better with the 18-inch alloy package, if because the new profile tends to wheels look small. wheels look cool, who

Lexus VP Brian Smith us that the company has become with design.

The interior of the IS is likely to be a lot less controversial. our first moments behind the we found the Lexus cockpit to be and comfortable and loaded with technology. Some buyers not like dropping down the deep front buckets of the trimmed cars, but they’ll give way to the comfort and stability driving that they While standard leather is offered for other packages, our car made use of Lexus’ NuLuxe materials, which we actually like in the deep red hue. is made from polyurethane, and used in the F-Sport cars it’s lighter, grippier and resistant to moisture than leather. We thought that the slightly matte finish fit in with the rest of the cabin, relies heavily on brushed accents, soft-surfaced plastics and non-shiny controls and touch Even the excellent new navigation had a kind of matte finish to the that was both unexpected and We also found that horizontal orientation of the elements of the made the whole cabin wider, and a touch more

We found the Lexus cockpit to be and comfortable and loaded with technology.

From the perspective of the the flashiest piece of tech has got to be the gauge cluster that liberally from its supercar the Lexus LF-A. The display a sliding bezel which can be centered with smaller boxes on either side or off to the right with a touch of a on the steering wheel to display one box on the left hand side. We liked this latter as it allowed us to easily use a joystick on the wheel to call up pertinent like navigation directions, adjustments and car status info. seeing the turn-by-turn navigation were far less distracting having to turn to look at the display, and proved nearly as as a heads-up display on the windshield not quite).

On the road driving sane people and at legal after the palpitating track we also found that hasn’t thrown its conservative-hearted out with the high-design bathwater. is still a Lexus. The ride is and not fussy, visibility is good and the of quiet at highway speeds is only broken by the excellent Levinson stereo system. The 3.5-liter V6 engine is unchanged the previous IS, and still offers a reserve of power for any task up during the standard American Lexus has even squeezed out one highway mile per gallon (28 27 mpg from last year) will probably be easier to in real world driving are BMW’s turbo motor ratings. Call it a hunch.


And it’s that part the with, great reliability and satisfaction scores part will seal the deal for who shop this design-heavy Lexus may be treading in new waters in of youthful looks and promises of but the IS still has enough underlying sensibleness to make it not daunting for wanting to take their steps into the luxury In fact, this whole of the brand’s image is all about off the notion that Toyota/Lexus are always boring, one huge spindle grille at a time. In spirit, a polarizing design this one, which people will actively is probably a good thing.

As for the sedan notion hot track racing instructors and all that not convinced. Not because the IS isn’t good but because, ­even as the IS350 F-Sport, this car is not to call away those who up hankering for an E30 M3 and an empty stretch of The segment of the population that cares about driving in a glitzy sedan is still to be better rewarded in a BMW or Infiniti (Hell, the Cadillac ATS may be the best of bunch; we need a comparison and quick.) But when the IS goes on later this summer, we do that its overall balance, weighted in the direction of driving will resonate with a big of the real world.

UPDATE . We’ve just an interesting email from regarding the NuLuxe seating in the 2014 IS. During the presentation of the at the IS launch program, we were directly by a member of the Lexus that NuLuxe contained leather and plastic in its formulation. In the description raised a few questions in our causing our product specialist to a bit, and refer to NuLuxe as pleather at one point. We found interesting, and duly included a of it in our review:

One of the company’s design explained that the pleather words, not ours) material contains a mixture of shredded and various plastics, and gets in the F-Sport cars because lighter, grippier and more to moisture than standard

As it turns out, that is all incorrect. Lexus now tells us NuLuxe is a product made from polyurethane. What’s the Lexus representative that been emailing with, that, going into the program, the team was told NuLuxe was a leather/plastic amalgam. Our has been edited to reflect all of

Vital Stats

Engine: V6 Power: 306 HP / 277 LB-FT Transmission: Automatic 0-60 Time: 5.6 Top Speed: 144 MPH Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Curb Weight: 3,593 LBS 2+3 MPG: 19 City / 28 HWY As-Tested $48,300 (est.)

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