2014 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport All-Wheel Drive
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Just Point, Punch, and hang on!
I don’t mean to over-simplify one of the most competent vehicles on the road, it’s just that the new Lexus IS 350 is so good that you literally just need to point the wheel in the right direction, hit the gas, and GO!
The only thing that changes from zero to super-speeder illegal is how fast things pass your eyeballs. The car is rock-solid. No drama…no twitchiness…no floating…no strain…just GO.
Well….the healthy growl from the engine gives you a clue, but that’s just about it.
Otherwise, the Lexus IS stays firmly planted and does your bidding…however extreme your request.
And unlike some more austere German sport sedans, the IS coddles you along the way with body-hugging, glove-soft perforated and heated leather front seats and a general level of trim that you just don’t usually find for under 50 thousand.
Lexus has always had the comfort angle squarely nailed. The F-Sport IS 350 finally nails the performance end of things….so much so, that Car and Driver Magazine picked it over the BMW 335i M Sport. That speaks volumes….and I’m not going to argue with them.
Power comes from a 3.5 liter, 306 HP V6…channeled through either a 6 or 8-speed automatic good for 5.6 second 0-60 times. Strong.
But here’s what you don’t expect from a such a serious performance machine….mileage. The IS 350 is rated at up to 28 HWY…26 with all-wheel-drive. I got a hair over 25 on a rather high-speed road trip in an AWD…..and got the EPA rated 26 MPG on the return….behaving myself a bit more. That’s truly outstanding mileage for a performance machine like the F-Sport.
You can get an IS in either 250 or 350 versions….the difference being the engine. Either a 2.5 liter 204 HP V-6 or the 3.5 306 HP. Go with the big one.
The $3,180F-Sport package…interestingly available on both the 250 and 350…adds an adaptive suspension that can almost sense your next move and adjust accordingly…an aggressive front-end that befits the cars capabilities, the perforated leather seating, LED headlamps, 18” low-profile, high-performance rubber, and a few trim pieces.
A $3,225 nav package adds upgraded sound, back-up cam, remote-touch interfaces, voice command and more.
The IS 250 starts at $36,845 incl. transportation…the 350 roughly $3,500 more at $40,360. Spend the extra $ and enjoy!
All-Wheel-Drive adds around $2,200…and a few pounds….and comes with the 6-speed auto vs the 8-speed. If you don’t really need the AWD, I’d save the $2,200 and get the 8-speed with the 28 MPG highway rating.
Lexus’ new IS 350 F-Sport now has everything needed to go play with the big boys.