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Car Review: 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD F Sport

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The 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD F Sport grabs your attention from the moment you first see it and kept our attention throughout the one-week test drive. The third-generation 2014 IS sport sedan features a bold design highlighted by the new dynamic signature spindle grille and for the first time separated LED Daytime Running Lights which are as cool as any on the road today. A combination of “aggressive elegance,” a more powerful road presence and a stronger brand identity help make the new IS models more alluring than ever.

EXTERIOR

The available F SPORT package as tested included unique 18-inch wheels with ultra-white paint that made a bonafied first impression on all that gave us feedback. Some notables that played key roles in the good-looking IS 250 F Sport was the further evolution of the spindle grille from the GS and LS models, featuring a more three-dimensional design with a chrome-plated frame and darker gray insert from top to bottom, standard HID low/high beam headlamps with LED DRLs and available twin projector LED low/ high beam headlamps, F SPORT exclusive colors (Ultra White, Ultrasonic Blue Mica, Obsidian and Matador Red Mica), and a wheelbase that has been increased by nearly three inches. Width has been increased by nearly half an inch for an aggressive stance.

INTERIOR

This isn’t your father’s Lexus, as the IS 250 AWD F Sport has the attitude of a premium sports car with the functionality of the smartest luxury sedan all wrapped into one superb interior space. The driver can appreciate improved seating position and headroom, while the rear seat offers significantly improved roominess, ingress and egress. Separating the shocks from the springs results in a larger trunk as well.

New luxuries abound in the 2014 Lexus IS. A high-efficiency dual-zone climate control system uses new, touch-sensitive electrostatic temperature switches. The IS offers two multimedia systems: a standard high-resolution Lexus Display Audio (LDA) with controller or the optional Lexus navigation system. The navigation system is operated via a second-generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) multi-function control device, which also allows control of the climate, audio, phone controls and more. New interior design with LFA-inspired, driver-focused cockpit and enhanced rear seat roominess and luggage capacity earned high marks from drivers and passengers alike.

The available Mark Levinson Premium Surround System employs new loudspeaker technology with 15 speakers and 835 watts for even more life-like sound reproduction. The F Sports seats were red leather with a heating option, perforated leather steering wheel and shift knob, black headliner, back up camera, remote touch interface, Lexus Enform with App suite, destination assist and thumping HD radio with real-time traffic and weather. It’s clearly one of the best interiors on the market with the driver-oriented cockpit design inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar.

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PERFORMANCE

Lexus IS F SPORT models not only benefit from exclusive, more sporting and aggressive exterior and interior design features, but also genuine dynamic enhancements in the form of exclusively tuned front and rear suspension systems. Thanks in large part to substantially increased overall body rigidity, the 2014 Lexus IS provides a more dynamic driving experience with enhanced stability and body control while delivering improved ride comfort. New, laser-screw welding and adhesive body-bonding techniques, along with additional spot welding, have made the higher rigidity possible. An all-new multilink rear suspension, revised front suspension and steering derived from the well-received GS sedan are adopted in the smaller IS package. The IS 250 is powered by a smooth 2.5- liter V6 providing 204 hp at 6,400rpm and 185 lb.-ft. torque at 4,800rpm. The engine is matched to a six-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) that features a sequential manual-shifting mode with rev matched downshifts in SPORT mode.

The available F SPORT package includes unique 18-inch wheels, special suspension tuning and a unique interior and exterior design. It is available for IS 250 and IS 350 RWD and AWD models. Exclusive for all IS 350 models and IS 250 F SPORT is an intake sound generator that creates a more sporting engine note. The driving experience can fit your needs with modes switching from ECO, normal, sport and snow. There was plenty of snow on the ground during our test time with the 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD F Sport, so we pressed the snow button along with the AWD and we had no issues with traction or handling. Fuel economy was decent coming in at 20mpg in the city and 27mpg in highway driving.

OVERVIEW

After driving the 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD F Sport in just about every driving condition, we came away totally impressed with the power and performance of this car. The looks are off the charts and the cabin space is as good as it gets. The new fascia with the F Sport trim is both elegant and intimidating, and you couldn’t get that from Lexus just a few short years ago, so hats off to the folks designing these sleek machines. With all of the extras that come with a standard Lexus IS 250 coupled with the F Sport package, this beauty came in with a sticker price of $44,140. This car is for those that love to drive and can appreciate driving excellence.

  

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