The 2014 Lexus IS 250 reaps significant benefits from its all-new design features, while delivering above-average engine and safety equipment. This sedan also rides and handles better than most vehicles in its class, making it an excellent purchase overall.
Rating: 8.6 / 10
The 2014 Lexus IS 250 is an all-new car this year, offering new and improved bodywork, excellent performance and a wide array of special features. This sedan (also available as a convertible) definitely leaves a very good first impression – though once you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a few issues, which might detract from the overall experience. Despite a few outstanding problems, this new Lexus is still a much more likeable car than its predecessors, so if you thought those models were subpar, you might still like this one.
What you’ll notice first is the new and revised exterior, with IS’s “spindle grille” being the most obvious addition to the proceedings. The F Sport variant also gets a completely black mesh grille, located within the spindle silhouette. This results in an open “jaw” that endows the car with a sporty face. In fact, there’s a sense of sportiness to the whole body, not just the face, thanks to the car’s lovingly chiselled sides and pointy taillights. As a whole, the new Lexus IS looks clean and simple, which is exactly how it should be.
This simplicity and cleanliness can be easily found on the inside as well – since the cabin has received a complete redesign too. Thanks to a two-tier dashboard, everything seems much more upscale and refined. You’ll also notice that the controls in the centre stack have a very clear layout, which makes them incredibly easy to use. The LCD screen could use a few improvements, however, since its display has a surprisingly low resolution. On top of that, the screen isn’t controlled by your fingers, instead relying on a joystick off to the side. It’s not terrible by any means, but it is a bit clunky and unintuitive.
Another issue you’ll encounter is the size of the cabin – it’s just not as spacious as the competition, with the 3-Series BMW being much larger. The Lexus is 183.7 inches long overall, featuring a 110.2-wheel base. While these numbers aren’t bad, they’re not exactly great either. The back passengers might have a hard time fitting in, especially if they’re very tall, while some of your cargo may be too big for the IS’s admittedly modest trunk.
The engine that this 2014 Lexus carries is not too bad, but it could be better. Its 2.5-litre V-6 can pump out 204 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. This is a decent output, but it’s not top-of-the-line – since the 3-series BMW can produce a bit more. What’s worse is that the Lexus IS also fails to deliver competitive fuel economy, leaving it a somewhat forgettable car in this aspect. You may also be surprised to find out that this car is missing manual transmission, offering only a six-speed automatic.
Despite failing to provide a reasonable engine, the new IS manages to excel in other areas – like handling and ride. Lexus has re-tuned suspension and stiffened the chassis, which allows the sedan to handle like no other vehicle in its class – even the 3-series BMW fails to compete against it. That said, the handling here is a mere improvement over the last year’s model, not the next step in its evolution. As for the ride, it’s smooth enough to make you forget road bumps even exist, which is something that other vehicles in its class fail to do – at least, on the same level.
In the end, the feeling that you’re likely to walk away with after test-driving the 2014 Lexus IS 250 is that it’s not particularly memorable. While many other vehicles in its class offer speed and eye-catching looks, the Lexus IS has focused on giving you precise handling and a stable ride, both of which often end up being overlooked. So, if you’re more interested in how a car “feels” as opposed to how it looks or how fast it drives, then the new Lexus may be for you.
2014 Lexus IS 250
Reviewed by Unhaggle on .
Rating: 8.6 / 10
The 2014 Lexus IS 250 has received a very significant redesign this year, looking much more aesthetically pleasing than the last year’s model. Available either as a sedan or a convertible, the new IS 250 is a treat for the eyes.
The first thing you’ll notice is the IS’s new “spindle” grille, which looks sort of like an hourglass, and provides that aggressive edge, which was missing in the older models. You’ll also notice that the sedan features angular and rigid lines around the front end, including the grille, as well as slim and elegant curves on the sides and at the back. In fact, the IS 250 has the most expressive side profile in the small luxury segment. The only car that can measure up to it is the new Cadillac ATS. That said, it’s missing the IS’s perfect blend of luxury and ferociousness, so it’s not quite as unique or appealing in its appearance.
You may, however, feel a little turned off by the Lexus IS’s somewhat silly daytime running lamps, which look like the Nike swooshes and feel completely detached from the styling of the car’s headlights. That said, it’s still a very decent vehicle that puts up a very good fight against its stiff competition, which includes the 3-series BMW and Cadillac ATS.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|6AT||$37,300||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|6AT AWD||$39,900||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||4|
|Drive Train||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
Under the hood, the 2014 Lexus IS 250 doesn’t offer as many changes as in its design, but it’s still decent. The sedan comes with a 2.5-litre, direct-injection V-6 engine that produces 204 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. If you’re familiar with the last year’s model, then you’ll realize that this is the exact same engine. Just like before, it offers a six-speed automatic transmission only. Despite this minor flaw, the fact that Lexus comes with a V-6 instead of a generic four-cylinder, means that it’s a notch above all the other vehicles in its class. Even the BMW 328i has lost its V-6 privileges, making Lexus the undisputed king of this segment.
That said, the IS 250 doesn’t quite perform so well in the fuel efficiency area, carrying very average rates. The regular sedan variant has EPA ratings of 11.2 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. Equipped with the all-wheel-drive, the sedan gets those ratings up to 11.8 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. Finally, the IS 250 C – or the convertible – bears the same ratings as the base sedan model, so there’s nothing special here. Overall, you won’t find much to hate about these numbers, but they could be better, that’s for sure.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
The 2014 Lexus IS 250 features the same lean and crisp aesthetics on the inside as it does on the outside. It has a wide centre console dashboard and a two-tier dashboard that practically screams “luxury.” In other words, this interior matches what you’ll find in much more expensive vehicles this year. Materials, such as plastics, are also very impressive, especially those further away from the driver’s normal reach. In fact, the IS 250 features the best plastics in its class, outshining even the 3-series BMW.
In terms of front comfort, the sedan outshines almost every single car in this segment, including the Audi A4, Mercedes C250, Cadillac ATS and even the base BMW 328i. The two cars that the IS 250 doesn’t have beat are the new Volvo S60 and the top trim of the 328i. Otherwise, this Lexus is very, very cosy at the front. You also get extra 1.6 inches of legroom in the back and a much bigger trunk than in the previous model. In spite of that, the 3-series provides three inches more backspace and a slightly bigger trunk too – because the last year’s BMW was roughly as big as this year’s IS.
But one of the biggest turn-offs, however, is the car’s somewhat questionable infotainment system. Almost all the IS 250 models, with the exception of the base one, come with the famous Lexus Remote Touch joystick, which can be used to control the software interface that appears on the car’s seven-inch LCD screen. The issue with this is the fact that the joystick is far too clunky for this sort of task – especially since the screen was initially designed to be a touchscreen. On top of that, the resolution of the interface is low too, making it difficult to read. That said, the actual features are easy to navigate and use, so it’s not bad in that regard.
Other features include an eight-speaker audio system with in-dash CD and HD Radio plus SiriusXM, basic voice recognition, automatic climate control and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Optional features are a Mark Levinson audio package and 15 speakers of 7.1-channel surround sound.
When it comes to safety, the 2014 Lexus IS 250 has definitely upped its game. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded it four stars for frontal tests and five stars for side impact and rollover tests, adding up to five stars overall. This rating is one star greater than that of the last year’s model, which is nothing but a good thing. Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given it top “good” ratings in all tests except for front crash prevention, which has earned the car just a “basic” rating.
The safety features include the infotainment system that provides free traffic and weather updates, ten airbags, lane departure warning, blind spot notification, cross-traffic warning and optional crash prevention system.