2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD – Truck Guy Review
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to drive the 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD. While it certainly can’t compare to a full-size truck, it was quite the driving experience. Here is my review.
The Lexus IS product line has been revamped as of late and the larger version, IS 350, has been attracting a lot of attention from journalists and car buyers. Some people have speculated that these cars are game changers for Lexus and are a serious threat to BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It is certainly easy to see why with an exterior that has similar characteristics to the BMW 3 series and full of posh features.
For the record, my press fleet loan was an IS 250 AWD powered by a small 2.5L V-6, 24 valve, dual overhead cam, direct injected, variable valve timed engine. This engine puts out 204 HP, 185 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a 6-speed transmission. My test model came with the following packages:
- All weather
- Luxury + Technology
- Navigation System/Mark Levinson Premium Audio
- Intuitive Parking Assist
It had a MSRP price of $47,140. Fuel economy averaged at 23 combined mpg with 20/27 city/highway. During a week of driving, I mostly got the sticker fuel economy average.
While the front grille take a bit to get used to (I actually liked it from the start), it is amazing how similar the BMW 3 Series cars and the Lexus look. This is by design as Lexus is trying to snag sales away.
The big stand outs for me were the front grille and headlights. It seems more and more these days that the headlights are starting to really be a design emphasis. The truth is that the entire car’s fit and finish were outstanding.
The interior really grabbed my attention from the moment I sat in it. Maybe I have been in trucks way too long, but this interior just screams sporty luxury to me. It is amazing how well all the parts of the interior are at an ideal placement and how easily everything is to reach.
One of the cool features has to be when the car automatically lowers the steering wheel and moves the seat into position after hitting the start button. It really gives you a sense that you are in for a driving experience unlike any other.
Also, the Mark Levinson sound system is really impressive. I have never been known as an audio expert, yet my ears could easily hear the difference.
As much as the exterior and interior are really nice, we all know the driving experience is where it is at. Unlike my colleagues who think the Lexus 250 is under-powered and “heavy” in the corners, I thoroughly enjoyed the driving experience. Can I see their point of having the small V-6 under the hood? Sure, but it is a compact luxury sedan, not a Mustang. The truth is that while others have said it has too much grip and not enough juice, I really liked the grip. This car corners like it is on rails and I was able to take wide turns with an exhilarating rate of speed.
While yes, it is a $47k coupe, it is more than that. As someone who has driven many of the standard coupe offerings on the market (Chevy Cruze, Ford Fiesta, etc…), this car is much different. I’m certainly not qualified to say whether or not if this Lexus product will be a serious threat to the BMW and Audi products. I will say that it certainly changed my view on Lexus cars.
Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com