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2014 Lexus IS Reviews at TrueDelta: The IS series - Compact Luxury Done Right by acetech09

acetech09

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Introduction

In short? This car isvery good. That might also be its biggest downfall.

Reviewed: 2014 Lexus IS

4dr Sedan 306-horsepower 3.5L V6 8-speed shiftable automatic RWD

2014 Lexus IS Love Letter

This car isexceptionally well-designed, and well-built. Examining every individual aspect of the car, it's hard to find any flaws.

The powertrain? Smooth, powerful, and refined. The naturally-aspirated V6 is no slouch, and the transmission is clever. City driving is smooth, and the engine never feels strained.

The ride? Confident, smooth, and effortless.

The interior? Developed with ergonomics in mind, with comfortable seats and good armrests. Special shout-out to the instrument cluster in the F-sport model. It's inspired by the Lexus sportscar, the LFA, and places necessary information straight in front of you, with easy steering-wheel controls. Unlike a BMW or Mercedes, the information panel isn't awkwardly (and dangerously) placed in the center dashboard.

Lexuses carry legendary Toyota reliability. I have fond memories driving across the country with a friend. Our car of choice? A Lexus LS400, with a meager 600,000 original miles. Although this car is many years down the road, with much more complexity, I have a feeling these cars will easily outlast most of its German competition.

It's in a conventional 4-door sedan shape with 4-door sedan accomidations. Decent room in the rear, nothing special - and the rear seats fold down to a normally sized trunk.

I can only think of a few downsides to this car. One is minor, the other is what's preventing me from buying one right now.

MPG: The simplicity of this car guarantees reliability and simplicity of mainteance - however, the lack of eco-tech (turbocharging, regenerative braking) does impact the car's MPG (23 average), which is well below competitor's, such as a BMW 3-series' 32mpg average.

Most importantly to me, however, is the lack of 'sportiness'. Even with the F-sport suspension, the handling was mediocre. The power was put down without much fuss, and there was nothing special about the way it drives. I cover this more in the summary.

Conclusion

I understand this review might sound like I'm a cheerleader, or paid off by Lexus USA. I assure you that I'm neither of those. I simply believe that this is about as good as non-sports automotive engineering can get.

There was a lingering feeling when driving it though. It almost felt too good. You know those 'So bad that it's good' movies. If reversed, this is the automotive equivalent. It lacked the soul and character that the competition offers. Audis are fast, concise, and will blow away everyone else on the road without skipping a beat. BMWs are incredibly rewarding cars to drive. Lexuses are cars. Great cars, but still a just a car that you just... drive.

You can say that this is "Still just a Toyota", and you'd be right. However, we generally agree that the Camry has plenty of room for improvement. The LS350 simply doesn't.

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Response from mitchell9353

2:45 pm May 7, 2015

After owning an IS350 for six years, I must agree with much of this review. Our IS has performed nearly flawlessly over our time with it. After initial problems with the steering rack and a tire wear problem linked to the same issue, it has had no problems. A great handling car with loads of power. I just wish it was a little larger (as I am).

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Response from mkaresh

10:04 pm January 5, 2016

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