The third generation Lexus IS has broken cover, a sport sedan that steps up its game with improved rear suspension, a new eight-speed transmission and expanded seating room for rear seating passengers. As before, IS 250 and IS 350 models are available, with your choice of standard rear- or optional all-wheel-drive.
Current Design Language
New for 2014, the IS sedan employs Lexus spindle grille design language. LED daytime running lights are a first for this model, a combination that gives the sedan an aggressive, yet elegant look. The new look has been gradually rolling out across the Lexus line as current models are updated and new ones are introduced.
Lexus says that the IS sedan is more rigid than its predecessor, making use of improved welding and body-bonding techniques. Along with an all-new multilink suspension, the Lexus IS sedan receives a revised front suspension and upgraded steering, with all three attributes taken from the larger GS sedan.
Engines and Transmissions
Each model is defined by a corresponding sized V-6 engine. The IS 250 is powered by a 2.5-liter engine that makes 204 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 185 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm. This engine is paired with a shiftable, six-speed electronically controlled transmission
Under the hood of the IS 350 is a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 306 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 277 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm. This model grabs the eight-speed, sport direct shift automatic transmission featured in the high performance IS F model. Paddle shifters are included.
A drive mode select system is new to the Lexus IS sedan line, enabling drivers to choose one of up to five driving modes. ECO, normal and sport modes are included with the IS 250 and IS 350 models, while the F Sport model adds a Sport+ mode. All-wheel-drive models include a snow mode. The system is designed to allow the driver to individualize his driving experience for whatever road conditions, or mood, is present.
Cabin Comfort and Technologies
New features for 2014 include a modified dual-zone climate control system, a pair of multimedia systems, a display audio system and an optional navigation system. That latter system controls audio, climate, phone functions and more. Also available is an 835-watt, 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound speaker.
Rear passengers will find that leg, shoulder and hip room have improved as the new model is one-half inch wider and three inches longer. The sedans slightly larger size has made it possible to increase trunk storage capacity too. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat expands storage capacity as well.
Lexus IS Safety and Warranties
Numerous safety amenities are included with the 2014 Lexus IS. A collision warning system takes action before an accident, by automatically activating the brakes as needed. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and 10 airbags are standard.
Lexus IS models are protected by a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty; roadside assistance is for 48 months with no mileage limits. Powertrain warranty and restraint system coverage is for 72 months or 70,000 miles, whichever comes first. Rust protection lasts for 72 months regardless of the miles driven.
Photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.