2014 Lexus IS 250 Long-Term Arrival
Something interesting happened in 2012. Lexus, which had long shown inklings of developing sporty cars, started building them. Competent, luxurious, but otherwise ho-hum sedans suddenly had a little spice, and you didn't have to buy an IS F or an LFA to get it. Cars that sold in greater than triple-digit numbers were now fun to drive.
One of the first places we saw the change was in the final years of the old IS. The test bed for the emerging F Sport trim line, the old IS was treated to a number of handling and steering improvements that made the Silicon Valley middle-manager's special actually fun and engaging to drive. For 2014, those improvements came baked into every IS along with an all-new and all-controversial look.
We asked Lexus to send over a 2014 IS 250 in Atomic Silver. It comes standard with a 204-hp, 2.5-liter V-6 that doles out 185 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission and 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in all-season tires. Other handy standard features include HID headlamps, a sunroof, 10-way power driver's seat, eight-way power passenger seat, and 10 airbags. Throw in Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, along with satellite radio and HD radio, and you've got a pretty good starting point.
"Long-term comparison: I drove the BMW 328 for 12 months. Now I try its Japanese rival for a year."
We spec'd only three options. The first is the $2085 Navigation Package, which includes nav, a backup camera, voice control, the Remote Touch infotainment controller, and the Lexus Enform with App Suite software, which allows you to run apps from your smart phone like Yelp and Pandora on your infotainment system. We also picked up the Intuitive Parking Assist parking sensors ($500) and a cargo net for the trunk ($64). All told, our IS is $39,494 as it sits.
There's one more thing, though. Lexus would really like us to sample the whole IS line, so this IS 250 will live with us for a mere four months rather than the customary 12, at which point it will be replaced by an all-wheel-drive IS 350 for four months and then an IS 350 F Sport. That'll give us plenty of insight as to what the new definition of IS is.
|2014 Lexus IS 250|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$39,494|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||2.5L/204-hp/185-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3541 lb (53/47%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||183.7 x 71.3 x 56.3 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.2 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.5 sec @ 90.4 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||116 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.87 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||26.6 sec @ 0.66 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||21/30 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||160/112 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||0.80 lb/mile|
|TOTAL MILEAGE||2120 mi|
|AVERAGE FUEL ECON||21.1 mpg|