Lexus News

The 2014 Lexus IS is a solid used luxury car. It balances cornering agility with a pleasant ride. It also has a high-quality cabin, above-average reliability, and advanced safety features. It’s a good pick in this class, but it faces strong competition from sportier rivals.

The Lexus comes with a 204-horsepower 2.5-liter V6 (IS 250) or a 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 (IS 350). Both are available with six-speed automatic transmissions and either rear- or all-wheel drive. The rear-wheel-drive IS 350 only gets an eight-speed automatic. Both transmissions have smooth shifts. The IS 250’s V6 has disappointing acceleration and fuel economy (up to 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway). The IS 350 moves quicker, without a big drop in efficiency (19/28 mpg city/highway). Both models offer an excellent balance of ride comfort and sporty handling.

The Lexus IS seats five and pairs leatherette upholstery with comfortable front seats. Leather is available, as are sport seats with larger side bolsters. The Lexus’ cabin offers sufficient headroom and legroom in both rows for adults. There are two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the second row. The rear seats split 60/40. When folded, they increase the car’s cargo capacity to 13.8 cubic feet.

The IS’ dashboard is well-designed and has high-quality materials. Climate and audio controls are straightforward, and some use touch-sensitive sliders. All other infotainment functions run though the 7-inch screen. Its menu structure is simple, but the mouselike controller is awkward to use while driving. Standard features include Bluetooth connectivity, a USB input, HD Radio with traffic and weather updates, satellite radio, eight speakers, and user-friendly voice recognition. Options include navigation and a superb 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.