Top Rated: The All New Lexus IS 350

by Mike Hunter



“IS” may stand for “incredible success.” The 2014 Lexus IS 350 is the latest in technology and performance, and has been impressing car critics since its recent release. Also available in the F Sport and AWD (all wheel drive) editions, this latest incarnation is winning in tests with the BMW 335i and the Cadillac ATS.

Specs include the 3.5-liter V6 aluminum block direct-fuel injection engine, which demonstrates high performance in all editions of the vehicle. A minimum 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds with 306 horsepower means this sporty sedan hops to it when the driver so desires. The vehicle handles better than past models due, in part, to the new design technology and welding techniques. Eight- or six-speed automatic transmissions with paddle shifters are precision in their technology and output a smooth and quick performance that enhances the driver’s overall experience. By detecting when the IS enters a curve, a lower gear is held throughout for optimal response when accelerating out. The Drive Mode Select allows drivers to experience the road the way they want to — a more responsive, sporty ride or a more efficient, economical level of performance — by the flip of a switch, just one of the impressive technologies making the IS a true winner.

The design and styling is Lexus at its best. “Sporty” and “mean” are words to describe the mesh grill with larger cooling ducts on the F Sport edition. An optimized driving position means a lower driver seat and well-placed steering wheel and even windshield wipers to ensure a more dynamic driving experience without sacrificing comfort or visibility. The digital gauges were patterned after the LFA supercar to enhance information as it is accessed. The available Mark Levinson Premium surround sound audio system boasts 15 speakers and placement that ensures incredible output at any speed — from the front or back seats. The optional voice-activated Navigation System can recognize more than 100 voice commands, provides a high-resolution color display, and can map more than 8 million points of interest.

In its various combinations, the IS 350 is the latest in a line of models by Lexus that are doing more than just getting noticed. The marrying of effiencies and performance attributes of this IS 350 AWD sedan assures it a spot at the top of the list of even the most scrutinizing car enthusiasts.

2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD

City MPG 19
Hwy MPG 26
0-60 MPH 5.5 sec
Transmission 6-speed automatic
MSRP $41,700


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