2014 Lexus IS 350 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com
 

2014 Lexus IS 350 Sedan

 
 
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What Others are Paying: Base 4dr Car with no optional equipment

Pricing & Edmunds True Market Value®


  • $37,751*
  • Dealer
  • Invoice

  • $40,525
  • Sticker Price
  • (MSRP)
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The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is our exclusive method for calculating what others are paying for a 2014 Lexus IS 350 Sedan in Seattle, WA (based on actual sales data from your region).

*Disclaimers
Lexus IS 350 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 8-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 306 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2014 Lexus IS 350

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • If you've been wanting a roomier IS sedan with a high-end interior, the revamped 2014 Lexus IS 350 is right up your alley. It's less convincing as a sport sedan, however, and more demanding drivers will likely prefer its European rivals.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Powerful and refined V6; superbly crafted interior with top-quality materials and supportive seats; precise steering.

  • Cons

    Handling isn't very sharp, even with the F Sport package; mouse-based infotainment interface is distracting to use.

  • What's New for 2014

    For 2014, the Lexus IS 350 is redesigned. Highlights include assertive new styling, a larger, gorgeously crafted interior and a longer…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (3 total reviews)


Very impressed

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Just traded in my 08 cadillac CTS on this new 2014 IS350 AWD. I have been a GM guy all my life and decided to go with my first import car. I looked at BMW, Audi, Ford Fusion and a few others. If you are looking for a true sport sedan, look else were. This is more luxury than sport. It has a very comfortable interior and perfectly laid out. It does handle great and has very impressive performance. I still think BMW does handle a little better. Audi was a little too stiff riding but had a lush interior. But Lexus fit all my requirements this time. I have only owned it for a couple months, so far, so good. I hope it's reliable as they say.



2 of 4 people found this review helpful

F-sport package is worth the

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)

I just recently traded my 2011 Lexus IS350 F-Sport for the 2014. I planned on ordering a 2014 IS F, but after test driving the IS350, was pretty much sold. I considered waiting for the RS F, but decided I did not want a coupe. The handling of this car is very similar to my 2006 M3...this car handles turns and seems to ‘grip’ the road much better than my 2011 IS – it drives more like a BMW. The engine sounds incredible – and truly proves that despite the luxury, this is a sports car. I ordered the red leather interior (which comes with carbon fiber trim and black accents), and it is absolutely gorgeous. The technology is significantly improved and the interior is much more sleek and refined.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

This is one of the

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

The performance is impressive coming from a V6 and it is so comfortable for a small sports car. The interior isn't bad at all it is like being in a modern art museum! The mouse on the dashboard is extremely helpful. I could look up traffic alerts and it automatically changes my route so I don't have to go into heavy traffic. I would prefer this to any Audi.



   
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Lexus IS 350 Sedan in WA is:

$252 per month*
* Explanation
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2014 Lexus IS 350 Review

What's New for 2014

For 2014, the Lexus IS 350 is redesigned. Highlights include assertive new styling, a larger, gorgeously crafted interior and a longer equipment list.

Introduction

The Lexus IS 350 is the compact sport sedan entry from a brand known for its ultra-refined luxury sedans and high reliability ratings. It does battle with some very popular European-brand sedans that have elevated consumers' expectations in the entry-level luxury sedan class. From our standpoint, strong acceleration, solid fuel economy, sporty handling and luxurious accommodations are all baseline requirements for a six-cylinder compact luxury sedan in 2014. Last year's IS 350 was certainly quick, but its interior was cramped and, apart from its speed, it wasn't especially memorable to drive. The redesigned 2014 Lexus IS 350 features notable upgrades, including a new interior with richer materials, a bigger backseat and a longer equipment list.

The 2014 IS 350's overhaul starts with provocative new sheet metal (the new IS wears the brand's audacious double-spindle grille design better than the larger sedans) and a stiff new structure similar in design to the larger, more expensive midsize GS 350's. Those more robust underpinnings made it easier for Lexus engineers to tune the IS for a comfortable ride. In addition, the 2014 model's longer wheelbase has allowed the company to carve out more room for passengers. Equally striking is the investment Lexus made in the interior furnishings. The quality of the materials and the overall attention to detail is as impressive as anything you'll see in this class. We're not as enthusiastic about the newly available Remote Touch mouse-style infotainment interface, however, as it's distracting to operate while on the move.

There's little doubt that the 2014 Lexus IS 350's increased size and feature content makes it a better luxury car, but as in past years, we find it less successful as a sport sedan. Despite the undeniably stout performance from its carryover 3.5-liter V6, superb steering that equals or betters its vaunted German rivals and the available F Sport package that brings more aggressive styling and a sport-tuned suspension, the IS 350 still lands on the luxury end of the sport sedan spectrum. Our biggest criticism has to do with the handling: Even with the F Sport treatment, the IS simply isn't very engaging to drive around turns. Its automatic transmission's slow shift response in manual mode doesn't help either.

Of course, if you're just looking for an elegant entry-luxury sedan to drive to work, you might not care that the 2014 Lexus IS 350 isn't as thrilling on a back road as the best-selling 2014 BMW 3 Series, which we consider the leader of this class, or the similarly athletic Audi A4. This is a segment rich with choices, though, and we advise consumers to try all these sedans, along with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac ATS and Infiniti Q50, before making a decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Lexus IS 350 is a compact luxury sedan available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Standard equipment for the 2014 IS 350 includes 17-inch wheels with all-season tires, HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights and brake lights, heated side mirrors, moonroof, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way power front seats (heated for the IS 350 AWD), leatherette premium vinyl upholstery and a 60/40 folding rear seat with armrest.

A new Safety Connect telematics system comes with the standard eight-speaker sound system, delivering weather and traffic information (when in metro areas) free of charge via the audio system's HD radio. Also standard for all IS 350 models are a 7-inch color display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice recognition for most infotainment operations, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and iPod/USB connections.

The first of the 2014 IS 350's three option groups is a Premium package that includes LED headlights and heated and ventilated front seats. The Luxury package adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, auto-dimming side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, perforated leather upholstery, wood trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and driver-seat memory.

Atop the option-group food chain is the F Sport package. Available for the first time for both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the IS 350, F Sport brings LED headlamps; a full-mesh treatment for the grille and revised front bumper; 18-inch wheels (with either summer or all-season tires); sport-tuned suspension; upgraded brake pads; multi-adjustable sport seats, perforated leather trim on the steering wheel and shift knob; a special sport-oriented adaptive instrument cluster; and aluminum trim for the pedals and door scuff plates. On rear-drive models, the package also includes an adaptive suspension and a more aggressive Sport S+ setting for the drive mode selector. Variable-ratio steering can be added as a stand-alone option on rear-drive IS 350s equipped with both the F Sport package and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (via the Luxury package).

The Navigation package incorporates the Remote Touch mouse-type controller for the entire infotainment suite, plus a navigation system. This package also provides a rearview camera, real-time traffic information, automatic phonebook download for Bluetooth phones and Enform enhanced telematics with smartphone app integration (including Bing, Yelp, Pandora and iHeartRadio). An upgraded 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system can be bundled with the navigation system.

Additional stand-alone options for the 2014 IS 350 include a rearview camera (for models without the navigation system), 18-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control (bundled with a pre-collision system), a lane departure warning system, and front and rear parking sensors.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Lexus IS 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 generating 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard for rear-wheel-drive models, and a six-speed automatic is used for all-wheel-drive cars. Either transmission gets steering-wheel paddle shifters to enable manual shifting when desired.

Lexus estimates the IS 350 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a good number for this segment. The all-wheel-drive model is almost as quick.

Lexus estimates the rear-wheel-drive IS 350 will deliver 19 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined. The all-wheel-drive IS 350 gets the same 19 mpg rating in the city, but drops to 26 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg overall.

Safety

The 2014 Lexus IS 350's standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags and dual rear-seat side airbags. Safety Connect, the brand's onboard automatic safety and security service, incorporates collision notification, stolen-vehicle locator and roadside assistance from a cellular connection with a response center.

Optional safety upgrades include a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts, and a lane-departure warning system. The optional adaptive cruise control brings a pre-collision warning system that can initiate automatic braking and prepare other safety equipment to help mitigate crash severity.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2014 Lexus IS 350's redesigned interior increases the car's luxury quotient and addresses a major fault in the previous-generation IS 350: a small, hard-to-access backseat. The additional 1.6 inches of rear-seat legroom is immediately noticeable, and adults will have an easier time getting in and out. The rear seat also folds in a 60/40 split, a convenience the previous IS 350 never offered. Trunk capacity is 13.8 cubic feet, which is above average for this class.

Interior fit and finish was never a problem for the old IS, but the 2014 model brings upgrades to the brand's already high standard. The upper dashboard armrests, steering wheel, and even the sides of the center console (where knees tend to rub) are swathed in dense, high-quality padding. The front seats are brilliantly supportive yet supple, but those with larger frames might feel slightly snug.

The new dashboard and center console design is attractive and contemporary, and enhances the interior's feeling of spaciousness. The audio and climate controls are set at an angle to minimize sun glare, and the high-quality buttons and knobs are easy to use.

The 2014 IS 350's one interior foible is the Remote Touch control interface. Inspired by a computer mouse, this controller is the primary method for making audio and navigation selections in models with the optional Navigation package. Although the 7-inch display is sharp, cursor control with the Remote Touch controller is wobbly, particularly when you're on the move. Making matters worse is the lack of a hard "back" button and the fact that all the icons are the same color. Fortunately, the IS 350 has standard voice recognition for many infotainment functions and the navigation system expands on that. Bottom line, voice control is a vital redundancy here.

Driving Impressions

The 2014 Lexus IS 350's 3.5-liter V6 is unchanged from last year, save for the addition of an intake sound generator that gives the engine a particularly satisfying note when you're accelerating hard. This is a potent engine with a smooth power delivery, and most buyers will be quite happy with the IS 350's straight-line performance. The new eight-speed automatic transmission is highly effective and practically invisible in normal driving, but its downshift rev-matching feature in manual mode really enhances spirited driving. However, the transmission sometimes refuses to execute downshift requests in manual mode, even when you're nowhere close to the engine's redline, and this can be frustrating.

One particular delight is the IS 350's well-tuned steering. It actually surpasses the BMW 3 Series steering in its feedback and tactility. However, ride quality was the overriding priority in this redesign, and although the Lexus is steady and secure going around turns, it isn't as athletic or as fun to drive as the BMW. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because when you're just commuting to the office, the 2014 Lexus IS 350 is a convincing and enjoyable luxury sedan. The available F Sport package is a reasonable option for those who want a bit more performance potential without sacrificing everyday comfort.

Talk About The 2014 IS 350

 

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† The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is Edmunds’ estimate of this type of vehicle’s current average selling price in your area – that is, what others are paying. This TMV® price is based on information concerning this vehicle provided by the dealer, and the accuracy of this price is dependent on the accuracy and completeness of that information.