No doubt there should be a difference upgrading from an eight year vehicle to a newer car! Overall, I am very happy with my current addition of a 2014 IS 350 F Sport, definitely an upgrade from the 2006 IS 350 Sport I previously owned. Here are some observations: I'd give the current '14 IS 350 F Sport car a 9.0, vs. a 7.0, not surprising it has been 8 years in evolution. Plusses for the '14 IS include: very cool LFA-inspired instrumentation (although wish mph could be toggled to "analogue"), heavier, but substantial steering, sport modes incl S+, being able to change vehicle settings (incl door locks), LED lights, super comfortable front seats, more rear seat room, folding rear seats, plus I got F-Sport breaks and the air in-take. I do feel it is much faster (w/8spd transmission), although per rated HP it is not (prob get +5-10HP with the F-Sport air intake). Mark Levinson sound system is better by a small margin; like the USB connectivity, EnTune and Bluetooth radio Drawbacks vs. the '06 IS 350 incl: lack of ventilated seats - ERROR, no memory seats - ERROR (should be at least 2 sets, at least on driver's side): no sunglass compartment (ok since in did not work properly); console opens only upward and thus awkward vs. sliding backward and opening upward; moonroof operation was much better in '06 IS 350;
I wanted to drive mine for a few months before rating it. My first impressions were nothing but positive, so I thought I would drive it for a bit before advising others. Here are the categories that are important to me:
Looks: Exterior: I love the way my IS350 F Sport looks. I've read that it's polarizing, and I think that's pretty accurate. For me, it's perfect.
Looks: Interior: I love the interior. This was the main reason I chose Lexus over Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. Since I'm on the inside, I care about that more than the exterior. The mouse takes some time to get used to, but now it's like 2nd nature. I love the way it clicks into position depending on which screen I'm in. It doesn't just free float like a traditional mouse. It knows where each button is on each screen, and gives physical feedback as you toggle. The guages are one of the best features. It's extremely easy to have the info you want clearly visible.
Performance: I almost always drive in Sport+ mode. The only time I drive in Normal mode is on the interstate (for the extra gas mileage). In town, it's just too much fun to drive in Sport+ mode to worry about the gas savings. The F Sport in the RWD is the way to go due to the 8 speed transmission. Every gear is so smooth and acceleration is adequate for normal driving. One of my favorite parts of driving in Sport+ mode is the throaty engine sound when the RPM go above 3k. It gives the extra feel to the experience of driving a sports car without having it become obnoxious.
Great looking outside, definitely! Lots of power. Sadly the interior kills this car: Being a 2014, Lexus really missed the mark, specially for today's modern electronics. Poorly designed are: compass pointer appears to point in the opposite direction. Default on the main screen is not Home; poor map utility; no change holder for coins; cup holder is too narrow for anything other than a small cup; no place to put your phone; radio missing many featured buttons such as Scan button; no memory setting for seats/mirrors; poor turn signal design; poor dash display; radio highs are muffled; mouse does not click so you have to fiddle a lot to get it where you want.
2014 Lexus IS 350 Sedan 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.
Updated Oct.09/16 Reliability has been OK. Something drained the battery one day, and when taken to the dealer, they had no explanation. This happens to my friends GS350 constantly. The voice activation/navigation is a joke and Lexus should be embarrassed. Lots of road noise for a car of this price. I will be trading this car in for another brand once the warranty is due.
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.
Mark Levinson Audio