The car is fantastic. Many improvements compared to the previous model, which in my opinion was not bad at all. In the driving department, in my humble opinion, is a lot better than the current 3 series, specially in the sports mode. Interior comforts and the IT in the car are tip top compared to the europeans. Quality building is typical Lexus and from a design point of view is very innovative (untyplical lexus.... and I would say untypical BMW, MB Audi).
I love the exterior styling, though this is a matter of likes.
I have been driving my IS250 F-Sport exactly two months now. This car has been a thrill! For those who like to speed or head to the track frequently, you would benefit from the extra power of the 350. For everyone else, the 250 is plenty of power. This car has tight and nicely weighted steering. Fuel economy is incredible, I average 24-25 mpg with 60% city driving. The driving dynamics are very comparable to the E90 BMW 3-series (2006-2011).
The current F30 BMW 3-series does not feel as sporty.
As for the exterior styling, it does grow on you. I remember thinking how ugly the car looked when I saw the first press photos, but now I think it is one of the best-looking cars I've seen!
Drive a BMW, then drive this car. As a former BMW driver, I loved my beemer....but this car is eye-catching, sporty looking and I know it will be far more reliable. With the repairs made on the BMW, I could have bought another car. After 100K miles, for starters, I had suspension parts and engine coils fail to the tune of $4K. I traded it in with $7K in repairs looming (steering fluid and oil leaK). The Lexus is sporty, elegant, well appointed. I bought it with only 7K miles....drives like a dream and even has an optional sport mode. Only concern is that the paint will not hold up like the beemer. Chips easily (not me, previous owner). In contrast, the BMW looked mint when I traded it in for $3K with 180K miles. The car should have been worth more but was on it's last legs. BMW needs its owners to be mechanics to afford repairs after 100K miles.
November 2016 update: I continue to love my 2014 Lexus IS250. Still a great car, no issues. I have somehow put 20K miles on it this year. As for maintenance, because this was a certified Lexus, all the maintenance has been at no charge. The only quirky thing I will mention is that you need to change your oil every 10K miles, which is fine. However, the maintenance light comes on every 5K miles to trigger wheel rotation and fluid check. Because my car's front tires are a different size from my back tires, this particular maintenance does not make sense and it is annoying to have that maintenance warning come on. Anyway, still a great car. Also, I recently checked how much this car would cost today, and I seem to have gotten a really good deal since they are still asking around the same price that I paid for my year and model last year. Maybe this is because the AWD is now only available in the IS350 which is a more expensive car.
I just bought my IS250 a couple weeks ago. Even though it is just the base model I am more than satisfied with my purchase! The car drives great, handles great, and looks great. We spent a little extra to get it Lexus certified, but it was worth it for the ease of my mind for maintenance and big issues. The Lexus dealership was great and easy to work with, and we will defiantly purchase from them again. I wish I had not waited so long for my first Lexus!
I purchased my 2014 IS250-Fsport after checking out other entry-level luxury sedans. My first impression was great! I love the style of both the exterior and interior. I'm content with the performance (love the sport mode) and braking is phenomenal. My issue has been a rattling sound on the driver side that comes from somewhere within the dashboard. The dealership has attempted to find the source of the rattle 4 times to no avail. It sounds as if I have plastic CD cases in the door pocket that rattle constantly. Not even turning up the radio can mask the sound. And to make matters worse, its starting to happen on the passenger side as well. I thought Lexus was known for its smooth, quiet ride. I guess I was wrong. This is my first Lexus and it will also be my last.