IS It Though? The 2014 Lexus IS Review [Video]

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The 2014 Lexus IS is looking to change a mindset. A mindset among consumers that has them opt for diesel powered, over-firm machines, such as the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4, and the fairly magnificent specimen that is the Mercedes C-Class. These cars have a lot of things in common, not least the familiar sporty set ups and the absolute power. They have a certain class that business buyers are drawn to. They dominate the compact executive saloon segment, each one a heavyweight. They’re also pushed by all the car review magazines who convince business buyers to buy them. So what chance does the new Lexus IS have in this bloated market?

Front view of 2014 Lexus IS

2014 Lexus IS

The Japanese manufacturers are looking to succeed where other brands have failed before them. With their petrol-electric hybrid machine, they’re looking to bustle into the compact executive saloon segment and make a name for themselves, offering a different approach they hope consumers who want something a bit different to the 3 Series, the C-Class and the A4. They want to reinvent the segment. Where the MK2 version toyed with diesel power, replicating the German’s strengths, the new Lexus IS instead looks at its own strengths. Now, there is no diesel at all, in its place a petrol-electric hybrid, which offers a quieter and more affordable ride, a 4 door look, and an auto gear box. But can the Lexus IS win us round to the idea of electric hybrid power?

Petrol-Electric Hybrid Excellence

Lexus have stuck to their guns on this one, with the new 2014 Lexus IS going down the petrol-electric hybrid route despite what the critics might argue. Though the 2014 Lexus IS only offers 2 engines, both of which are 2.5 litre petrol units, and both of which have just four cylinders, the excitement is in what the electric motor can offer. One of the engines on offer is the notoriously thirsty V6, which reaches 62 mph from rest in 8.1 seconds, with a total speed reaching 141mph.

But few consumers choose the V6 these days, with most 2014 Lexus IS buyers going for the 300h petrol-electric hybrid. Based on a large Lexus, the four cylinders may only manage 178 brake horsepower on their own, but when you factor in the contribution from the electric motor, that escalates to an impressive 220, which is enough to rival the 2.0 litre diesel models offered up by the competition in this segment. Although the car can only reach a top speed of 124 mph, this is due to a nice trade-off; a special gear train has been implemented to assist the electric motor; consequently, it reduces weight and cuts out friction, resulting in a restricted flat-out run.

New Look Lexus

The new 2014 Lexus IS has pretty much had a complete makeover in terms of its exterior aesthetics. Certain past consumers might have a grip with this, but we can be sure that there’ll invariably be more new fans on the way, people who are seduced by its newfound assertiveness and boldness. From a mesh front grill and a sleeker front spoiler, to a superbly domed bonnet that leads the eye towards a curvaceous horizontal belt line that, according to the engineers, is designed to create the impression of bigger rear tyres, as well as a low centre of gravity. The 2014 Lexus IS is certainly an eye-catching model.

rear view of 2014 Lexus IS

2014 Lexus IS

The new Lexus IS is also bigger than its predecessor, with 75 mm being added to its length and 10mm to its width, offering ample more rear seat space. This is a real selling point for the new Lexus IS because its rivals in this sector suffer from lack of rear seat space. The 2014 Lexus IS offers excellent space in the back, no doubt aided by front seats that are thinner than before. The boot, sadly, actually loses a bit of size due to the battery that is stored underneath in the hybrid Lexus IS300 model. Still, you do get 450 litres of space, which is still super competitive.

Final Thoughts

Lexus IS prices start at £30,000, with the Lexus IS300 model the dominant choice of consumers. It could also be argued that the LexusIS200 is a one of a kind in the compact executive saloon sector. But there is much to choose from here, with Lexus IS offers being wide ranging. Indeed, although BMW do offer extensive variants in the compact executive saloon sector, they make use of the parched V6 engine, whereas the Lexus IS250 uses the V5.

The standard specifications on offer for all variants include alloy wheels, HID auto head lamps, power folding heated mirrors, cruise control and a 6 speaker stereo system. You also get a drive mode select which means that you can tune the car to suit your driving needs. Upgrading to the F-Sports package gives you the added bonus of the AVS adaptive variable suspension system, which means better styling and firmer suspension. If, however, you want leather trim as well as incredible 15 speaker surround system, you’d have to invest in the top of the range premier version.

If you want to get hold of the 2014 Lexus IS, don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact page, or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out more about our Lexus finance deals.

Andrew Kirkley

Director at OSV Ltd
Andrew enjoys: Movies and travelling to new cities to explore different cultures.

Andrew has been in the motor trade for over 20 years. What he enjoys most about his job is the team spirit and the dedication of his work colleagues. He also appreciates the teams input in the improvement of the company.
Andrew Kirkley

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  • 28th November 2014

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