First Look: 2014 Lexus IS

We attended the launch of the 2014 Lexus IS in San Francisco this week. Here are our photos and initial impressions of Lexus’ entry-level luxury car.

2013 Lexus IS vs. 2014 Lexus IS

The 2014 IS has more aggressive front styling than its predecessor (pictured on the left), including a larger execution of the signature spindle grille.

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The IS 250 and 350 will come standard rear-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive optional.

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F-Sport models still feature the spindle grille, but with a full mesh pattern to give it a sportier appearance. Inside, the F-Sport borrows heavily from the features of the LFA supercar.

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Put through the paces versus competitors like the BMW 3 series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, the Lexus IS more than held its own, even outpacing some of the German brands. With this third generation model, Lexus is aiming to capture that abstract “fun-to-drive” factor, which they define as a car that immediately and precisely responds to the driver.

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The 2014 IS 250 comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, 204-horsepower and a starting price of $35,950. The IS 350 features an eight-speed automatic, 306 horsepower and a $39,465 price tag. The 2014 Lexus IS arrives in dealerships this summer.

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