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Attractive styling; build quality and refinement; all-wheel drive availability; technology options
While the Lexus IS 350 and 250 sedans are completely redesigned for 2014, the sport model, the IS F, carries on with last year's model. The IS250 and IS350 exterior styling is much more aggressive than that of the outgoing models, with a pinched, angular grille and rocker panels that flow seamlessly up and into the rear wheel arches. While the IS F still carries over the 2013 model, the IS 250 and 350 ride on an all-new, slightly longer chassis and is available in either rear- or all-wheel drive and powerplants remain unchanged: The IS250 soldiers on with its 204-hp 2.5L V6, while the IS350 remains with its 306-hp 3.5L V6. The previous 6-speed automatic transmission carries over as well, though rear-wheel-drive IS350s now come equipped with an 8-speed direct-shift automatic. The 6-speed manual transmission has been discontinued. Underneath, front suspension components carry over as well, though a new multi-link rear suspension has been sourced from the GS sedan, along with the power steering system. Inside, the IS sedan benefits from more space, including nearly an inch more front legroom, and 1.6 inches in the rear. A 60/40 split-fold rear seatback is new this year. Other interior features have been revamped as well, with a nod to the excellent LFA supercar, including the center stack, which now boasts a 7-inch screen and a host of touch-sensitive capacitive switches. Lexus claims that more than $1,400 in previously optional equipment has been made standard on the 2014 IS. The 2014 IS F gets a standard carbon fiber spoiler and new LED fog lamps for 2014. Pricing for the IS250 starts at $35,950, while the IS350 starts at $39,465. The IS F starts at $63,350.