Lexus has been a builder of luxury cars since the late 1980s. They’ve gotten really good at producing cushy cruisers that appeal to their intended demographic. During that time, there’s never been much to get excited about from a sports-oriented driving experience. Yes, the IS-F is a blast and the LFA proves the company is capable of tremendous feats of engineering. Still, the standard IS has been the sportiest machine in the lineup, and it can’t hold a candle to offerings from BMW, Audi, or even the the new Cadillac ATS.
Now, however, Lexus is pushing itself. This is happening in both the style department and the in-seat experience. The cars are far more bold, whether you like it or note. Additionally, they’re becoming rather entertaining to drive. For example, I had a chance to sample the latest GS on a track, and I was nearly shocked at how well it behaved. One of my best burnouts was recently accomplished in the F-Sport version of the LS. These machines are still holding on to their luxurious roots, but their also broadening their horizons… and it’s about time.
The 2014 Lexus IS now has to step up to this improvement plate. As the entry-level member of the family (forgetting the CT200h), it has to capture the heart and soul of folks so Lexus can keep them climbing up the product ladder as they grow older. Can the new IS pull off this emotional encapsulation?
Click past the jump to find out… and watch the video all the way through to catch the worst “donuts” ever.
[Disclaimer: Lexus loaned us the 2014 IS 350 F-Sport for a week and included a tank of gas. They said nothing of the tires… Sorry Lexus.]