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#2

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $36,100 - $63,600
Invoice: $33,573 - $59,148
MPG: 21 City / 30 Hwy
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Lexus IS Interior

The 2014 Lexus IS sedan's interior earns praise for its modern design and high-quality materials. Some test drivers say the cabin design reminds them of the Lexus LFA supercar, while others are pleased that the new IS sedan has more rear legroom than the outgoing 2013 model.

  • "There's a ton of things to love about it: the low, aggressively-bolstered seats; the huge raised center console that keeps the important controls well within reach of the driver; the large interface screen that's close to the windshield so you can scan it and still keep your eyes on the road; and the big, meaty, well-laid out steering wheel, which is a delight to use." -- Jalopnik
  • "The 2014 Lexus IS 250 has as nice an interior as you'll find in this segment in terms of quality and aesthetics. Supple leather and handsome wood and metallic accents are lavished throughout, and even the quality of the plastics is hard to fault with. As expected of a Lexus, fit and finish is excellent as well." -- Edmunds
  • "The wide, symmetric dashboard, the steering wheel that pleases the eyes and hands, the tight instrument cluster all create a sense of purpose. What a change from the blandness of before." -- Forbes
  • "Inside, every IS features a dashboard that feels well put together even at the entry level, but also has a very premium feel when equipped with optional upgrades. The general configuration of the center console, the design of the dashboard vents, and the styling of the steering wheel all remind me, again, of the LFA supercar." -- CNET

Seating

The IS sedan seats five, while the IS-F and IS-C seat four. Leatherette upholstery is standard, while heated front seats, ventilated front seats and leather upholstery are all available. Auto journalists report that both the standard seats and more heavily-bolstered sport seats in the F Sport model are very comfortable and supportive. Additionally, reviewers write that outward visibility is good all around. Test drivers note that the back seats are plenty spacious, though some say that the sloping roofline can make entry and exit difficult.

  • "Provided you're not too broad abeam, the seats are quite comfortable and nicely cup backs and backsides." -- Car and Driver
  • "Rear seats are also roomy, though several taller testers hit their heads on the sloping roofline. It's a mistake you'll make only once, but it illustrates the IS's smaller size compared to the Lexus ES and GS sedans." -- AutoTrader
  • "One immediately noticeable benefit to the 2014 IS's newly elongated wheelbase is improved rear-seat comfort and access. Once the chief complaint of the compact sedan, the IS 250's backseat is now on par with its main competitors." -- Edmunds
  • "Even the way you sit in the car feels better. Contoured seats hug the body and give a sense of being in a sports car, especially the optional F Sport seats." -- Forbes
  • "Outward visibility is good in all directions, and the tight turning radius makes quick work of U-turns and low-speed parking maneuvers." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

The Lexus IS 250 sedan comes standard with Bluetooth, a 7-inch display screen, an eight-speaker stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio and a USB port. Major options include a backup camera, navigation, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo system, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. Lexus’ Remote Touch system is also available, which uses a mouse-like controller to access many audio, navigation and vehicle settings.

Test drivers report that the touch-sensitive climate controls are easy to use, and some like the Remote Touch controller, noting that it doesn't divert driver attention from the road for too long. However, others dislike that all of the display’s menu icons look so similar.

See full 2014 Lexus IS specs »

  • "The center-mounted screen is easy to use once you get accustomed to Lexus's Remote Touch controller. Unlike touchscreen systems in many cars, Remote Touch uses a mouse-like device mounted in the IS's center console that lets drivers 'click' on their choices. While it can be frustrating at first, the main benefit is drivers don't have to take their eyes very far off the road to use the navigation system or Lexus's Enform app suite." -- AutoTrader
  • "Lexus has jumped onto the touch-sensitive capacitive-switch train, using the technology for changing the temperature of the climate-control system. The switches are similar to those found in many Cadillacs, Fords, and Lincolns, but whereas the Detroiters use long horizontal bars, those in the Lexus are short, narrow, and vertical and work more effectively. You won't find yourself often looking down to aim your finger or inadvertently changing the radio volume when reaching for something else." -- Car and Driver
  • "Basic controls throughout the cabin are intuitive and easy to use. However, Lexus' Remote Touch controller for the optional infotainment systems is a good idea that needs more refinement. The mouselike controller and on-screen cursor are very familiar in a PC computer sort of way. But placing the cursor is difficult and if you've incorrectly clicked, there's no convenient hard ‘back’ button. Further, because all of the icons are the same dull colors, differentiating among them without serious eyes-off-road time is difficult." -- Edmunds
  • "The electrostatic climate-control switches were easy to work with, as was Lexus Remote Touch, though it may not be for everyone. And let's face it; the LFA-inspired tachometer and sliding ring will probably never get old. It's simply genius. What did get old was the one-touch turn signal stalk. It was too sensitive, and when trying to cancel the signal, I would often activate the turn signal for the other direction." -- Motor Trend

Cargo

The IS sedan has 13.8 cubic feet of trunk space, which is fairly good for the class. The high-performance IS-F has 13.3 cubic feet of trunk space, and the IS-C convertible has 10.8 cubic feet of trunk space with the top up and 2.4 cubic feet with the top lowered. Test drivers note that the convertible’s trunk has enough space for a golf bag and some flat luggage with the top up.

  • "That point is further made clear with the sedan's trunk space, which is adequate for the segment but still not enormous. For drivers who want more room, the IS now offers a split-folding rear seat, allowing extra space for large items." -- AutoTrader
  • "The IS C is 2.2 inches longer than the IS sedan, and the rear decklid hunchbacks upward, leaving room for golf bags and flat luggage. It'll even hold one of the full-size tires with the top down if you happen to get a flat." -- Car and Driver (2010)
Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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