The last year of the luxury, sports sedan, the 2014 Lexus IS F goes out with no substantial changes.
While the Lexus IS-F didn’t capture a big chunk of the market nor does it visually stand out as a sports car, it is a great choice for those who know luxury sports cars.
One of the most remarkable things about the 2014 Lexus IS F is how much it doesn’t stand out visually as a powerful, luxury sports sedan. Start it up, however, and it is apparent, this isn’t your average Lexus sedan.
For the 2014 model year, the Lexus IS F comes in one loaded trim level. Standard features include a sunroof, push-button start and proximity key, rain-sensing windshield wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio and a 13-speaker stereo system. Optional features include a rearview camera, navigation, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a Mark Levinson audio system.
On the outside, the 2014 Lexus IS-F has a habit of blending into the parking lot with its lack of bold styling lines and/or unique features. While this isn’t ideal for those who want to “show off” their sports cars, it does create a bit of an incognito sports car look.
The IS-F is based on the older IS 250 design. This design is simplistic like other Toyota offerings and has that “bland” design feel. The front, rear and sides are largely void of character lines and trademark style features.
On the rear, the exhaust is a big indicator this isn’t a typical sedan. While this is a good way to distinguish the IS-F, again you have to know what you are looking for.
On the inside, there is an ample amount of high-quality Lexus interior touches and the driver’s seat is more akin to a cockpit seat than a typical car seat. Indeed, all the knobs, gauges and controls are setup to be read at high speed and benefit the driver.
Entering and exiting the 2014 IS-F takes some time to get used to, but it isn’t as bad as other sports cars. However, this is for the front seats. The rear seats are good for storage.
The seats are the “hug” you sports types and while they provide great support for high-speed driving, they aren’t for long trips. These seats do have a black suede like Alcantara inserts which provide a great visual.
Legroom and headroom is a bit limited and this sports car isn’t for the tall driver. With that said, you often feel more like a pilot than a driver.
Point blank, the heart of the 2014 Lexus IS-F is the engine and the reason you buy one. It features a 5.0L V8 which produces 416 HP and 371 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The IS-F goes 0-60 in 4.6 seconds according to Lexus. It has a top speed of 170 MPH.
Driving the IS-F it is hard to keep it within the legal speed limits. The powerful sedan can be driven at normal speeds with ease, yet you miss the exhilarating sound/feel when you hammer the gas pedal.
With the additional gas input, the car seems to come to live with an audible thunderous roar from the engine which results in a jet-like launching sensation. This feeling is so addictive; you will find yourself searching for ways to make this happen more.
For an everyday drive, it provides a rather quiet ride, one you would not expect from such a vehicle. The only indicator is the roar when hitting the power button.
The brakes, suspension and ride are really meant for smooth roads or a track. On these conditions, it provides a tight, sports car like ride. For other roads, it is a bit harsh.
If you are concerned with fuel economy, the IS-F is rated at 16/23/18 city/highway/combined. With the powerful engine and desire to drive fast, it may be difficult to achieve those numbers in real-world driving.
The 2014 Lexus IS-F simply comes packed with all the latest technology offerings like Bluetooth, satellite radio and iPod/USB integration.
Finding a model with the upgraded Mark Levinson speakers is almost a must. These speakers are well-balanced and provide a great audio experience in the small cabin. This speaker upgrade also nets you the upgraded navigation system.
With the opportunity to hit a high rate of speed, safety is a big deal in the 2014 Lexus IS-F. It comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
Plus, Lexus gave it the Safety Connect system which provides automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle recovery and emergency assistance.
There is also an optional adaptive cruise control with a frontal collision warning system in the fully loaded model.
This system uses the car’s radar to detect an impending collision and then automatically adjusts seatbelt tension and braking force.
Braking in the IS-F is harsher than a basic sedan with its sport car setup. In a week’s worth of driving we found it offered plenty of stopping force at all rates of speed.
Let’s state the obvious that there is nothing cost-effective in buying a sport, luxury sedan like the IS-F. The car is meant to provide a high-performance experience with fuel economy secondary.
New IS-F sedans starts in the low $60k’s and you might be able to find several used models in the $50s or even $40s.
While the 2014 IS-F is in its final year of production, it remains a good option for those looking for a fast, luxury car. Albeit, a fast, luxury car without a manual transmission – a big critique of the model. Overall, it is a fun, exhilarating drive and is a good bet for those looking for something different.