SHARP TURNS – A Lexus worth the second look

2013-09-20T00:00:00Z SHARP TURNS – A Lexus worth the second lookMATT SHARP Auto Columnist
September 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Typically when you think of a Lexus you think of luxury, style, and of course, out-of-our-price-range. Well, that’s what I think anyway. It’s time to look past that price obstacle and look closer at a Lexus. We’ll find out that it is well worth the price. The model I want to focus on is the Lexus IS 250. Lexus also makes their IS in a 250 F Sport, a 350 and a 350 F Sport.

The IS 250 starts out with a stunning full-faced mesh grille, with larger cooling ducts to help reduce brake fade. On either side are inset LED daytime running lights that take you to the aggressive lines and flared wheel arches down the side of the vehicle into the L-shaped LED tail lamps. The IS has an all new sculpted shape that is sure to attract attention on the road, and also gives you amazing aerodynamics with an 0.28 drag coefficient. The eye grabbing exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels feature a dynamic split-spoke design inherited from Lexus’ LFA model.

The LFA model is Lexus’ sport car, and the IS is very much modeled after a sports car. The bolstered driver and front-passenger sport seats are designed to help to keep you firmly planted in high-G turns. The whole inside of the cabin is race-inspired. You will find LFA-inspired gauges, a steering wheel and shift knob trimmed in perforated leather, aluminum sport pedals and the exclusive option of Rioja Red NuLuxe trim. What makes it a sedan with sports features is the longer wheelbase, which creates nearly three inches of added space in the rear, providing rear-seat passengers with substantially more legroom. The back seats also have a 60/40 split to make its new larger trunk have even more space. Going back to the nearly identical to the digital gauges in the world-renowned LFA supercar, the instrument cluster in the IS F SPORT models features a Thin Film Transistor display that moves in concert with a sliding metallic-trimmed bezel, expanding and retracting digital screens when information is accessed.

Built into the center stack is the LED touch screen with 3-D navigation. The available navigation system features three-dimensional overhead and street views. Also to help you arrive sooner, Lexus provides a real-time update of road congestion on the main HD Radio display, plus real-time updates of changing weather conditions. All of the gauges and radio functions can be controlled right from the steering wheel to ensure minimal distractions from the road. Even its dual-zone climate-control system is precision-tuned. New electrostatic touch-based controls enable you and the front-seat passenger to change the temperature one degree at a time by swiping a finger up or down the control, or by pressing the arrows themselves.

The IS LED headlamps turn on the high beams automatically when all is clear, and switch to low beams when they sense another vehicle ahead. Also, with available lane departure alert, it can read the road’s lane markings and alert you with audible and visual warning if you begin to veer.

The Lexus IS 250 model starts out at about $36,000, and the IS 350 sport, the most expensive model, starts out at a little under $44,000.

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