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Lexus IS-F: Powerful Luxury Sport Sedan

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It doesn't take long to appreciate the 2014 Lexus IS-F - push the start button and you'll know why.

This classy sedan gives out a throaty little rumble that lets you know something special is awaits.

Performance is one major reason to be attracted to the IS-F. What's not to like? It's tons of fun being able to drive this powerful 5.0-liter, V8 that produces 416 hp and 371 pound-feet of torque.

The eight-speed automatic transmission (the only one offered) can gobble up pavement, going 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Gas mileage is not a plus (16-23 mpg), but who cares when one has that kind of performance!

Despite an overall affection, there's one thing that Lexus overlooked - the rear-wheel drive IS-F isn't offered in manual transmission. It's an option that I'm sure many drivers would pick if available.

2014 LEXUS IS-F

  • Performance: 5.0-liter, V8, 416 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 16-23 mpg
  • Estimated price: $63,600
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/ unlimited; corrosion: 6 years/ unlimited

Regardless of the oversight, the IS-F has a lot of desirable traits. This sedan also possesses sports car-like handling, rides fairly quiet and the interior is high quality. The IS-F can hang with a pretty elite group that includes European rivals like the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series.

The IS-F is a luxury sport sedan that's an upscale version of the regular Lexus IS. While the IS has been give a full redesign for 2014, the IS-F is essentially the same, with minor revisions that include upgraded leather upholstery, LED foglights and carbon-fiber rear spoiler.

Standard features include, summer performance tires; sport-tuned suspension; Brembo brakes, bi-xenon headlights; sunroof; heated 10-way power front sport seats with memory settings; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; 13-speaker audio system with a six-disc CD changer; satellite and HD radio; navigation system with 7-inch display and rearview camera.

Pick out a challenging, isolated stretch of roadway and the IS-F will come to life. It delivers a terrific level of confidence for anyone who enjoys driving on twisting, challenging roads. The steering is precise and the braking provides reliability.

The IS-F has a quiet cabin that has an eye-appealing blue ambient lighting. It's a fairly comfortable fit for front seat occupants who receive solid head and leg room. The back seat doesn't deliver the same comfort -it's a tight squeeze for many adults. Trunk space is 13.3 cubic feet, which is pretty typical for this segment.

If out there shopping for is a luxury sport sedan, give the IS-F is a test drive. It's definitely worth a look.


Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.