By Rick Popely on July 9, 2014
Most significant changes: Siri Eyes Free voice recognition for iPhones now standard
Price change: $450 higher across the board for sedans
On sale: August
Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014
The IS 250 and IS 350 sedans were redesigned for 2014 with a racier look and improved handling, so they get few changes for their second season. In addition to Siri Eyes Free, LED fog lamps are standard on base models. A heated steering wheel is now a stand-alone option and part of the Luxury and F Sport packages for all-wheel-drive models, and heated/ventilated seats are added to the F Sport Package. The Lexus Enform apps suite adds Slacker radio.
Lexus aims the IS sport sedans at younger buyers who might be thinking about a BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 or Mercedes-Benz C-Class. That gives the IS sedans clear separation from the Lexus ES 350 and 300h, which are more about comfort than performance. Though it doesn't trump its rivals in performance, the IS offers plenty of features at competitive prices and a choice of V-6 engines and automatic transmissions and rear- or all-wheel drive.
Even if Siri Eyes Free isn't a must-have feature for your infotainment repertoire, the 2015 might be the right choice for some. The price increase is so modest for the sedans, which start at $36,550 for an IS 250 (not including the $910 destination charge), that it might make sense to pay a little more for a 2015 and get a car that's one model year newer.
However, there are more than 3,500 2014 IS sedans in Cars.com's new car inventory as of this writing and deals may be to your advantage, especially if you're leasing.
Contributor Rick Popely has covered the auto industry for decades and hosts a weekly online radio show on TalkZone.com . Email Rick