Honda provided a number of “competitive” cars for us to drive during its 2015 Acura TLX press event, giving us the chance to make back-to-back driving comparisons of the new TLX to Audi’s A4, BMW’s 328, and the car you see here- the 2014 Lexus IS250.
Of all the cars on hand for the week’s events, the 4 cylinder, 4-wheel steering version of the Acura TLX was my personal favorite, despite the fact that the 290 HP, 6-cylinder version was easily the hands-down high-performance “driver’s” choice. That said, while the nose-heavy Audi and crazy over-priced BMW (which carried a $55,000 window sticker) failed to fill me with any sort of enthusiasm, the little Lexus did a great job of feeling like my old 2.7 liter “eta” engined BMW 325- and that’s pretty high f***ing praise.
I really dig the Lexus, in other words. The Atomic Silver paint picked up the northern Michigan sky beautifully, and the interior felt very 80s/90s Germany. Despite liking the look and feel of the Lexus IS250, though, I was surprised at the claimed 204 HP output of the IS250’s V6. Despite being only 2 HP shy of the 4 cyl. Acura, the Lexus felt significantly slower in a straight line and- while the RWD “feel” of the IS was excellent- I didn’t get the sense that it could keep up with the 4 wheel-steered Acura.
Another strike against the Lexus IS came in the form of Lexus’ horrible “Enform” system, which is the worst, most unsafe thing you could have in a car. All the same, if you had an old BMW (and liked it, obviously), and are willing to
put up with totally ignore the Enform system, you might want to take a look at an off-lease IS250. It may not be the most up-to-the-minute driving machine, but it feels more like a proper, pre-Bangle BMW than the current BMWs do- and it doesn’t have to pump fake engine noise into the cabin to pull off the effect, either.
2014 Lexus IS250
Original content from Gas 2, with special thanks to Honda.