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MM Full-Review: 2014 Lexus IS250 AWD

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Old 03-25-14, 10:27 AM   #46
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Thanks for the compliments and positive comments, but things seem to be working out just fine for me here. For several reasons, I prefer not to get into a web-site of my own. Nor, for other reasons, do I care to be a member of the regular auto-press (though I know some members of the local auto press here in the D.C. area and occasionally talk with them at the auto shows). I generally like the way that CL is moderated, its posting rules, the way that the Administrator (DaveGS4) deals with potential problems, and a number of other things about it, particularly the CAR CHAT forum. In addition to that, CL is a huge forum, with hundereds of thousands of members, so that anything posted in it reaches a pretty wide potential audience as it is. I'm not looking to make any money from what I do....though if auto manufacturers offer Visa-card deals to take a test drive, I'll often take them up on it, as I did on this IS. But, in general, I don't need the money. I'm Federally retired, with a good pension and health-insurance package. In addition, I have some tax-fee investments that add to my retirement income. So, although I'm not Bob Gates or Oprah Winfrey when it comes to swimming in dollars, I generally make more than I need, even in retirement. And I'm satisfied with what I have...I don't feel I need to pursue any more.
And please keep them up. I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your contributions.
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Old 03-25-14, 04:54 PM   #47
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And please keep them up. I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your contributions.
Thanks. More will be coming. Next planned review: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu.
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Old 03-25-14, 11:57 PM   #48
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Read the review and all the comments here. Very interesting and informative.
Special request for the new A3, which goes on sale next week.
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Old 03-26-14, 09:39 AM   #49
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Good review as always Marshall, I spent a little time in the new IS and think it is pretty nice, I did notice some cost cutting in the doors and some interior plastics compared to the last one but it is still a step up from the new ES where the cost cutting in the interior is much more obvious. That is just a fact of life these days unfortunately, especially with more gov regulations and companies having to spend more to make their cars more fuel efficient and cleaner less is spent on the interior. The new IS styling is bold and has turned off some people but I applaud Lexus for taking a risk in the styling and trying to make it more aggressive, people complain when a design is too conservative but then they complain it is too bold when the automaker tries to make it stand out more. I don't like the touch slide temp controls, just looks and feels gimmicky, just give me a button or ****.

The 2.5 V6 I find way too underpowered, it is the least powerful and slowest V6 in its class, I don't think there is any modern V6 that makes less power, it is slower then most 4 cylinders in its class . I can't understand why they don't give it a 3.0 liter V6 with around 250hp which would suit the IS perfectly. I have not looked into it with the current IS but there have been a lot of issues with carbon fouling with the 2.5 DI V6, did they make any changes to that engine design for the new IS to alleviate the carbon fouling issue?
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Old 03-26-14, 11:14 AM   #50
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Temporary spare tire in the trunk.
I think it's time to adjust this review standard. The days of the full-sized spare are long behind us. I am just hoping that the presence of a temporary spare, instead of a worthless inflator kit, does not soon become a "PRO" in the review.
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Old 03-26-14, 11:15 AM   #51
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The 2.5 V6 I find way too underpowered, it is the least powerful and slowest V6 in its class, I don't think there is any modern V6 that makes less power, it is slower then most 4 cylinders in its class . I can't understand why they don't give it a 3.0 liter V6 with around 250hp which would suit the IS perfectly. I have not looked into it with the current IS but there have been a lot of issues with carbon fouling with the 2.5 DI V6, did they make any changes to that engine design for the new IS to alleviate the carbon fouling issue?
I drove an ATS 2.0T AWD this week--waaay quicker than my '07 IS250 AWD.
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Old 03-26-14, 12:01 PM   #52
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Read the review and all the comments here. Very interesting and informative.
Thanks.

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Special request for the new A3, which goes on sale next week.
OK....I'll put it on the list.
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Old 03-26-14, 12:03 PM   #53
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I drove an ATS 2.0T AWD this week--waaay quicker than my '07 IS250 AWD.
Yes, the 2.0T definitely out-torques the Lexus 2.5L V6. But I think premium fuel is required with the 2.0. The 2.5L can run on lower-cost regular.
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Old 03-26-14, 12:24 PM   #54
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Good review as always Marshall
Thanks.

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I spent a little time in the new IS and think it is pretty nice, I did notice some cost cutting in the doors and some interior plastics compared to the last one but it is still a step up from the new ES where the cost cutting in the interior is much more obvious.
Interesting (and I respect your opinion) .....but I generally felt the opposite. I didn't think that the new 6Gen ES interior, though a definite step down from the 5Gen and (especially) the superb 4Gen, was as cheap-feeling as that of the new IS.

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That is just a fact of life these days unfortunately, especially with more gov regulations and companies having to spend more to make their cars more fuel efficient and cleaner less is spent on the interior.
That may be true to some extent. But, as I told another poster, Audi and some other Lexus competitors manage to do a rigid frame, all the safety-regs, and a nice interior besides. Audi's parent owner VW has a huge amount of money.......but so does Lexus's parent owner Toyota.

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The 2.5 V6 I find way too underpowered, it is the least powerful and slowest V6 in its class
That's mostly because of the low displacement and natural-aspiration. The aim, with this engine, was not strong acceleration, but low-displacement refinement.....were it DOES succeed.


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I don't think there is any modern V6 that makes less power, it is slower then most 4 cylinders in its class.
You're probably right, though I remember the small (and reasonably modern) 1.8L V6 used in the 1990's-vintage Mazda MX-3. It had, I believe only 130 HP, even less torque, and an extremely peaky torque curve that took all day to get it rolling.


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I can't understand why they don't give it a 3.0 liter V6 with around 250hp which would suit the IS perfectly.
Well, they HAD a nice, smooth, virtually bulletproof in-line 3.0 that they dumped for the 2gen model in 2006. That block could have easily handled 250 HP. Earlier versions of it in the twin-turbo Toyota Supra handled 320 HP with no problems.

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I have not looked into it with the current IS but there have been a lot of issues with carbon fouling with the 2.5 DI V6

did they make any changes to that engine design for the new IS to alleviate the carbon fouling issue?
That, I don't know. But, as with any gas engine, the chances of carbon fouling can be minimized by limiting short trips at low temperatures, warming up the engine as much as possible, and (MOST important).......NOT using cheap gasoline brands without good detergent-additives. Penny-pitching at the pumps often means a dirty or fouled engine later on.
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Old 03-26-14, 12:53 PM   #55
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I think it's time to adjust this review standard. The days of the full-sized spare are long behind us.
With all due respect, that's the same line we heard with the disappearance of body side moldings for parking-lot protection. Yet some of those moldings are now coming back on the very newest models as standard, optional, or dealer-added...........all because of customer complaints (yes, like the ones I make in my reviews)

What IS long-behind us, unfortunately, are the days when auto manufacturers usually made marketing and design changes for good sensible reasons. Most things, today, are either money-driven or image-driven. That doesn't mean that sensible things aren't done anymmore....just less often.


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I am just hoping that the presence of a temporary spare, instead of a worthless inflator kit, does not soon become a "PRO" in the review.
IMO they are both MINUSES, and, in my reviews, both will stay in the MINUS column. However, I will make one partial-exception. If a manufacturer chooses to use run-flat tires, there's obviously no need for an inflator kit or a spare of any kind, temporary or not. But I still consider run-flats to be a partial cheap-out over a conventional set of tires and a real spare. Remember, unless unidirectional or different-sized tires are used front/rear, a real spare can usually be rotated with the other four tires and add 20% to their effective tread-lives.


If you still disagree with that in my reviews, fine. Just ignore it, skip over that part of it in the review, or, if you feel THAT strongly about it, feel free to write your own reviews. I show people courtesy and respect their opinions (as I do with yours here). But, in this case, I'm not going to change my own opinion, because I'm simply not convinced by the argument. A number of people indeed rely on roadside assistance nowadays to deal with flats. But, I don't think it should be forced on them as a matter of factory policy....or of having to use temporary spares that are good for only 50 miles at 50 MPH.

And, last, the fact that most dedicated off-roaders (Jeep Wrangler, Toyota4Runner/FJ Cruiser, etc..... and pickup trucks still DO come with a REAL spare, IMO, tells you how important they are.
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Old 03-26-14, 01:02 PM   #56
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Yes, the 2.0T definitely out-torques the Lexus 2.5L V6. But I think premium fuel is required with the 2.0. The 2.5L can run on lower-cost regular.
It can run on Regular like most engine can nowadays to adjust for knocking or pinging sure, but the 2.5L V6 is rated for Premium in part to it's direct injection and 12:1 fuel compression ratio
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Old 03-26-14, 01:10 PM   #57
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It can run on Regular like most engine can nowadays to adjust for knocking or pinging sure, but the 2.5L V6 is rated for Premium in part to it's direct injection and 12:1 fuel compression ratio
True, some turbos and higher-compression engines can run on regular, because the computer will retard the spark timing when pinging is detected. But a retarded spark usually means less power and more heat build-up in the engine, so some compromises are made. If enough extra heat is built up in the engine to cause even MORE pinging, then the computer will be forced to retard the spark even more. Usually, though, the cooling systems in modern cars are strong enough to take care of the small amount of extra heat generated by spark-retardation with no problem.
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Old 03-26-14, 01:24 PM   #58
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That, I don't know. But, as with any gas engine, the chances of carbon fouling can be minimized by limiting short trips at low temperatures, warming up the engine as much as possible, and (MOST important).......NOT using cheap gasoline brands without good detergent-additives. Penny-pitching at the pumps often means a dirty or fouled engine later on.
Unfortunately, this is no longer true with DI engines. The Carbon build up issues are experienced in the intake runners. With Direct Injection, ZERO fuel goes through the intake manifold (100% is delivered to the combustion chamber with the valves closed), so you could be running the most badass detergent package ever devised at 10x the manufacturers recommended concentration, and it still wouldn't alleviate the buildup one iota.

The solution is to stop using EGR, but good luck getting the enviro-***** to agree to that.
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Old 03-26-14, 02:24 PM   #59
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you could be running the most badass detergent package ever devised at 10x the manufacturers recommended concentration, and it still wouldn't alleviate the buildup one iota.
Still never hurts to have a good detergent package. These are lots of things in the fuel system that can get dirty....not just injectors.

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The solution is to stop using EGR, but good luck getting the enviro-***** to agree to that.
Yes, EGR is a somewhat dated technology, but it still plays a role in getting the air/fuel mixture burned as completely as possible.
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Old 03-27-14, 05:05 AM   #60
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Still never hurts to have a good detergent package. These are lots of things in the fuel system that can get dirty....not just injectors.
Oh, I agree, and the injectors still (obviously) see the fuel, so they get the benefit. But putting the injection inside the cylinder means there's nothing to prevent carbon buildup from eventually choking out the intake system and/or the valves.

I'm not arguing against the use of detergents, just that they're far from the cure-all they once were with traditional fuel injection.

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Yes, EGR is a somewhat dated technology, but it still plays a role in getting the air/fuel mixture burned as completely as possible.
This is also correct, it does infinitesimally improve fuel economy. The tradeoff the EPA has decided we must all submit to is that EGR will be used to increase fuel economy by 0.2mpg, and the top end of the engine will need to be dismantled and walnut shell blasted every 30-50k miles at a cost of between $1500 and $5000. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable compromise...
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