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2014 Lexus IS350 first driving impression

Text by Cor Steenstra. Photos by Michael Passage

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We picked up the new Lexus IS350 on Thursday afternoon, and the initial impression inside was very, very good indeed. High quality, as expected, but still unusual in this size car, a very quiet and comfortable ride if you so choose, but sporty and dynamic when needed. Driving it was just right.

I took it to our local shooting location, so I could take some initial shots, and take a look at the car properly, prior to taking it on a trip North the next day.

At the time of writing this we drove it to just under San Francisco, and aside from the pleasure of driving it, I must say I see a cloud hanging, a cloud Lexus will have to do something about. This is not a tuned F-Sport version, it is the straightforward IS350 for all uses.

As you can see in the pictures, it has a sporty and dynamic front end, very much inspired by racing aerodynamic devices. In it being not a tuned, lowered, racing car, you expect to be ble to drive it like that, and to park it like that. The latter is not possible!

I have now parked it several times face first into normal California parking spaces, and you always have a sense when you are parked in right, or when you feel you are still sticking out too far. Well, in this case, don’t worry about the rear. You will hit curb, hard, before you even think you’re close to being parked correctly. That front bumper is so low that it is guaranteed to get scraped within the first couple of days.

Lexus drivers and owners are neat freaks if nothing else. They love perfection. Driving around with scrapes underneath their new car is not them at all. I predict that after an initial few incidents, Lexus owners will start complaining about this. This, for a normal mass production car is not right. Wrong ramp angle. Simple but true. It may look dynamic, but you can not do that unpunished.

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