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2014 Lexus IS 350 C Convertible F Sport Quick Spin

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Filed under Automotive, Lexus, Test Drives

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The Lexus IS has marched on with its new design but in the form of a drop-top the IS retains its outgoing body style for another year. The 2014 Lexus IS 350 C Convertible continues its stride being one of the few luxury sports convertible vehicles offerings in its price range with impeccable fit and finish on the inside and out yet makes hardly any compromises in its true function and respectable performance qualities found in the F Sport trim.

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With a revised interior trim with the F Sport option package as the only change for 2014, the Lexus IS 350 C thrives on as the sole convertible choice for the brand. My 2014 Lexus IS 350 C came with the F Sport Package featuring F Sport Suspension, dark graphite 18-inch alloy wheels, a front lip spoiler, sport grill, leather-trimmed seats – front heated and ventilated, and a nicely weighted sport steering wheel. Together, the F Sport package is a welcomed addition to the IS 350 C, in that it firms things up a bit, for its ride adding to the handling dynamic while looking the part on the outside.

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Powered by Lexus’ 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque, the IS 350 C has some substance behind its now commonplace looks, albeit they have aged well over the course of 5 years. Opting for the 350 variation over the 250 makes the Lexus IS 350 C a lively vehicle that never lets added-weight hard-top convertible aspects get in the way of being a nice performer on the road. Adding in the F Sport package makes things even better, with a suspension setup that may seem a bit bouncy on the highway yet proves its benefit on twisty roads. The Lexus IS was always a vehicle that had a capable chassis and in the convertible form the IS still shines without diminishing much of its rigidity and enthusiastic driving character. The V6 engine continues to be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted through steering wheel-mounted paddles or the gated shifter. In a straight line the 2014 Lexus IS 350 C F Sport manages a run to 60 mph in 6 seconds flat. That places ahead of most hard-top convertible offerings in its segment.

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In the realm of convertibles, the Lexus IS 350 C is among an elite group of vehicles that delight those who want their cake and can eat it too in the confides of an open top or the function of a hard-top coupe. The Lexus IS 350 C does just that, its large retractable roof opens and closes smoothly without any fuss or unwanted sounds. Probably almost as smooth as the ample power delivered by the 3.5-liter V6 engine. Most of what the Lexus IS 350 C offers up is smooth and attention to detail is as expected in any other Lexus vehicle.

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In retaining the older body style, the IS 350 C plays an older tune, especially when compared to the drastic changes in its all-new IS Sedan brethren. Though, the IS 350 C takes this criticism with a fervent tone in that it can be an economical buy when pitted against most of its direct competition, even on the same Japanese front where the G37 Convertible sits on the horizon for luxury hard-top convertible choices. When faced with that type of competition, the IS 350 C with the F Sport package is a better buy that takes its impeccable fit and finish to a higher level along with its silky-smooth operation in many facets.

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Inside of the 2014 Lexus IS 350 C F Sport things are left as expected, keeping its well-aged interior appointments that somehow keep consumers intrigued. Although, not much advanced tech has been moved forward into the IS 350 C, adding the Navigation System package with the latest Lexus Enform suite of apps is just enough to add that dash of appeal for buyers. Part of the ongoing disappointments of the IS 350 C, kept on a perpetual shortlist, is the rear seating. The rear seats are usable, but only for smallish adults or kids. The 4-seating configuration may be just fine for most adults provided the top-down trip isn’t anything to use up a full tank of gas. Which by the way, will get you nearly 464 miles on the highway by means of its 27 mpg EPA estimate or just over 325 miles in the city with 19 mpg. Combined you will expect to get about 22 mpg, where I averaged about 23.5 mpg making due with a nice equal mix of city and highway driving.

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In amass of what the 2014 Lexus IS 350 C F Sport looks like and how it puts its faultless quality aspect at the forefront, it still shines brightly as a respected luxury sports hard-top convertible even at its age (even though it is due for a refresh). Pricing for my 2014 Lexus IS 350 C F Sport test vehicle came to $53,850 including a $910 delivery, processing and handling fee. Still, at the lesser-powerful level is the current IS 250 C, prices start at $42,860 before any fees. Still, the IS 350 C F Sport is an attractive offering in the scope of luxury hard-top convertible with quality and a nice sporting style.

Copyright: 2014 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base IS 350 C $42,860 As-Tested IS 350 C F-Sport $53,850
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6 306 horsepower @ 6400 rpm / 277 ft-lbs. torque @ 4800 rpm
  • Total length: 182.5in.
  • Total width: 70.9in.
  • Total height: 54.7in.
  • Track: f/r-60.4/60.4in.
  • Weight distribution: f/r-49/51%
  • Curb weight: 3,880lbs.
  • Headroom: f/r-38.3/36.1in.
  • Legroom: f/r-44.1/25.9in.
  • Cargo volume: 10.4 cu.ft. top down
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • EPA fuel economy: 19 mph city / 27 mph highway

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