SUM UP (4 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for IS-F in 2013

The manual transmission has been dropped. The F Sport Package is now available on the convertible. The HD Radio features iTunes tagging, and Bluetooth now downloads your phonebook. There are also a couple of new colors...more

The Lexus brand is one that brings to mind thoughts of luxury, class, and sophisticated styling. The 2013 Lexus IS-F, however, is designed to please both from behind the steering wheel and the side of the road. Distinctive styling makes it attractive in a slightly more aggressive manner than others in the IS family. As with any vehicle designed for impressive performance, the fuel economy of this vehicle isn’t going to the gas-conscious, but the handling and drive impression are fun and powerful. This sporty option is one that may appeal to consumers seeking an edgier option for daily use that is still sophisticated and luxurious, or the small family that is concerned about safety but still wants comfort and style.

Exterior

The sophistication of this vehicle is enhanced by firm, edgy lines that support a subtle, sporty personality. Though this performance model is designed with a longer body and specially designed panels, it shares the same resemblance to the others in the IS line, creating a cohesive look despite distinctive details. No one can mistake the aggressive stance of this vehicle. The wide stance creates an appearance of a crouching animal, giving the vehicle the look of preparation and anticipation even when not moving. This look is only enhanced with the strategic use of smaller tires in the front than in the back, accentuating the forward lean.

The smooth curves of the body are kept cohesive with molded features such as license plate lights and LED taillights. Purely cosmetic features are unique to the high-performance package, including wider fenders and a flared bumper. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are given a performance tire upgrade for improved grip on the road even at high speeds.

Interior & Cargo

The interior of the 2013 Lexus IS-F is primarily designed with the needs of the driver and front passenger in mind, with features to support the occasional full-capacity ride or to carry a small child. The front seats are luxurious in their comfort and support. Even long drives are manageable with seats that provide supple comfort with firmness that distributes weight with customizable, 10-way adjustability. Taller drivers are provided 44 inches of comfortable legroom, but this does diminish the space available for back-seat passengers. Plenty of hip room is nice, especially when compared to the somewhat cramped legroom.

Though the IS-F is described as being a five-passenger vehicle, seating for a fifth passenger is actually on the center hump, meaning that is it not practical for long drives. It is a better choice for a car seat or very short drive. The overall impression of the interior of the vehicle is one of quality and indulgence. Soft lighting and modern detailing create a cabin that is well appointed for a sporting vehicle but remain true to the luxurious intentions of the Lexus brand. Trim options include either metallic or wood detailing for an elegant aesthetic that is true to the driver’s individual identity.

The controls of the IS-F are designed to reduce the appearance of clutter and are well-positioned to allow for easy reach and user-friendliness. The trip computer provides six different pieces of applicable information including the temperature outside, current fuel consumption, average speed, and driving range. This display also provides reminders for oil changes and any applicable warnings related to system function. Various options allow the driver to select other information to be displayed when needed.

Safety

Safety features of the 2013 Lexus IS-F blend expected features and intuitive technology to create a driving experience that is as safe as it is enjoyable. Front knee airbags are a desirable feature, particularly for taller drivers. Because the knee is an extremely vulnerable joint during front collisions, these airbags can prove extremely beneficial. Other airbags, including side-impact and side-curtain bags, provide surrounding protection for all passengers in the vehicle.

These passive safety features are not alone in this vehicle. Four-channel anti-lock brakes combine with a variety of electronic systems to assist the driver. These features provide benefits both during regular driving conditions and emergencies for enhanced control and improved execution. Examples of these features include parking assist and lane-keeping assist that detects objects within a specified radius and alerts the driver for correction.

Driving Experience

The 2013 Lexus IS-F is a taut vehicle that boasts both an enjoyable ride and a pleasant cabin. Environmental noise from both the tires and the wind are very low, complementing a steady feel that produces a feeling of comfort and serenity. The multi-link rear suspension system provides support over uneven terrain for reduced jarring. The intense, V-8 engine outputs 416 horsepower and is capable of 7000 rpm. An eight-speed automatic transmission offers a ?manual mode? that allows for the gears to be shifted utilizing paddles mounted in the steering wheel. Drivers who want a true manual transmission do not like this vehicle, though the incredible speed and smoothness of the shift from gear to gear is appealing.

The power allows for acceleration to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Maximum speeds of up to 168 mph can be achieved without sacrifice of smoothness or control of the vehicle.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Lexus IS-F

  • Audi RS4
  • BMW M3
  • Infiniti G37 S
  • Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

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