While this is arguably the most handsome version of the Lexus IS to date, it isn't very sporty, fun to drive, or luxurious.
Handling is nothing special.
Body roll is fairly well contained, but the car isn't particularly agile.
The steering is appropriately weighted, but feels vague and doesn't telegraph much feedback.
Worse, it still has a tight interior and mediocre fuel economy.
F Sport models do have some sporty touches, but still fall short of the driving engagement of better compact sedans.
If you're intent upon buying one, get the optional backup camera and blind-spot warning system, which were available individually or as part of option packages.
Other driver assistance features include rear cross-traffic alert, active cruise control and lane departure warning.
Sold from 2014-15, the IS 250 used a 204-hp, 2.5-liter six-cylinder with a six-speed automatic.
(Most rivals used seven- or eight-speed automatics.) Although this rather small V6 was very smooth, it was low on power, with 0-60 mph times lagging behind competitors by one to two seconds.
Fuel economy was also gluttonous, achieving just 21 mpg.
That's what you can expect from a good modern SUV; a compact luxury sedan typically returns 4-5 mpg more.
2016 brought a revamped range of engines including a new base turbocharged four-cylinder (dubbed IS 200t) and a lower-powered 3.5-liter V6 with all-wheel drive (dubbed IS 300.) All 2017 models get Lexus Safety System+ as standard equipment, which includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are optional.
Other changes for 2017 include updated exterior styling, new cup holder design, and revised steering-wheel buttons.