2014 Lexus IS Starts at $36,845

The 2014 Lexus IS certainly looks more expensive than the model it replaces, and it has some new and exciting features. As you might expect, the 2014 model is more expensive than the 2013, but Lexus says that new standard features make the new car a better deal than before.

Let's get the bad news out of the way: the new 2014 IS250 RWD starts at $36,845, exactly $885 more than the old model. That additional $885 earns you a heaping helping of standard features, including high-intensity discharge headlights and a new touchscreen audio system standard, both of which were previously optional extras. Lexus says that the new model offers about $1400 in optional equipment as standard, making that $885 price increase more like a $515 decrease.

As we said, that $36,845 will get you the IS250 RWD, which features a 2.5-liter V-6 making 204 horsepower, a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. From there, buyers can step up to the IS250 AWD, with its electronically controlled all-wheel drive system, for an extra $2535. IS350 RWD buyers will have to fork over $40,360, but receive a 3.5-liter V-6 engine making 306 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission (exclusive to the IS350 RWD). Stepping up to the IS350 AWD will cost you $2235, but will also downgrade your transmission from eight forward gears to six.

The options packages are confined to three: Premium, Luxury, and F Sport. The Premium package ($610 on AWD models, $1050 on RWD models) includes heated/cooled front seats and LED headlights, while the Luxury package ($3225 for AWD models, $3665 on RWD models) includes the premium package and adds perforated leather upholstery, driver's seat memory, wood trim, automatic wipers, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and a blind-spot monitor.

Enthusiast buyers will want to look at the F Sport package, which is available on every trim level ($2675 for IS250 AWD, $3115 for IS250 RWD, $3180 for IS350 AWD, and $3620 for IS350 RWD) but includes different things depending on the model. All F Sport cars have a unique mesh grille up front, LED headlights, sport seats and suspension, and 18-inch wheels, but IS350 models with the F Sport package add an adaptive suspension and a "Sport+" setting for the drive mode selector.

A la carte options include a GPS navigation system ($2085), a Mark Levinson stereo ($3225, which includes nav), and variable-ratio steering, which costs $400. Parking sensors will run you $500, and a backup monitor will cost $350.

With these prices, the Lexus IS250 finds itself almost exactly at the level of the BMW 328i/328i xDrive and Mercedes-Benz C250/C300 4MATIC; IS350 buyers will be pleased to know that their cars are available for thousands less than the Mercedes and BMW. Check out the chart below and let us know which one you'd choose.

Base Engine 2WD Base Engine AWD Upgrade Engine 2WD Upgrade Engine AWD
Lexus IS $36,845 $39,380 $40,360 $42,595
Mercedes-Benz C-Class $36,255 (C250) $39,855 (C300 4MATIC) $42,305 $46,105
BMW 3 Series $37,745 $39,745 $44,045 $46,045
Infiniti Q50 $37,355 $39,155 $44,605 (Hybrid) $46,405 (Hybrid AWD)
Audi A4/S4 $33,395 (A4) $34,295 (A4) $48,495 (S4)

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