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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
Mark Levinson audio system delivers excellent sound quality.
The iPod interface...can be a bit frustrating.
Dip into the F-Sport catalog, however, and the dollars start adding up.
Ventilated seats mitigate the argument against black-colored leather seats that become hot in the sun and burn the backs of your thighs.
Choppy playback made iPod integration unlistenable.
Lexus has done a good job in keeping the Lexus IS sedans and IS C convertibles up-to-date in features, even if the sedans especially might be looking pretty dated by design.
Bluetooth hands-free capability is included across the model line, and the options list includes a navigation system, retractable moonroof, ventilated front seats, dynamic radar cruise control, adaptive front lighting, and a backup camera. For 2013, Lexus has updated audio systems in the IS models and added HD Radio with iTunes Tagging and automatic Bluetooth phonebook download to models with the navigation system. The nav system also brings Lexus Enform with App Suite, which includes Bing voice search, OpenTable restaurant reservations, and Pandora or iHeartRadio music streaming. Turn-by-turn guidance and roadside assistance are also included.
Equipment is otherwise virtually the same whether you choose the IS 250 or IS 350. Leather upholstery, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and a HomeLink garage-door opener are standard features even on base IS 250 models, while all-wheel-drive models get standard front heated seats. HID headlamps and LED running lamps are added in IS 350 models.
The sound system on most of the IS line has 13 speakers and 194 watts of power, with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth audio streaming. Available only with the navigation system (the nav system is offered separately) is a superb 300-watt Mark Levinson surround sound system that can play audio DVDs and DVD movies.
Intuitive Park Assist is an additional standalone option that could prove very useful for those who live in the city, and several option packages bring upgraded perforated leather upholstery plus heated and ventilated front seats, along with other features and appearance extras.
In addition to performance enhancements, F-Sport models get heated sport seats, aluminum pedals, a sport grille, a sport steering wheel and shift knob, and rear spoiler.
Updated audio systems and improved connectivity keep the 2013 Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 in sync with tech needs.