Today’s Face Off Friday is taking its focus overseas in the battle of luxury Japanese sedans. These models provide a well-balanced blend of luxury and sporty performance, with decent mpg ratings and price tags to help sweeten the deal. We’re putting the Lexus IS up against the Infiniti Q50 to see who’s really got the most to offer.
Lexus IS (Starting Price: $36,100)
Lexus offers four variants for its IS model, the IS250 and 350, and their respective sport variants. To start, the IS250 and 250 F Sport are powered by a 2.5-liter V6 that produces 204hp, and gets an mpg rating of 19 in the city and 27 on the highway. The IS 350 and 350 F Sport get their power from a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 306hp and gets 19mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. All variants offer both rear and all wheel drive. Performance driven features for the IS include an 8-speed sport direct-shift transmission for the IS 350 rear wheel drive models, a track-tuned chassis, LFA inspired gauges, variable gear-ratio steering, adaptive variable suspension and performance driving modes.
Available technology for the IS includes a SmartAccess keyfob, Bluetooth with voice command, steering wheel mounted controls, voice activated navigation, subscription-free traffic and weather, Lexus Enform app suite, HD Radio with iTunes tagging and a Mark Levinson 15-speaker surround sound system.
There are some additional highlights for the IS, such as power adjustable, perforated leather sports seats, heated steering wheel, split fold rear seats, Lexus Personalized settings, power adjustable heated mirrors, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.
Infiniti Q50 (Starting Price: $37,150)
With 6 variants plus hybrids, the Q50 has quite a range to choose from. Each variant offers all wheel drive, and all are powered by the same 328hp 3.7-liter V6, getting anywhere from 20mpg in the city and 30 on the highway, to 19 in the city and 27 on the highway. Direct Adaptive Steering, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, Active Trace Control, sport tuned front and rear suspension and Infiniti drive mode selector are all available to enhance performance.
Infiniti InTouch Vehicle Apps, Infiniti Connection, digital driving performance displays, digital clock and compass My Schedule via Google Calendar and Remote Services make up he Q50’s technology offerings.
The Q50 also offers up artisan-stitched leather-appointed upholstery, a high-resolution instrumentation display, dual-zone automatic temperature control, Bluetooth, LED headlights, 14-speaker premium audio, lane departure prevention, unintended lane drift, predictive forward collision warning, back-up collision intervention and blind spot intervention.
Additional sport offerings such as 19-inch alloy wheels, sport brakes, sport seats, 10-way power drivers seat, sport-tuned suspension and solid-magnesium paddle shifters come with the Q50S.
Both the Q50 and the IS have so much to offer it’s a seriously tough call between the two, as neither one seems to be missing anything significant from the other. With ten variants to choose from all together, take your pick!