Another awards program? Well, last year, Esquire magazine earned some automotive buzz when its 2012 Car of the Year award was featured prominently in ads for the winning vehicle—the Cadillac ATS—and then Cadillac’s new sport sedan went on to have a fair amount of critical and marketplace success. So it’s no surprise that automakers are taking this year’s Esquire awards a bit more seriously, and so is Autobytel. At least to some extent.
Thus, while you’ll have to check out Esquire’s website, or the actual magazine, for its coverage of motoring’s “Minor Delights” and awards like “Horse of the Year,” we’ll let you know that the 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport was the magazine’s overall Car of the Year.
The 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport is the first entry from a Japanese automaker to earn the crown and did so by offering features like a V6 engine that deliver 306 very accessible horsepower, a “staggeringly good” eight-speed automatic transmission, and luxury and tech features that add to the driving experience without overwhelming it. As explained by veteran auto scribe Sam Smith in Esquire, “Most new cars have cockpits like iPhones, meaning you don't drive so much as operate an app. Focus like this is rare.”
The result, according to Smith, is “an honest, gutsy, fast set of wheels,” and it’s on sale now for $43,435 in its rear-wheel-driveconfiguration or $45,230 with intelligent all-wheel drive.