It seems to be a forgone conclusion that in another 5, 10, 15 years, our cars will be driving us instead of the other way around. And they’ll likely be electric…and we may not even own them. We might just hit an app….decide what kind of vehicle we’re in the mood for today….and rent it by the hour, day, week or month.
But until that day comes……if a friend said “Hey….I’m looking for something to drive for the next ten years that’s going to perform well, stay in style, not be likely to give me any real problems, and give me all the luxury that I want in a size that’s easy to park. What should I get?”
It would be hard to not put Lexus’ ’17 IS 350 high on that list.
For right at $50,000, Lexus’ IS 350 pretty much gives you everything that you could ask for in a “city-friendly” size. Room for four….or an occasional five…a proven 300+ HP 3.5 liter six, an efficient 8-speed auto that offers economy, normal, sport and snow modes, 18” alloys, heated and cooled perforated leather, genuine wood trim, Mark Levinson 15-speaker sound, and virtually all of today’s connectivity and warning systems. It’s actually hard to think of anything that Lexus left out of their top of the line IS 350.
And the car is a pleasure to drive. Acceleration, braking and handling are all comparable to any of Lexus’ European competitors. In fact, a few enthusiast magazines have favorably compared the IS 350 to a couple of the other guys’ 3 Series.
Now….if you like the look and the size of the IS 350, but perhaps don’t need all of those 306 horses….and maybe you’d like to save a few bucks….the IS can be had with a 241 HP Turbo four that’ll start in the high $30’s. This setup will be just a little slower off the line when the light turns green, but it’ll get you 32 Hwy MPGs….four more than the big six is rated at.
And if you’d like to go in the other direction, both the Turbo four and the 3.5 six cylinder come in ”F-Sport” versions….getting you enhanced braking and handling for just a few thousand more.
The highways are full of ten year old vehicles that still look almost like new. I predict that in 2027, today’s Lexus IS 350 will be one of those vehicles.