Composed, comfortable and confident
Lexus’ IS 350 is everything Lexus is known for…and a bit more…and a bit less!
Yes…you pretty much assume “composed, comfortable and quiet” when you’re talking Lexus, right?
The poised, confident and controlled part was a pleasant surprise, tho’.
In fact, I’m guessing that a number of those folks driving around in prestigious German sedans might be just as happy in an IS 350.
Driven at anything less than 95% of it’s limits, Lexus’ IS 350 fits the driver like a soft leather glove. With it’s 306 HP V-6 and 6-speed auto, the IS can hustle down the road with the best of them…and it offers excellent brakes and a suspension that eats potholes…yet has a controlled and sporty feel. In fact, slowing down for turns almost seems optional.
Plus you’re coddled in typical Lexus fashion…riding in perforated, heated and ventilated soft leather seats. It’s an interior that’s a bit more luxurious and user-friendly than many popular German sedans. Just sayin’………………
As for “the bit less”, the IS is a 4-door that’s about a foot shorter than the popular ES model….making it feel much more maneuverable in city and shopping mall traffic. Yet it still has room for five….altho’ four will be more comfortable on any trip over an hour or two.
Lexus’ IS starts with the 250 series….equipped with a 2.5 liter, 204 HP V6…which lists at $35,960. The 3.5 liter, 306 HP 350 series raises the ante around 5 thousand more…starting at $41,215. Both come with 6-speed automatics. All-Wheel-Drive will add $2,460 to either model.
You can add around 10K in “F-Sport” options if you like….things like firmer suspension, bigger brakes, a sport interior and 18” dark graphite wheels.
And if you’ve just gotta’ be the fastest kid on the block, the IS “F” will have you running exclusively in the left lane…behind a screamin’ 416 HP V-8….chasin’ the best that BMW and Mercedes can throw at you!
However, the “F” will be in the 60-stack neighborhood, thank you.
The IS 350 will probably give the average driver everything they want and more.In addition to the 306 HP you’ll have 17” alloys, 2-way power lumbar support, heated exterior mirrors, and a 13-speaker premium audio system.
An additional $2,730 got us an upgrade to 18” alloys, the perforated semi-aniline heated and cooled seats, wood trim, and a power rear sunshade.
Another $2,490 bought a hard-disc nav with backup cam and Bing, Pandora, Yelp, Open Table, FB, movie tickets.com, stocks and sports functionality.
That brought the sticker to a $46,935 total. Mileage is rated at 19 city /27 highway. We averaged 23.5 in a mixed commute.
If you’re looking for something that has somewhat classic, timeless styling….something that you can probably just get in and go for the next ten years or so….and something that you’ll enjoy driving for those ten years…the IS 350 just might be your ride.