My have things changed over ten years. Lexus has always been a good brand. In fact, it’s been a smart and responsible decision due to stellar reliability and comfort. Today, buyers want more than a smart decision. We fancy ourselves as witty risk takers that don’t like conformity or dullness. We look to stand out, without being overly pretentious. The Lexus IS 350 F Sport is a car that embodies this mindset. It is no wonder why thousands are sold each month in the US. This is a car that maintains the “smart decision” award, but doesn’t settle for being boring or dull. Polarizing style, menacing headlights, and a 3.5 liter V6 engine that begs to be punished. This is what has happened in 10 years. Lexus has made a BMW 3 fighter for the masses, and they didn’t make any sacrifices in what you have come to expect from a Lexus.
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With more angles and curves than the inside of a kaleidoscope, Lexus has gone bold with the new lineup. I spent a week with this machine and it now holds a special place in my heart. This car starts at $36,550 (IS 250 base) and goes past $50k for a decked out 350 F Sport with AWD and a plethora of options. The car featured in these pictures, and what I am basing my entire review on, is a 2015 IS 350 F Sport with rear-wheel drive. It has an 835 watt Mark Levinson sound system, navigation, blind spot monitoring, and more. With this model you also get a special little feature called AVS, or Adaptive Variable Suspension. AVS is essentially a computerized suspension system that lets you tell the car what kind of mood you’re in. Feeling relaxed and at ease? Leave it in normal mode. Want to kick things up a notch? Go to Sport mode. Looking for an adrenaline rush? Sport+ mode will get the party started. All of these modes modify suspension stiffness, steering feel, shift points, and more. The tachometer even changes to an in-your-face white and red dial makes you wonder why you aren’t pegging the rev limiter at this very moment. I spent most of my time in Sport mode. It firmed up the suspension a bit and had a sharper throttle response. My wife preferred the same setting when she tested it out. Normal mode is great, and along with Economy mode will yield the best fuel economy during your commute. Sport sharpened the car up just enough to feel like it was ready for anything. Sport+ is a bit more extreme, mainly with shift points and suspension stiffness. I found that it likes to keep the revs high which helps on a track and with throttle response, but isn’t always the most practical setting for every day driving. The good news is that you have a choice. A quick flick of a knob near the gear selector cycles through all modes in fractions of a second.
The 3.5L V6 makes 306 HP and 277 foot-pounds of torque. Power hits the ground via an 8-speed automatic for rear wheel drive versions, and a 6 speed automatic for all wheel drive. Rear wheel drive models get 19 MPG in the city, and 28 MPG on the highway, 22 combined. The loaded 350 F tips the scales at 3,593 pounds, features a 17.4 gallon fuel tank, and has 13.8 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk. I found that the car had more than enough power to get up t It has a predictable power delivery that sounds great thanks to an acoustically-tuned intake system. I always have a hard time telling people that a sedan can fit 5 adults comfortably, though the IS sedan is more than accommodating. Rear climate control vents keep all occupants happy and the sound dedening was everything you expect from a Lexus. If this car falls in your price range, it’s worth taking a look at. It offers the perfect blend of styling, reliability, performance, comfort, and more. It’s hard to find something to dislike about this car. The only common criticism I hear is of the front grill. It’s a love it or hate it thing. I for one love the aggressive front bumper. This is a car that stands out on the road, and for all the right reasons.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the car. It has a lavish and modern interior that is only equaled by its quality and comfort that fits perfectly with the exterior’s new design. This is truly a class leading sedan that is worth a look if you’re in the market. Hopefully you were able to watch the YouTube video we posted above. Regardless, there’s a laundry list of amazing things I can discuss about this car. This is one of those cars you need to experience in order to fully understand the true essence of what a modern Lexus IS is like. Touch the leather on the dash. Grip the steering wheel and rev the engine. Open and shut the doors firmly and listen to a precisely engineered thud that oozes confidence in build quality. Crank up the sound system, or put the windows up and drive in sheer silence. There’s only so much you can read about a car before words fall flat and mean nothing. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Try driving the new Lexus IS 350 F Sport and see if you can explain it all in one article.