The 2017 Lexus IS350 AWD four-door sedan is a world-class driver’s car – plain and simple.
My tester added the F Sport package ($3,155) that further revs up its bold style and handling agility.
The IS 350 delivers dazzling performance from a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The RWD model uses the eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission.
A Drive Mode Select system features up to four driving modes to tailor the car’s combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics. All IS sedans feature ECO, NORMAL and SPORT modes. Equipping the IS 350 with the F SPORT package also adds Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), controlled with SPORT S and SPORT S+ modes. The AWD models also feature a SNOW mode (not that far away).
Let’s just say that the Lexus IS 350, in SPORT S+ mode, seems to levitate and break the speed of sound at the same time. The ride is sublime. The acceleration is exhilarating.
The F SPORT package sharpens handling acuity with unique 18-inch wheels and special suspension tuning, while sharpening the design with unique interior and exterior trim. Inside, all-season comfort is enhanced through heated and ventilated front seats. The finishing touch on the F SPORT experience is a rousing intake sound to rev up the car enthusiast in anyone.
The IS 350 is also eye-candy for the looky-loos out there. Its sexy lines and “Atomic Silver” coat of paint are enhanced with Lexus’ signature spindle grille that has been reshaped to enhance the car’s road-hugging stance. The F SPORT grille features an exclusive three-dimensional F-mesh pattern, with jet-black metallic coating that is also used on the functional brake ducts.
Lexus has upped its safety quotient as well. Now all IS models come with the Lexus Safety System+ as standard, which includes pre-collision system, lane-departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beam, and high-speed dynamic radar cruise control. Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert system is also available.
The IS 350 seats up to five adults and all will be wearing smiles. There is plenty of head, leg and shoulder room to go around, along with a moon roof and power rear sunshade. The trunk can handle a couple of golf bags – good enough – and the EPA rates fuel economy at 28 miles per gallon down the highway.
Better yet are some of the upscale creature comforts. My favorites were the navigation and sound systems. The navigation system features a 10.3-inch screen that is larger and clearer than the previous set up, and also operates the multimedia and Enform systems with the touch of a finger. The Mark Levinson premium surround system delivers strikingly life-like sound reproduction, with 835 watts powering 15 speakers
The standard display audio system incorporates HD radio, Bluetooth audio, a vehicle information display and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD radio.
The Lexus slogan is “The Pursuit of Perfection.” In my humble opinion, they are sneaking up on it.
Base Price: $41,370
Price As Driven: $49,910
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.