2006 Lexus IS 350 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Lexus IS 350 Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Lexus IS 350 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 306 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Lexus IS 350

  • The 2006 Lexus IS 350 is an outstanding luxury sedan, but it has too many electronic nannies to be a great sport sedan. If you place performance over luxury, test-drive the competition before deciding on this Lexus car.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Immensely confident, highly refined, class-leading interior quality, advanced safety technology.

  • Cons

    Intrusive safety technology hinders driver enjoyment, cramped rear-seat space.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, Lexus debuts the all-new IS 350. Replacing the previous IS 300, the IS 350 brings forth new powertrains, more features and a higher-quality cabin.

Full 2006 Lexus IS 350 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, Lexus debuts the all-new IS 350. Replacing the previous IS 300, the IS 350 brings forth new powertrains, more features and a higher-quality cabin.


Since 2001, the Lexus IS 300 has taken on the 3 Series with marginal success. Although it never really lit up the sales charts, the rear-wheel-drive IS 300 has earned a small but loyal -- and young -- following. When it came time to create the second generation of the IS, Lexus had to design a sedan with expanded performance and higher interior quality to combat the ever dominant competition. A tall order, but we think Lexus may have pulled it off. The new IS 350 sedan is larger, more luxurious and much more powerful than the previous generation Lexus car.

Since Lexus already had an excellent rear-drive platform in the recently redesigned GS, it became the starting point for the new IS 350. By carving out 4.7 inches of the GS's wheelbase and lopping off 4.4 inches of front and rear overhang, Lexus had the basic structure of the new IS. The GS's double-wishbone front and independent multilink rear suspension moves intact to the IS 350 and is retuned for the new application. The IS 300's straight six has been replaced by an all-aluminum 60-degree, DOHC, 24-valve V6. The 3.5-liter engine features VVT-i variable valve timing and offers 306 horsepower. Also coming from the GS is the suite of electronic technologies -- traction control, stability control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and BrakeAssist -- that Lexus groups together as the "Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management" (VDIM for acronym lovers). VDIM is standard on the IS 350.

The VDIM system makes the Lexus IS 350 a truly fearless and capable high-speed conveyance, but the inability to disable it is troublesome; the system is intrusive enough to dull the pleasure of the car's outstanding engine, great chassis and spectacular brakes. If you prefer your sport sedans serene over spirited and unperturbed over unabashed, then the 2006 Lexus IS 350 could be your ideal car. But if visceral performance is more your thing, check out the 3 Series and G35 before putting your money on the table.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Lexus IS 350 sedan comes in just one trim level. The standard features list includes keyless entry and ignition, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power doors and windows, cruise control, leather seating, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a moonroof and a 13-speaker premium audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer. Options include a 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, 18-inch wheels, 10-way power seats, a navigation system, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (which allows drivers to set a preferred interval between the IS and traffic ahead), rear park assist, rain-sensing wipers, corner-adaptive headlamps, Bluetooth connectivity and bi-HID headlights.

Powertrains and Performance

The Lexus IS 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6. It's rated at an impressive 306 hp at 6,400 rpm and a chunky 277 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. The engine drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission that the driver can control with a steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter.


Safety equipment includes front and rear side curtain airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags. Also standard is the suite of electronic technologies -- traction control, stability control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, BrakeAssist and conventional antilock brakes -- that Lexus groups together as the "Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management" (VDIM). Optional is a Pre-Collision System (PCS) -- packaged with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control -- that uses a millimeter-wave radar sensor to detect obstacles in front of the car. If the computer determines that a collision is unavoidable it preemptively stiffens the suspension, retracts the front seatbelts and pre-initializes BrakeAssist so increased braking is applied the instant the brake pedal is depressed. In crash tests, the IS earned a "Good" rating (the best possible) for its performance in IIHS frontal offset and side-impact testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The new Lexus IS 350 boasts impressive interior materials, an attractive cabin design and plenty of luxury amenities. Everything from the soft-touch dash and door panels to the supple leather seats exudes high quality. Rear seating isn't as palatial; the wheelbase is 1.2 inches shorter than the new 3 Series and offers minimal rear legroom. If you regularly carry adults -- or even large children -- in the rear seat, they won't be happy back there.

Driving Impressions

With more than 300 hp, a great chassis and spectacular brakes, the 2006 Lexus IS 350 is an undeniable performance car. There's no discernable exhaust note, but it builds speed easily, the chassis is tenacious, and if there isn't going to be a manual transmission around, at least the paddles add some involvement to the driving experience. Still, there's so much technology aboard the Lexus car, the driver is too insulated from the experience. The biggest downer is the inability to disarm the VDIM system, which mutes the sedan's performance long before the limits of its chassis and tires are reached.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I was an Acura TL guy until I went to the Acura Dealership and they didn't have the TL I wanted. I saw an IS350 on the lot and when I checked it out, not even the Acura RL compared to the features of my IS350. I was amazed at this car when I first sat in one and it even had the Acura salesperson in awe. I also loved the Mercedes C and E Class but it is not as fun to drive as my IS350 and is a more complicated to use their features. My IS350 has a very quiet engine which makes for a smoother ride. Compared to other cars I've had or driven, my Lexus IS350 is very user friendly, stylish, fun to drive, and just plain AWESOME!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Buying another is 350

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Leased IS 350 for 4 years starting in 2006. Loved this car. Gave it back in expectations of moving to Mercedes or BMW. Test drove 328,335 and C class, and immediately missed my 350's acceleration. Can't beat its value for horsepower, handling, looks. Had no issues with it. Drove it 52,000 miles. Loved it just as much after 4 years.Awesome power yet handled very well for city driving. Would not recommend for tall people, I'm 5'10. Backseat is decent, but don't use. I'm buying either a '06, '07 again. Adding navi, bluetooth, heated/cooled seats in next one.

Best value for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Owned the car for about 6 months. Very pleased. I have no buyers remorse and the power and options are just right. I am able to pass without overkill 400+hp range and get 350 miles per tank (premium fuel though). I have to comment on the Lexus customer service as it is top notch. I got a loaner Lexus when they fixed the recalls and their follow- up has been a pleasant surprise.

Beats a beemer off the

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I have had the vehicle for almost three years. My only complaint was the quality of the tires. My car came with Bridgestone Protenza tires. They lasted about 18,000 miles. The road noise was very bad, after about 15,000. I replaced them with Goodyear Eagle F1. Great tire at a good price. I received 3 minor recalls, last week. I took care of them the next day. Aside from that, the car has had no major repairs.

Cried the day i let

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Recently had to sell my IS 350...moved from sunny AZ to snow covered Salt Lake and even with snow tires got "snowed in" one too many times. I got my IS the day that they were made available and I have loved every minute of it. I can't really think of any issues that I ever had with it. First set of tires went to 43,000 miles...and second set still looked great at 75K when I traded her in. Whoever has her now...take good care of her!

Excellent value

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I've had my IS350 for over three years. It's one of the best cars I've ever owned. I love the refinement, performance and build quality, although I have had repeated issues with the sunroof not closing and rattling when open. The middle speakers on the front doors leak air, specially if the sunroof is cracked open. Cold air can be felt blowing on my knee in winter. I was told they all did that!

Talk About The 2006 IS 350

2006 Lexus IS 350 Discussions See all Started By

It is almost the beggining of August, I know there has to be some buzz about the 2007 is250/350 comming out. I was woundering if there is going to be a difference, and if the 2007 will bring the pri?...

I replaced my 2006 IS 350 with a 2007 model after the first one was destroyed bu a dump truck.I was lucky to escape unscathed ( the car was written off ) Although I have recurring flashbacks. I Have h...

Weird thing started to happen today 2006 rx330. While driving my panel lights got bright then dim. Tire pressure light came on and picture of seatbelt and ball. Heater controls worked but no green li?...

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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