What is the IS 350?
On paper, the idea of a sport sedan with the luxury and attention to detail we've come to expect from Lexus seems like a win-win proposition. But the current-generation IS 350 has always been a bit behind in the luxury sport sedan segment. While it certainly looks the part, the engine feels lethargic and it lacks the lively handling and responsiveness you can find in competitors like the Audi S4, BMW M340i and Genesis G70.
The IS 350 does feature that aforementioned attention to detail Lexus is known for, but its cramped rear seat, smaller-than-average trunk, and lackluster infotainment system hold it back. But if the look of a sport sedan is more important than the actual capability, the comfortable and well-equipped IS 350 is difficult to pass up.
Lexus did spruce things up a bit for 2021 with a light restyling, a revised infotainment system and additional safety features, but with this current generation entering its 10th year, the IS 350 is well past its expiration date. Rumors abound about a complete redesign, but with the recent complete overhauls of the volume-selling RX and NX models, we think Lexus might wait until 2024 before retooling the IS 350. Whether the relatively old-school V6 sticks around in the new generation remains to be seen, but we do expect to see more turbocharged engine options and possibly a hybrid powertrain in this sedan's future.