2021 Lexus IS 350

MSRP range: $42,950 - $44,950
(6)
MSRP$46,610
Edmunds suggests you pay$41,735

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2021 Lexus IS 350 Review

  • Ride quality is smooth and comfortable on bumpy roads
  • Nimble and secure handling
  • More features for the money compared to German alternatives
  • Back seat is still tight for the class
  • Lackluster acceleration for a six-cylinder luxury sedan
  • Storage and cargo space are limited
  • Restyled headlights, taillights and grille
  • Handling improvements and new Dynamic Handling package on F Sport models
  • Reworked tech interface features touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Part of the third Lexus IS generation introduced for 2013

The 2021 Lexus IS 350 is a V6-powered small luxury sedan that, along with the four-cylinder IS 300, competes against the best four-doors that the world has to offer. Before this year, we considered the IS 350 a solid choice in the segment thanks to its strong value statement, comfortable ride and eye-catching interior. However, its lack of driving refinement, clunky technology interface and small cabin kept it from running near the front of the pack.

The automaker is hitting a soft reset with the 2021 Lexus IS 350. The exterior is thoroughly overhauled with slim headlights, full-width taillights and redesigned rocker panels. Though it's still the same car underneath, the 2021 IS seeks to solve the most pressing problems. Among the changes are structural and suspension revisions and a much-needed rethink of the infotainment system. How well does it all come together? Should you get an IS 350 or stick with something like a BMW 3 Series? Read our in-depth Expert Rating evaluation below to help decide.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Lexus IS 350 falls short of rivals when it comes to interior space and technology refinement. And while we do like the way the IS 350 rides and handles, the underpowered V6 engine limits how much fun you can really have driving. Still, high levels of comfort and lots of standard features help keep the IS 350 a viable pick for a small luxury sedan.
The Lexus IS 350 F Sport is a fun and nimble sport sedan that's let down by an underpowered engine. In Edmunds' testing, our rear-wheel-drive test car accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. That's well off the pace of the class leaders, even the base four-cylinder variants. On the upside, this naturally aspirated V6 is silky smooth and builds power evenly from idle to redline. The transmission shifts gears a lot, but at least it's quick and smooth doing it.

The IS' steering, brakes and overall handling are much more impressive than the engine. This luxury sedan is athletic and nimble, with responsive steering and a suspension that's firm enough to keep the car planted without feeling so stiff that midcorner bumps unsettle it. Our test vehicle included the optional adaptive suspension and limited-slip differential, both must-have options if you want to maximize the sportiness of your IS 350.
The IS 350's optional adaptive suspension is well tuned. You feel the road, but it won't beat you up. Comfort is bolstered further by the seats. Adjustment is limited, but the basic shape is so good that you settle in quickly. The climate control as well as the heated and ventilated seats all work well to keep you comfortable, though the temperature adjustment slider is more cumbersome than necessary. It's quiet too, though the F Sport's optional summer tires produce a bit more noise than we expect from a Lexus.
The interior might look similar to last year's model, but there have been a handful of updates, most notably to the infotainment system. The much-maligned touchpad is still present, but you can avoid it completely by using the touchscreen. The user interface is generally the same, but it's much easier to navigate through the on-screen menus. Thankfully, Lexus has left the physical controls for the climate and media systems intact.

That carryover interior has some downsides. The driving position is excellent, with decent all-around visibility and easy-to-reach controls, but the back seat remains one of the smallest in the class. Passengers approaching 6 feet tall will feel cramped, and getting in and out is a squeeze as well for adults.
The infotainment system now uses a touchscreen interface, so controlling features such as the audio, navigation or standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are relatively simple. The IS features voice commands, too, though they're limited compared to some rival systems.

The IS comes with a suite of driver aids, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitoring is standard too. That's a good lineup of features, but their operation lacks the polish of the class leaders. For example, the adaptive cruise is slow to respond and leaves large gaps between you and the car in front.
The IS 350's 10.8-cubic-foot trunk is near the bottom of the class for volume, though the space is wide and tall, making it more usable than the cargo areas in some rival sedans with superior on-paper specs. The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split, so you can expand the space further if you don't need the rear seats. Storage inside the cabin is really lacking. There's no good place to set your phone or sunglasses aside from under the armrest.

The tight rear seat hurts when it comes to car seats too. There's not much space to move around when you anchor a seat in, and larger rear-facing seats will likely force front passengers to scoot forward.
The rear-wheel-drive Lexus IS 350 F Sport, which is what we tested, gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in combined city/highway driving. That's better than most rivals with six-cylinder engines. The IS 350's rating drops to 22 mpg with all-wheel drive.
The Lexus IS 350 offers a lot of features at a relatively affordable price. There are a few buttons and controls inside that feel a bit cut-rate, but most of the car is solidly constructed. It's slower than most of the competition, but the V6-powered IS 350 is significantly less costly than other six-cylinder small luxury sedans.

Lexus' warranty and ownership experience are slightly above average too. Lexus includes a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, and the powertrain gets a small improvement with six years/70,000 miles of coverage. If you do get stuck, the IS 350 comes with four years of roadside assistance. The first year of maintenance is also included.
The IS 350 F Sport has a distinct Japanese flair that helps it stand out in a crowd. The grille is still divisive, but we think it works well with the other design updates to the car's front and rear. The F Sport package does enough to give the IS 350 some purpose without looking gaudy or overwrought. The interior, too, features a design that you won't find on anything coming out of Germany.

The design is backed by a generally fun-to-drive nature. Yes, it's slower than most rivals, but the IS 350 is pretty enjoyable on a winding road where raw horsepower is less of a factor.

Which IS 350 does Edmunds recommend?

Given that the IS 350 is only available in one trim that comes standard with a powerful V6 engine, we recommend improving other aspects of the car to match. Stick with the IS 350 F Sport RWD and its standard eight-speed automatic transmission, instead of all-wheel drive and a six-speed auto. With the savings, add the Dynamic Handling package. It includes an adaptive suspension and limited-slip differential for improved traction while cornering.

Lexus IS 350 models

The Lexus IS 350 is offered in a single trim level: the IS 350 F Sport. Its only available engine is a 3.5-liter V6 (311 horsepower, 280 lb-ft of torque). The related IS 300, which we review separately on Edmunds, comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder. The rear-wheel drive IS 350 comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the all-wheel-drive version has a six-speed automatic. Feature highlights include:

IS 350 F Sport
Starts you off with:

  • 19-inch wheels
  • Push-button start and proximity entry
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • 8-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • 10-speaker sound system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Lexus Enform communication services

The IS 350 also has a suite of advanced driver aids that include:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)
  • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)
  • Traffic sign reader (sees road signs including speed limits and displays them to the driver)

Available options include:

  • Sunroof
  • Navigation system with 10.3-inch touchscreen
  • 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system
  • Dynamic Handling package (adaptive suspension system, special wheels, and limited-slip differential on RWD cars)
  • Surround-view camera system with parking sensors

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Lexus IS 350.

Average user rating: 4.8 stars
6 total reviews
5 star reviews: 83%
4 star reviews: 17%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • driving experience
  • appearance
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • ride quality
  • interior
  • doors
  • handling & steering
  • infotainment system
  • dashboard
  • technology
  • engine

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Love it!!
Anna-Kay Pinnock,
F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
You will fall in love with your purchase of this car. Drives smoothly to my liking and I feel very comfortable inside with the space.
5/5 stars, badass is fsport 350 2021
john m,
F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
initially i was wondering if i’d like-but i love it-great looks and handling....who cares that it isn’t an audi , mb or bmw....it’s a lexus and it is an excellent car!
5/5 stars, Dumped my Tesla.
CalRecCenter,
F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Dumped my model 3 for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 with dynamic handling. For roughly the same price, the Lexus is hands down the better, nicer, sportier, and more luxurious ride. 5k miles so far an zero problems. Only complaint is that there’s no seat memory. Each time my wife drives my car, I find myself spending a few extra seconds trying to get my seat right. I’d buy again if I had the choice.
5/5 stars, IS 350 F sport
Tam hunh,
F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
I save $3,000 with autonation through Edmund

Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$42,950
MPG & Fuel
20 City / 28 Hwy / 23 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.4 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: rear wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
Engine
V6 cylinder
Horsepower: 311 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Basic Warranty
4 yr./ 50000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 185.4 in. / Height: 56.5 in. / Width: 72.4 in.
Curb Weight: 3748 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 10.8 cu.ft.
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Safety

Our experts’ favorite IS 350 safety features:

Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
Monitors lane markings, warns you if you are drifting, and can even help steer the vehicle back into the lane of travel.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Helps you maintain a preset distance by adjusting the Lexus' speed in relation to the vehicle directly ahead.
Intelligent High Beam
Switches between high and low beams automatically by using cues from a camera that helps detect when other vehicles are present.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver4 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
RolloverRating
Rollover5 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover9.5%


Lexus IS 350 vs. the competition

2021 Lexus IS 350

2021 Lexus IS 350

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Lexus IS 350 vs. Alfa Romeo Giulia

If you like sharp handling, chances are you'll love the Alfa Romeo Giulia. This is a luxury sedan that feels alive in the curves thanks to superb steering and responsive engines. The Giulia is not perfect, but recent improvements to technology and storage have made it slightly more useful than previous versions. Consider it the passion purchase in the class.

Compare Lexus IS 350 & Alfa Romeo Giulia features 

Lexus IS 350 vs. Audi A4

Call it spacious, handsome or comfortable — we simply call the A4 an exceptionally well-rounded luxury car. Audi hit nearly all of its marks, providing helpful tweaks over the years to keep the A4 looking and feeling fresh. The IS 350 is less expensive, but the A4 provides a more appealing combination of performance, comfort and technology.

Compare Lexus IS 350 & Audi A4 features 

Lexus IS 350 vs. Genesis G70

An under-the-radar choice for a luxury sedan is the Genesis G70. Like the IS 350, this sporty sedan benefits from excellent steering and handling. On top of that, its available turbocharged V6 is considerably more powerful than the IS 350's V6. Other advantages for the G70 include appealing value and a long warranty. The IS 350, however, is the more comfortable luxury sedan.

Compare Lexus IS 350 & Genesis G70 features 

FAQ

Is the Lexus IS 350 a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 IS 350 both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.7 out of 10. You probably care about Lexus IS 350 fuel economy, so it's important to know that the IS 350 gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg to 23 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the IS 350 has 10.8 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Lexus IS 350. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Lexus IS 350?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Lexus IS 350:

  • Restyled headlights, taillights and grille
  • Handling improvements and new Dynamic Handling package on F Sport models
  • Reworked tech interface features touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Part of the third Lexus IS generation introduced for 2013
Learn more

Is the Lexus IS 350 reliable?

To determine whether the Lexus IS 350 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the IS 350. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the IS 350's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Lexus IS 350 a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Lexus IS 350 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 IS 350 and gave it a 7.7 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 IS 350 is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Lexus IS 350?

The least-expensive 2021 Lexus IS 350 is the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $42,950.

Other versions include:

  • F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $42,950
  • F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $44,950
Learn more

What are the different models of Lexus IS 350?

If you're interested in the Lexus IS 350, the next question is, which IS 350 model is right for you? IS 350 variants include F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), and F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A). For a full list of IS 350 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Lexus IS 350

2021 Lexus IS 350 Overview

The 2021 Lexus IS 350 is offered in the following submodels: IS 350 Sedan. Available styles include F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), and F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What do people think of the 2021 Lexus IS 350?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 IS 350 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 IS 350.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 IS 350 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Lexus IS 350?

2021 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)

The 2021 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $46,610. The average price paid for a new 2021 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) is trending $4,875 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,875 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $41,735.

The average savings for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) is 10.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2021 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Lexus IS 350s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Lexus IS 350 for sale near. There are currently 3 new 2021 IS 350s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $48,275 and mileage as low as 5 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Lexus IS 350. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,896 on a used or CPO 2021 IS 350 available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Lexus IS 350s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Lexus for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $14,938.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Lexus IS 350?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Lexus lease specials