2017 Lexus IS 350 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet and well-equipped cabin
  • Ride quality remains smooth on bumpy pavement
  • V6 engine's enthusiastic and refined power delivery
  • Optional Remote Touch interface can frustrate
  • Handling capabilities do little to create driver excitement
  • Trunk area on the small side
List Price Range
$26,490 - $33,448

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Which IS 350 does Edmunds recommend?

Though there are the IS 200t (turbo four-cylinder engine) and IS 300 (detuned V6) versions available, we'll assume you're interested in the top-dog IS 350. There is just the one trim level, so the real decision-making occurs when faced with how to equip it. The F Sport package adds a bit of handling and styling verve but doesn't transform the car. We recommend the Premium package and then adding the backup camera. If you're an audiophile, you'll love the Mark Levinson premium audio system. Beyond that, there's the Luxury package. It has a lot of items, but they're not all must-haves.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

The 2017 IS 350 sits at the top of the automaker's entry-level IS luxury sedan lineup. It cedes sport-sedan ground to others in the segment, but its robust V6 power, high-quality interior trimmings and surprisingly smooth ride still make for a satisfying sedan.

The IS 350, the current generation of which was introduced in 2014, has yet to receive a significant overhaul outside of the addition of an modestly warmed-up F Sport trim level. Nevertheless, its combination of comfort and refinement continues to propel it to relevance today. The IS 350 was never the most outwardly sporting handler, though any flavor of IS 350 — F Sport or otherwise — is certainly competent on a back road. But more than anything, the IS delivers a thoroughly quiet, comfortable and luxurious small luxury sedan experience with a V6 that out-punches similarly priced German four-cylinder rivals.

That the IS 350 is available with all-wheel drive broadens the sedan's appeal for those who live where things often get slick, though AWD models give up two gears in the transmission to rear-wheel-drive variants. Oddly enough, the potent IS F variant hasn't been reprised in this generation of the Lexus IS, and its absence stands out as an obvious gap in the lineup.

2017 Lexus IS 350 models

The 2017 Lexus IS 350 is available in one trim level, with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel-drive models get an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive variants have a six-speed auto. No manual transmission is available. The sole trim level on offer has a solid complement of standard equipment including keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone climate control, a sunroof, premium vinyl upholstery (NuLuxe in Lexus-speak), a 10-speaker, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

Optional features are primarily clustered in packages, with a handful of items available as stand-alone options. The big-ticket package is the Luxury package, which bundles together a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, a heated steering wheel, parking sensors, automatic wipers, leather seats with memory function and wood cabin trim. The rearview camera is available separately. There is also a Mark Levinson premium audio package, a navigation package and two other smaller packages.

An F Sport package is available on IS 350 and IS 200t models (reviewed separately), but only the IS 350's F Sport variant receives continuously variable dampers. It is intended to improve handling acuity without adversely affecting the ride quality. This package furthermore includes unique exterior and cabin trim, summer or all-season tires on 18-inch wheels, heated seats with unique trim and higher-friction brake pads.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full tests of the 2014 Lexus IS 350 (3.5L 6-cyl.; 8-speed automatic) and 2016 Lexus IS 200t (2.0L 4-cyl. turbo; 8-speed automatic).

NOTE: Since these tests were conducted, the current IS 350 has received just revisions. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's IS 350.

Driving

3.0
The 3.5-liter V6 is ultra smooth and respectably powerful. Handling dynamics aren't this car's strongest suit, though you can still have fun whipping this luxury compact around a bend or two.

Acceleration

3.0
This IS 350 is not as quick as the class equivalents, but the V6 is super smooth and makes decent power. It achieves 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

Braking

2.5
The brake pedal travel is surprisingly short and stiff for a Lexus and lacks a sense of stopping power. In our emergency panic-brake test, an IS 350 stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is long considering the summer tires.

Steering

3.0
The electric steering builds effort that provides a natural and direct response, but it lacks road feel, which is important if your front tires ever lose grip. The IS fails to provide confidence in this area, critical for spirited driving.

Handling

3.0
Even with the stickier optional summer tires, the IS has a tendency to push over the limits of front tire grip. Quick directional changes are more to its liking than long, sustained corners, so choose your back roads accordingly.

Drivability

4.0
Power is more than sufficient, but the eight-speed automatic transmission makes response feel languid at times. Full-throttle downshifts take about a second to select the right gear, which is too slow if you're trying to get out of the way.

Comfort

4.0
Excellent ride comfort and the serene quietness of the 2017 IS 350's cabin are big standouts in the comfort category. We were also happy with the seats until sitting in the saddle for a few hours, which took a small toll on our lower backs due to some mismatched lumbar ergonomics.

Seat comfort

2.5
There's adequate lateral seat support, and the optional ventilation and heating works well. The amount of lumbar support is adjustable, but the position is fixed and sits too high to provide long-distance comfort for an average size driver.

Ride comfort

5.0
The IS 350 delivers ride quality that combines solid body control with smooth compliance at all the right times. Bumps and impacts are absorbed without issue or the marshmallowy float indicative of an overly soft suspension. Very good.

Noise & vibration

4.5
Great attention went into the IS' cabin soundproofing. Road and wind noise is sufficiently silenced, and you don't hear much even under full ABS braking. Quiet cabins are more comfortable but can also promote calmer reactions in emergencies.

Interior

2.5
The 2017 IS 350 struggles with finding a balance between innovation and complication. The infotainment system interface lacks user-friendly qualities, and basic cupholder ergonomics were an afterthought to laying out a visually appealing interior. This is a cabin with mediocre functional usability.

Ease of use

2.5
Lexus' haptic joystick interface for the infotainment system is cumbersome to use, and it snags smartphone charger cords with ease. The touch sliders for the climate control — which look cool and work well — are the best cabin features.

Getting in/getting out

3.0
Even with the easy-entry retracting steering wheel, it's not difficult to graze a knee against the column climbing into the driver seat. The rear door openings are on the smaller side and could prove difficult for less flexible passengers.

Roominess

2.5
Cabin space is not abundant. For an average-sized driver, the center tunnel console is needlessly wide and the armrests can feel intrusive. The rear seats have less legroom than in some competitors, and the center seat has marginal headroom.

Visibility

3.0
Forward visibility is great. Rear headrests don't impede the view directly rearward, but huge rear pillars and a high body slope create blind spots when reversing. The optional parking sensors and rearview camera are recommended.

Quality

4.0
Other than the steering-wheel leather that looks and feels like wrinkled skin by the thumb holds, this interior is done well. The seats have quality stitching, and all contact surfaces are soft with tight panel fit and solid door seals.

Utility

2.0
The small trunk that doesn't fold flat and limited interior storage conspire against the 2017 IS 350's utility.

Small-item storage

2.5
Storage up front is limited to the armrest, the door pockets and the glovebox.

Cargo space

2.0
At 10.8 cubic feet, cargo space is on the small side for the class, and a significant step from the trunk floor is created by the rear seatbacks when folded forward.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall3.5 / 5
Driving3.0
Comfort4.0
Interior2.5
Utility2.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2017 Lexus IS 350.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

A car that the heart and head could agree on
Matt,01/15/2019
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
All that and a bag of chips. Best interior of all cars tested. The IS350 has all the power when I need it. Lexus luxury, a given, reliability as well. Very cool styling. Did I mention that Rioja red interior?
You get what you pay for!
Jeffrey ,06/11/2020
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
Solid car! I’m not sure why Edmunds grades this one as low as it did? I love this car and find for the price you get everything you can ask. A very solid 306hp makes this worth driving! 350 or no IS at all. Mark Levinson Sound is superior! Style is exceptional!

Safety

Our experts like the IS 350 models:

Pre-Collision System
Detects and attempts to avoid front collisions by applying the brakes to assist the driver and reduce the speed of impact.
Lane Departure Alert
Alerts the driver when it detects that the car is deviating close to lane markings.
Intelligent High Beam
Automatically turns the high beams on or off depending on whether it detects oncoming traffic.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.5%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Lexus IS 350

Used 2017 Lexus IS 350 Overview

The Used 2017 Lexus IS 350 is offered in the following submodels: IS 350 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Lexus IS 350?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Lexus IS 350 trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Lexus IS 350 Base is priced between $26,490 and$33,448 with odometer readings between 38291 and72437 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2017 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) 2017 Lexus IS 350 for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2017 IS 350s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $26,490 and mileage as low as 38291 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2017 Lexus IS 350.

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Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.

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