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 stand out as an obvious gap in the lineup.
- 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