2018 Lexus IS 350 Review
Edmunds expert review
Based on the Lexus IS 350's looks alone, you might take its aggressive style — the pinched grille, prominent air intakes, and sweeping body lines to the back — as the sign of an uncompromising performance car. But don't let its looks fool you. The IS 350 is foremost a cruise and comfort machine.
Much of the credit goes to the Lexus' cabin, which stands out in both design and quality, and the IS 350's smooth ride quality both around town and out on the open highway. There are also generous standard features and plentiful options. We particularly like how adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking come standard.
The focus on comfort doesn't mean the IS 350 is a wet blanket to drive. With its 311-horsepower V6, the 350 is the fastest version of the IS lineup. But the reality is that rival luxury sedans with six-cylinder engines (as upgrades) do offer quicker acceleration and often have sharper handling abilities. You just have to ask yourself how much that really matters. Overall, we think the IS 350 offers a pleasing blend of the qualities most luxury sedan shoppers will want.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Lexus IS 350 is a five-passenger small luxury sedan that tops the IS lineup. It's only available with a V6 engine, which can be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive or a six-speed auto with all-wheel drive.
The IS 350 rear-wheel-drive model starts with a V6 engine (311 hp, 280 pound-feet of torque) and eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive versions use a six-speed automatic.
Standard features include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth, a 7-inch color display, and a 10-speaker sound system with dual USB ports and an auxiliary audio input.
Standard tech and safety features include a rearview camera, automatic high beams, lane departure warning with lane-keep steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking. All-wheel-drive models also come with heated front seats.
The IS 350 offers a handful of options packages, among them the Comfort package, which adds automatic wipers, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver- and passenger-seat memory settings, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Navigation package replaces the standard infotainment control dial with Lexus' Remote Touch mouse-type controller and adds a navigation system with a larger 10.3-inch display. A 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system is also available, but only when bundled with the navigation system.
For those who want to dial up the sporting factor, the F Sport version adds a full-mesh front grille, a revised front bumper, twin-projector LED headlights, staggered-width 18-inch wheels (with either summer or all-season tires), a sport-tuned suspension with continuously variable dampers, a limited-slip differential (rear-wheel drive only), upgraded brake pads, an intake sound generator that amplifies engine noise during acceleration, heated and ventilated front sport seats with enhanced bolstering, perforated leather trim and a special sport-oriented gauge cluster.
Some of the IS 350's stand-alone options include adaptive headlights, a power rear sunshade and front and rear parking sensors.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Edmunds expert 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.