2019 Lexus IS 350 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Ride quality is smooth and comfortable on bumpy roads
  • Cabin is well-isolated from noise
  • Offers more features for the money compared to German alternatives
  • Optional Remote Touch infotainment system is distracting to use
  • Handling capabilities don't create much driver excitement
  • A tighter back seat than those of rivals
List Price Estimate
$33,542 - $38,410

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Which IS 350 does Edmunds recommend?

Apart from the less powerful IS 300 model, there's only one IS 350 trim level, so the only question is which options to choose. The F Sport package adds handling and styling verve, and although it doesn't exactly transform the car, we still think it's the best choice: If you're considering the IS 350, it probably means you're also prioritizing its extra horsepower and therefore want a more dynamic driving experience overall.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

To reinterpret an old maxim about judging books, we recommend that you not judge a sport sedan by the size or shape of its grille. At rest, the 2019 Lexus IS 350 might look like an uncompromising sports car, with its pinched grille, prominent air intakes and aggressive body lines. But make no mistake: The IS prioritizes comfort and cruising over athletic performance, owing to a well-honed ride, hushed cabin and a generous set of features.

With a punchy six-cylinder engine and either rear- or all-wheel drive, the IS is more suited to relaxed driving with an occasional rip through an empty back road than it is track-inspired daily driving. It's less sporty than its European rivals from Audi and BMW, and less feral than its fellow Japanese competitor, the Infiniti Q50.

But where some of those rivals feel and ride a bit stiffer, or separate desirable features onto a pricey options sheet, the IS offers an alternative: all-day comfort and a broad range of standard equipment.

For 2019, the IS carries over largely unchanged, but there are a few updates of note. Trick new three-beam LED headlights are the most noticeable new option, and there's also new voice command integration for Amazon Alexa devices. Sadly, however, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay still aren't available. And with a frustrating Remote Touch tech interface, infotainment is one of the areas where the IS may give you pause.

So, too, may its driving experience, which isn't quite as engaging as that of its sport/luxury sedan competitors. Nevertheless, the IS 350 delivers in many of the right areas. The interior stands out in both design and quality, the standard features are generous, and the convenience and safety tech is top-notch. It remains a smart, if subdued, pick among small luxury sedans.

2019 Lexus IS 350 models

The 2019 Lexus IS 350 is a five-passenger small luxury sedan that tops the IS lineup. It's only available with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (311 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque). It can be paired with rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission or all-wheel drive and a six-speed auto.

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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 (NuLuxe), 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, Lexus Enform Remote vehicle controls, two USB ports, a 7-inch color display, and an eight-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio input, satellite radio and HD radio. The IS 350 AWD comes with heated front seats.

Standard driver assistance technology features include a rearview camera, automatic high beams, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, and a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking.

The IS 350 offers a handful of option packages. The Comfort package adds automatic wipers, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems (available separately). A Premium package includes heated and ventilated front seats.

The Navigation package replaces the standard infotainment control dial with Lexus' Remote Touch joystick-type controller, a 10.3-inch display and a navigation system. A 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system can be added to this package.

For those who want to dial up the sporting factor, the F Sport package adds revised styling, staggered-width 18-inch wheels (with either summer or all-season tires), a sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip rear differential (RWD only), upgraded brakes, an intake sound generator that amplifies engine noise during acceleration, heated and ventilated front sport seats, and a special sport-oriented gauge cluster.

Stand-alone options include upgraded LED headlights (triple-beam), a power rear sunshade, front and rear parking sensors, an automatic parking system, and a heated steering wheel.

Driving

Handling dynamics aren't this car's strongest suit, though you can have fun whipping this luxury compact around a bend or two. The IS 350's V6 is strong, but acceleration isn't as quick as what you'll get from rivals with turbocharged V6s.

Comfort

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

Seat comfort

There's adequate lateral support from the standard seats, with additional bolstering provided by the F Sport's more aggressive thrones. 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

Great attention went into cabin soundproofing. Road and wind noise is sufficiently silenced, and you don't hear much even under full ABS braking. The engine sounds more refined at full throttle than BMW's comparable four-cylinder.

Climate control

On a cold and rainy day, the auto climate control failed to sufficiently warm the cabin with the temps set to 75 degrees. The front seats' heating and ventilation functions, however, work well and quickly reach optimal temperature. The heated steering wheel is also sufficiently toasty.

Interior

The IS struggles to find a balance between innovation and complication. Its low ride height and roofline require taller drivers to bend and duck to clear the doorways. This cabin has mediocre functional efficiency.

Ease of use

The armrests are positioned at a comfortable height for support while cruising. The controls are all within reach, and there's a padded surface to lay your arm on while using the infotainment system's Remote Touch interface. The touch sliders for the climate control look cool and work well.

Getting in/getting out

The IS 350's low height requires passengers to dip into the cabin. Even with the easy-entry retracting steering wheel, it's easy to graze a knee against the column climbing into the seat. The rear door openings are on the smaller side and could prove difficult to settle into for older passengers.

Roominess

Cabin space is not abundant. The wide center tunnel console and armrests can feel tight and claustrophobic. Rear-seat headroom is limited, especially in the center seat, and there's less legroom than the competition. The transmission tunnel will be especially uncomfortable for the middle passenger.

Visibility

Forward visibility is great, and rear headrests don't impede the view directly rearward, but the huge rear pillars and a high body slope create blind spots when reversing. A rearview camera is standard, with parking sensors and an auto parking system optional.

Quality

Other than the steering wheel's leather, which looks and feels like wrinkled skin around the thumb rest areas, this interior is done well. The seats have quality stitching, and all contact surfaces are soft with tight-fitting panels and solid door seals.

Utility

The IS 350's lack of roominess is echoed in its storage capabilities. The trunk is smaller than those of rivals, there's a significant step from the trunk floor to seatback when the rear seats are folded down, and interior storage space is sparse. LATCH anchors and tethers, though, are easily accessible.

Small-item storage

There are two small cupholders in front and one in each of the decently sized door pockets. Another two are in the back, thoughtfully concealed in a fold-out tray in the armrest. The rear doors don't have pockets, so storage in the back is limited to seatback pockets.

Cargo space

The cargo area measures 10.8 cubic feet, which is small for a sedan. The top of the trunk opening is only slightly inset compared to the bottom, so you have to bend over slightly and slide your bags in.

Child safety seat accommodation

Four LATCH anchors are hidden under wide leather covers at the base of the rear seat. Not only do these covers provide easy access to the anchors just underneath, but they also look like they are part of the seat itself. The three upper tethers are also easy to reach.

Technology

The IS 350 comes with an impressive list of standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. It doesn't feature any of the latest smartphone integration tech, and the optional Remote Touch controller is unbearably distracting to use.

Audio & navigation

The optional navigation system brings with it a larger widescreen display with crisp graphics that are easy on the eyes. Unfortunately, it also adds a joystick-like controller that perpetually frustrates. Imprecise movements make it cumbersome to navigate a cluttered sea of virtual buttons.

Smartphone integration

Despite refreshes over the years, the IS hasn't kept up with trends in mobile device integration. There's no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. An auxiliary input and two USB ports are located under the front armrest, but there's no cord pass-through.

Driver aids

A rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and mitigation, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control now come standard. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems are optional.

Voice control

Voice controls follow a logical menu structure, with users sticking to top-level commands such as "Navigation." The nav system will allow you to modify individual aspects that it misunderstood during the input process. Overall vocal recognition is good, but Siri Eyes Free would feel more natural.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2019 Lexus IS 350.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

reliability
kevin,05/30/2020
F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
can other rivals offer 300k miles before going to the shop with similar specs and performance?
Love my IS 350 Sport
Jasmine,12/17/2019
F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This car is super fun to drive and looks amazing inside and out. This care is truly one of a kind. App for navigation and Bluetooth for phone.
Aging Well
Field110,10/26/2020
F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
A one year review on a 2019 IS350 AWD F-sport 2. So far 6,500 trouble free miles. Car is a daily driver in all conditions, handles good in snow/ice, running high performance winter tires so it could be better. The looks of the car grow on you with the big grill, can see BMW has copied some areas on the new 2021 3&4 series. The Lexus Atomic Silver is beautiful paint, not too soft, a fine cut, polish and ceramic coating makes it look liquid in the sunlight. Brakes are spot on for mild to aggressive daily driving. Adjustable suspension makes a nice improvement in the corners. Now for some areas its lacking. Transmission: 6 speed Aisin is an ok transmission, very lacking in the shift quality of the ZF 8 speed. In eco mode it thinks the engine produces lots of torque at low RMP's and upshifts too early, it sport it wants to hold gears just because someone programmed it that way, in manual mode it tries to shift fast but just causes a rough shift instead, also in the AWD models the transfer case causes and large hump that can get in the way on the left hand drive models. Interior: layout is decent but lacking an adjustable sun visor for the side windows, very poor place to cut cost? Also no option for head-ups display like we see in much cheaper cars and in the competition. Engine: likely on of the most reliable engines in production, but its starting to show its age in lack of low end torque and just ok fuel economy. I do highly recommend if you buy your car and keep it for lots of miles or years, for fun of driving the Genesis G70 and BMW 3 series are better choices if you lease and keep 2-4 years. Update: my car recently had the fuel pump recall, otherwise has been problem free. I did try a new 2021 IS350 F-Sport and i can say the 2019 is a better car. The 2021 update is very disappointing. It does not address several short comings of the previous gen, actually makes things worse. For 2021 the IS 350 and RC 350 had an change in fuel consumption rating, the MPG went up some. From what i can tell it comes down to shift points in the transmission, the transmission in any mode is always trying to get to the highest gear as fast as possible.
Love this car!
Tom,03/21/2021
F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
Great car backed by great customer service, reliability, and top notch quality. If you can looking for a new car make sure to take a look at Lexus. A true drivers experience!

Safety

Our experts like the IS 350 models:

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 drivers maintain a preset distance by adjusting the vehicle's 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 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 2019 Lexus IS 350

Used 2019 Lexus IS 350 Overview

The Used 2019 Lexus IS 350 is offered in the following submodels: IS 350 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A). Pre-owned Lexus IS 350 models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 311 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2019 Lexus IS 350 comes with rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2019 Lexus IS 350 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2019 Lexus IS 350?

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 2019 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) 2019 Lexus IS 350 for sale near. 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 2019 Lexus IS 350.

Can't find a used 2019 Lexus IS 350s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

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Find a used Lexus for sale - 4 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $14,422.

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Should I lease or buy a 2019 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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