The bigger half of Lexus’ IS lineup has what you crave. Check it out.
Lexus IS 350 Trims and Feature Highlights
The Lexus IS 350 is a five-seat luxury compact sedan that starts just north of $40,000. Like its brother the IS 250, the 350 is available in rear-wheel drive & all-wheel drive hardtop trims, as well as a rear-wheel drive convertible model- the 350 C. Where 350 differs is under the hood; drivers gain muscle in the form of a 3.5 liter V6 and 306 horsepower, compared to the relatively tame 2.5 liter 204 HP engine attached to the 250. IS 350 models also lack a manual transmission choice, though the 6-speed auto with paddle shifters is smooth, and responsiveness can be electrified by adding F Sport components. And 350’s tight turning radius makes it possible to get in and out of trouble.
Inside, you’ll find a luxurious and sport tinged, if tight, quarters. Standard features include leather trim with metallic accents, 10-way driver’s seat (10-way passenger seat is optional), a 13 speaker sound system, XM Radio, and Bluetooth. Extras include heated/ventilated front seats, rain sensing wipers, and wood trim. On the tech front, adding Navigation, Enform and Safety Connect will keep you well informed.
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Lexus IS 350 Performance
Every IS 350 is paired with a 3.5 liter V6 that houses 306 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. The V6 is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and the choice of either rear or all-wheel drive. The 6-speed auto features paddle shifters which, if you’re good enough, will propel you from 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds (5.7 and 5.8 seconds for the all-wheel and convertible, respectively), topping out at an electronically limited 144 MPH with rear-wheel drive hardtops.
Lexus IS 350 Fuel Economy
The EPA gives both the rear-wheel drive and convertible numbers of 19/27/22 (city/highway/combined) MPG; all-wheel drive trims dip 1 MPH in each category for 18/26/21- in case you couldn’t handle the math. All numbers are gauged using premium fuel.
Lexus IS 350 Interior Highlights
Lexus throws luxury all over IS 350’s interior. Leather seats and soft touch features provide comfort while metallic or available maple accents finish off varying degrees of excess. Add Enform infotainment, dual-zone climate control, and heated & ventilated front seats and you’ve got one of the best cabin experiences in the upscale midsize class.
The main complaint that owners, and more likely their passengers, bring up is a lack of space. The back seats offer a scant 30 ½ inches of legroom, so call shotgun early. Things stretch out a bit up front, and drivers can take advantage of hands free features and hands on paddle shifters.
Trunk space measures 13.3 cubic feet for hardtop models and 10.8 cubes for convertibles. Be careful what you pack in warm weather, though; dropping the top shrinks the trunk to just 2.4 cubes.
Lexus IS 350 Safety
All 2012 IS 350 models are equipped with 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability/traction control, Safety Connect emergency/roadside services, and 8 airbags (6 for convertible)- including both driver and front passenger knee bags. Available safety extras include rain-sensing windshield wipers.
The NHTSA give 2012 IS 350 sedan models 4/5 stars for rollover accidents; the IIHS mirrors roof strength with a second best ‘Acceptable’ and gives front & side integrity the highest grade of ‘good’.
Lexus IS 350 Summary
IS 350 receives the 300 HP performance its 250 brother lacks, and there’s plenty of upscale-ness to go around. While it lacks a certain driving excitement you may find with competitors, it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for compact luxury. Just so long as tall genes don’t run in your family.
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