With the Lexus IS 350 you get all that you expect from a Lexus vehicle, and that’s saying a lot. What you don’t get is what the competition offers, and that may or may not be saying a lot.
The IS350 has power to spare and comfort in spades. The 3.5 liter V6 engine produces 306 horsepower with a standard six-speed automatic transmission, all while looking quite sporty and luxurious. There is certainly nothing wrong with the engine as it provides a strong, enthusiastic output of power each and every time while at the same time a ride that seems much too luxurious for an entry-level luxury sedan. Quiet and smooth, trademarks of the Lexus name, and the is350 does not disappoint.
The interior is again what one would expect from a Lexus. Leather seats, power front seats, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, great sound system, and options galore leave the driver feeling rather special. All of these features we have come to expect from Lexus and really, with no notable exceptions, they have remained true to that name.
What is also a fairly constant statement about this line of vehicles is that, with the exception of the IS 250, handling leaves one wanting more. The IS 350 handles fine but really doesn’t talk to the driver. There is no “ooh and ahh” moment in this car, but rather a soothing lullaby. Rather than an elevation of pulse you get a nice, steady pulse.
The 2011 model continues this legacy. Also of note with most Lexus cars is ample, comfortable seating in the front and rather cramped seating in the rear. This same review could be written about practically every Lexus model. The main competitors of the IS 350, namely the Audi 4, Cadillac CTS, and Mercedes C-Class, are roomier. The BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G37 are much more responsive and exciting. The Lexus IS 350 falls somewhere in-between them all but does it with style and grace.
Improvements since 2006 have leaned heavily on technology. An iPod interface, enhanced Bluetooth, and a quality navigation system have been added, further improving an already impressive feeling of quality. Owners of this fine car would say the same things about it that owners five years ago said. On the other hand, detractors would say the same things that they said five years ago. And so it goes. The Lexus IS 350 is a quality Japanese import sedan that delivers on the Lexus promise, the same promise it has delivered upon for decades.