The IS sedan is Lexus' latest attempt to field a sporty four-door that rivals BMW's well-regarded 3 Series. The IS 350 has a 3.5-liter V-6 that whips up a robust 306 horsepower. Competitors include the BMW 335i, Infiniti G35 and Mercedes-Benz C350; the entry-level IS 250 plays against some of those cars' less-powerful siblings.
Lexus also offers an IS 250 and an IS-F, powered by a 2.5-liter V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8, respectively. Both are covered separately in the Cars.com Research section. For 2010, there's a new convertible version of the IS 350, called the IS 350C
Skip to details on the: IS 350C
New for 2010
The 2010 IS receives a few technology updates: A USB/iPod connector is now standard, and the optional navigation system's voice-recognition software has been improved. A new telematics system has similar functionality to GM's OnStar service.
Lexus' LF-series concept cars influenced the IS 350's styling. The automaker says the latest IS bears a strong resemblance to its larger, redesigned GS series of sport sedans. A long wheelbase and wide stance help give the IS 350 a muscular appearance. The IS 350 ranks as a compact car. An optional Sport Package includes a sport suspension and 18-inch wheels with grippier summer tires.
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 18-inch alloy wheels
- Optional xenon headlights
- Optional rain-sensing wipers
- Optional backup camera with front and rear parking sensors
Up to five occupants fit inside the IS 350. Bright electroluminescent instruments light up the dashboard. Metallic trim is standard, and wood trim is available. The optional navigation system's voice-recognition software now picks up casual-language commands, and the standard audio system gains a USB port to better integrate iPods or other MP3 players. Lexus' new Enform service, included with the navigation system, can act as a virtual concierge to assist in finding street addresses, restaurants and more. It comes with a year's free service; after that you have to pay a monthly subscription.
- 10-way power front seats
- Dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents
- Power moonroof
- Manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel (powered version optional)
- 13-speaker stereo with USB input for portable music players
- Optional ventilated front seats
- Optional dynamic radar cruise control
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
The IS 350 is only available with rear-wheel drive, unlike its IS 250 sibling, which has available all-wheel drive.
- 306-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with 277 pounds-feet of torque
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- Larger brakes than IS 250
An optional Pre-Collision System uses radar to detect impending collisions. If it does, it can tense up the seat belts and preload the brakes for maximum stopping power. Adaptive headlights that swivel in the direction of wheel travel are optional. Lexus' new Safety Connect service, which automatically notifies authorities in the event of a crash, is standard. Like Enform, a year's service is included, but after that you'll have to pay a subscription fee. Standard safety features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
- Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management, which is meant to integrate all systems to anticipate skids and react faster than an electronic stability system alone
- Knee airbags for both front occupants
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags for both rows
Available with a 3.5-liter V-6, the IS 350C has a retractable hardtop that Lexus says can operate in just 21 seconds. The four-seat interior features anti-glare gauges, plus audio and climate systems that automatically adjust their settings to compensate for top-down noise and temperatures. Other safety and luxury features remain similar to those on IS 350 sedans. Back to top
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