The five-seat IS 350 sedan and four-seat IS 350C convertible are stronger versions of Lexus' IS 250 and IS 250C by virtue of their 306-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. The IS 350 and IS 350C are sporty rivals to the BMW 3 Series. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional on the sedan. Competitors include the BMW 335i, Infiniti G37 and Mercedes-Benz C350; the entry-level IS 250 plays against some of those cars' less powerful siblings.
Lexus also offers the IS-F, powered by a 5.0-liter V-8. The IS 250 and IS-F are covered separately in the Cars.com Research section. (Skip to details on the: IS 350C)
New for 2012
There are no significant changes for 2012.
A long wheelbase and wide stance help give the IS 350 a muscular appearance. The IS 350 ranks as a compact car. An optional F-Sport Package includes a sport suspension and 18-inch wheels with summer tires that offer more grip.
The sedan has standard xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and LED daytime running lights. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 18-inch alloy wheels
- Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers
- Optional backup camera with front and rear parking sensors
Up to five occupants fit inside the IS 350, though the backseat is tight. Bright electroluminescent instruments light up the dashboard. Black and silver metallic trim is standard. The optional navigation system's voice-recognition software picks up casual-language commands, and the standard stereo has a USB port to better integrate iPods and other MP3 players.
Lexus' Enform service, included with the navigation system, can assist in finding street addresses, restaurants and more. It comes with a year of free service; after that, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee. Interior features include:
- 10-way power front seats
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Power moonroof
- Manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel (power version optional)
- 13-speaker stereo
- Optional heated and ventilated front seats
Under the Hood
The IS 350 sedan is available with rear- or all-wheel drive, like its IS 250 sibling. The convertible is rear-drive only. Mechanical features include:
- 306-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with 277 pounds-feet of torque
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- Larger brakes than IS 250
Lexus' 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:
- All-disc 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
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