What can I say about the new 2015 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport that you haven’t already read? That it’s awesome, sporty looking, and best in its class? Why yes. For the longest time, the BMW 3 series and Audi A4 have been neck and neck in leading this class, but there is a new kid on the block. The IS 350 F-Sport was revealed last year, and has taken the market by storm. Aside from, in my opinion, being one of the best looking sport sedans out there, it can also hold its own on the track. Lexus didn’t just give it a sporty facelift, but also beefed up the goods under the hood, upgraded the suspension, and equipped it with rubbers that will grip the road.
The IS is Lexus’s entry level sedan. Having seen a handful on the streets, I was excited to have the opportunity to see what all the hype was about. First off, just look at it. It has such an aggressive luxury look to it for being a sedan. Being the F-sport model, it had some upgrades from the standard IS 350. When the review vehicle was delivered, all I could do was stare at the Atomic Silver color, the massive front grill, and bright LED day time running lights. The front bumper was aggressive, complemented by 18” gunmetal alloy wheels, dual exhaust, and the F-Sport badging. The side skirts tapered up toward the real wheel for nice continuity.
The interior maintained the sporty luxury feel, beginning with a great light leather color. The driver’s seat really wrapped around to hug me, and the beefy steering wheel felt good in my hands. The center console followed the rest of the Lexus lineup by being simple and elegant, with the monitor in the center of the dash. The F-Sport badging continued inside, accented by silver foot pedals and carbon fiber trim on the doors and dash. It also featured a backup camera with rear cross traffic and blind spot sensors for added safety. I loved the look of this car!
This car was a total head turner and so much fun to drive. Just turning the vehicle on was exciting, with the roar of the 3.5 liter V6 pushing 300hp saying hello. The dash had gauges to show the driving mode, which I could switch from Eco, Normal and Sport +. The F-Sport package added performance upgrades such as adaptive variable suspension, sports mode and variable gear ratio. This car had really good acceleration and superb handling. The gas mileage depended on what mode I drove in. It was fine in Eco and Normal modes, but I found myself driving in Sport + mode using the pedal shifters the majority of the time. I think the focus was more on sport than luxury, so I did feel the road a bit, but I wasn’t complaining. This was a rear wheel drive model, but I was able to use the snow button option to gain more traction when needed. Lexus does offer an AWD version, which I would highly recommend if you live anywhere that would get a lot of snow. It’s a small price increase, but I think definitely worth it.
This is a great vehicle for a single person or a couple. It’s on the smaller side, so space is limited once you start adding passengers. I was able to install both my toddler and infant seat, but we lost almost all room in the front and we felt pretty scrunched up to the dash. If you have one baby it might be ok, but two is pretty difficult. The trunk has a good amount of room to make up for the small interior space.
Overall I really enjoyed the IS 350 F-Sport. It has great acceleration, handling, comfort and all your basic needs. It’s little small but definitely doable. The base model starts at $36K, and one we tested lists at $49K. I’d like to thank Lexus for the opportunity to review the vehicle. Please visit your nearest Lexus dealership for more information.