The 2016 Lexus IS350 F SPORT blurs the line between family sedan and sports car. Part practical four door machine and part performance beast – striking a balance between luxury and sport.
Staying true to Lexus’ recent design language the IS350 features the hourglass shaped spindle grill and angular headlights. The F SPORT adds a bit of muscle with its arched fenders, curved large brake cooling ducts, and split 5-spoke gunmetal 18″ wheels. Adding to the flash is the Ultrasonic Blue Mica paint on the version I tested.
The interior cabin has all the amenities you would expect from a luxury brand from the push button start, supple leather seats, and multi-information display system is complete with back-up camera, navigation, SiriusXM radio, a host of apps, and more. Both front seats offer the option of heat or cooling along with the F SPORT heating steering wheel with paddle shifters. The model tested came equipped with the navigation package with Mark Levinson 17-speaker audio system. Yet, I still can’t get past the Lexus’Remote Touch mouse control. I find it slow and cumbersome. And on the IS it takes up valuable real estate as the cup holders are set back in the center console making it very difficult to reach behind to grab a drink.
The cabin is spacious and comfortable. The backseat does fit a baby seat quite well and the trunk holds an ample amount of goods.
For those with a family the amount of safety features can provide peace of mind. From the blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert heated outside rear view mirror to the 10 airbags throughout the vehicle. The IS350 is robust with technology to help protect those in the vehicle to both help avoid accidents and in the case that an accident should occur.
On the road the vehicle shines and with the Adaptive Variable Suspension, which receives a boost on the F SPORT model with the addition of SPORT S+ Mode, the car handles sharp and smooth.
Through the city streets the car performs as you may expect from the luxury brand. The cabin is quiet and the ride smooth even over LA asphalt. Quick and agile acceleration in Normal and SPORT / SPORT S+ modes made entering freeways a breeze. On the open road the exhaust hums with a subtle rumble while at speed. The vehicle is no muscle machine, but it’s no slouch either with a 3.5 liter V6 under the hood pushing out 306 horsepower. Not bad for a luxury family sedan.
Quick jaunts around town were enjoyable and while the typical rush hour traffic is inescapable the SiriusXM coupled with the bluetooth connectivity to my phone provided enough entertainment via Audible and various podcasts to make the most of a bad situation. For longer hauls, the Lexus IS350 FSPORT was quite nice. A drive with the family to Las Vegas proved to be quite comfortable.
Overall, the 2016 Lexus IS350 FSPORT is a great option for those looking for a solid all-around vehicle. Killer looks mixed with performance and luxury to boot. Priced at close to $50,000, the vehicle may not fit everyone’s budget, but in its class its an impressive bargain.