Have you ever driven on the streets and wondered, “Why people purchased this small Lexus?” At first glimpse, it’s unassuming and subtle. But after testing out the 2019 Lexus IS 350 F Sport AWD, we possess an entirely different perspective. At roughly $51,640 USD, this model definitely is a contender for the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.
The overall skeleton of the model hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. The silhouette still appears somewhat the same. Of course, the most pronounced new features are the triple beam headlamps with a set of divorced daytime running lamps adjacent to an overly pronounced spindle grill. The front is aggressive and brave which fits in line with Lexus’s new mantra, “To be bold.” Once you stamp F Sport badging onto this vehicle, you get 18″ 5-spoke wheels and an interior which is unique in its class.
Inside, the cabin is quiet and the overall instrument panel dazzles. With the click of a button on the steering wheel, you can see different screens and reports which are mostly up to your customizations. The 10.3 inch infotainment system is sleeker and larger than its precursors. Middle counsel bears an arm control with a mouse-like joystick which allows you to toggle around the menu. The race-inspired front seats are heated and cooled as well as exhibits an F Sport insignia. Multi-adjustable, power front seating, allows the driver to feel more in control of the vehicle. There’s a ton of legroom in front if you push the seats back, only you lose most of the already non-existent legroom in the rear. All in all the car seats 4 comfortably but 2 of the adults shouldn’t be over 5’7. There’s no panoramic roof offered, but the sunroof makes it feel more receptive. Not to cite, the faux suede headliner makes the car feel luxurious. In accession, the analog clock in the center of dash adds a tinge of elegance with functionality.
Although Lexus Enform allows you to immediately speak with an operator for directions while in motion, there’s still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Yes, you can split the screen to view music while you watch directions, but it can get quite cumbersome while driving. And, since you want to pay close attention to the road, the dual/triple view can make it tough to focus on the mapped out routes which were programmed for your road trip.
The 10-speaker Premium Sound System adds an element of enjoyment which most models in its it class can’t come near to. So if you love music with heavy bass lines like we do, then this system delivers. In gain, the static Bluetooth capabilities along with Siri Eyes Free should keep you somewhat intuitive in this compact world.
We highly recommend this model for youthful car enthusiasts who reside in overcrowded urban centers. Short wheelbase, parking assist and backup cam makes it easy to fit in small parking places.
Lexus Safety System+ comes standard on this trim. It offers an array of modifications which will come in handy on extended trips where driver’s fatigue can creep in. On plenty of occasions while in heavy street traffic, the Pedestrian Detection alerted us to be cognizant of jaywalkers which is the norm in NYC. Furthermore, since the car sits low, many cars couldn’t take notice of its small physique, but our Pre-Collision System managed to keep us on our toes while others proved to cut us off. Moreover, while on long distance trips lane departure and steering assists came in handy alongside of radar cruise control. In increase, the Intellingent High Beam headlights work like a charm on the Brooklyn Bridge and inside the Holland Tunnel, providing us with ample light while inside those dark pockets.
With virtually the same powerplant of the 2020 Toyota Supra, this 3.5L, V6 aspirated engine outputs 311 HP with 280 lb-foot of torque. It may not be as responsive as its predecessor, the 2014 IS which possessed a 5.0L V8, but it unquestionably has its soul. Overall the chassis is nice and has a stiff suspension. In Sport+ Mode, the steering feels stiffest and the exhaust notes are intensified. The AWD adds about 200lbs to the car’s weight, but it’s easily worth it. Particularly, if you like to claw around corners while being planted. With 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined, she’s worth her weight in gold.
In short, the Lexus IS 350 F Sport AWD is quick, nimble and delivers the right curb appeal at the right price. In fact, she’s approximately $10,000 less than a beamer which possesses far less features. Thus, if you’re in the market for a seductive compact sports sedan with a ton of driver intuitive amenities, then look no further.
For all things Lexus IS F Sport AWD go HERE.