Lexus Introduces The New IS350

Lexus introduces the new IS350, commenting that it is “A thrilling new addition to the IS line, the IS 350 features the same level of luxury and refinement as the other models in the range, while surprising with its powerful performance. With the largest horsepower in its class and a 3.5 litre V6 engine, the IS 350 is engineered to excite.”

Mark Borlace from the RAA has reviewed the new Lexus IS350 for the RAA’s internet page. Borlace reviews that: “once the quiet ‘also ran’ to the European manufacturers in the luxury car stakes, Lexus now has its act together. The new IS350 is a genuine competitor for German manufacturers, with all the poise, handling and performance that most will want in a luxury sports sedan.”

In terms of value for money, Borlace says that “unlike most competitors in this class, Lexus has included many of the features that you want as standard equipment rather than drawing you in with a lower price and then jabbing you once you start ticking the options boxes. The 3 model IS350 range starts with the Prestige model at $64,800, the sportier F Sport at $71,800 and the top of the range Sports Luxury which we tested is $81,300.”

“All models come equipped with reversing camera with rear guide assist, touch-screen satellite navigation with Bluetooth, heated seats, HID headlamps with daytime running lamps and metallic paint. They also have a premium 13-speaker audio system with 6-CD multi-changer and a six-speed sequential automatic transmission with paddle shifts as standard. So the basic level of equipment is pretty good and the other models build on that with the F Sport having power tilt and telescopic steering column adjustment, auto-retract and self-dimming exterior mirrors, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and the higher spec Mark Levinson 14-speaker premium audio system. The Sports Luxury adds even more to the list with a ‘moon-roof’, active cruise control, the Lexus pre-collision safety system, front and rear clearance sonar, and self-dimming and heated exterior mirrors.”

“The rest of the differences between models are really aesthetic treatments and different levels of interior trim materials. Lexus also supply loan cars while your car is being serviced which is convenient offering.”

When considering design and function, Borlace claims that “the IS350 body is pretty much the same as rest of the IS sedan range and comes with the full swag of airbags, 8 in total, including knee airbags. The coupling of mature active safety equipment in a practical four door design with lots of space it is a good package.”

“The rear wheel drive design is consistent with the configuration used by Mercedes and BMW in their C Class and 3 series respectively, and includes Lexus’ active safety system the Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM). Lexus’ effort to achieve a drag co-efficient of 0.28 has come from the under-body design with the aerodynamics under the car managed in three phases: a stepped engine undercover at the front to create a venturi effect and increase downforce, a flat bottom at the centre under the cabin, and a diffuser at the rear. This coupled with field testing, some of which was done the Northern Territory, has contributed to the very stable behaviour of the IS350 at speed.”

After taking the IS350 for a test drive, Borlace claims that the IS350 “was well behaved at any speed.” “At crawling pace the turning circle of 10.2 metres made it easy in car parks, and at city speeds it was quiet and smooth. At open road speed on winding roads along the Fleurieu Peninsula it was competent and sure footed as it rode the undulating sections of the road. Suspension wise the package includes a front/rear tyre size differential, with 225/40R18Y front tyres and 255/40R18Y on the rears, supplying heaps of grip.”

“In straight acceleration the IS350 gathers its revs as quickly as anything in the market, giving you the great acceleration off the line, and this acceleration is still there for passing manoeuvres at highway speeds as well. The naturally aspirated Quad Cam 3.5 litre V6 is the same as used in the Lexus RX. It has two petrol injection systems, direct petrol injection and port injection combined with Variable Valve Timing for inlet and exhaust. An intelligent electronic throttle makes for a very responsive and more efficient V6. Although the IS350 is only slightly heavier than the IS250 and has nearly one and a half times the power and torque, the fuel consumption hasn’t been hammered with it remaining less than ½ L / 100 km more than the IS250.”

“The 6 speed automatic transmission with paddle shift provided crisp gear changes despite the absence of a dual clutch gearbox being used by the majoring of its contemporaries. The IS350 braking package was particularly good, with positive and progressive brake feel even after a couple of aggressive highway speed to zero braking tests.”

Borlance summerises that “The IS range is growing with the base IS250 and the sports V8 ISF and now the IS350 is snugly in the middle. The performance and handling package of the new IS350 Lexus wrapped in a hard to beat value proposition have taken Lexus from a European wannabe to a real competitor with their edgier sports models.”

For more information on Mark Borlace’s review of the IS350, visit:

For more information on the IS305 or any other Lexus products, visit:

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