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Lexus IS350 2011 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars and ask the big questions, including the most important -- would you buy one?

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars and ask the big questions, including the most important --  would you buy one?

What is it?

Lexus' rear-wheel drive sports sedan. The IS350 F Sport is the more powerful of the IS models, not counting the hi-end IS-F with a 3.5-litre six cylinder engine.

How much?

The IS range starts from $55,900 for the 2.5, rising to $65,000 for the 3.5 or $73,000 for the 350 F Sport (subject of our test) with the Sports Luxury model at $84,000.

What are competitors?

Name your poison. Anything from BMW, Benz or Audi (3 Series, C-Class or the A4 for instance).

What's under the bonnet?

The 3.5-litre V6 delivers 233kW at 6400 revs and 378Nm at 4800 revs. It's paired with a sequential 8-speed automatic with quick shift and throttle blipping as well as torque lock up from 2nd to 8th gear.

Putting into Sport or Sports Plus mode, cuts out eighth, or seventh and eighth gears which will impact on your fuel consumption if not vigilant. Is also fitted with adaptive variable suspension and rides on 18 in wheels, with 225/40s front and 255/35s rear.

How does it go?

It's no tearaway but there's enough there to make life interesting and you'll look good getting there. The dash from 0-100km/h takes 5.9 secs and it has a top speed of 225km/h.

Is it economical?

Rated at 9.2, we clocked up almost 800km at a rate of 10.2 litres/100km. Frankly it felt better than that, but the instruments don't lie.

Is it green?

Gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from the Government's Green Vehicle Guide, producing 225g/km of CO2.

Is it safe?

Gets a full five stars in crash tests. Equipped with eight airbags, active cruise control and lane departure warning, as well as a reversing camera.

Is it comfortable?

Comfort is one of the Lexus hallmarks and the IS is no exception, with sports seats large enough to accommodate chunky occupants but still feels a tad plastic inside.

What's it like to drive?

Smooth with ample power, but it doesn't really come alive until you start to change gears manually, either via the stick or using the wheel mounted change paddles (that goes for sport mode too). The sliding speedometer is a real treat and unlike anything else we've come across.

Is it value for money?

We've always had a secret hankering for one of these cars. The design of the previous model was sublime. While not as good looking, the current car is eye catching and that is more important when you're trying to be noticed (like Lexus had been for the past 20 years).

Would we buy one?

Yes. No question. It's a quality product and better equipped than one of the equivalent Euros and you just know it's never ever going to break down.

Lexus IS 350 F Sport
Body: four-door luxury medium sedan
Price: from $73,000
Warranty: 4 years/100,000km
Engine: 3.5-litre V6 233kW/378Nm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, RWD
Thirst: 9.7L/100km, (13.5 on test), 225g/km
Performance: 0-100km/h in 5.9s, top speed 225km/h (limited)

Pricing guides

$20,988
Based on 35 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$13,999
Highest Price
$29,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
IS250C Prestige 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $20,400 – 27,720 2011 Lexus IS 2011 IS250C Prestige Pricing and Specs
IS250C Sports 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $19,700 – 27,390 2011 Lexus IS 2011 IS250C Sports Pricing and Specs
IS250C Sports Luxury 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $25,800 – 34,210 2011 Lexus IS 2011 IS250C Sports Luxury Pricing and Specs
IS F 5.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $31,100 – 40,700 2011 Lexus IS 2011 IS F Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.