2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport Four-Door Sedan

Experience an amazing machine
By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
December 24, 2021 Updated: December 24, 2021

Command the road and attention. You can feel in the seats the powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine unleashing 311 horses. The power is piped to the rear wheels through an 8-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. This powertrain is good for a 0-60 mph sprint time of 5.6 seconds.

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3.5L V6 under the hood. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Fuel economy for this performance sedan is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, for a combined average of 23 mpg.

Outside, the test IS 350 was wrapped in Grecian Water body paint, and rode on 19-inch split-five spoke alloy wheels with Dark Metallic finish. The wheel widths are staggered: 235/40R19 front and 265/35R19 rear.

The staggered wheels, company signature spindle grille, headlamps with boomerang LED DRL, lower rocker panels, and rear spoilers make for an attractive exterior vehicle.

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Headlight assembly. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The digital instrument cluster in the IS 350 F Sport is nearly identical to the one in the world-renowned LFA supercar. A sliding circular bezel enclosing the tachometer and more, moves in concert with data display changes, expanding and retracting digital readout when information is accessed.

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Digital instrument cluster similar to that in the LFA. (Courtesy of Lexus)

F Sport bolstered heated/ventilated 10-way driver and 8-way front passenger seats are enhanced with a unique foam-injected construction designed to cradle the driver during high-G turns. They wrap the driver’s hip point as close as possible to the vehicle’s center of gravity for a more dynamic driving experience.

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F Sport front seats. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The suspension is more rigid while utilizing components that are up to 20% lighter. It features sensors that monitor G-force and adjust damping through every turn to reduce body lean and improve response.

The IS 350 is a performance vehicle bred for the track, but it adapts to any road. For those who want a top-notch performance car, this Lexus sedan should be your first consideration.

The 8.0-inch touchscreen Lexus Multimedia System fills the cabin with with sound through the 10-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System. User interfacing and connectivity technology includes Voice Command with Bluetooth and USB smartphone connection, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Alexa compatibility, and Lexus Enform Remote. A 4GB/3-month trial for Lexus Enform Wi-Fi has also been tossed into the pot. Two USB ports, smartphone integration, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio are top-notch entertainment sources.

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8.0-inch infotainment system touchscreen. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 is a class-leading integrated suite of advanced safety technology that is standard across the Lexus lines. Features include the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamics Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, just to name a few.

Even with a hallmark Lexus interior and safety engineering, the performance-oriented character of the IS 350 does place some demands on its owner in terms of driving awareness and daily practicality.

You may find the seats too confining, and the car has a low ground clearance that may cause issues if you travel fast on roadways that have shallow lanes or narrow crossings. The low front fender can easily become attached to the curb when parking.

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Low ground clearance. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The MSRP for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport starts at $42,900. Lexus offers several impressive and tempting packages that will send you consulting with your wallet, such as the Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package and the F Sport Dynamic Handling Package.

Warranty
4 years/50,000 miles Basic Coverage Warranty
6 years/70,000 miles Powertrain Warranty
6 years/unlimited mileage Corrosion Perforation Warranty
4 years/unlimited mileage 24-hour Roadside Assistance Plan

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.