Lexus IS 350 F SPORT 2016 Review | TestDriveNow


In case you haven’t noticed, Lexus has been
getting edgier…rebelling against its luxury-only stereotype with models that’ll definitely
get the heart racing. F SPORT is the name and in your face is its game.In the Lexus
world of higher performance, there are the full-fledged F cars of which there are currently
only 2 and then there are the F SPORT models, less assertive than F but nearly as bold in
their designs with an emphasis on dynamic handling. Six of these F SPORT upgrades exist
including here on their smallest and most affordable sedan, the IS. Though F SPORT can
be specified with any of the 3 IS engines, mine is the pinnacle of the lineup, the IS
350 AWD with a starting MSRP of $46,700 including destination, a $2,700 F SPORT premium. This
car runs with a sophisticated 3.5-liter V6 producing 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet
of torque churning through an intelligent, quick shifting 6-speed automatic with big,
meaty paddle shifters. Front to rear torque balance varies automatically from 50:50 to
as much as 30:70 helping to preserve the car’s rear-wheel drive fun while providing all-weather
control. When I first drove this current generation car back in 2013 exactly like this but without
F SPORT it didn’t exactly move me. But the F SPORT extras combined with this upcharge
but totally worth it Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 paint, make a huge difference in this
car’s likability.2016 Lexus IS 350 AWD F SPORTLexus never strays too far from its luxury
roots, even in F SPORT models. That makes this IS is an expertly crafted blend of easily
exploitable sportiness and well-mannered drivability. The car exits corners with authority but the
power isn’t going to blow you away. And other than hearing the air rush in, there’s
not much exhaust note when you hammer it.Improving the F SPORT’s handling is the specially
tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension with 2 selectable settings, fortified with a double
wishbone setup in the front for excellent driver feedback. Leave it in Normal for everyday
comfort or dial it up to SPORT S or SPORT S + for added body control and agility. An
intake sound generator makes for a more exciting engine note but audibly speaking this car
is a bit of a letdown. But I really do love driving it. Even without the variable ratio
steering – an option on the rear drive model – this wheel is an instrument of precision
which feels good in your hands, requires sport-level effort and allows you to place the car exactly
as planned.My car is fitted with all-season tires and combined with AWD feels a little
nose heavy when pushed hard into turns but it also gives you the confidence to go for
it. And the helm is ergonomic awesomeness.The IS 350 AWD F SPORT is a fitting choice for
the driver who desires the Lexus pedigree with plug and play athleticism in a bolder
package. It’s 0-to-60mph time of 5.7-seconds puts in on par with its Infiniti counterpart
but it’s in the midrange, on the backroad while paddle shifting where the V6 really
feels alive.The cockpit is superior with a modern, technical look, high comfort and honed
ergonomics. Standout moments include the awesome LFA inspired instrumentation with moving center
ring, power adjustable, heated and ventilated sport seats, and the improved upon infotainment
system with easier control, homepage configuration, and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system
with rich bass and 835 watts worthy of praise. Siri Eyes Free is here for iPhone users but
without a higher level of smartphone integration the IS isn’t on the cutting edge of technology.
It is roomy enough in here so using the rear seats for adults is absolutely not a problem.
Everything in the cabin feels as good as it looks and other than the loud winter tires,
it’s also Lexus-level quiet.With its unique front fascia, projector LED headlamps, and
a handful of other upgrades, the F SPORT treatment certainly works visually and adds just enough
mechanical tuning to gives the IS some personality. With an as-tested price of $50,540 this is
a Lexus that’ll reward your id and your ego.

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