2016 lexus is350 Model Overview
New for 2016
The 2016 Lexus IS 350 gains standard five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. A new Premium Plus package is now available and comes with a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers. Lexus Enform Service Connect is now available in the IS 350.
The 2016 Lexus IS 350 is the upgrade trim level of the IS 200t luxury sedan and is available in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. A less powerful variant with all-wheel drive called the IS 300, is also available.
A 3.5-liter V-6 with 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque is the only engine available in the 2016 IS 350 and it’s paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission on rear-drive variants or a six-speed automatic in models equipped with all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is respectable for the class at 19/28 mpg city/highway for the rear-drive IS 350 and 19/26 mpg with all-wheel drive. Trunk space is a decent size for a compact luxury sedan at 13.4 cubic feet and it can be expanded via the split-folding rear seats.
In addition to the standard dual front, front-side, and side curtain airbags, the 2016 IS 350 comes with rear-side airbags and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger. Available driver and safety aids include the Pre-Collision system, which detects imminent frontal collisions and can brake to stop or reduce the severity of the impact. Other driver assistance features include blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
The 2016 IS 350 comes standard with keyless entry/start, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes Free, heated front sport seats, a power moonroof, and dual-zone climate control. Optional extras include navigation, a rearview camera, enhanced Bluetooth, memory function for the driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a Mark Levinson audio system, and the Lexus Enform Apps suite.
For improved handling, the IS 350 can be had in the F Sport trim level, which adds 18-inch alloy wheels shod in performance tires, a revised front fascia, a more aggressive suspension tuning, adaptive variable suspension with Sport S+ mode, LFA-inspired digital instrument cluster, F Sport bolstered and heated front seats, LED headlights, high friction brake pads, and perforated leather trimmed steering wheel and shift knob.
What We Think
The IS 350 is fun to drive, offering an excellent blend of handling, power and ride comfort, especially in rear-drive F Sport guise. In a comparison test against the Infiniti Q50S, the IS 350 won because of its superior steering feel, agility and ride quality. We also noted in a 2014 First Test review that the IS 350 F Sport’s seats are well bolstered, with plenty of support and comfort. On the road, the car doesn’t have much body roll and drives smaller despite being one of the heavier entries in the compact luxury sedan segment. The 306-hp V-6, on the other hand, was responsive and had plenty of power for passing and accelerating.
Adding all-wheel drive, as we noted in a comparison test that also included the Audi S4, BMW 335i xDrive, Cadillac ATS 3.6, and Volvo S60 T6 R-Design, detracts from the IS 350’s driving dynamics. The steering was hesitant to go back to center and felt heavier than its competitors. While it does handle well, the car’s heavier curb weight doesn’t make it feel as agile as the rear-drive IS 350. Additionally, there’s a lot of engine noise entering the cabin when accelerating. Exterior styling, on the other hand, is an acquired taste because it’s polarizing when compared to its competition. The infotainment system’s mouse-like controls isn’t very intuitive and takes some time to learn. Furthermore, it also forces the driver to take his/her eyes off the road.
- Great handling
- LFA-inspired interior
- Supportive seats
You Won’t Like:
- Polarizing exterior design
- Fussy infotainment system controls