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Lexus IS350 – A fierce new addition to the luxury market

Lexus has high hopes for strong sales on their new IS range.

The new 3rd generation has been introduced to provide stronger competition in the crowded luxury sedan marketplace alongside its German rivals. They’ve fitted the vehicle out with sleek new interior appointments and an exterior facelift, but the new model also comes equipped with a higher price tag.

As for the changes, here’s what you can expect..

1. The exterior has a more dramatic, angular approach than designs of the past, giving it a fiercer, sharper overall look.
2. As for the inside, the new model comes with a larger, clearer 11 inch screen inside .
3. The F Sport gets rich claret-coloured leather, red stitching and diamond-patterned aluminium trim that adds to the luxury feel. The quality of the seat leather and the craftsmanship of the seats is all class.
4. The new, solid multifunction steering wheel has an impressive sports car feel to it.
5. Every version is equipped with the Lexus Saftey System+ (including features such as lane departure warning, fatigue detective and automatic high-beams).

Where it’s lacking

As per the previous model, the infotainment system needs a bit of work. It’s difficult to use and many of the functions lock whilst the car is on the move. This would be frustrating no doubt for passengers. The drive is a little clunky when driven at slower speeds and on some of the less smooth road surfaces. When driven at speed, this drops away as you’d expect from most luxury vehicles.

The overall changes from the previous model are quite subtle, meaning it’s hard to pick the differences.

Speed and performance

The 233kW/378Nm 3.5 litre V6 power delivers everything a buyer can want. The petrol-electric hybrid powertrain generates 164kW combined and 300Nm. On the road, acceleration is good with Lexus claiming an 8 second 0-100km/h time.

Let’s add up the numbers

Prices are up slightly (under $1,000) across all variants of the new Lexus IS range. Prices start from $59,340 for the 200 Luxury and the most expensive model is the IS350 Sports Luxury at $84,160.