POSTED: Monday, October 17, 2011 - 11:15am
UPDATED: Monday, October 17, 2011 - 11:17am
I have to admit, it was hard to get the keys away from me on this one. It is the newest, most fun version of the entry-level Lexus, the IS 350 and the target is those guys from Munich who make that BMW thingy.
Inside, very clean cabin, very neatly laid out. If you order the 6-speed automatic, you get those cool flappy paddles on the steering wheel to make you think you’re shifting gears. They are silly. A marvelous 6-speed standard is available on the IS so unless you can shift a proper gearbox, just put it in drive.
Performance is not bad , in fact, it’s positively marvelous. The IS 250 is the base model, with which you can get the standard gearbox, and it’s 2.5-liter V6 cranks out 204-horsepower. The 350 has the 3.5-liter V6 with 306 eager ponies. Both are available as convertibles.
On the road, the IS 350 handles the curves fairly well. It doesn’t wallow like a Camry, but doesn’t quite handle like the SC roadster. 0-60 miles per hour comes up in about 6 seconds, and overall, it’s a pleasant way to burn a gallon of gas every 21 miles.
And that’s the Lexus IS 350. Is a nice V6 sport sedan worth $45,000? That’s your call, but the Lexus can certainly make that case.