|Reviewed By||Alex Martin-Banzer|
|Price as Tested||$46,080: 3.5-liter V6, RWD, 8-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission with paddle shifters, F Sport Package|
Alluring midnight blue paint and deep tan interior color combo. It’s the first car that I, at 5’2, barely have to adjust the seating for. The sharp styling and LED lights make me feel successful driving around town — almost the way I would imagine a new C-class Benz would. It performs well on the road, with comfortable cruising on the freeway and “I’m not only a city driver” performance on back roads.
As tested, the price seems steep for a car that doesn’t even include a navigation system. I was unable to form an opinion about the console controls during my few days of testing, except that the learning curve is very steep. While the front windshield gives a wide sweeping view, the B pillar is extremely obtrusive.
I liked this car — a lot. The size fit me perfectly, and I didn’t feel like I was in a Smart Car. (When I slid into the driver’s seat, I knew how Goldilocks must have felt once she found the perfect bed.) As a daily driver, it offers a great sporty experience, and the whole appearance felt like jewelry to me. I smiled every time I approached it. Perhaps the most significant achievement is that this car made me stop and think, “Why haven’t I thought of owning a Lexus before?” When I looked at the price, however, I balked and instantly started thinking of all the German cars I’d rather own. The IS 350 confirms that Lexus has it almost figured out, but competitive pricing will be a factor in attracting buyers away from competitors in a very defined market.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|