If you’re convinced that luxury brands are all about a sedate driving experience, prepare to have your assumptions challenged by the Lexus IS350 F-Sport.
As the name implies, this version of the compact IS sedan has a distinct performance orientation. From the oversize grille to the carbon fiber rear spoiler, this high-end model is more about engaging drivers rather than coddling them.
Enhancing that experience was my test car’s Dynamic Handling option. The adaptive suspension that came as part of the package delivered a remarkable balance of both confident handling on winding roads and a smooth ride on the highway. Under the hood, the 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 produced solid acceleration.
New, more muscular styling makes this a handsome car that looks as good as it drives. The passenger cabin is equally attractive and plenty comfortable up front, though taller folks likely will find the rear seats to be a tight fit.
If that last item isn’t a deal-breaker, you’ll find the Lexus IS350 F-Sport to be a surprisingly lively sport sedan.
Posh, comfortable passenger cabin
Back seat is a relatively tight fit for taller passengers.
Center console touchpad infotainment interface is difficult to use.
A sport sedan that’s just as appealing to look at as it is to drive.
Base Price: $42,950
As Tested: $54,355
NHTSA/Overall: 5 Stars (out of 5)
20/28 (3.5L V6)