I’ve loved the aggressive styling of the IS350 F-sport for a long time. There is a just something about its curb appeal and overall stance. It looks just as menacing as any M or AMG car ever will; parked that is.
The interior is nothing short of executive and it’s fairly unique when wrapped in this red leather. Some will find it appalling and others love it. I do fall into the second category and it does bring some uniqueness to the cabin. The chunky steering wheel with its big buttons have always been a favorite with me and even the navigation – carputer – infotainment with its large 10.3 inch screen can be a little overwhelming when using it for the first time, especially when comparing it to its rival’s but it’s easily figured out. There is also a fairly cool sliding center gauge, which is somewhat similar to that of the new LC500. It’s a little more mechanical but very cool and rather unique. The 10 speaker Premium Audio is on par with that of Harmon Kardon. There are also 2 USB ports, Aux, BT and voice command.
The proven 3.5 6 cylinders with its 233kw will run to 100kph in about 5.9 seconds and be very vocal about it. There are very few cars that sound this good under wide open throttle. Unfortunately, this will ruin any fuel economy numbers. I found it to be rather thirsty around the 12-13l 100km overall. The lowest numbers achieved were 9l’s 100km and this will be really hard to maintain.
Now what I could not understand is that they’ve had this engine and gearbox combination for a long time and I’m afraid the ship has sailed. Don’t get me wrong, the car is smooth and party efficient but the engine and gearbox combination just feels dated when compared to the newer models from Germany.
The F sport features Lexus’s adaptive variable suspension, which adjusts damping electronically for various road and driving conditions. At first, I did not notice the damping changes from the eco to sports settings, but on bumpier roads, there is most definitely a change in stiffness.
I really like the Lex’ for what it is. At this point, I still prefer the 3 series over it, but the IS does have a ton of standard equipment, which is optional on other models. One thing is certain, she’s a looker!
For more info, check out Lexus.co.za