Navigation system's Remote Touch interface is annoying to use
If you’re looking for luxury, performance and all-weather capability, you’ve come to the right place. It’s what you can expect from the 2015 Lexus IS 350 AWD F Sport. This week we’ll be testing the luxury performance IS sedan from Toyota’s luxury brand. This 2015 Lexus IS 350 comes equipped with AWD and it translates to a performance sedan that handles both wet and dry conditions with confidence.
For 2015, the Lexus IS 350 is essentially unchanged from last year’s redesign.
IS 350 features and options
This IS 350 came with Blind Spot monitor ($600) that also includes cross traffic alert and auto-dimming exterior mirrors.
The F Sport Package ($3,450) features adaptive variable suspension tuning, heated and ventilated front F Sport seats, heated perforated leather steering wheel, TFT instrument cluster, unique front fascia and grille, LED headlamps, F Sport badging and 18-inch F Sport wheels. It also includes Sport S+ driving mode.
Other options included the Navigation system ($2,995) with the Lexus Enform telematics system, rearview camera and a Mark Levinson premium sound system. Total MSRP including destination: $50,375.
The IS 350’s interior features top-notch materials and the fit and finish is first class throughout. High-quality padding can be found everywhere you touch. The F Sport front seats are superbly comfortable and supportive and kept us planted during our more spirited driving in the mountain curves.
In back, the IS350 received increased legroom last year and our 2 adult passengers comment how much room they had on our way to a Colorado Rockies game one evening this week.
One notable feature is the F Sport’s digital instrument panel that features a sporty circular gauge that slides side to side, as well as an LFA-inspired configurable TFT display. Our only complaint is the mouselike Remote Touch interface that comes with the navigation system. It’s distracting while on the move and the cursor is too touchy even when sitting still at a stop light.
Engine and fuel mileage specs
2015 Lexus IS 350 AWD is powered by a 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 that pumps out 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic with steering wheel paddle shifters. It will sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds making it fast enough to get in serious trouble on the highway. We kept our head on a swivel all week. Fuel economy estimates are 19/26 mpg city/highway and 21 combined mpg with AWD.
We took the IS 350 F Sport up a twisty mountain road west of Denver to check out the adaptive variable suspension. The combination of enhanced suspension tuning and AWD translated to a superior handling over the standard 2014 IS 350 we tested last year.
The all-wheel drive worked well and kept all four wheels firmly planted while making fast turns. The six-speed automatic transmission was smooth and the paddle shifters work perfectly for driving enthusiasts. We dropped it into Sport S+mode and it held the shifts well in the older six-speed gearbox.
The luxury sedan had plenty of acceleration and low-end power whenever it was needed. The updated brakes are firm and didn’t fade after a few quick stops. The revised electric power steering worked as advertised and felt crisp while providing nice feedback.
Inside, under acceleration, the engine sound is piped into the cabin for a nice exhaust note. Otherwise, the cabin is quiet and offers solitude from the noisy outside world. F Sport has sporty driving dynamics and a refined ride due to the adaptive variable technology that takes the edge off the performance-tuned suspension. We did notice the 18-inch wheels do make for a slightly firmer ride over the standard 17-inchers.
The 2015 Lexus IS 350 AWD F Sport Sedan offers plenty of luxury, performance for driving enthusiasts and all-weather capability for keeping the family safe in all driving situations. The F Sport package offers additional suspension performance for pushing hard on the back roads and will give any driver confidence.