The 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport is America’s fastest sedan.
Not in terms of speed, but how many days it takes for a dealer to get one out of the showroom.
It’s been near the top of the charts all year with popular models like the Chevrolet Corvette and Kia Telluride and sells out in about a quarter of the time it takes an average car to get into the hands of a buyer. , even in this hot market where everything seems to go wrong.
Sales have increased by over 150%, which is a bit of a surprise, as the new IS range is primarily an update of a model that has been on the market since 2014.
Its bodywork is more spectacular than before, with an oversized version of Lexus’ signature ‘spindle’ grille and widebody styling, but things haven’t changed much inside and that’s not a bad one. thing.
The compact four-door is more spacious than some midsize sedans, its front bucket seats are some of the best you can find in any vehicle, and the faux leather upholstery won’t make you miss the real thing.
The main update is a new infotainment system with a tablet-like touchscreen equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and easier to use than the old mouse or the new touchscreen interface on the center console.
The IS 350 F Sport starts at $ 44,025 and is a $ 3,900 upgrade to the IS 300 that replaces the latter’s 241-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine for a naturally aspirated 311-horsepower V6. Rear wheel drive with an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all-wheel drive with a six-speed transmission costs an additional $ 2,000.
It also gets a set of high-performance summer tires with 19-inch wheels and wider rubber at the rear, as well as a more aggressive aero package.
The suspension has been readjusted for better handling, and another F Sport Dynamic Handling package adds adaptive dampers that provide better body control without compromising ride quality, which is exceptional. The IS 350 F Sport soaks up rough roads like a sponge and can outperform some pure luxury models. The $ 4,200 option includes a limited-slip rear differential, matte black wheels, carbon fiber spoiler and ash trim.
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Even with all the goodies, the IS 350 F Sport is not as fast as its sales, at least in a straight line. It takes 5.7 seconds to hit 60 mph, and the V6 lacks the low-end punch of the turbocharged six cylinders it rivals BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz with. It’s smooth and sounds great when turning to its red line, however, it warns you of the approach by turning the tachometer yellow.
That doesn’t mean it’s slow. It’s really just to enjoy a public road without getting in trouble, and the handling is perfect. For those who need more power, an IS 500 is on the way this fall with a raucous 472 horsepower V8.
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The IS 350 F Sport can also be fitted with the latest driving technology, including a 360-degree parking camera that helps avoid crushing the grille in sidewalks and a lane-keeping system that works with the cruise control. adaptive speed to center the vehicle between the lines. You have to keep your hands on the wheel to keep it active, but it’s one of the more rugged versions of this kind of tech and a godsend on long highway trips.
What you might need to take if you want to find a dealer who has one in stock.
2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport
Base price: $ 44,025
As tested: $ 55,050
Type: 5-seater sedan, 4-door rear-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5-liter V6
Power: 311 hp, 280 lb-ft
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
MPG: 20 city / 28 highway