Stick Shift: 2019 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

The 2019 Lexus IS 350 continues to impress with its striking visuals, a strong V6 and nicely designed interior. Not much has changed for the new year. Newly upgraded LED headlights offer high powered triple beam illumination of the road ahead. Amazons Alexa-integrated voice commands is also available now. 

The F Sport model IS 350 gets plenty of extra panache with a custom front bumper and grille. Gorgeous 18” split 5-spoke wheels perfectly match the aggressive theme common to the F Sport line-up from Lexus. Inside the cabin, an F Sport instrument cluster, heated and vented seats and perforated leather steering wheel and shift knob all come adorned with F Sport logos. 

Photo via: Lexus

Extra aluminum, a black headliner and dark gray trim add extra mood to the cabin. Ride quality remains smooth in Normal mode. Perfectly comfortable on bumpy roads. Noise levels stay low due to a well insulated space, lite up with a sun roof. Though marketed as a 5-passenger vehicle, the back seat continues to be extremely tight. A low ride height and roofline also require that taller occupants duck and bend down a ways just to get in. 

Through the twists and turns, F Sport adaptive variable suspension with a limited-slip differential help liven up the IS chassis. Especially when dialed to Sport Mode. Even with the extra help, the handling capabilities of the IS 350 F Sport remain behind some of the competition. The same can be said about the acceleration. Though the V6 is capable, producing 311 hp, other rivals touting turbocharged V6s will easily outperform it. 

All added up, there’s plenty of good reasons why this little 4-door has become as popular as it is today. Sharp lines, a clean interior, responsive performance and long list of standard features make the IS 350 F Sport as compelling an option today as its ever been.

Price as tested: $52,608.00

By: Brandon Randall

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