2021 Lexus IS350 AWD F Sport Matches Speed With Head-Turning Class
The 2021 Lexus IS350 AWD F Sport is the best that Lexus has to offer right now. While we witness the death of sedans as we know it in America, the charm and sophistication associated with sports sedans is still alive and well. That’s why like Lexus, many other auto manufacturers continue to introduce sports sedans. However, the question is, does the 2011 Lexus IS350 AWD F Sport do more for less like so many of us imagine it should? We’ll examine it in this full review!
What is New?
The first generation of this sports sedan was introduced in 2014. The 2021 Lexus IS350 AWD F Sport is now firmly positioned as the third generation, with a mid-cycle refresh to keep up with the competition like from the Genesis G70 and the BMW 3-Series.
The newly refreshed sheet metal design offers a smoother profile, with squinty headlights and now a larger grille than ever before. It is a killer-looking sports car, especially in the F Sport version (the one we had) with the blacked-out trim.
The 2021 Lexus IS350 AWD F Sport is designed to be aesthetically pleasing with excellent performance. Under the hood, you are treated to an all-wheel-drivetrain coupled with a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 311 horses with 280 lb/ft of torque. While it might appear a step behind competing V6s with turbos, we assure you that’s only on paper.
Engine Performance and Driving Experience
While we have to admit that the 2021 Lexus IS350 AWD F Sport does not offer that low RPM shove of the BMW 3 Series or the Mercedes Benz C-class, its 0-60mph at 5.6 seconds is brilliant. Sure, those numbers may not be impressive to some speed demons; it is certainly more than adequate for most people attracted to this segment of vehicles. However, we wouldn’t have minded having a V6 under the hood either.
In terms of handling the 2021 Lexus IS350, AWD F Sport handles like a dream, and that’s thanks to the retuned chassis. The additional welds in the unibody help strengthen the structure, with aluminum control arms installed to replace their steel counterparts. Lexus has also added lighter anti-roll bars and lug bolts instead of regular nuts, which alone shaves off two pounds of the weight.
Speaking of weight, the optional handling package comes with 19-inch BBS wheels, which according to Lexus, helps take off another 16 lbs from the vehicle’s total weight. The addition of adaptive dampers and the company’s torsion limited-slip rear differential help improve the IS’s driving capabilities significantly.
Similar to the exterior, Lexus has updated the cabin for the better. However, the most notable improvement has to be the new trackpad along with the crisp 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. While the positioning of the screen does put it slightly out of reach for the driver, that’s made up for with a trackpad and via Apple CarPlay. Android Auto is also available.
In terms of comfort, it is much like its predecessor, with soft seats, excellent legroom in the back, and adequate viewing angles for the driver.
The 2021 Lexus IS350 AWD F Sport is an excellent step in the right direction. It proves that sports sedans are here to stay because the value and sexiness they offer can’t be had with a top-heavy crossover!