MXP exhaust

I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but c’mon…

The new Lexus IS 350 F Sport is stunning! It looks good from any angle. See – a lot of vehicles these days start with a strong grille & headlights… and then lose all sense of hope, shape, and design behind the front doors. And that’s because most American consumers have cast aside driving experience… for driving convenience. Let’s be honest, we don’t demand much these days, except for big grilles, big screens on the dash, bluetooth, and phone chargers.

Lexus IS350 review

So thank you, Lexus, for breaking the mold with the IS, and setting the bar for design strength.

The 2022+ Lexus IS 350 F Sport is sharp, bold, and muscular. I wrote in the magazine a while back, that Lexus designs tend to flow like liquid metal. The 2022+ Lexus IS is a good example of that.

Lexus IS350 front

The Lexus IS 350 interior is nice…

It’s what we’ve come to expect from Lexus honestly. Leathers are soft to the touch. The car is comfortable, yet awakening & driver-focused (like a sports sedan should be). The quiet cabin silences the outside world, calms the nerves, and the seats are amazing! Lexus always knocks it out of the park with the seats in their more sport-oriented vehicles. I’m a big fan of the red interior in the Lexus IS, and it’s nice to see these vibrant/bold interior options. 

Lexus IS350 red interior

Actually driving the Lexus IS 350… is just ‘pretty good’ if we’re being honest. 

It’s not that I was disappointed. But I wasn’t blown away either. I’m sorry… I love you Lexus, but you’re just never gonna get a top score from me without a manual transmission… or at least a really lively twin-clutch. I know I’m on the losing end of that battle, but let’s be honest… we ALL are! Look in the mirror. You can’t have a sports sedan without the key ingredient! That’s like having a TRD Pro Tacoma/Tundra without 4-wheel-drive.

Lexus IS350 rear

To my recollection, the new Lexus IS 350 feels pretty much just like the last one…

No real surprises. The IS 350 F Sport is engaging, but it’s not thaaaaat engaging. It’s sporty, but it’s not thaaaaat sporty. When you put the IS 350 into Sport+ mode, it feels like it’s about to get the emotions stirring. Power is good! The chassis is real good! Check-check! But then – the automatic trans is just a wet noodle. So I end up flipping it back over to normal mode & disengage.

To be fair, I probably hold the Lexus IS 350 to higher expectations than normal, because I know it’s a great platform. And it is! The IS 350 will be sweet for a lot of people. Would I recommend the Lexus IS to a family member and/or anyone who commutes? 100% – because I know it’s a sure thing. They perform really well, they’re built really well, and they’re pretty engaging to drive. But if you’re really looking for a true sports sedan, the IS 350 might not quite cut the mustard for ya.

white Lexus IS350

advan wheels