For mature audiences
previous model but failed to throw the facelifted version off line or intrude into the cabin.
Power from the 2.0-litre turbo is more than adequate and the eight-speed auto is rarely caught in the wrong cog, something we have accused it of doing in the past. It’s no Camry, folks, but it still won’t challenge a Mercedes C-Class through a succession of sweepers. It won’t be far behind, though.
The improved driving experience comes down to relatively minor front suspension changes. It’s a classic case of the whole being more than the sum of the parts.
The extra weight and power of the V6-motivated IS 350 means turn-in isn’t as quick and predictable but that’s compensated by a much quicker corner exit.
The adaptive suspension found in the F Sport is largely unnecessary, given the normal drive mode irons out most road irregularities and still lets the car sit flat in the corners. Sport marginally improves handling but there’s a commensurate drop in compliance that all but makes it redundant.
The drive mode selector is a rotary dial but Lexus persists — for now — with the square multimedia controller. It is telling that the brand’s newest car, the LC 500 coupe on display at the IS launch, has ditched that unit for a touchpad.
The IS takes a different route to delivering a premium experience to the conventional prestige sedans but it finally feels as if Lexus is concentrating as much on the drive as it is on the styling details.
Competition improves the breed and it’s good to see the IS growing up.