SPORTY, AFTER A FASHION
3. ACTIVE SAFETY IS WELL COVERED
The IS is nearing the end of its life cycle — it hasn’t had an update since 2016 — but it has kept up pretty well with the latest driving aids. The list runs to autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, auto high-beam, blind spot monitor, active cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning with steering assistance. As with many such setups, the Lexus waits until the last minute to steer you back into your lane and can miss road markings when the light is dappled. If a crash is unavoidable, 10 airbags protect occupants.
4. THE FEATURE LIST IS LONG
The IS350 F Sport costs roughly $81,000 on the road but you’re compensated with dual-zone aircon, satnav, digital radio and Mark Levinson audio, an absolute cracker. The best news for audiophiles is that Lexus retains a CD player, allowing you to extract the best possible sound. Lexus also adopts a refreshing approach to extra-cost options — the only one on our test car was premium paint for $1500. The warranty, four years/100,000km, is less than most mainstream brands but better than the main luxury rivals.
5. IT SAYS “SPORT” AND MEANS IT
F Sport versions get distinctive styling such as bigger wheels and meaner looking front and rear designs. Genuine performance tweaks are aimed at keener drivers. Adaptive suspension lets you to choose between comfort and more cornering control, while the Sport + setting also adjusts steering weight and throttle response. Result: a car that cruises comfortably but holds its own on a twisty back road. The steering is sharp and the car feels balanced when changing direction. The engine amplifier in the cabin delivers a throaty exhaust note.