SUM UP (3 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for IS350 in 2013

The manual transmission has been dropped. The F Sport Package is now available on the convertible. The HD Radio features iTunes tagging, and Bluetooth now downloads your phonebook. There are also a couple of new colors...more

The 2013 Lexus IS350 has a sleek, professional look with a subtle front fascia and smooth sides. It is a high-quality luxury sedan, for a good price, and it comes equipped with all of the luxurious comfort and high-tech convenience features that drivers have come to love in Lexus cars. It also comes with some high-tech options.

Exterior

The fully galvanized steel body of the 2013 Lexus IS350 comes painted in nine choices of clearcoat monotone paint, from off white/grey to blues, a brown, a red, and a black. The brighter blues and red Mica paint schemes are nicely offset by the dark grille. The black grille defines the front, while the window grid antenna subtly stands in the background, on the windshield. Windows are lightly tinted for a little extra sun protection. A first-row sunroof comes standard, although it does not come with a sunshade. Handsome silver aluminum wheels come standard, with painted aluminum wheels also available. All-season tires come standard, with the option of performance tires for added handling capabilities when driving in dry conditions.

Interior & Cargo

The 2013 Lexus IS350 comes standard with dual-zone automatic air-conditioning in the front, so both the driver and front passenger can ride in their own personal comfort zones. An air filter and under-seat ducts help fresh air circulate through to the back, as rear air-conditioning controls are not available. Front seats are bucket seats and are eight-way power adjustable, to accommodate drivers and passengers of many heights and sizes. Both front seats also come with lumbar support for added comfort. Heated front seats, for additional comfort on cold days, and cooled front seats, for added comfort on hot days, are also available. Unfortunately, neither heated nor cooled seats are available for the rear. All seats come upholstered in leather, with luxurious simulated suede/leather upholstery available for a little extra.

The standard audio system is good; it includes an AM/FM/Satellite/six-disc CD player. This audio system responds to voice commands and can also be controlled through buttons on the steering wheel. Auxiliary audio input and Bluetooth are supported, with the option of DVD-audio compatibility. MP3 capability comes standard, so the driver can listen to personal playlists on an MP3 player. A Mark Levinson Premium Audio package is available, which includes 14 brand speakers and a DVD/CD changer.

A navigation system is available and comes with voice activation and one LCD screen. XM NavTraffic/XM NavWeather is available as an option and includes sports information, stock prices, and fuel prices. A programmable garage door opener comes standard for drivers who would like help with automatic garage doors. The external temperature is shown on a digital display, so the driver can stay updated on outdoor conditions.

Safety

Unfortunately, the only crash-test rating available for the 2013 Lexus IS350 is the rollover resistance rating. On the bright side, the IS350 received five out of five stars in this category, from the NHTSA. This Lexus also comes with all of the airbags: it has driver and front-passenger frontal-impact airbags, seat-mounted driver and passenger side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags in the first and second rows, and knee-protection airbags for both driver and front passenger. Airbags come with an occupant sensor. Anti-lock brakes work together with traction control to help the vehicle’s tires maintain maximum traction on the road, providing the driver with better control during an emergency. Brake assist comes standard. An electronic stability system increases vehicle stability during difficult maneuvering, while locking/limited slip differential increases driver control over the vehicle during an emergency or during difficult driving conditions, such as in poor weather.

In-Vehicle Assistance Service, Lexus Enform, comes with stolen-vehicle tracking for added security, especially while travelling. Lexus Enform also includes automatic collision notification, an emergency assist button, enhanced roadside assistance, destination assist, and eDestination and apps suite.

Remote keyless entry is delivered through a key fob, which also comes with a panic alarm that can be used to deter theft. Ignition disable, which prevents a car from being started without its ignition key, also inhibits theft. Although a blind spot sensor is not available, parking assist is—so drivers can have at least some help with parking. This Lexus warns the driver when tire pressure is low or when it is time to go get the gas tank refilled. It also lets the driver know when tire pressure is low and needs to be topped off.

Driving Experience

The 3.5-liter, 306-horsepower, V-6 engine produces 277 lb-ft of torque and is rated at 19/26-27 mpg city/highway. The IS350 is available as either a rear-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle. Cruise control comes standard, although adaptive cruise control is not available.

The IS350’s suspension is regular tuned, with the option to have it sport tuned, for increased drive and handling capabilities. The front suspension is a double independent suspension, and is supported by an anti-roll bar, coil springs, and gas-pressurized shocks. The rear suspension is a multi-link suspension, and is supported by a rear-anti-roll bar, coil springs, and gas-pressurized shocks. This suspension and support combination allows for the quiet and responsive drive, even if the sport tuning is not opted for. The ride is also quite comfortable, with the springs and shocks easily absorbing the impact of road imperfections.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Lexus IS350

  • Audi A4
  • Audi S4
  • Audi A5
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Infiniti G
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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