2017 Lexus IS 350 F Sport: Lexus’s Small Sport Sedan All Grown Up

When Lexus first introduced the IS series of small sedans to the USA in the year 2000, it really appealed most to the young car enthusiast crowd who had followed its Japanese cousin, the Altezza, with great interest. So heralded was this Japanese version that kids put Altezza ‘style’ clear tail lights on anything from Dodge pickups to Nissan Sentras. The appeal was a small, lightweight, nimble sedan with 6-cylinder power, rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission. The original was exciting for all the right reasons, but this latest version falls flat. Let’s dive in and figure out why.

First of all, the silky-smooth inline-six from the original model has given way to a not-as-smooth V-6 in the current model. At 3.5-Liters, it does pack a punch: 308hp and 277ft-lbs of torque, but because the automatic transmission has a fair bit of lag, it doesn’t feel as quick as it should. Long gone is the manual transmission option, something which would really save the appeal for enthusiasts. As it stands, the 8-speed automatic looks good on paper, but doesn’t really deliver. Not only is it fairly slow to engage, even in Sport mode, but the ratios seem a bit far apart considering how many of them there are. Our test car being an all-wheel-drive version didn’t help matters. Maybe the RWD version is a bit more exciting to drive?

Read more at www.mychinews.com/cars/2017-lexus-is-350-f-sport