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2015 Lexus IS 350 AWD Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Lexus, Test Drives


I can remember the very first Lexus IS, introduced as the IS 300 back in 2001. It turned some heads and gave enthusiasts something to ponder over when it came time to visit their nearest BMW or Audi dealership to take a look at the latest 3 Series sedan and A4. After a few generations to mature, the Lexus IS has appealed to a wide spectrum with long-touted reliability and impeccable fit and finish, potentially captivating those who would otherwise take home a new German vehicle in the same segment.


The new 2015 Lexus IS 350 carries on the design first introduced as a 2014 model. For the model year 2015 the same formula proudly displays the brands entry into the nearly perfected pursuit to satisfy luxury seekers. With sights clearly set on its German and American competition, the Lexus IS makes a bold statement with its exterior design and follows through in its impeccable fit and finish on the inside.


Powered by the brands trusted 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque, the IS 350 retains its prowess and is quite the performer. Zero to 60 mph comes in around 6 seconds and it does a good deed by keeping body roll to a minimum when pushed around. In my 2015 Lexus IS 350 all-wheel-drive test vehicle, the power is transmitted and distributed electronically to all 4 making the IS 350 AWD an attractive vehicle for northern climates requiring navigating in snowy conditions. Not only that, but the IS 350 AWD proved to grip the road in inclimate conditions like a champion – hardly ever losing traction or faltering even in heavy rain on the interstate.


Being equipped with the all-wheel-drive system, the 2015 Lexus IS 350 gets the 6-speed automatic transmission mated to its powerful V6 engine. In the rear-wheel-drive configuration the IS 350 receives Lexus’ new 8-speed automatic unit yielding improved fuel consumption over outgoing years and the current all-wheel-drive model. Fuel consumption figures observed during my trip on the interstate came back to just over 26 mpg, which mostly matches the EPA estimated highway figure. Around town I saw a steady 19.8 mpg, also slightly better than the EPA’s estimated 19 mpg city figure.


The 2015 Lexus IS 350 AWD, equipped with several options as part of its luxury package, navigation system and intuitive parking assist feature set, all make for the proper luxury vehicle. Lexus never disappoints in this aspect, providing many creature comforts that exude the true taste of luxury, such as those found in the ventilated and heated front perforated leather seats, LED headlights with LED foglights, rain-sensing wipers, power tilt/telescoping heated steering wheel blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, GPS navigation system with voice activation and memory settings for the driver’s seat, steering wheel and rearview mirrors.

See Also: 2014 Lexus IS 350 Review & Test Drive

Of course there is a full array of standard features that you would expect in the pursuit of perfection, Lexus’ current motto – bringing you items like Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for the 6-speed automatic transmission, a premium LCD display with Lexus’ famous yet somewhat disagreeable mouse-like Remote Touch controller unit for the screen, and the Lexus Enform Safety Connect system for automatic collision notifications, Emergency assist button (SOS) and enhanced roadside assistance.


The over-all size of the 2015 Lexus IS 350 AWD begs for a little more in the scope, if the rear seat being mostly the diminishing factor. Up front, the seats are comfortable and provide plenty of adjustability and space for folks over 6-feet tall. However, the rear seating is a challenge for tall individuals, there simply isn’t enough headroom and leg room. Fortunately, the driver and front passenger’s seating positions can be dialed in for an optimal view of the road ahead without setting in any fatigue on long trips.


In The full spectrum of the new 2015 Lexus IS 350 AWD, remaining unchanged for the new model year with the exception of a different selection of wheels and colors, keeps on its pursuit to properly challenge its competitors. The driving nature of the IS 350 AWD is sporty enough to run with the competition and in some cases, surpass them in overall quality and initial value. Sure, the IS 350 may still have its work cut out if it plans to chase down the Germans. However, as I see it, the IS 350 and its competition are trading review mirror views like kids seeking the sky on a teeter totter.

The new 2015 Lexus IS 350 starts at $40,065. Moving into all-wheel-drive brings the price to $42,300, and adding on the options found on my test vehicle and you have an as-tested price of $50,015 including a $925 deliver, processing and handling fee.


Copyright: 2014


  • Price: Base IS 350 $40,065 / As-Tested IS 350 AWD $50,015
  • Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6 306 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm / 277 ft-lbs. torque @ 4,800 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 110.2 inches
  • Total length: 183.7 inches
  • Total width: 71.3 inches
  • Total height: 56.3 inches
  • Track: f/r-60.4/61 inches
  • Headroom: f/r-38.2 / 36.9 inches
  • Legroom: f/r-44.8 / 32.2 inches
  • EPA cargo volume: 13.8 cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 3,737 pounds
  • Fuel tank: 17.4 gallons
  • 0-60mph: 6.0 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway

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