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Introduction:

To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Lexus IS 350 4-Dr. Sedan

Vehicle Type: Midsize Gasoline
69
 overall score
Category Ranking: 6

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $42,900
Price as Tested: $54,765

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Premium
Fuel Capacity (gal): 17.4
EPA City mpg20
EPA Highway mpg28
EPA Combined mpg23

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:

Overall Observations

The IS 350 F Sport is the automaker’s upscale compact sports sedan. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V6 (311 hp) mated to a smooth 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters and rear-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is optional. The result is lively performance although, as you might expect, only mediocre fuel economy—23 mpg in combined driving. The IS 350 is designed to deliver sporty handling, and the optional F Sport Dynamic Handling Package dials things up a notch. Hardware upgrades include 19-inch alloy wheels, a firmer adaptive suspension, a limited-slip rear differential, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, and heated/ cooled front seats with more prominent bolsters for extra support during spirited driving. Cabin materials, design, and functionality are top-notch and include a touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto smartphone integration, and an available 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround-sound audio system. On the downside, the car’s console-mounted touch-pad interface can be finicky to use, the low roofline makes backseat entry and exit difficult, and the tall rear deck hampers rear visibility
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Stylish exterior andinterior
  • Sporty handling
  • Bright LED headlights

Weak Points

  • Poor usability ofinfotainment systemtouch pad
  • Low roofline impedesrear seat entry/exit

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3820.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 185.4 / 72.4 / 56.5
Wheelbase (in): 110.2
Number of air bags: 10
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Potenza S001L
Front and rear tire size: 235/40 R19
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 8-speed
Drivetrain type: Rear wheel
Engine/motor: 3.5L V6 DOHC
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 311 @ 6600

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:

8.70

Fuel Efficiency:

3.51

EPA Emissions Score:

5.00

Acceleration:

6.77

Braking:

8.38

Handling:

9.18

Ride Quality:

7.68

Interior Size:

2.81

Easy of Entry and Exit:

6.57

Visibility:

7.47

Interior Noise:

3.16

Cargo Capacity:

.54
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