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2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport Review - Trims, Features, Performance, 0-60, MPG, And Rivals Comparison

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K. Menon

Content writer

January 12, 2021 at 05:32 PM

The 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport is almost brand new from the ground up due to the extensive work done at the new Lexus technical canter in Shimayama, Japan. The suspension and chassis have been tweaked for sharper driving dynamics that go well with the new design language. It also gets a bunch of improved creature comfort features including a new infotainment display and packs the latest Lexus Safety System 2.5+ with improved safety features. The 2021 Lexus IS 350 Sport starts with an MSRP of $42,900 and is already On-Sale.

2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport Latest Updates:


A compact midsize luxury sport sedan that drives well has been the main concept behind the IS 350 F Sport, wherein IS stands for Intelligent Sport. This timeless sedan has gone through 3 generations of production and it gets a notable amount of styling and feature updates for 2021. The main aspect that helps this Lexus stand out in its stable is its aggressive body kit and other unique aesthetic and performance bits all with a starting MSRP of $42,900.


Read more on Lexus:


The IS 350 is a popular variant in the IS lineup and the F-sport is a more driver-focused performance version of the IS 350. Exterior updates are cleverly confined to the front and rear facia that helps give the mid-facelift a more intense look and the added aggression actually helps in differentiating the standard IS 350 from the F Sport. But the impressive work has gone in under the skin, in terms of chassis and suspension updates with its "Lexus Driving Signature".

2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

Model Specs

MSRP Range

$42,900 - $44,900

Release Date

Already On-Sale (Build your 2021 IS 350 F Sport here)

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

Drivetrain

RWD / AWD

Trims

One fully-fledged trim - available in bother RWD and AWD configuration

Colors

  • 8 Exterior Shades - Ultrawhite / Iridium / Atomic Silver / Cloudburst Gray / Caviar / Infrared / Grecian Water / Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0
  • 2 Interior upholstery Options - Black / White / Circuit Red NuLuxe with Black Geometric trim

Changes

  • First Lexus offering to debut with Lexus Driving Signature for improved and balanced driving dynamics
  • Improvements for the chassis and suspension setup with extensive testing at the new technical center in Shimayama, Japan
  • Added standard safety features with the new Lexus Safety System+ 2.5
  • Heavily reworked front and rear fascia for more sharpness!
  • Refreshing updates for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport's interior

The cabin has it's fair edge in being luxurious and for 2021, gets a new optional 10.3-inch floating infotainment display for a refreshed appeal. Lexus has tweaked on 2021 IS 350 F Sport from the ground up and that is ought to make a ton of difference on the tarmac. The procedure was outlined by Lexus and it sure sounds exciting. The IS is a direct competitor to the luxury sports sedans of the leading European marques like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, BMW 3 series, and the homegrown Cadillac CT4.

What are the Prices, Trims, and Features of the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport?

Lexus had earlier unveiled its IS line-up digitally and showcased all of its improved and revamped features. It had us in splits as to how Lexus would price the heavily updated mid-cycle IS. But they have pitched forth the pricing aggressively and the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport starts with an MSRP of $42,900 for the RWD layout and $44,900 for the AWD unit.

For 2021, the Lexus IS 350 line-up comes with a redesigned exterior, handling upgrades, a new and improved infotainment unit. The F-sport carries forward all this along with a dynamic handling package and aggressive design cues. Other distinguishing features are BBS sourced dashing 19-inch alloys. The blacked-out elements give it a menacing look that goes well with the added sharpness.

Trim

IS 350 F-Sport

MSRP(RWD)

$42.900

MSRP(AWD)

$44,900

Key Features

18- inch alloy wheels

 

F Sport adaptive variable suspension

 

Torsen limited-slip rear differential

 

Premium Sound System

 

Adaptive Cruise Control and Navigation System

 

Heated and ventilated front sport seats

 

Special sport-oriented gauge cluster

 

Lexus Safety System+

Although rumored to be the 4th Generation for 2021, Lexus decided to go with a heavily facelifted extension of the 3rd Generation instead. And it's commendable for the added features are extensive changes it puts on the table. But Lexus is also rumored to be working on an all-new generation for the IS which will most probably have an all-new modular platform and essentially a new hybrid model in the portfolio.

What are the Engine and Performance updates for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport?

Under the hood things are not very different from the 2020 IS 350 F Sport as the 2021 IS 350 uses the same 3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6 making 311 hp and 280 lb-ft. This propels the IS 350 F Sport in line with its sharper looks which is commendable for a 5 seater mid-size sedan. We would have loved Lexus to toss in a turbocharged unit in the F Sport to sync with its purpose, but guess we will have to wait longer for that.

Drivetrain-wise, there is provision for both RWD and AWD. The Rear-Wheel-Drive gets an 8-speed transmission and the All-Wheel-Drive gets a 6-speed transmission. The shiftable transmission in 2020 brings about the old-school feel which makes the drive engaging. The vehicle suddenly shifts from a relaxed zone to a complete ready to race vehicle just by the press of a button, courtesy of its Dynamic Handling Package.

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Cadillac CT4

MSRP

$42,900

$40,000

$40,750

$44,495

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.7L Turbocharged Inline-4

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic

Power

311 hp @ 6,600 rpm

280 hp @ 5,200 rpm

255 hp @ 5,000 rpm

237 hp @ 5,000 rpm

Torque

280 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

306 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm

295 lb-ft @ 1,550 rpm

258 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm

The IS 350 F Sport is still thrifty for what it puts on the table, but with the advent of turbocharged engines and more sophisticated technological support systems, its competition has left this old-school vibing Lexus far behind. All of its competitors are equipped with around 2.0L turbo Inline-4 units, which doesn't put out as much power as the IS 350 F Sport but the advantage of an early torque surge paves way for a swifter driving experience in them.

How quick is the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport in terms of 0-60 and quarter mile runs?

Naturally Aspirated engines are slowly becoming a thing of the past will every passing second. But yet, here we have the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport with a 3.5L Naturally Aspirated unit that gives the IS a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds and a quarter-mile run time of 14.1 seconds. The engine sure is bulky at 3.5L but it helps it churn out 311 horses, way more than any of its immediate competitors.

But then again, size doesn't help here, as all the other cars in this segment are turbocharged that helps them downsize the engines, without much reduction in performance. The impressive part of the 2021 Lexus IS 350 is its slick-shifting 6-Speed automatic unit that helps you hold up to the turbocharged lot of the pack. 

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Cadillac CT4

0-60 mph

5.6 secs

5.2 secs

5.8 secs

N/A

Quarter Mile

14.1 secs

13.8 secs

13.7 secs

N/A

Top Speed

143 mph

149 mph

147 mph

N/A

It is impressive of the Lexus IS 350 to stand up to the much-sophisticated bunch with its natural aspiration. All the competitors in this segment have taken up turbocharging and downsized their engines for better efficiency and follow-up of norms. 2021 IS 350 F Sport is quicker than the BMW 3-Series by a whisker but doesn't quite come close to the dramatic Italian. But it still stays in the "fast game".


Also Read:


What are the MPG and range figures of the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport?

Since the 2021 model uses the powertrain setup as the 2020 model, the MPG figures of the IS 350 F Sport remains unchanged and return 20 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. These figures are fairly decent for a 311 hp executive sedan with sport car credentials. Not to mention the fact that the is a hefty Lexus at 3600 pounds.

It doesn't do wonders in terms of efficiency and it's also not expected as Naturally Aspirated units are notoriously thirsty. The only advantage that the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport have here is its noticeably larger fuel tank at 17.4 gallons. It also comes with three driving modes- ECO, Normal, and Sport which helps cater to a finer driving experience, with more optimum fuel consumption. 

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Cadillac CT4

MPG (City)

20

24

25

20

MPG (Highway)

28

33

34

29

MPG (Combined)

23

27

28

23

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

17.4

15.3

15.6

17.4

Range (City/ Highway/ Combined)

348/ 487/ 400

367/ 505/ 413

390/ 530/ 436

348/ 504/ 400

Turbocharging saves the day again with most of its competitors churning out MPG figures at a wider gap. BMW 3-Series is the most frugal of this bunch and its efficient 2.0L Turbo unit is the reason. The advantage here is its early surge of power and torque which helps the engine components stray away from unwanted stress and heat that could, in turn, convert to unwanted fuel consumption.

What are the updates in the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport Interior?

The interiors of the outgoing Lexus IS 350 F-Sport was good enough, to begin with. Materials felt nicer and the inside felt a good place to spend your quality time. In terms of the cabin layout, Lexus is pretty straight forward and puts a pretty neat package in the F Sport with added "Sport" bits that include snug fit seats that are specific for this trim. But luxury doesn't take a hit here as you are spoilt for choices with the various available leather options.

The ergonomics of the center console layout is still not very useful for the front passengers and the cabin is still devoid of bubble holes and storage compartments. There haven't been any notable additions for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 apart from a new bigger 10.3-inch infotainment screen that comes in as an option. The cargo space in this vehicle is mediocre and a drawback when compared to other aspects. 

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Cadillac CT4

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

First Row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

38.2/ 55.9/ 44.8

38.6/ 56.1/ 42.4

38.6/ 56.0/ 42.0

38.3/ 55.2/ 42.4

Second Row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

36.9/ 53.4/ 32.2

37.6/ 53.6/ 35.1

37.6/ 54.6/ 35.2

36.5/ 53.9/ 33.4

Cargo Capacity (cu. ft.)

10.8

N/A

17.0

10.7

When it comes to the overall cabin layout, Lexus trails when compared with its German and American competitors. The peeps at Lexus gave more importance to its sleeker design language because of which seating and comfort have taken a hit. Its, however, not a major factor as the impressive quality and finish of components help mask this downside. Notable interior features in 2021 IS 350 F Sport is:

  • F Sport-specific sport 8-way power-adjustable front row seats
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob
  • Power tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Dual-Zone Climate Control System
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Unique F Sports door accents
  • Unique Circuit Red leather upholstery option

What are the infotainment features in the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport?

For 2021 the infotainment unit of the IS 350 has seen a much-needed update with a bigger 10.3-inch unit that finally supports touch functionality! The third generation of the IS was plagued with one of the least appealing infotainment systems on the market. Though it featured attractive graphics, the mouse-like controller for navigating the system was imprecise and difficult to use.

It also includes a central touchpad that can be used to control the screen when you are too lazy or caught up with some other work! On other Lexus vehicles, such as the RX 350, we've found the new touchpad design to be marginally more intuitive than the sluggish old mouse. Various infotainment featues of the 2021 Lexus IS 350 are:

  • Standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with Amazon Alexa integration as well
  • Siri All Hands-Free for Apple CarPlay
  • Rotary control knob in the center console
  • Standard 10-Speaker Audio system
  • Optional 15-speaker, 1800W Mark Levinson surround-sound system

Also Read:


What are the changes for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport Exterior?

The Lexus IS 350 gets an extensively updated exterior design language for 2021. Much like the standard car, the F-sport flaunts the same base template with sharper and reworked front and rear fascias which were very much needed. For making the IS 350 F Sport look the part and stay out of the crowd, Toyota’s Race Development division took matters into their own hands and made a more aggressive iteration of the well-balanced design language of the IS.

The car gets bigger wheels than the standard IS 350 and other updates include an extended front spoiler, side skirts, rear spoiler, sport muffler, and rear diffuser. All of these added components are backed out which also includes a distinctively weaved spindle front grille. Keeping these unique bits aside, this sporty variation of the IS 350 is the same in all other bits. Lexus has also added 5 new exterior colors as well to go with the refreshed design language.

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Cadillac CT4

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3600

3522

3589

3616

Length (in.)

185.25

182.8

185.7

187.2

Width (in.)

72.4

73.2

71.9

71.4

Height (in.)

56.5

56.5

56.8

56.0

Ground Clearance (in.)

5.0

N/A

5.7

N/A

Wheelbase (in.)

110.2

111.0

112.2

109.3

Lexus, as per usual, has paid clear attention to the design, not only is it more stylish but it packs more technology now. The longer wheelbase perfectly handles the added aggressive aerodynamics of the vehicle. The edgy design of this car is furthermore riddled with features that make it more enthusiastic to drive. Notable exterior features in the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport is:

  • Curved LED DRL strip below the headlight.
  • Blacked out Lexus spindle grille
  • Wider openings in the front bumper
  • 19-inch alloy wheels including a unique BBS sourced design
  • 2 unique shades for the F Sport- Infrared and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0
  • Aerodynamic body panels specific for the F Sport including a rear spoiler

What are the Safety Features in the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport?

On the reliability front, the Lexus IS 350 F Sport had no recalls in recent times according to the NHTSA. Being Toyota’s luxury division, Lexus is no exception when it comes to reliability and the IS 350 F Sport lives up to the name. Safety has also been given due importance in the 2021 Lexus IS 350 and gets a slew of added standard and optional features for 2021.

The chassis has been smartly reworked to reduce the impact force in case of a collision. Along with this, Lexus has also added a bunch of new standard safety features following the new Lexus Safety System + 2.5. It also comes with the Lexus Enform Safety Connect with a 3-year trial with access to Lexus Enform response centers at any given time. Various safety features in the 2021 Lexus IS 350 are:

  • Standard 10 airbags
  • Intelligent High Beams
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect
  • Pre-Collision System With Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

When will the 2021 Lexus Is 350 F Sport launch and is it worth the upgrade?

Lexus is looking to win its faithful customers back by addressing common issues and catering to a fool-proof formula of a well-balanced sedan. The sporty driving characteristics coupled with the luxurious cabin of the IS 350 F-Sport have won the hearts of many and will continue to do so in 2021 with its updated design language. The 2021 Lexus IS 350 is currently on sale and can be booked right away.

Being a Lexus, peace of mind is guaranteed. With underpinnings from Toyota, the IS 350 F-Sport is nothing short of an exceptionally put together car. it’s safe to say the Lexus IS 350 F-sport will assure utmost comfort while encouraging spirited driving. It looks the part as well, and with the updated design language is ought to woo in a fair share of thrilled consumers. We wouldn't hesitate in going for 2021 IS 350 F Sport, and neither should you.


Also Read:


2021 Lexus Is 350 F Sport FAQs

Is Lexus IS 350 F Sport AWD?

Lexus IS 350 F Sport is offered in an RWD configuration as standard with the 3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6 but gets AWD equipped trims as well.

Does Lexus IS 350 F Sport have a sunroof?

Yes, Lexus IS 350 F Sport comes with a  sunroof but Lexus likes to call it a moonroof, preferably due to its all-glass dual-pane layout.

Is Lexus IS 350 F Sport reliable?

As Lexus IS 350 F Sport is based on Toyota's famed N platform, reliability is the best possible of what you can expect from a car in this segment. The 2020 Lexus IS 350 F Sport scored an impressive 83 out of 100 in the J.D. Power Report. It will most probably improve for 2021 IS 350 F Sport as Lexus has given it a few notable chassis tweaks. Apart from this, it is also offered with an impressive warranty package that comprises:

  • Bumper-to-bumper warranty covers for 48 months or 50,000 miles whichever occurs first. 
  • The powertrain warranty covers for 72 months or 70,000 miles whichever occurs first. 
  • For 48 months post the purchase of the vehicle, roadside assistance will be in place with no limit on mileage.
  • Corrosion and Perforation warranty by Lexus covers for 72 months without any limit on the mileage. 
  • The warranty for the parts is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.

Does Lexus IS 350 F Sport have Apple CarPlay?

Yes, Lexus has finally added both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard in the IS 350 F Sport which is also accompanied by Amazon Alexa integration.

What is the difference between Lexus IS 350 F Sport and IS 350?

Both the Lexus IS 350 F Sport and IS 350, are mechanically the same and the only aspect of difference is in aesthetics. The F Sport model gets a more dark-themed layout with blacked-out spindle grille with a unique pattern, BBS sourced alloy wheels, black inserts on the front are rear tweaked bumper. In short, it gets a more aggressive-looking body kit and tweaked mechanics for a more involving drive than the standard IS 350.

2021 lexus is 350 f sport exterior side view
2021 lexus is 350 f sport exterior rear angular view
2021 lexus is 350 f sport bbs alloy wheels
2021 lexus is 350 f sport exterior led headlamps
2021 lexus is 350 f sport rear badging
2021 lexus is 350 f sport interior dashboard view
2021 lexus is 350 f sport interior cockpit view
2021 lexus is 350 f sport interior aluminum pedals
2021 lexus is 350 f sport interior door trim
2021 lexus is 350 f sport interior perforated leather
2021 lexus is 350 f sport interior second row seating
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