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2021 Lexus IS 350 Sedan Review - Release Date, Features, MPG, Performance, And Rivals Comparison

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K. Menon

Content writer

November 25, 2020 at 09:30 AM

Lexus has unveiled its 2021 IS 350 with a notable number of updates focused on improving the driving dynamics with the debut of Lexus Driving Signature, for the first time in the IS lineup. It also gets an improved set of creature comfort features along with the new Lexus Safety System 2.5+ with added standard safety features and a new 10.3-inch infotainment display. The 2021 Lexus IS 350 is priced from $42,580 (est.) and has a Release Date of Early 2021.

2021 Lexus IS 350 Latest Updates:


Toyota sells its luxury vehicle segments under the banner of "Lexus". A compact midsize luxury sport sedan has been the main concept behind the IS 350, 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. Lexus has pitched it's sharper 2021 IS 350 with a starting MSRP of $42,580 and has a sweet revving V6 upfront.


Read more on Lexus IS:


Lexus did plan to introduce a new generation of the IS this year but went a facelift with handling improvements citing internal complications. Due to the unprecedented arrival of this pandemic, the launch event of the 2021 Lexus IS 350 was postponed and further conceded in an online reveal. But that hasn't dulled down on its zeal and 2021 IS line-up including the all-new IS 350 F-Sport 

2021 Lexus IS 350

Model Specs

MSRP Range

$423,580 - $44,845

Release Date

Mid-2021

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

Drivetrain

RWD / AWD

Trims

A single trim in either RWD or AWD configuration - IS 350

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 (the most eye-catchy) NuLuxe with Black Geometric trim

Changes

  • The 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
  • Tweaked front and rear fascia for more sharpness!
  • Refreshing updates for the 2021 Lexus IS 350's interior

The Lexus IS 350 still goes against the BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE, and the Genesis G70. 2021 IS line-up might look a whole lot different from 2020 MY, but truth be told, the people at Lexus has done a pretty good facelift on the existing platform. The big surprise here is that Lexus had been planning for an all-new generation of the IS, which is slated for 2022 and will flaunt an all-new modular platform and, possibly a hybrid powertrain.

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

Lexus has unveiled 2021 IS line-up digitally owing to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic situation and has priced it aggressively. The 2021 Lexus IS 350 is priced from $42,180 (est.) for the base RWD trim and at $44,345 for swapping it with an AWD unit. The single fully-fledged trim keeps you wary of confusion and gets the best Lexus has to offer, apart from 2021 IS F-Sport that is a more aggressive-looking car.

The design gets even sharper for 2021 with reworked front and rear fascia and the most notable change at the rear is its connected LED strip that has become a style statement in recent times. But the design language goes on quite well with the character of this car and is backed up by its sweet exhaust note, all thanks to the 3.5L NA V6 that loves to rev highly.

Trim

IS 350

MSRP (RWD) (est.)

$42,680

MSRP (AWD) (est.)

$44,845

Key Features

Sharper Front and rear fascia

 

Redesigned rear LED layout and new triple-beam LED headlamps

 

Optional 10.3-inch floating infotainment screen

 

Increase in dimensions - Longer, Wider and sharper
 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 

 

Lexus Enform remote technology 

The engine has been retained, which is the 311 hp 3.5 Liter Naturally Aspirated V6 engine. The interior also gets subtle updates and a slight shift as 2021 IS 350 is now longer, wider, and taller than last year. Interior has a keen take on luxury and even the base trim gets wrapped in leather options. The red upholstery option is eye-candy and looks quite appealing.

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

The Lexus was the go-to luxury car in the past but has fallen behind in time to its European rivals with more powerful and turbocharged engines in place now. The Lexus IS 350 retains the same old 3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6 engine rated at 311 hp and 277 lb-ft with a choice of two transmissions. We hoped for Lexus to pitch in for a turbocharged unit this time around, but we guess that it has to wait till next year in the Generation upgrade.

2021 IS 350 with RWD configuration is offered with an 8-Speed Automatic Transmission which is also the same unit that is found in the 2021 Lexus IS 300. The AWD trim, on the other hand, gets a slicker 6-Speed Automatic Transmission with tighter gear ratios for a swifter driving experience. An ace that the IS 350 has up its sleeve is the option of a more hardcore IS 350 F Sport variant, which adds more aggressiveness to this sharp sedan.

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Jaguar XE

2021 Genesis G70

MSRP

$44,845

$42,750

$41,900

$37,450

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

Power

311 hp @ 6,600 rpm

255 hp @ 5,000 rpm

247 hp @ 5,500 rpm

252 hp @ 6,200 rpm

Torque

280 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

295 lb-ft @ 1,550 rpm

269 lb-ft @ 1,300 rpm

260 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm

Only the Lexus IS 350 sports a V6 engine, while its competitors have put their faith in more powerful and fuel-efficient Inline-4s. The IS 350 beats them in terms of horsepower figures but shies out of this bunch when it comes to putting down torque. Due to the turbocharged nature of all its competitors, the torque curve comes in early which gives the competition an added edge. Even a dearth of 50 hp, makes the competition just over a second behind the V6 equipped Lexus.

How quick is the 2021 Lexus IS 350 in terms of 0-60 mph 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 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

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Jaguar XE

2021 Genesis G70

0-60 mph

5.6 secs

5.3 secs

6.6 secs

6.2 secs

Quarter-Mile

14.1 secs

14.1 secs

15.0 secs

14.7 secs

Top-Speed

143 mph

131 mph

120 mph

150 mph

Naturally Aspirated engines have another old trick up its sleeve that helps it gain the maximum top speed. It sure might come in slowly, but the 143 mph top speed is way more than both the Bimmer and Jag. It is only the more mental Genesis G70 that surpasses it in terms of top speed because of its keener rev-band.

What are the MPG figures of the 2021 Lexus IS 350?

The 2021 Lexus IS 350 certainly can do better in its fuel economy ratings. The BMW, Jaguar, and the newcomer Genesis were miles ahead of the 2020 Lexus IS 350 in terms of fuel efficiency. The more advanced inline engines help in more efficient fuel consumption. They have put the IS 350 behind the ages.

Unfortunately, this will continue for 2021 as well as the powertrains have received little to no updates. It is a carryover of the dull yet extremely reliable naturally aspirated V6 motor from last year and the 2021 Lexus IS 350 returns a combined 21 MPG. The advantage that Lexus has over its competitors is its larger fuel tank with an impressive 17.4-gallon capacity that adds to the driving range.

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Jaguar XE

2021 Genesis G70

MPG (City)

19

25

24

20

MPG (Highway)

26

34

34

27

MPG (Combined)

21

28

28

23

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

17.4

15.6

16.6

15.8

Range (City/ Highway/ Combined) (mi.)

330.6/452.4/365.4

390/530.4/436.8

398.4/564.4/464.8

316/426.6/363.4

The BMW 3-series and the Jaguar XE are the most fuel-efficient sedans in their class. The IS 350 is close to the G70 but still trails due to its less efficient V6 motor. The absence of forced induction is also seen in the IS 350 with its hefty contribution in terms of Emissions. While the rest come in the sub-8 ton category, Lexus struggles to keep the numbers within 8.5.

What are the interior updates for the 2021 Lexus IS 350?

One thing the 2021 Lexus IS 350 takes its pride back is in its luxurious interiors. The interiors for 2021 has taken its basis from 2020 with a few nit-picked updates to keep things fresh. The seats are trimmed with NuLuxe leather, which is much lighter and comfortable than standard leather. The steering wheel and the gear shift knob are also wrapped in leather with the cockpit designed to make interacting with the car as easy as possible.

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 increased dimensions have also not done any good for the cabin, at least in the seating department. 

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Jaguar XE

2021 Genesis G70

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

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

38.2/ 55.9/ 44.8

38.7/ 56.0 / 42.0 

37.0/ 56.8/ 41.5

39.4/ 56.3/ 42.6

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

36.9/ 53.4/ 32.2

37.6/ 54.6/ 35.2

37.0/ 54.7 /35.0

36.9/ 54.6/ 34.8

Trunk Capacity (cu. ft.)

10.8

17

14.5

10.5

Lexus IS 350 fails miserably in the cargo department as well and the sleek design language is to blame here. The designers at Lexus put too much emphasis on making the IS look too good that they completely forgot on its practical front. All of its competitors have a more balanced and well-to-do cabin layout with much more cargo space with the only expectation of the Genesis G70 which sacrificed volume for a sleeker roofline. Notable comfort featues in the 2021 Lexus IS 350 are:

  • NuLuxe upholstery
  • 10-way power driver seat and 8-way power passenger seat
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control System
  • Air-Con touch-sensitive controls
  • Available power moonroof
  • SmartAccess with push-button Start/ Stop 

What are the infotainment featues on offer in 2021 IS 350?

2021 IS 350 infotainment package includes a new optional 10.3-inch multimedia display which gives you a bigger experience than the standard unit. With a 15-speaker, 1800W Mark Levinson surround-sound system, the car is up for a lively performance. Some much-needed changes have been catered for with the inclusion of a touchscreen display along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Moreover, the navigation package that helps you to get to your favorite destinations quickly without any hassle has been carried over unchanged as well. The F Sport includes turbo gauge displays for more engine data for the enthusiastic ones. 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

Also Read:


What are the changes for the 2021 Lexus IS 350 exterior?

The new 2021 design language of the IS 350 could be the poster boy material of the future IS models. It’s been 7 years since a major redesign and fans are looking forward to it more than ever. But Lexus is still hanging onto the well balanced yet not old design language with few notable updates. The changes include a much wider front grille which is inspired by the new fleet of Lexus cars. The body design has become more streamlined and sharp.

The drooping rear side is cut out and a wide extending tail light replaces it, as revealed by its teaser. The LED headlamps and taillamps have been redesigned and are now sharper than ever. Dimensionally, the IS 350 has grown marginally, but not as much to be visible to the naked eye. The side profile also gets added sharpness to complement the subtle updates. Lexus has added 5 new exterior colors as well to go with the refreshed design language.

Model

2021 Lexus IS 350

2021 BMW 3-Series

2021 Jaguar XE

2021 Genesis G70

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3583

3764

3550

3673

Length (in.)

185.25

185.7

184.2

184.4

Width (in.)

72.4

71.9

77.4

72.8

Height (in.)

56.5

57

56.1

55.1

Ground Clearance (in.)

5.1

5.3

4.3

5.5

Wheelbase (in.)

110.2

112.2

111.6

111.6

The BMW 3-series currently sports the best design according to car critics. Its narrow, streamlined look has impressed every driver around the world. But we can't deny the fact that the new sharper looking IS 350 is the most futuristic-looking one of this bunch. Bimmer is also the largest car among this lot in terms of dimensions, but with the increased bit of the IS 350, it now creeps closer to the 3-Series. Various exterior featues of the I2021 Lexus IS 350 are:

  • Redesigned front and rear fascia
  • Sleeker reworked LED headlamps and taillamps
  • 4 new exterior colors-  Iridium, Cloudburst Gray, Matador Red Mica, and Grecian Water
  • Increased dimensions
  • Redesigned black treated front spindle grille

What are the safety features of the 2021 Lexus IS 350?

Tests are being undertaken continuously in Lexus’s plant in Japan to implant better safety features. 2020 IS 350 does well in safety with its lane assistance to keep you on the correct path. It also includes a blind-spot monitor to help you avoid accidents while switching lanes. Its intuitive high beams are adaptive and work well in illuminating the roads ahead.

The chassis has been smartly reworked to reduce the impact 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:

  • Pre-Collision System With Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Intelligent High Beams
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect
  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management(VDIM)

When will the 2021 Lexus Is 350 launch and is it worth the wait?

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 friendly customer service and the luxurious features of the IS 350 have won the hearts of many and will continue to do so in 2021. The new Lexus IS 350 is slated for launch in early 2021, whereas the IS 350 F Sport is already on sale.

The 2021 Lexus IS 350 is well worth the upgrade as it doesn't just push a few subtle changes and wraps things up. A lot more work has gone in for 2021 IS 350 than ever before with meticulous changes focused on improving the driving dynamics. For the number of updates, it puts on the table, the price bump is impressively low and well worth the wait.


Also Read:


2021 Lexus IS 350 FAQs

Is Lexus IS 350 AWD?

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

Does Lexus IS 350 have a sunroof?

Yes, Lexus IS 350 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 reliable?

As Lexus IS 350 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 scored an impressive 83 out of 100 in the J.D. Power Report. It will most probably improve for 2021 IS 350 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. 
  • Powertrain warranty covers 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 have Apple CarPlay?

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

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

Both the Lexus IS 350 and IS 350 F Sport, are mechanically the same and the only aspect of difference is in aesthetics. The F Sport model gets a more dark-themed layout with a 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 than the standard IS 350.

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2021 lexus is 350 exterior front view
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2021 lexus is 350 interior cockpit
2021 lexus is 350 interior first row seating
2021 lexus is 350 interior second row seating
2021 lexus is 350 interior perforate leather
2021 lexus is 350 interior door trim
2021 lexus is 350 interior sports aluminum pedals
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