2008 Lexus IS 350 3.5/V6/direct injection with twin ports from Japan


The Maserati Quattroporte performance for VW Passat V6 price


Nothing except a small dent on left side body panel.

General Comments:

I got this car in the autumn of last year. It cruises astonishingly fast, as well as smoothly as velvet.

Her 0-100km/h acceleration time is 5.2sec and 0-400m time is 14.2sec. It is roughly as fast as the BMW 740i with turbocharged 3.0L yielding 326bhp, and much faster than the Mercedes C350.

Along with it, best elapsed acceleration times are 13.5sec for 0-400m and 5.0sec for 0-97km/h according to a major American media. So well run-in example of this car could be as fast as the Mercedes E550 (5467cc/388hp) and the BMW750iL (4398cc/407hp with twin turbochargers)!

So the Lexus IS350 could be called as a kind of giant killer. Namely its performance is almost miraculous for a naturally-aspirated 3.5-litres.

As for fuel economy, her average fuel consumption is about 10km/l, excellent for her output and performance. She's much more economical than the VW Passat 3.2 (3189cc/250hp) with about 9km/l consumption and roughly in same bracket as the Audi A4 2.0TFSI with 211hp motor and lesser performance!

Her handling is quite stable and predictable, albeit somewhat dull. Compared with the BMW335i, her handling is milder and feels comfortable for me. But her cross-wind stability is somewhat inferior to the likes of Audi A4 3.2 Quattro and VW Passat 3.2 4motion (All of these are full time 4WD based on FF.).

Her brakes are good and with solid feeling.

Its rear visibility is not so good, and rear view camera is somewhat inconvenient. And its space for backseat can be better, as wide as the BMW 3-series. Certainly the Mercedes C-Class offers much wider and more usable back space in similar size as the Lexus IS. Of course most FF sedans like the VW Passat and the Citroen C5 are much more spacious than the FR leagues;from the C-Class to the Lexus IS.

As a whole, her ergonomics are on the average level, with some points could be improved.

Paddle shift is not so easy to handle and somewhat abrupt.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2009

8th Jul 2009, 20:47

Lucky you! The IS350 is my dream car.

2008 Lexus IS 250 AWD with Nav from North America


Sporty, stylish, and reliable with useful luxury options, albeit cramped on space



Had dealer switch brakes due to excessive dusting (Optional Service Bulletin).

General Comments:

I've had this car since new living in the New England area, and have driven it now through all 4 seasons into the second winter that I've had it now. This is the AWD version, which comes with a smaller 205hp V6.

Performance wise the car is not going to rocket off the line, but the power is perfectly adequate for "normal" driving. The cornering ability has been excellent. The motor is generally kept quiet, but has a nice low growl when overtaking and under heavy acceleration. The semi-automatic shifting ability comes in two flavors: paddles and the shifter, but I've found the fully automatic mode highly satisfactory in making gear decisions, and have left it be 95% of the time.

Fuel economy is generally outstanding for an AWD vehicle. On the highway, I have averaged as much as 31mpg on one extended 150 mile trip. In the city or driving through heavy stop and go traffic expect in the low 20s. Generally each fill up has averaged between 24-28mpg. This is on premium fuel, which is required. There is noticeable 2-3mpg drop when not using premium fuel.

Overall fit and finish is typical Lexus, but less refined and a bit more sporty feeling than their full size sedans. The driver's position feels a bit like a cockpit, just as you would expect out of a small sports sedan. Other features and functions are easily accessible and work well. The heated and cooled seats option, which is included in the NAV package, works very well.

I have 3 complaints:

1) The steering wheel telescoping doesn't come out far enough. Another 2" would be good so that elbows can rest more comfortably on the center console and door sill.

2) The onboard display especially the TPMS does not give enough information. I would at the very least expect individual reports on tire pressures from all 4 corners, engine temperature, etc - after all this is a "sports" sedan. Instead only "errors" are shown when encountered, which in the case of the TPMS can mean you are riding almost 10 PSI too low before any warning appears.

3) As in ALL cars I've seen in the last 10 years, the rear-defrost option is a one touch button which can't be "preset" before you shut the car off. This means that if you are in inclement weather and have a remote starting system, you will not be able to automatically defrost the back window.

The navigation system option as in other built in vehicle setups will not fully allow every option while driving, but unlike other vehicles with built-in navigation, a set of voice commands can be used to set new destinations en-route. The rear backup camera is also built into the system and works well both during the day and at night.

In terms of space and also evaluating the car to peers such as the 3 series, A4, 9-3, etc, it is great for the front seats (I'm over 6'2" and still am OK) but the amount of rear room is more akin to a non-king sized cab pickup without 4 doors. The trunk is of a fair size, but alas Lexus removed the ability to fold down seats in all of their sedans. There is a pass through that with negotiation can fit two pairs of skis. This is an area where all other competitors are either on par or clearly win over the Lexus.

The lighting system via adaptive headlights and HID are also notable. What initially sounded gimmicky in that the headlights turn in the direction that you are turning, actually has a very noticeable effect when you are on streets without street lamps, and especially if those streets are windy.

General traction has been excellent as well. The all season tires that come with the car don't do the AWD justice, and if you live in serious snow land, you are best served to still get a set of dedicated winter tires. Remember that at least in the U.S. now this means because the car has a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system), you will end up also having to purchase those sensors if you intend to have a complete extra set of winter tires and wheels.

Scheduled maintenance is very reasonable with the default oil/tire change interval being 5K miles on conventional oil. It also bears mentioning that the transmission is sealed and not serviceable for fluid changes (lifetime fluid - or so it says). The traditional power steering pump is also gone in favor for a electric system. The initial rotor/pad and tire setup disclaimers suggest the life of all three is under 20K miles.

Lastly, dealer maintenance is, well dealer maintenance in terms of compatible pricing, and unfortunately the car's various plastic garb under the hood can make simple tasks an unnecessary chore, and may not be appreciated by DIY's and other car services.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd February, 2009

24th Feb 2009, 07:54

Well done for this review. Based on sincere and reliable ones. Keep it updated OK.

Sam, Malaysia.

22nd Jan 2015, 23:10

Great review, very honest and thorough. This will definitely help my decision to potentially purchase this vehicle. Thank you.