2017 Lexus IS 200t/IS 350 Review

2017 Lexus IS 200t and 350 Road Test and Review…

It is refreshing to become reacquainted with the Lexus IS range, and in the mid-range F Sport guise, they are a rewarding drive.

Recently I tested the entry level 2017 Lexus IS 200t F Sport, and the top of the range IS 350 F Sport.

With Lexus attention to detail and all the bells and whistles, these compact luxury sedans can be a bit cheaper than their European rivals, led by longtime BMW favourite, the 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The steering is precise, handling predictable, and there are three engines on offer.

I drove the IS 200t which is powered by a turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque; Lexus claims fuel consumption of 7.5 litres/100km.

2017 Lexus IS 200t/IS 350 Review The other model tested, the flagship IS 350 boasts a 3.5 litre V6, naturally aspirated, producing 233kW of power and 378Nm of torque, and claimed fuel use of 9.7 litres/100km.

Whichever model you drive, freeway journeys and the city commute are enjoyable and relatively effortless, thanks to the array of active safety features in the Lexus Safety System+ which includes emergency braking, lane departure warning with steering assist.

These help lower a driver’s stress levels and presumably, reduce the likelihood of accidents as well.

Digital radio, sat-nav, Bluetooth… it’s all there, easy to use, in the larger infotainment display, although Behind the Wheel colleague, Chris Miller is not a fan of the rectangular mouse that helps to negotiate the system options.

I personally don’t mind it; and again I appreciated the voice prompts - in an Australian accent - warning of level-crossings, school zones, red-light cameras and the like.

Check out the beautifully designed cabins, and upholstery… it is a Lexus after all.

Comfortable seating, and I like the way the drivers seat moves back when the engine is switched off, making it easier to alight from the vehicle…and similarly takes you forward to the required position when the seat-belt is fastened or the ignition switch is pressed.

Golf clubs or other bulky items to transport? There’s plenty of space in the boot.

Last weekend I managed to stow a suitcase, shopping, golf bag and other equipment with room to spare.

Looks are a subjective, but to me the cars present a contemporary and angular stance, while the spindle grille gives the car a sharp, sporty stance.

The current Lexus models, in particular the IS range and the sporty RC 350, are products of the company’s style-leading cutting-edge designers.

Pricing is sharp too, when compared with the offerings from the European luxury makers, the 2017 Lexus IS 200t starting at $59,340, the IS 350 starting at $65,390 - but you will pay extra for the F Sport models.

The Lexus IS range… accomplished, attention to detail, and plenty of punch - especially in the IS 350.

These cars are well worth considering as an alternative to the comparable BMW, Mercedes and Audi models.

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