The 2021 IS350 F Sport – Front-Wheel (FWD) or Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) – continues to be a solid pick among mid-size performance sedans.
Featuring F Sport performance plus a few selected functional and styling tweaks for 2021, its appeal is enhanced as both a family driver and performance sedan.
We recently spent a week around Hill Country, Texas with an IS350 F Sport RWD in a bold Grecian Water (Blue) color with a Black on Black interior and running on staggered Matte Black Forged Alloy 19-inch wheels.
2021 Lexus IS350 F Sport RWD – as tested
The MSRP for our IS350 F Sport RWD was $42,900. Added were the F Sport Dynamic Handling and Navigation/Mark Levinson audio packages plus ‘selected’ optional elements including Triple Beam LED Headlamps, Power Tilt-and-Slide Moonroof, Intuitive Parking Assist and Panoramic View Monitor.
Our 2021 Lexus IS350 F Sport RWD – including delivery – arrived in our garage for $54,625.
Powertrain / Mechanical
The IS350 F Sport RWD is the most powerful of the IS series sedans. Under the hood is a 3.5L DOHC Electronic Fuel-Injected V6 producing 311 horsepower with 277 lb.-ft. of torque.
The RWD version uses an 8-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission with column-mounted paddle shifters and – as F Sport – is matched to a Torsen Limited-Slip Differential to fully harness the torque.
It is equipped with Driver Selectable Drive Modes including ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and F SPORT S/S+ mode to enhance the drive experience and optimize performance.
Our F Sport was fitted with the Sport-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension and Rack and Pinion Electric Power Steering. Its Anti-Lock Braking system is integrated with the Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management System that features 13.2-inch front/12.2-inch rear, power assisted ventilated discs.
Running on the Dynamic Handling package with 19-inch ‘staggered’ alloy wheels mounted with 235/40R19 front and 265/35R18 rear Summer tires – we found the IS350 F Sport RWD quick, nimble and a great handle.
For the record, its 0-60 acceleration time is 5.6-seconds with a top track speed of 143 mph.
Lexis IS350 features ‘F Sport’ styling that includes unique bumpers front and rear, grille surround, exhaust tips, carbon fiber spoiler and w/Badging.
Functional elements of note include LED Headlamps, Taillamps and Daytime Running Lamps plus Rain Sensing Wipers.
The interior features Black patterns with embossed door trim in perforated Nulux and accented by Ash wood trims. The heated steering wheel – in Ash wood – nicely compliments the interior décor.
Seating is in Black Nulux with 10-way Driver / 8-way Passenger powered and features F Sport bolstering. Front seating is both heated and ventilated.
Comfort is maintained by Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control.
Technology / Infotainment
Our IS350 F Sport was loaded with functional and capable technology.
Leading the technology suite was the Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio Premium Surround Sound System option with 17-speakers, 1,800 watts of power. The system operated through 10.3-inch touchscreen multi-media display w/Dynamic Voice Command, Enform Dynamic Navigation and Enform Destination Assist.
Other technology features included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, SiriusXM , Bluetooth Streaming Audio, Enform Wi-Fi (4GB), CD Player, Enform Remote enabled by Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa and SmartAccess Pushbutton Start/Stop.
Yes, the system Remote Touch Interface is still there. As we have said, it is pretty intuitive and if you are reasonably ‘mouse’ proficient – you will get the hang of it pretty quick.
The 2021 Lexus IS 350 is rated an IIHS Top Safety Pick +, the top industry rating.
The Lexus IS features the Lexus Safety System + 2.5. Elements include High Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision w/Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam Headlamps, Blind Spot Monitor w/Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (and more) all supported by Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect.
In addition to the Lexus Safety System + 2.5 features, our IS350 F Sport was also equipped with Road Sign Assist and the optional Intuitive Parking Assist w/Auto Braking and Rear Pedestrian Detection and a Panoramic View Monitor.
Lexus IS Line-up – Defined by Powertrains
Lexus IS offers two trim levels – IS300 and IS350. Both are available in Rear-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive with two engine/transmission choices on IS300 and a single engine/two transmissions on the IS350.
The IS300 RWD is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 241 horsepower with 258 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to 8-speed automatic transmission w/paddle shifters. The IS300 AWD is fitted with a 3.5L V6 engine delivering 260 horsepower with 236 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Both the IS350 RWD and AWD use a 3.5L V6 power plant putting out 311 horsepower with 277 lb.-ft. of torque. The IS350 RWD is mated to 8-speed automatic transmission w/paddle shifters while the IS350 AWD uses a 6-speed automatic.
Learn more about the 2020 Lexus IS lineup including the awesome F Sport versions here: https://www.lexus.com/models/IS.
KEY DATA: 2021 Lexus IS350 F Sport
- Model: Lexus IS350
- Trim F Sport
- Class: Mid-size Sedan
- Seating: Five
- MSRP: $42,900
- As Tested: $54,625
- Engine: 3.5L V6
- Horsepower: 311 @6,600 rpm
- Torque: 280 lb.-ft. @4,800 rpm
- Rear End: Torsen Limited Shift Differential
- Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic Drive Mode Select w/Paddleshifters
- Acceleration 0-60: 5.6-seconds
- Top Speed: 143 mph
- Drive Modes: ECO/NORMAL/SPORT/SPORT+/SNOW
- Drive System: RWD
- Suspension: Adaptive Variable w/Double Wishbone (F) Multi-link (R)
- Wheel size 19–inch Alloy
- Tires 235/40R19 (F) 265/35R19 (R) Summer
- Fuel Economy 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined
- Fuel Tank 17.4 gallons
- Range Over 450 Highway Miles