2020 Lexus IS350 F Sport Black Line Special Edition – Ultrasonic Blue Mica
The 2020 Lexus IS350 – despite comment from some about its age – is still a very competitive player in the midsize luxury sedan segment.
The current generation of IS-Series sedans dates back to 2014. Lexus has refreshed and updated the IS with the F Sport performance trim levels, power train enhancements and technology upgrades.
Coupled with selected styling tweaks along the way, the IS has continued to appeal at several levels both as a family driver and a sports sedan.
For 2020, the IS350 F Sport and new Black Line Package combination offer a plethora of stylistic and performance features that add new value in this IS series luxury sedan.
We recently spent a week around Hill Country Texas in an IS350 F Sport Black Line Special Edition (rear-wheel-drive) enjoying both the drive and the ride.
For us, the IS350 F Sport or IS350 F Sport Black Line Special Edition (Rear-Wheel-Drive models) are the pick of the litter.
2020 Lexus IS350 F Sport Black Line RWD – as tested
Our test IS350 F Sport Black Line RWD came in a very bold Ultrasonic Blue Mica exterior with a remarkable refined Black/Dark Gray Streamline interior.
The MSRP for F Sport / Black Line Special Edition is $45,915. A number of options and packages have been added including the LED Triple Beam Headlights, Moonroof, Navigation w/10.3-inch display and more.
Delivered in our driveway, the price was $52,484.
Black Line Special Edition
Notable Black Line themed exterior touches include a stunning Black Vapor Chrome finish on the 18-inch F Sport Wheels in, Black Grille Insert w/Black Vapor surround and Black Exterior Mirrors.
NOTE: We see a lot of finishes on wheels and trims – this Black Vapor really stands out.
On the inside, Black Line elements include premium soft touch materials including the NuLuxe in shades of Black with Gray accents and Indigo Blue trims, contrasting stitching, heated Blue Indigo steering wheel and Indigo Blue accent on door panels and glove box.
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 plus the 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 18-inch alloy wheels mounted with 225/40R18 front and 225/35R18 rear all-season tires – we found the IS350 F Sport RWD reasonably quick, nimble and a great handle.
Since you asked, its 0-60 speed is under six seconds with a top track speed of 142 mph.
Our IS350 as noted – featured the very refined Dark Gray Streamline interior with a variety of textures and shades of deep grays and matte finishes plus Indigo Blue accents that give the IS F Sport an extraordinary level of luxury.
Front seating is F Sport Bolstered NuLuxe trimmed, heated and ventilated. Seats are 10-way power adjustable for the driver and 8-way power for the passenger. Seriously comfortable for both performance or casual driving.
Some of the other elements include Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof, LFA-styled instrumentation, Aluminum Pedals, Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control, Smart Access w/Push Button Start, Back-up Camera, Intuitive Parking Assist, Illuminated Door Sills and Power Rear Sunshade.
NOTE: You have to see it up close and personal to appreciate this interior – one of the best Lexus has ever done.
Technology / Infotainment
Our IS350 came with the – very capable – Lexus Multimedia system (7.0-inch color display standard) and Lexus Premium Audio w/10-speakers. The system featured Siri Eyes-Free Mode, HD Radio with Traffic and Weather, SiriusXM, Bluetooth Wireless and Streaming Audio, MP3/WMA and dual USB plugs.
Also included was the Lexus Enform Remote with Smart Watch and Alexa integration.
NOTE: No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is available. Not a negative for us, but maybe for you.
The Navigation Package option added ‘turn-by-turn’ Navigation, Enform Destination Assist and changed the display to the 10.3-inch unit. Other features included Predictive Traffic, Speed Limit Display, Voice Recognition and Cache Radio.
All pretty good but. we would have gone one further, upgrading to the Mark Levinson Premium Audio w/Navigation option ($2,845). Its 835-watt amplifier and 15 speakers – from our experience – would amp up the IS350 cabin to near-concert-level.
The system is managed through a Remote Touch Interface setup well-located on the center console. It is pretty intuitive (in our view) and if you are reasonably ‘mouse’ proficient – you will get the hang of it pretty quick.
The Lexus IS features the Lexus Safety System +. 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 – all supported by Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect.
Lexus IS Lineup – Defined by Powertrains
Lexus IS offers two trim levels – IS300 and IS350. Both are available in Rear-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive with all engine choices.
The IS300 RWD is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 242 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.
BUYERS NOTE: The Black Line Special Edition (available in both IS300 and IS350) was scheduled for 900 units only. We searched dealer stocks in Austin/San Antonio, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth and did not find any available on their lots. Check with your dealer for availability.
KEY DATA: 2020 Lexus IS350 F Sport Black Line Special Edition
- Model: Lexus
- Trim IS350 F Sport Black Line Special Edition
- Class: Mid-size Sedan
- Seating: Five
- MSRP: $42,180
- As Tested: $52,484
- Engine: 3.5L V8
- Horsepower: 311 @6,600 rpm
- Torque: 280 lb.-ft. @4,800 rpm
- Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic w/Paddleshifters
- Drive System: RWD
- Wheel size 18–inch
- Fuel Economy 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined
- Fuel Tank 17.4 gallons
- Range Over 450 Highway Miles