Excellence (Slightly) Refined: The 2016 Lexus IS350 F-SPORT

2016 Lexus IS350 F-SPORT front view
The 2016 Lexus IS350 F-SPORT.
Less than two months ago, I wrote the latest in what has become a series of TireKicker reviews praising the Lexus IS350 F-SPORT.  So why another?  Because that was the 2015 model, and I have just driven the 2016.

Side view of 2016 Lexus IS350 F-SPORT
2016 Lexus IS350 F-SPORT.
Changes?  Thankfully not many, and all improvements rather than change for the sake of change.

The 2016 IS350 gets slightly freshened front and rear styling, better interior sound deadening, and improved pre-collision and pedestrian detection system and allows you to upgrade the standard moonroof to a panoramic one as a separate option instead of as part of a package.

The price tag changes, too, from a base of $40,065 to $40,870.  The driving experience remains the same. Powerful, thanks to a 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6; precise, thanks to brilliant handling; and economical for a car of its capabilities, thanks to an 8-speed automatic transmission.  The EPA fuel economy estimate remains, as it was last year, 19 miles per gallon city/28 highway.

Interior view of 2016 Lexus IS350 F-SPORT
2016 Lexus IS350 F-SPORT interior.
Our test vehicle had optional equipment, including:

  • Blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and heated outside rear-view mirror ($600).
  • F-SPORT Package with F-SPORT front bumper and spindle grille, LED headlamps, 18-inch F-SPORT split five-spoke wheels, summer tires, a TFT instrument cluster, heated and ventilated front F-SPORT seats, a perforated shift knob, black headliner, aluminum pedals, rear-view camera, adaptive variable suspension and SPORT S+ mode ($3,155)
  • Navigation system and Mark Levinson 5.1 surround 17-speaker 835-watt audio system with the Lexus Enform app suite and auto-dimming rear-view mirror ($2,645)
  • Variable gear ratio power steering with a tilt/telescope steering column ($400).
  • Cargo net ($65)
  • Illuminated door sills ($425)
  • Trunk mat ($105)
With $940 delivery, processing and handling fee, the as-tested price came to $49,205.  That, frankly, is a tremendous bargain for this level of performance combined with Lexus' legendary reputation for quality and reliability.