By BOB GRITZINGER, Contributor | @bobgritzinger For the 2013 model…
We were thankful that our tester Lexus IS 350 F came with all-wheel-drive once the snowflakes started falling. The AWD system proved worthy after several inches of the white stuff rested on the streets, ensuring that our daily routines weren’t too disrupted.
Lexus provided us a beautiful red metallic compact four-door to drive. The IS 350 F has been a fan favorite since its introduction for its ability to combine unique styling on the outside and surprising performance under the hood.
We enjoyed tossing it into corners (once the snow had cleared, of course) and flooring it out of those corners. The Lexus handled like a champ. We found the paddle shifters to be fun and not superfluous in this car, which is a departure from many of the other non-performance-minded vehicles that land in our driveway.
The interior is open enough for taller drivers and front passengers, but don’t expect loads of space in the rear – it is a compact sedan after all. The rear seats pass our test for 60/40 split functionality, and the seats proved comfortable.
There’s nothing really “special” about this car though. While it’s fun to drive and fairly affordable (around $45,000 MSRP), today’s version of the IS 350 F almost isn’t memorable – like that coworker on the 10th floor you shared lunch with one day two years ago, whose face you know but somehow you can never put their name to it.
Why we wouldn’t recommend buying this car
While there are plenty of folks who will love the IS 350 F despite its flaws; there was one pretty major hang-up for us with the IS 350. There is a decent-sized hump that juts out between the driver’s seat and the accelerator, making for a very awkward driving position. The best way we can classify said bump is just bizarre. It is quite surprising that in today’s competitive market, Lexus would allow a product to roll through to completion with such a blemish.
Perhaps this is something that really bothers us yet others view as insignificant. Maybe we’re just out of it, and the car’s voluptuous feature was actually the star of a Black Eyed Peas’ hit song. Who knows. But if you ask us whether to buy the 2015 IS 350 F, we’ll have to give you the “bump disclaimer” and let you decide.
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