Cars & Gadgets

Everything You Need to Know About Lexus's New Luxury Compact Sedan

Is it an effective daily driver?
IMAGE JASON TULIO
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Ordinary compact sedans make for great daily drivers, but can the same be said for their premium counterparts? Take the Lexus IS 350, for example. It shares the same corporate DNA as the Toyota, but is it as practical as the bestseller? Here are five things to consider if you're a high-powered executive looking at the IS 350 as a potential daily driver. 

ITS LINES AND CURVES ARE STYLISH BUT SUBTLE

Some luxury cars are designed to stand out, while others do their best to look like any other four-wheeler on the road. This Lexus manages to have a bit of both. Up front, the hourglass spindle grille and boomerang-shaped daytime running lights are head-turners, and so too are the angular taillights and exhaust tips. Balancing it out are a straight and subtle character line and subdued haunches. It's a design that works well with the Sonic Quartz color you see here. It's striking from some angles, sure, but you could almost not give it a second look if you ignore the badge. 

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IT'S LOWER THAN IT LOOKS

From the side, the IS 350's ground clearance looks similar to any other sedan of its size, but the front bumper actually has a fair bit of overhang from the tires and is placed slightly lower than the rest of the car. Not a major issue if you drive mostly on flat roads, but steep driveways will be a challenge.

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COMFORT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE

Where the IS 350 shines is in its ability to keep you comfortable inside the cabin. The leather seats are well-bolstered, and the front two seats are equipped with Philippine-friendly seat coolers. The small details in things like the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter are executed well, too. Ride comfort is plush for the vehicle's size, and it's very stable at highway speeds. Road noise is no issue, thanks to the thick body construction. We just wish the infotainment controls were a bit more updated.

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THERE'S OVER 300HP ON BOARD, BUT YOU HARDLY NOTICE IT

The IS 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 312hp and 378Nm, and boasts a 230kph top speed and a 0-100 time of 5.9secs. And yet, you don't sense much of its power when you're trotting around town in Normal mode. Even at 100kph, while you can sense that the mill has much more on tap, it feels at home driving along at a steady clip. In Normal mode, it takes some heavy footwork to draw out all those horses. The power is there when you need it, but this was clearly a car built for cruising.

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This story originally appeared on Topgear.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Jason Tulio for TopGear.com.ph
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