Sum Up


Lexus is known for its luxury sedans and the 2012 IS350 is another example of the company’s attention to detail. This compact luxury sedan is well equipped from the exterior to the cabin, to the powerful goodies under the hood. Available in one base model, there are plenty of option packages to choose from if the buyer wants a little more than the standard features. The powertrain doesn’t change however and most people are more than satisfied with the available V-6 motor. Inside the sedan, most surfaces are covered with leather and metal or wood accents, giving the IS350 its deserved title of luxury compact sedan. Interior room may be tight for some passengers however. Overall, the IS350 is worth taking a look at for its reliable nature and attractive styling.

New For 2012

For the 2012 model year, there are no significant changes to the Lexus IS350 to report.


The 2012 Lexus IS350 is a compact, luxury sedan offered in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. It is available in a base model with available option packages. The base model is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels. On the Luxury package models with rear-wheel drive only, 18-inch alloy wheels are added on. The IS350 is equipped with a mesh grille featuring the Lexus emblem in the center. The headlights are uniquely shaped and placed high on the front fenders for exceptional night vision. It would be difficult to miss the highly stylized under carriage of the IS350 with its distinctive details. Along the hood are modern lines that give the sedan an assertive look and feel. The styling continues on the sides and doors of this model. Keeping up with its compact status, the IS350 has a low roof line which sharply declines towards the trunk area. Like the front end, the rear fenders and trunk are designed to match the attractive details found on the rest of the body design.

Interior & Cargo

Luxury or not, interior space is almost always a precious commodity in the cabin of compact sedan. The 2012 Lexus IS350 is no exception. The front seats offer enough head and leg room, but the rear seats aren’t meant for taller passengers. Even if the driver is average height or shorter, the adjustable driver’s seat doesn’t leave a lot of space for the passenger’s lower extremities. This detail is definitely something to think about for those who often transport others. The available cargo space is average for a car of this class. The trunk offers up about 13 cubic feet of space for whatever needs to be hauled.

In terms of materials used and construction quality, no one can argue that the Lexus IS350 doesn’t deserve its luxury status. This model is equipped with plenty of leather upholstery and nice metallic accents throughout the cabin. Where there isn’t leather or metal, hard plastic rule the design with well fitted panels. The hard plastic has been expertly texturized to ensure a soft feel in the interior. The dash gauges and controls are easy to use and for the most part intuitive. The available iPod interface does have its challenges however. The optional navigation system is convenient and driver friendly though.


With this type of vehicle, it’s only natural to expect good quality features throughout the car and the 2012 Lexus IS350 meets those expectations. This vehicle is equipped with a long list of standard safety features including anti-lock brakes, as well as traction and stability control. Front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags are standard too. All IS350 models feature the Lexus Safety Connect system. This system provides an emergency assistance button, automatic collision notification, and a stolen vehicle locator.

Driving Experience

Luxury usually means high performance. The Lexus IS350 for the 2012 model year is equipped with a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission complete with shift paddles located on the steering wheel. As noted, this model is also available in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The powertrain produces 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The estimated fuel economy for the IS350 is 19/27 mpg city/highway on the rear-wheel versions and 18/26 mpg city/highway on the all-wheel drive models.

Behind the wheel, the 2012 Lexus IS350 is likely to be enough for most drivers. It offers good acceleration and keeps up well with everyday driving. It is also equipped to take corners like a champ and with the F performance options really takes the handling capabilities to a new level. However, steering is rather numb on this model and isn’t likely to give the driver a good feel for the road. Body roll is noticeable and leaves some test drivers feeling less than secure.

Key Competitors For The 2012 Lexus IS350

  • Audi A4
  • BMW 3-Series
  • Infiniti G37 sedan
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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