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A drop-top version of the IS sedan, the IS 350C appeals to traditional Lexus buyers who value relaxed open-air cruising over aggressive dashes through the twists and turns. Coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, the IS 350C's 3.5-liter V6 produces a healthy 306 horsepower. Handling is predictable and controlled.
The IS 350C's elegant exterior lines are dampened only by somewhat awkward rear styling required to accommodate a retractable hardtop. Back seat legroom is tight—the car is really best for two people—but the tiny rear seats can be used as storage space to supplement the equally small trunk.
The base model IS 350C sits on 17-inch alloy wheels and houses a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 6-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive can be upgraded to all-wheel drive. LED daytime running lamps, bi-xenon headlights, and integrated fog lamps come standard.
Amenities in the cabin include: dual-zone climate control; leather upholstery; keyless entry and ignition; an 8-speaker sound system; and a steering wheel-mounted display system with audio and phone connectivity. Safety features include an automatic rollover bar; driver and front passenger knee airbags; rear side curtain airbags; traction and stability control; tire pressure monitoring; and Smart Stop technology.
Drivers looking for further customization can invest in the Luxury Package, Navigation/Audio Package, or the new F Sport Vehicle Package. A wide array of stand-alone upgrades are also available.
Finely engineered engine and brake systems and comfortable interior, but the crash test ratings aren't as high
Slightly bigger engine with more horsepower, but the cabin is due for a technology update
Sophisticated design and responsive handling, but the base trim is pretty dull without paying a lot for upgrades
Plush interior and excellent quattro all-wheel drive system, but standard engine is less powerful, and options are pricey