It's easy to think of the Lexus IS 350C not so much as a convertible, but as a compact luxury coupe with a roof that disappears when you ask. You get space for four passengers, a real trunk and a blessedly peaceful cabin with the top in place. Its 306-horsepower engine doesn't hurt, either.
What's New for 2015
The IS 350C receives additional iPhone apps and digital music choices.
Choosing your Lexus IS 250C
As the senior model in the rear-drive IS convertible family, the 350C runs with a 3.5-liter V6 good for 306 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. The potent V6 makes the 350C one of the quickest four-passenger luxury convertibles you can buy. With the standard power hardtop in place, the 350C is as quiet and smooth as you would expect a Lexus to be, and the trunk can easily handle a weekend's worth of luggage for two. However, with top tucked neatly away, you're limited to a couple of small bags.
Inside, the IS 350C is outfitted with leather seating for four, genuine wood trim, 10-way power front seats, Bluetooth phone and audio, and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer and satellite radio. Other standard features include keyless ignition, a telematics system and 17-inch alloy wheels. The optional Luxury package comes with upgraded leather upholstery, xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, and heated and ventilated front seats with driver memory. The Navigation package features a navigation system with voice controls, plus a rearview camera, HD radio and numerous smartphone apps. Models so equipped can also get a 12-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system.
For those seeking a little excitement, Lexus offer the F Sport package with an upgraded suspension, summer performance tires on unique 18-inch wheels, and more aggressive styling inside and out. Heated and ventilated front seats are also part of the F Sport treatment. Any 350C can get parking sensors and adaptive cruise control with forward collision mitigation as standalone options.
Expect robust acceleration with any IS 350C, but if you want handlings to match, adding the F Sport package is necessary. At a reasonable $2,550, it's a no-brainer for driving enthusiasts.