Driving the 2011 Lexus IS 350 AWD

2011 Lexus IS 350 AWD

Last week, I picked up a 2011 Lexus IS 350 AWD from Lexus Canada HQ for a road test, and so far, I’ve found it a very easy car to drive fast. I don’t know if it’s the AWD system or the memory of the LFA driving school, but there’s some serious confidence happening in this car.

Notably, this is the first time I’ve driven anything other than a barebones IS — this IS 350 is packed with all the trimmings, including the Mark Levinson 14-speaker sound system, navigation, even a rear power sunshade — and all that tech really bumps up the experience.

It also bumps up the price, from the base IS AWD price of $44,950 up to $52,950 due to its $8,000 worth of options — pretty serious stuff.

If you’re interested in following along with my time in the car, I’m going to repeat what I did with the LS 600hL — that is, I’ll be updating this Road Test page instead of writing daily or weekly posts. There’s a link to the page in the sidebar, and this direct link:

Read my Lexus IS 350 AWD Review in Progress


  1. Wheel gaps on the AWD IS are atrocious.
  2. Funny thing... So without a doubt, there's still a lot of people who prefer the old headlights (I'm ambivalent); I've actually seen quite a few of the latest IS with the old headlights on, both on dealer lots and on the road!
  3. I really like the wheels on the AWD IS! I think they are better than the 5-spoke wheels on the 2011 RWD IS.  Even the 2009 and 2010 RWD IS wheels are better than the 2011 in my opinion. 
    • Love the wheels - much more than the 2011 18's. They look like mini LFA wheels. IMO the '08 18" wheels were the most attractive on the car - the best design + liquid graphite finish. The directional wheels on the '09-10 looked horrible.
    • Not a big fan of the 2011 18" either, but I would have preferred them to these 17" -- they just look too small.
  4. I like the headlight , but not the wheel or front bumper ... I don't think I ever liked IS's OEM rim unless it's IS-F or F-Sports .
  5. Krew... the MSRP for the facelifted LS 430 was only $55k in the US... I'm sure you could easily walk out the door with a nicely optioned one for $55k!