While the sedan versions of Lexus’ IS line were redesigned for the 2014 model year, the convertibles continue on the old platform. The IS350 convertible remains a luxurious, if not very sporty, entry in the premium cabriolet market. Little changed since its 2010 debut, the rear-wheel drive IS350 convertible is powered by the same 306 horsepower V6 and 6-speed automatic transmission found in the IS350 sedan. A manual transmission is available only on the smaller-engined IS250 C.
The IS350 C’s convertible top is a three-piece folding metal hardtop, which gives the car four-seasons practicality and an extra measure of security over a ragtop convertible. Some of the usual open-air car compromises remain, however. The Lexus’ 11 cubic feet of cargo space shrinks to 2.5 cubic feet when the top is lowered. There is some cowl shake over rough roads, and, with the extra weight of the folding-top hardware, the IS350 C is a few ticks slower than its sedan cousin. Though rated at 19 mpg city/ 27 highway, our IS350 C F-Sport returned only 16 mpg in our driving.
The IS350 C preserves a generally solid, smooth and luxurious feel, especially with the top up. Road and wind noise are well controlled, and the ride isn’t punishing, considering all the times the word “sport” appears on our ultrasonic blue mica test-car’s options list.
We enjoyed the Mark Levinson premium audio option, and found the app suite on the infotainment system to be generally intuitive and easy-to-navigate.
Check out our review of the Redesigned 2014 IS 350 Sedan.