With good looks, plenty of luxury, and a healthy dose of performance, the 2012 Lexus IS 350C certainly has a lot going for it.
Competing against the convertible versions of the Audi A5 and BMW 3-Series, as well as the Volvo C70, the IS 350 is one of the most practical in its class thanks to its clever retractable hard-top, reasonably spacious trunk, superb quality, and decent ride.
While its IS 250C sibling
can feel a bit anemic, having to suffice with only a 2.5-liter V-6, the IS 350C gets a big 3.5-liter V-6 and the full 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque that comes with it. The silky smooth unit feels strong, right through the rev range, and the six-speed automatic (with paddle-shifters) is a willing companion, yielding impressive straight-line performance.
Fuel economy comes in at an EPA-rated 19/27 mpg city/highway, which is relatively good for the class. And considering the mileage gains of the less powerful IS 250 are only a couple of mpgs, we strongly recommend...