2021 Lexus IS 350 AWD F Sport
The 2021 Lexus IS is available in three configurations in Canada, and four in the United States.
This is our video review of the 2021 Lexus IS 350 AWD F Sport:
2021 Acura TLX SH-AWD
Canadian buyers can order their TLX SH-AWD in one of four trim levels; base, Tech, A-Spec and Platinum Elite. Each is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine with 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Connecting the power to all four wheels is a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
The interior of this second generation 2021 TLX feels more modern, mature and slightly more upscale than the Lexus. The materials are quite nice and the design is very unique, especially in some respects. If this is your first exposure to a new Acura, then you will have to get used to Acura’s unique gear selection process. No levers here. Instead you have to choose from four uniquely shaped buttons, some of which move in different directions. The Park button is at the top, under it is a Reverse button that you don’t push in but push down. Under that is a rectangular-ish Neutral button and at the bottom, a big round Drive/Sport button. I wouldn’t say it is intuitive but after a while, you do get used to it.
The large 10.2 inch screen is great, but it’s not a touchscreen. That means you must master the touchpad in order to manage the radio, phone, navigation, etc. As you spend more time with this car you learn to master the features of this touchpad and it starts to make sense. As an alternative you can always press the voice command button on the steering wheel and maneuver through the system that way.
Both the Acura TLX SH-AWD and Lexus IS 350 AWD offer very capable winter weather all-wheel driving experiences, they just go about it differently. Most performance car enthusiasts would argue that rear wheel-drive cars are more entertaining than front-wheel drive cars. Front-wheel drive cars typically suffer from understeer, when the front wheels are asked to deliver lots of power to the pavement, steer at the same time, and the car starts to plow away from the corner’s apex. Sending the power to the rear wheels and asking the front wheel steer typically results in better, and more entertaining cornering, especially when a little drifting is added to the mix. All of this is greatly exaggerated when performed on slippery snow and ice covers driving surfaces.
The Lexus also benefits from being smaller and lighter than the Acura, which is most noticeable when having fun in the snow. The Lexus moves from rear to all-wheel drive tossing snow up from each corner while the Acura morphs from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive.
Acura’s ILX is the more obvious comparison to the Lexus IS in terms of size, but it is only available with front-wheel drive, SH-AWD is not an option.