Up until now, if you wanted all-wheel drive you had to ops for the IS 250, but for 2011 there's a new IS 350 AWD model. Among all the combinations, though, our favorite is the rear-wheel-drive IS 350, which is the best balanced and has impressive poise—though the numb steering and lack of road feel are limitations. There's not much of a real-world fuel economy difference between the two engines either, however both engines require premium unleaded gas.
Appearance-wise one of the few differences between the two models is that, for 2011, HID headlamps and LED running lamps are now included on the IS 350 models.
The IS isn't particularly roomy inside, nor is it a safety standout, but it can be loaded with high-tech features, including a 300-watt Mark Levinson surround sound system, a nav system, a backup camera, a retractable moonroof, ventilated front seats, dynamic radar cruise control, and adaptive front lighting.
For more information on the IS 250, please see our full review of the 2011 Lexus IS 350, which covers both models and includes more images, related news, and a look at what other review sources have said.