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2010 Lexus IS 350C Review

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Michel Deslauriers
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The current trend of power-retractable hardtop convertibles has its advantages and its inconveniences. The advantage is that you can enjoy a year-round, better-insulated and more durable convertible, but on the other hand, that clamshell top flips, folds and sandwiches itself in the trunk, cutting in on available space.

The benefit of driving a hardtop convertible is a quieter interior. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/

It’s the case with the Infiniti G37, the Volvo C70, the BMW 3-Series, the Volkswagen Eos and, obviously, the Lexus IS C.

However, whether that’s important to you depends on what you do with your convertible. As a daily driver, it shouldn’t be a problem going to work and back. Sunny-day weekend drives through the countryside are also cool. But fetching the groceries or going on road trips make us feel like the IS C is a marginal choice.

With the top up, our IS 350C tester’s trunk has a respectable capacity of 305 litres. When the top goes down, however, you’ve got 67 litres of space left. Forget the golf bag. Forget the carry-on suitcase. Even carrying a jug of washer fluid, an emergency kit and a pair of spare shoes pretty much compromise the trunk.

In addition, the IS C’s huge trunklid opens backwards when the top is in operation, but it requires a couple of feet of clearance behind the car to perform its task; it won’t budge if the park assist sensors detect an object that’s too close. So if you’re about to parallel park in a tight space, you’ll have to anticipate closing up the top before backing into the spot you found.

That’s the Lexus IS C’s only true flaw.

The car’s overall shape still looks like your typical IS. Top up or down, the convertible sports an attractive body that’s highlighted by fat tires on 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights and turn signals integrated to the power heated mirrors.

The IS 350 C’s cockpit is, unsurprisingly, luxurious and well-crafted. The perforated leather seats up front are both heated and cooled, while dark gray wood trim adorns the centre console and door panels.

The IS 350 C’s cockpit is, unsurprisingly, luxurious and well-crafted. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/
Michel Deslauriers
Michel Deslauriers
Automotive expert