Whenever keys get tossed to us in Southern California, we always hope they fit a convertible.  So, with much delight we hit the start button in this new for 2010 Lexus IS 350C and headed for the beach.

Despite its looks, the hood is the only sheet metal that the IS convertible shares with the sedan.  It’s a little over two inches longer which helped Lexus achieve the profile they wanted and even gets a little trunk space. 

The in-house designed 3-piece retractable hard top folds into the trunk using no less than 15 electric motors.  It takes about 20 seconds and is one of the smoothest operating power tops we’ve experienced.

The usual chassis reinforcements have been added to provide the solid, comfortable ride you expect from a Lexus.  Our drive took us south of Newport Beach and the car felt equally at home both on the Pacific Coast Highway and on the freeway. 

Power from the 306 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is more than adequate for beach cruising.  A more fuel efficient 204 horsepower 2.5-liter V6 is also available; both engines are carryovers from the IS sedan. 

In traditional Lexus fashion the interior is a warm and inviting place with leather or wood covering just about every surface.  Seats are all-day comfortable up front and there’s actually a little bit of rear-seat leg-room; though we wouldn’t want to spend all day back here. 

As mentioned, trunk room was a priority in the design and Lexus was able to finesse about 2.4 cubic feet of storage space with the hard top stowed in place.

“With the ISC Lexus has added both a coupe and a convertible to the IS line-up; and priced it a few thousand dollars less than its European competition.” – Brian Robinson

Good strategy if you ask us.  That starting price comes in at just under $40,000; and you can expect to see the ISC at your local dealer in June.


  • 3.8-liter dry sump 6-cylinder:
  • 435 horsepower:
  • Around $113,000: