Lexus IS Review: Pricing, Specs & More
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The Lexus IS is a luxury sedan that offers refinement, technology, and excellent driving performance. Its defined styling and trademark Lexus grille cut a stylish silhouette wherever you go. Not only that, but with the legendary quality and reliability of Lexus vehicles, you can count on years of dependable driving.
The third-generation Lexus IS went into production for the 2014 model year, so there are plenty to choose from on the pre-owned market, and you could save thousands by buying used instead of new.
Here’s our Lexus IS review and what makes it such an impressive compact sports sedan.
Lexus IS models
For the 2022 model year, the Lexus IS comes in five trim levels:
- IS 300
- IS 350 F Sport
- IS 500 F Sport Performance
- IS 500 F Sport Performance Premium
- IS 500 F Sport Performance Launch Edition
The rear-wheel-drive IS 350 F Sport is a well-rounded model that gives you a little bit of everything, with ventilated front seats, limited-slip differential, 19-inch alloy wheels, and cold air intake.
Opting for the Dynamic Handling package adds an adaptive suspension system that enhances ride and handling. The Memory package offers stored preferences for the driver’s seat, power-adjustable steering column, and exterior mirrors.
The IS 500 F trim levels come equipped with a 5.0-liter V8 engine for the ultimate acceleration and handling.
Since the Lexus IS has been in production for years now, you can find many used editions for sale with similar features to the 2022 model. And since new cars depreciate around 20% during the first year of ownership and about 10% per year after that, you stand to score an excellent price on a pre-owned Lexus IS.
When you’re in the market for a used Lexus sports sedan like the IS 350, finding one can feel like a hassle. Buying used can save you thousands on a Lexus IS’s price, but driving around town and looking at different pre-owned cars is time-consuming and may not be productive.
Even if an advertisement looks nice, how can you know a used vehicle isn’t hiding mechanical issues? And stressful negotiating at a dealership can take the fun out of buying a new-to-you car. But at Shift, you don’t have to worry about any of that.
You can buy any of Shift’s cars directly online from the comfort of your home, know it has no hidden issues (from our 150-point inspection) and get a fair, up-front price. Shift’s website has a large selection of fully inspected cars located across the country that are ready to go.
Lexus IS horsepower and performance
The Lexus IS offers many powertrain options that provide excellent horsepower and efficiency. And with its sport-tuned suspension, the Lexus IS allows you to have a bit of fun behind the wheel, whether you’re running a quick errand or taking a spirited country drive.
The Lexus IS 300 uses a solid and efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain obtains an EPA-rated 31 mpg highway and 21 mpg city.
Next is a 3.5-liter V6 in the Lexus IS 300 AWD, making 260 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is 24 mpg highway and 18 mpg city.
The Lexus IS350 uses a more powerful version of the 3.5-liter V6 that pumps out 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. While it produces strong power, it still offers good gas mileage of 28 mpg highway and 20 mpg city.
And the high-performance RWD Lexus IS 500 features a stout 5.0-liter V8 engine with a racecar-like 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque. Even with its high horsepower figures, the 5.0-liter V8 provides a good fuel efficiency of 25 mpg highway and 17 mpg city.
The Lexus IS has a taut and controlled suspension that limits body roll in corners while providing a comfortable ride over potholes and bumpy roads. Accurate steering helps guide you through tight corners and cruise highways with ease. As far as transmission goes, the Lexus IS comes with either a six-speed automatic or an eight-speed automatic that quietly selects gear ratios for seamless acceleration.
Lexus IS interior
The Lexus IS sedan has a well-designed interior with superb artistry and high-quality materials. Whether you choose a Lexus IS 300, Lexus IS 350 F Sport, or Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance, being behind the wheel feels like stepping into a comfortable race car.
Standard interior features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a beefy steering wheel with paddle shifters, good passenger legroom, and plenty of cubic feet for storing groceries and gear.
The Lexus IS has an excellent infotainment system for connectivity and convenience, with a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen display and a 10-speaker audio system.
Upgrading to higher trims provides a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen and a Mark Levinson surround-sound premium audio system for even better sound quality.
And with 2021 and newer versions of the Lexus IS, popular apps like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa provide seamless syncing for all of your devices.
2018 Lexus IS (from $29,450)
Lexus IS reliability
Since the brand’s inception in 1989, Lexus has become known for producing vehicles just as reliable as those manufactured by its parent company, Toyota—cars and SUVs that you can count on. In impartial surveys conducted by J.D. Power with hundreds of thousands of car owners, the Lexus IS scored “great” in every category, confirming its dependability and driving performance.
2021 Lexus IS (from $49,950)
Lexus IS safety
The Lexus IS keeps you and your passengers safe wherever you drive with its excellent crash test ratings and many driver-assistance features.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the IS 350 a top overall safety rating of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) followed suit, awarding it Top Safety Pick.
Standard driver’s assistance features include:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
2018 Lexus IS (from $30,450)
Lexus IS review in summary
Lexus’ sport sedan is an entry-level luxury car that’s a well-rounded package, combining sophistication, performance, and dependability.
Its strong and efficient engines give you the best of both worlds, with quick acceleration and good fuel economy.
The sporty and luxurious interior offers a comfortable environment that makes any trip more enjoyable, whether on a peppy drive along backroads or an extended highway excursion.
The Lexus IS features great audio systems if you love music, whether you pick the standard unit or opt for the upgraded Mark Levinson surround-sound version.
With the superb build-quality of a Lexus, you know the IS sports sedan is a vehicle that’ll provide years of trouble-free driving.
The Lexus IS is among the safest vehicles on the road, earning top ratings from trusted sources so you know you can drive with peace of mind.
Owning a sophisticated sports sedan like a Lexus IS brings many associated costs like fuel, maintenance, repairs, and insurance. Finding ways to save on auto-related expenses helps keep extra cash in your bank account for other essential obligations.
One way of doing that is by securing a good car loan. Shift works with a network of trusted lenders who compete for your business, so you get the best deal on financing. Applying for financing with Shift is quick and easy, with no cost or obligation.
2019 Lexus IS (from $35,950)
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All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
May 11, 2022
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.