Lexus IS

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2020 Lexus IS Ratings & Reliability
In our tests, the IS came up short as a sports sedan. Handling is secure but not engaging enough to run with the best in the class. Ride comfort is neither tied-down nor plush. Even the punchy IS 350 is underwhelming to drive. A 260-hp V6 powers the IS 300, which gives it more zip, but its fuel economy of 20 mpg overall is uncompetitive in the class. Plus, the interior is extremely cramped, and getting in and out is an ungraceful chore. The interior is well-finished, but there is room for improvement, especially the tight driver's cockpit. All-wheel-drive versions have a pronounced hump by the driver's right leg. The mouselike infotainment controller is distracting to use. Two adults will fit in the snug rear seat, but there isn't much headroom or legroom to spare. A 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder is available, but only in rear-wheel drive.
2014 Redesign Year
Lexus IS 2019
While this is arguably the most handsome version of the Lexus IS to date, it isn't very sporty, fun to drive, or luxurious. Handling is nothing special. Body roll is fairly well contained, but the car isn't particularly agile. The steering is appropriately weighted, but feels vague and doesn't telegraph much feedback. Worse, it still has a tight interior and mediocre fuel economy. F Sport models do have some sporty touches, but still fall short of the driving engagement of better compact sedans. If you're intent upon buying one, get the optional backup camera and blind-spot warning system, which were available individually or as part of option packages. Other driver assistance features include rear cross-traffic alert, active cruise control and lane departure warning.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2019 $39,375 - $40,000 $35,755 - $36,355
2018 $34,275 - $34,925 $30,920 - $31,520
2017 $22,975 - $29,925 $20,180 - $26,730
2016 $18,800 - $25,575 $16,150 - $22,550
2015 $18,500 - $25,575 $15,420 - $22,470
2014 $16,250 - $33,575 $12,670 - $30,380
2006 Redesign Year
Lexus IS 2013
The IS was redesigned in 2006. It also got two different V6 engines and available all-wheel drive. Plush and quiet, this version sacrifices some of the sportiness of the previous iteration of the car. Acceleration is quick, fuel economy is commendable and handling is secure, but the steering is short on feedback and the ride quality is stiff. While the front cabin grew a bit, the rear remained very cramped. On the safety front, a pre-collision system, available with the optional Dynamic Radar Cruise control, activates the seat belt pretensioners and brake assist systems in advance of a crash. A high-performance V8 model was introduced for 2008. A hardtop convertible was offered as well.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2013 $13,400 - $28,475 $10,015 - $25,420
2012 $11,650 - $24,975 $8,400 - $22,000
2011 $10,225 - $22,200 $7,075 - $19,315
2010 $9,025 - $19,900 $5,930 - $17,020
2009 $8,200 - $18,625 $5,190 - $15,540
2008 $7,375 - $17,825 $4,440 - $14,135
2007 $6,800 - $7,525 $3,940 - $4,580
2006 $6,275 - $6,750 $3,435 - $3,875
2001 Redesign Year
Lexus IS 2005
The rear-wheel-drive IS300 arrived for 2001 to compete with cars like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Power comes from a silky-smooth 215-hp inline six-cylinder mated to a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. The ride is quite stiff and a bit jittery, and lacks the compliance found in the German models. Handling is very capable but falls a bit short of the 3 Series benchmark. The IS300's interior is quite snug, and its stark ambience is not to everyone's taste. Tire noise is noticeable but not unbearable. The rear seat is tight for two adults, and trunk space is meager. A hatchback came in 2002. Overall, it's a very good package. Ergonomics are correct, with all controls within easy reach. Luxury features include automatic climate control and plush interior furnishings but with a sporting edge. As expected for the class, rear seat legroom is tight, though the front seats are ideal for a sport sedan. However, with a taut suspension tuned more for handling performance than comfort, the ride lacks suppleness.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2005 NA NA
2004 NA NA
2003 NA NA
2002 NA NA
2001 NA NA