2021 Lexus IS Road Test - Consumer Reports
Lexus might consider the 2021 IS a full redesign, but we think it's more of a freshening as the mild update doesn't bring substantial improvements to this luxury sports sedan. Overall it's a decent car, but it's no match for the top contenders in the category, such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, in terms of the driving experience, interior room, or fuel economy.
Lexus IS Road Test

Lexus might consider the 2021 IS a full redesign, but we think it's more of a freshening as the mild update doesn't bring substantial improvements to this luxury sports sedan. Overall it's a decent car, but it's no match for the top contenders in the category, such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, in terms of the driving experience, interior room, or fuel economy.

Rear-wheel-drive versions come with a 241-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and the all-wheel-drive models have a polished but thirsty V6 producing 260 hp. There is also a F Sport with a 311-hp V6. We purchased the AWD version for our test program because driving all four wheels is the trend and customer preference in this class. While on paper the IS300's non-turbo V6 and six-speed automatic transmission might seem “old school,” it actually feels really refreshing to drive a car that possesses such a linear, meaty power delivery along with a smooth, cultivated engine note. And by the numbers the IS300 is plenty quick, dashing from 0 to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds, one of the quickest in its class. The downside is unimpressive fuel economy of 22 mpg overall in our testing. That's between 5-7 mpg less than the A4 and 3 Series, and about the same as Lexus's own RX350 SUV.

Handling is fairly nimble during ordinary driving but not all that sporty.

Best Version to Get
Buyers who live in the sunbelt might want to consider the rear-wheel-drive version that comes with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. They will benefit from better fuel economy and won't get the protrusion into the driver's legroom. Otherwise, AWD shoppers should opt for the IS300 equipped with the C...
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