Three decades ago, the Lexus IS would have found itself in the middle of a key luxury car segment, that of compact sedans, which made premium cars accessible to a wider range of buyers looking for an engaging drive and an upscale look and feel. These days, like so many other vehicle types, small luxury sedans play second fiddle to crossovers and SUVs, but the IS remains to appeal to more traditional shoppers in the entry level luxury marketplace.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
Following a major update last year, the 2022 Lexus IS gains a new high-performance V8-powered trim called the IS 500.
The 2022 Lexus IS range begins with the IS 300 RWD, powered by a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed transmission. Next up is the IS 300 AWD, which gets a 3.5L V6 and a six-speed automatic; the IS 350 uses the same powertrain, but with a more powerful version of the V6. Finally, the IS 500 uses a 5.0L V8, an eight-speed transmission, and RWD.
IS 300 RWD starts with passive keyless entry, 10-speaker audio, an 8.0-inch infotainment display, heated/ventilated power front seats, NuLuxe upholstery, dual-zone A/C, auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED headlights, and 19-inch wheels.
IS 300 RWD’s standard safety items include rain-sensing wipers, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane tracing assist, left-turn support, automatic high beams, forward collision mitigation, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, and radar cruise control.
IS 300 AWD adds a heated steering wheel and a sunroof, and downsizes to 18-inch wheels.
IS 350 AWD brings navigation and a 10.3-inch display, and re-ups to 19-inch wheels.
IS 500 adds an adaptive variable suspension, and 17-speaker audio.
IS 300 AWD offers an F Sport Series 1 pack of 19-inch wheels and other styling enhancements, but deletes the sunroof and heated steering wheel. An F Sport Series 2 pack brings back those two luxuries and also brings navigation. An IS 300 AWD luxury package adds navigation, power steering column, adaptive headlights, the larger infotainment screen, and parking assist.
An IS 350 AWD F Sport Series 3 bundle adds upgraded headlights and wheels, panoramic view monitor, adaptive suspension, parking assist, a 17-speaker stereo, and silver wood interior trim.
Finally, IS 500 can be had with a Launch Edition group of upgraded wheels, black/grey suede interior, and an exclusive Incognito paint colour.
Lexus’s fuel consumption estimates for the IS are 11.0/7.6 L/100 km (city/highway) for the IS 300 RWD; 12.2/9.0 L/100 km for IS 300 AWD and IS 350 AWD; and 14.1/9.3 L/100 km in IS 500.
The Lexus IS’s most obvious competitors are the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but you can also cross-shop this small Lexus four-door against the Cadillac CT4, the Volvo S60, Infiniti Q50, Acura TLX, and Genesis G70.