2019 Lexus IS

Buyer's Guide

The disappearance of the Lexus CT 200h hatchback after the 2017 model year left the IS range to serve entry-level clients of Toyota’s upscale brand. While we miss the CT for its fun looks and thrifty hybrid performance, we think Lexus shoppers are in good hands with the IS, which carries on as a nicely done sport sedan.

There are no changes to the IS for 2019, so it is once again available as the IS 300 with either rear- or all-wheel drive, or the AWD-only IS 350.

Somewhat confusingly, the IS 300 is offered with two substantially different drivetrains. The IS 300 RWD uses a 2.0L, turbocharged four-cylinder making 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, which feeds an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Meanwhile, the IS 300 AWD gets a 3.5L V6 good for 260 hp and 236 lb-ft, which goes into a six-speed auto before heading to all four wheels.

The IS 350 AWD takes the same V6 but cranks its output up to 311 hp and 277 lb-ft, and also uses the six-speed automatic.

Lexus’s decision to use a six-speed in the more potent IS models is a curious decision given most of this car’s competitors, which come from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Acura and Volvo, to name just a few, come with at least eight ratios in their automatics.

If you refuse to play the numbers game, know that the IS 350 is a very quick car regardless. The V6 is strong and smooth, and even if the car misses the road feel benchmark set by older generations of the BMW 3 Series, the IS is a satisfying car to drive quickly no matter which engine you put under its hood.

IS 300 models start out with a 10-speaker sound system with 7.0-inch touchscreen, heated front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate controls, passive keyless entry and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Four-cylinder cars can be optioned with an F Sport package with blind spot monitoring, ventilated front seats, sunroof, auto-dimming side mirrors, 18-inch wheels and a variety of F Sport trim items.

The IS 300 AWD offers a wider range of extras in Premium and Luxury packages and F Sport 1 and 2 bundles. Premium trim is similar to the four-cylinder’s F Sport group minus the F Sport items, while Luxury trim builds on that with navigation, a 10.3-inch infotainment display, front and rear parking sensors and adaptive headlights.

F Sport Series 1 is the same as it is in the RWD model, while F Sport Series 2 brings the same amenities as the Luxury group.

IS 350 AWD cars come with the IS 300 AWD Luxury features, plus an adaptive variable suspension, F Sport aero package and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo. Options include the F Sport Series 2 package, and a Series 3 group with a 15-speaker stereo, power rear-window sunshade and triple LED headlights.

Lexus’s fuel consumption estimates for the IS are 11.0/7.6 L/100 km (city/highway) for the IS 300 RWD while the IS 300 AWD and IS 350 AWD are both rated at 12.3/9.1.

2019 Lexus IS Specifications

There are 3 available trims for this model. View a specific trim for more precise information.
Overview
Specifications
From $41,050 MSRP
9.3
Fuel Economy City/HWY combined
241 hp @5800 rpm
Number of seats 5
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Body style Sedan
Trim MSRP Number of seats Body style
Trim Horse Power Torque Transmission Drivetrain
Trim Length Body Width Body Height Wheelbase
Trim AUX Input Satellite Radio MP3 Play Bluetooth Connect
Trim Standard Seat Trim Heated Front Seats Heated Rear Seats Power Driver Seats
Trim Traction Stability Brake Assist ABS Blind Spot Sensor
Trim Back Up Camera Parking Distance Sensors AC Power Windows Navigation
IS 300 RWD $41,050 5 Sedan
IS 300 RWD 241 hp @5800 rpm 258 ft-lb @1650 rpm 8-Speed A/T Rear Wheel Drive
IS 300 RWD 184.3" 71.3" 56.3" 110.2"
IS 300 RWD
IS 300 RWD Premium Synthetic Seats
IS 300 RWD
IS 300 RWD
IS 300 AWD $43,550 5 Sedan
IS 300 AWD 260 hp @6400 rpm 236 ft-lb @2000 rpm 6-Speed A/T All Wheel Drive
IS 300 AWD 184.3" 71.3" 56.3" 110.2"
IS 300 AWD
IS 300 AWD Premium Synthetic Seats
IS 300 AWD
IS 300 AWD
IS 350 AWD $53,100 5 Sedan
IS 350 AWD 311 hp @6400 rpm 277 ft-lb @4800 rpm 6-Speed A/T All Wheel Drive
IS 350 AWD 184.3" 71.3" 56.3" 110.2"
IS 350 AWD
IS 350 AWD Premium Synthetic Seats
IS 350 AWD
IS 350 AWD

Owner Reviews: 2019 Lexus / IS

Average Rating

2008 Lexus IS

Trim: IS 250
by SixtySix on 10-17-2012
Super Reliable
Love this car. Not particulary practical for families (lack of boot space and rear legroom) like all compact execs, not particularly cheap to run or service, but comfortable, refined, well equipped and a great drivers car. Like the Lexus prestige image but without the BMW/Audi/Mercedes price tag ! Have had mine for two years and no problems. An excellent long distance cruiser which is equally happy on the twisty back roads. Just don't even think about taking it out in the snow unless you have winter tires.
Overall
4.5
Comfort
5/5
Performance
3/5
Fuel Economy
4/5
Interior Design
4/5
Exterior Styling
4/5
Reliability
5/5
Is this review useful?
Yes No

2006 Lexus IS

Trim: IS 350
by CarJunkie on 10-16-2012
Performance + Style All in One
The Lexus IS 350 is an excellent car. It handles so smoothly and has alot of power. Although it's rear wheel drive the extra power in the 350 combined with winter tires you won't have a problem during winter in snow. It's both a performance vehicle and a family car in one. What more can you ask for?
Overall
5.0
Comfort
5/5
Performance
5/5
Fuel Economy
5/5
Interior Design
5/5
Exterior Styling
5/5
Reliability
5/5
Is this review useful?
Yes No

2002 Lexus IS

Trim: IS 300
by cyjatoronto on 10-14-2012
Lexus IS300
Quick, solid, refined – a great sports sedan. Not over-optioned like some luxury makes. Easy-to-use controls, everything you need -- nothing more, nothing less. Example, steering wheel is just that - not cluttered with seldom-used buttons.
Overall
4.5
Comfort
5/5
Performance
5/5
Fuel Economy
3/5
Interior Design
4/5
Exterior Styling
4/5
Reliability
5/5
Is this review useful?
Yes No
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
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