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Lexus
IS
2019
Go
John Diether
Automotive Editor - October 19, 2018

Expert Rating

3.35 (Good)
MPG
20 City / 28 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2019 Lexus IS OVERVIEW

The compact 2019 Lexus IS sedan combines a dash of sport, alert handling, and youthful style with the brand's knack for luxury. Its strongest play comes in the form of savings, especially when compared to similarly equipped European competitors.

What's New for 2019

Revised engine programming provides snappier response on rear-drive models. The Lexus Enform mobile app gains smartwatch and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Triple beam headlights join the option list.

BMW 7 series

Choosing Your Lexus IS

The IS starts out with rear-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This setup is EPA-rated at 21 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 24 combined.

The optional 3.5-liter V6 produces 260 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque and comes only with all-wheel drive. The V6 returns 20/28/23 mpg (city/highway/combined). The top choice is an upgraded version of the 3.5-liter with 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.

All rear-drive versions get an eight-speed automatic transmission. Models will all-wheel drive carry a six-speed automatic.

Engine and drivetrain are determined by trim level:

IS 300

Starting at $39,335 (all prices include the $1,025 destination charge), the IS 300 RWD carries the 2.0-liter turbo and standard features like adjustable driving modes, front power sport seats in NuLuxe (synthetic leather), remote start, a sunroof, 17-inch wheels, and an eight-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio. Safety technology is present in full force: automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

For $1,510, the Premium Package adds ventilated and heated front seats, driver memory, automatic wipers, auto-dimming side mirrors, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. With those features in place, buyers can add a full-feature Navigation Package ($1,745) or the Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package for $2,845. Individual options include triple-beam LED headlights ($1,160), a heated steering wheel ($150), 18-inch wheels, an automated parking system ($500), and a rear power sunshade ($210).

The IS 300 AWD carries a starting price of $41,785 and comes with the 260-hp version of the 3.5-liter V6, plus standard heated seats. All packages and individual options from the RWD model continue, though the Premium Package is priced at $1,070 since heated seats are already standard.

IS 300 F Sport

Available with RWD ($42,530) or AWD ($44,580), the 300 F SPORT gets 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded instrumentation, and more aggressive trim throughout. The contents of Premium Package come standard, while the Navigation and Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Audi Packages return unchanged.

IS 350

The IS 350 RWD gets the 311-hp V6 engine and a limited-slip rear differential for a starting price of $42,955. Packages and options are identical to the 300 RWD. The IS 350 AWD ($45,120) also gets the more powerful V6, plus all-wheel drive. Other equipment and options are shared with the 300 AWD.

IS 350 F Sport

The IS 350 F Sport adds the F SPORT performance enhancements to the IS 350 RWD ($46,150) or IS 350 AWD ($47,485). Exclusive to 350 F SPORT models are an adaptive suspension and a Sport Plus driving mode.

CarsDirect Tip

The 2019 Lexus IS F SPORT models look more aggressive, but don't offer much more in the way of actual performance. The buyer's option budget is better spent elsewhere.

Get your price on a Lexus IS »

Best Lexus Deals & Lease Offers In May

Lexus continues offering strong financing offers as APR rates remain competitive. The automaker recently enhanced finance rates with all models now eligible for 0% for 60... View All Lexus Lease Deals

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