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2021 Lexus IS

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Lexus
Model
IS
Year
2021
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Used Car Price Range
$28,586 - $41,991
$28,586 $41,991
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2021 IS 300 Base 4dr Rear-wheel Drive Sedan
most popular
Price:   -  From $39,050
2021 IS 300 Base 4dr All-wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $41,050
2021 IS 350 F SPORT 4dr Rear-wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $42,950
2021 IS 350 F SPORT 4dr All-wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $44,950
Expert Rating
3.1 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

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

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

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

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

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

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Overview

What's New

The significantly updated 2021 Lexus IS may, at first, appear similar to last year’s model, but there are significant changes hidden in the details. With a refocused mission, the F Sport is now limited to the more powerful V6 engine and is available with a Dynamic Handling Package Package that seeks to fully demonstrate its chassis’ ability. All trims gain technology advancements for safety and infotainment systems.

Choosing Your Lexus IS

The Lexus IS is available in two trim levels: IS 350 and IS 350 F Sport. Pricing starts at $40,025 including destination for the base model and only climbs to $42,025 for the IS 350 F Sport.

Engine Choices

The IS 300 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with rear-wheel drive, while the all-wheel-drive IS 300 and all IS 350 F Sport models come with a 3.5-liter V6.

Engine TypeTrim LevelHorsepowerTorqueFuel Economy (Combined)
2.0L Turbo 4-CylinderIS 300 RWD241 hp258 lb-ft25 mpg
3.5L V6IS 300 AWD260 hp236 lb-ft22 mpg
3.5L V6IS 350 F Sport311 hp280 lb-ft23 mpg

The base engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the larger motor gets a six-speed automatic. On the IS 350 F Sport, the RWD model is equipped with the eight-speed whereas the AWD model is equipped with the six-speed unit.

Rear-wheel drive is standard on both trims, but all-wheel drive is available. The AWD system can deliver as much as 50% of the available power to the front wheels.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The new sheet metal stretches the five-passenger IS by 1.18 inches to 185.24 inches in length while its wheelbase (110.2 inches) remains the same. It sits 0.19 inches taller and is 1.18 inches wider (72.4 inches) than last year’s model.

Rear seat passengers make do with 32.2 inches of leg room, while the IS’ cargo capacity of 10.8 cubic feet can be expanded with the split-folding seatback.

Lexus IS

Safety Features

The IS includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, steering evasion assist, blind-spot monitoring, an updated adaptive cruise control system, an improved lane-centering steering system, automatic high beams, road sign detection, and a rear cross-traffic alert as standard.

Parking sensors are available for $600. A surround-view camera system is paired with automatic reverse braking for $1,400.

Connectivity

The base trim is equipped with an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen (with a remote touchpad) that integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is compatible with Amazon Alexa. SiriusXM satellite radio, 4G wi-fi, and two USB ports are also included.

The screen enlarges to 10.3 inches with navigation when equipped with the $1,670 Navigation Package.

Lexus IS

IS 300 - From $40,025

The base Lexus IS features LED headlights, taillights, and signature running lights, as well as 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, proximity entry, synthetic heated leather seats, dual-zone climate control, a turbo-boost gauge, and paddle shifters.

The Comfort Package ($1,950) includes heated and ventilated front seats, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a power sunroof. A 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system is available for $1,080.

IS 350 F Sport - From $43,925

The IS 350 F Sport includes many performance-inspired upgrades to match the chassis and powertrain enhancements. It has 19-inch wheels, a unique grille with integrated brake cooling ducts, unique rocker moldings, a functional trunk-lid spoiler, and a unique rear valance. Inside, F Sport heated and ventilated front sport seats, an F Sport heated sport steering wheel, a unique gauge cluster display, and F Sport aluminum pedals are standard.

An F Sport Dynamic Handling Package ($4,200) amps the performance even further. It includes an adaptive sport-tuned suspension, stiffer and lighter 19-inch BBS black BBS wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, carbon fiber mirror housings, additional driving modes, and an ash wood interior trim.

Compare IS Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

The 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport has the unique advantage of being the first vehicle development with Toyota’s new focus on driving dynamics and the available F Sport Dynamic Package allows the most out of the IS’ performance.

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Pros
  • Finally, a touchscreen!
  • Sporty handling
  • Loads of standard features and safety gear
Cons
  • Relatively poor acceleration
  • Same old powertrain options
  • Teeny, tiny rear seat
  • Showing its age
Expert Rating
3.1 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

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

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

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

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

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

author image
Automotive Editor

Luxury for the value-conscious buyer. The current-generation Lexus IS has been around since 2013. And though it's had a refresh and a few powertrain updates since, you can still see its age peeking through the facelift.

That said, the 2021 Lexus IS still presents excellent value with its lower pricing, superior agility, and new infotainment interface. These attributes are enough to make it a worthy consideration in the compact luxury sedan segment.

Precision handling, recycled powertrains. The IS delivers strong handling on curvy back roads thanks to its firm suspension and predictable rear-wheel-drive configuration. It even retains its predictability with the all-wheel-drive option thanks to a rear torque bias.

Buyers can improve upon the IS' corner-carving ways with the optional Dynamic Handling Package. This adds adaptive dampers and 19-inch forged-alloy BBS wheels for $4,200.

Under its hood, the IS isn't aging well, as it includes the same powertrain options it's had for years. The base IS 300 comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 241 horsepower and a 6.9-second 0-60 mph time. This is a 14 hp short of the base BMW 3-Series and a whopping 1.3 seconds slower to 60 mph. Compared to the base Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the IS has the same hp shortcoming, which makes it 1.2 seconds slower to 60 mph.

Though the IS 350's 3.5-liter V6 delivers 311 hp, a satisfying noise, and great control, it also lags compared to its German rivals. The IS 350 hits 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, which is 1.2 seconds slower than the BMW M340i and 1.1 seconds slower than the Mercedes AMG C 43.

There's a caveat to this performance deficiency, as the IS 350 starts from $43,925 including destination. The 340i runs $55,695, and the AMG C 43 costs $57,550. So, while you may give up straight-line speed, you save over $10,000 with the iS.

Lexus IS

Dated inside, but at least there's a touchscreen. After years of complaining, Lexus has finally given in to the masses by moving the IS' infotainment display 5.5 inches closer to the driver and making it a touchscreen. This standard 8-inch touchscreen eliminates the need for the clunky joystick interface that's infuriated drivers for ages, which has been replaced with an incrementally better touchpad system.

The IS also now comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satisfying yet another customer gripe. Optionally, buyers can swap the 8-inch screen for a 10.3-incher.

This update finally brings the IS' infotainment system in line with the competition, though its menus and interface still need work. Maybe another eight years of complaining, and we'll get that updated too?

Outside of these much-needed tech updates, the IS' interior remains very dated due to its bloated instrument panel, button-heavy center stack, and overall uninspiring design. Buyers seeking a more modern and whimsical cabin should look to the 3-Series or C-Class.

Safe to ride in, but not overly comfortable. The IS hasn't been through IIHS testing, but the structurally identical 2020 model has, and it received "Good" ratings in all crash tests. It also received a "Superior" rating for its automatic emergency braking, which is standard on the IS. The only sore spot was the "Acceptable" headlight rating.

While it's safe, the IS isn't incredibly comfortable with just 32.2 inches of rear legroom. This is 3 inches tighter than the 3-Series and C-Class, and 3.5 inches less than the Audi A4.

Final thoughts. With a starting price that's about $2,000 lower than German luxury cars, the 2021 Lexus IS is a solid option for buyers who want a legit luxury badge on a budget. Plus, with its full allotment of modern tech, it leaves buyers desiring little compared to a BMW or Mercedes.

The IS does, however, show its age in its design and straight-line speed. If these are a big concern to you, it may be best to skip the Lexus and head straight to an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes dealer. You may also want to lean toward German models if you plan to haul anyone over 10 years old in the rear seats.

Check prices for the 2021 Lexus IS »

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Specs & Features

Highlights
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 241 HP / 258 ft.lbs.
Transmission
8-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Rear-wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
21 / 31 / 26 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
5
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 241 HP / 258 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Rear-wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
21 / 31 / 26 Mpg
Brakes
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
17.4 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
$66
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
10.8 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
90 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
185.4 "
Exterior Width
72.4 "
Exterior Height
56.5 "
Front Headroom
38.2 "
Rear Headroom
36.9 "
Front Legroom
44.8 "
Rear Legroom
32.2 "
Front Shoulder Room
55.9 "
Rear Shoulder Room
53.4 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,715 Lbs.
Wheel Base
110 "
Turning Radius
17.1 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
Wheels
18.0 " Silver Aluminum
Paint
Clearcoat Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Bumpers
Body-colored
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Surround
Rear Spoiler
Lip
Exhaust
Stainless Steel With Polished Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Seating
Passenger Capacity
5
Seat Trim
Nuluxe Leatherette
Front Seat Type
Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Armrests
(8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Center
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Radio
Siriusxm Am/fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
Speakers
10 Pioneer / 17 Mark Levinson
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Light
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
1
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Rear Side-impact Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front And Rear
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 Forward Collision Mitigation W/left Turn Assist
Blind Spot Sensor
Blind Spot Monitor (bsm) Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Departure Alert (lda) With Steering Assist Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Enhanced Lane Tracing Assist (lta) Hands-on Steering Assist
Pedestrian Detection
Pre-collision System (pcs) W/pedestrian Detection Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Vehicle Sway Warning Driver Attention
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Intelligent High Beam Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Intuitive Parking Assist Front And Rear
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Immobilizer
Warranty
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
12 Months / 10,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
48 Months / Unlimited Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles

Used 2021 Lexus IS for Sale

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