After getting a fresh look last year, the 2022 Lexus IS arrives with a new trim level and a V8 engine. The all-new IS 500 F Sport Performance model includes some impressive oomph from a naturally-aspirated V8 engine — a rarity in today’s market. Other than the new trim, the 2022 IS is expected to be a carryover model.
When the IS hit showroom floors last year, it arrived with a more athletic design. The front end features sharp headlights, an enormous grille, and vertically-oriented vents to be far more aggressive than previous model years. At the back, the IS features triangular taillights that are connected by a thin horizontal strip, an angular trunk lid, and dual exhaust outlets. As a carryover model, the 2022 Lexus IS will continue to have the same exterior design as the current model.
The new IS 500 F has a more aggressive look with a quad exhaust system, unique 19-inch wheels, a lengthened front bumper, larger fenders, an updated lower rear diffuser, and dark chrome trim. The changes help the V8-powered IS 500 F stand out as the sportiest looking trim in the lineup.
We expect things to remain the same for the 2022 Lexus IS sedan’s interior. The updated IS sedan arrived in 2021 with a slightly revised interior that featured a slightly renewed center console, updated cupholders, and circular air vents. Instead of being positioned within the dashboard, the infotainment screen moved to sit on top of it. The overall design of the current IS is upscale if a little cluttered.
The new IS 500 isn’t too different from the regular IS. The range-topping IS features door sill scuff plates, a unique accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and footrest, as well as an exclusive startup animation.
As a carryover model, the 2022 IS comes with the same tech features as the current model. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard and can also be controlled via a console-mounted touchpad. The standard touchscreen includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, two USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and 10 speakers. A 10.3-inch touchscreen will be available, as will navigation and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.
Except for the new addition of the V8 engine, the 2022 Lexus IS will share a lot of the same engines from the current model. The new engine brings the IS sedan’s lineup up to three options. The base engine will be a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 241 horsepower. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. IS 300 models come with a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 260 hp and 311 hp in IS 350 F Sport guise. The V6 is paired with an eight-speed automatic in rear-wheel-drive models and a six-speed automatic in models with all-wheel drive.
The new IS 500 is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 generating 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission handles shifts, while power is sent to the rear wheels. While Lexus’ V8 lacks the same amount of power as eight-cylinder engines found in Mercedes-Benz and BMW’s sporty sedans or the twin-turbocharged V6 in Audi’s models, it does make the IS sedan more competitive in the segment.
Lexus will continue to offer the same safety features on the 2022 IS as the current model year. The sedan features the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 suite that includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high-beam headlights. Available safety features include a surround-view parking camera, hands-free park assist, and parking sensors.
Without any major changes, we expect the 2022 Lexus IS to have the same crash-test scores as the current model. The IIHS named the 2021 IS a Top Safety Pick+ vehicle, while the sedan earned a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA.