The Lexus IS is available in four trim levels with eight configurations: IS 300, IS 300 F Sport, IS 350, and IS 350 F Sport. The rear-wheel-drive IS 300 and IS 300 F Sport are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 241 hp and 258 lb-ft. The all-wheel-drive variants get a stronger 3.5-liter V6 engine that develops 260 hp and 236 lb-ft. Under the hood of the top-tier IS 350 models is a 3.5-liter V6 that directs 311 hp and 280 lb-ft to either just the rear or all four wheels. Regardless of the trim level, every RWD model comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the AWD models drop two gears.
The base model comes equipped with 17-inch wheels, LED head- and taillights, and a power moonroof. Standard features include dual-zone climate control, a ten-way driver’s seat with lumbar, a seven-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, Amazon Alexa, HD Radio, and SiriusXM. Lexus Safety System+ comprises pre-collision mitigation tech, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
Available features include unique F Sport styling elements, an F Sport adaptive suspension, a limited-slip rear differential, and F Sport bolstered heated and ventilated front seats.
The price of the Lexus IS is pretty high, most likely because of its long list of standard features, but its top-most trims are cheaper than those of most luxury rivals. Getting behind the wheel of the entry-level IS 300 will cost you a somewhat hefty $38,560, while the AWD model adds $2,450. The IS 300 F Sport will set you back $41,755, while its AWD variant adds $2,050 to the MSRP. The standard IS 350 asks for $42,180, and the F Sport variant hikes the pricing up to $45,375. The most expensive standard option is the IS 350 F Sport AWD, at $46,710. These prices exclude the Lexus IS's cost for tax, registration, licensing, and the manufacturer's destination charge of $1,025.
Since most of the features available to the Lexus IS come as standard, instead of being unlocked via trim upgrades, the most reliable way to customize your sedan is through the available packages. The Premium Package ($1,510) adds heated and ventilated front seats to the models that don't have them as standard, as well as driver-seat memory, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and heated exterior mirrors. The Navigation Package ($1,745) adds navigation to the models that don't receive it as standard, as well as a larger 10.3-inch split-screen display, remote touch, and Lexus Enform App Suite. The prices of packages may vary depending on what is already standard on the trim you are upgrading. Notable standalone options include triple-beam LED headlights ($1,160), and intuitive parking assistance ($500).
If looks and comfort are more important to you than performance, then the base IS 300 F Sport should do the trick. It receives all the features that come standard on the base IS 300, as well as upgraded front seats, and a more attractive exterior. However, you will be stuck with one of the lower-power engines. But the Lexus IS only really impresses when equipped with the 311-hp V6 engine, so we suggest aiming for the top, if you're not concerned about how much you spend and purchasing the fully-loaded IS 350 F Sport. This model gets all the available F Sport upgrades that allow it to make good on the high-performance promises its appearance espouses - at least, in part.