Slick new styling and more features form part of the 2023 updates for the Lexus IS.
Following a major makeover in 2021, the Lexus IS was much better equipped to battle the competition. But with a facelifted BMW 3 Series and new Mercedes C-Class on the scene, Lexus can't be left behind. As such, Lexus has updated the IS for 2023 with additional standard features and more options than before. And, there's a new limited edition variant of the range-topping IS 500.
It seems Lexus has forgotten about the 300 derivatives, as most of the changes pertain to the performance-minded 350 F Sport and IS 500 models.
Starting at the lower end of things, the IS 350 is available in either RWD or AWD with the V6-powered model offered in a new F Sport Design trim. 19-inch wheels and F Sport exterior bits such as sportier bumpers, a rear lip spoiler, revised grille, and badging form part of the look.
New options will also be added to the mix. The Handling Package introduces Adaptive Variable Suspension and a Drive Mode Select with Sport S/S+ and Custom settings. Rear-wheel drive models also receive a Torsen limited-slip rear differential. Buyers can add slick-looking 19-inch BBS forged wheels painted in Matte Black.
Additionally, the 350 F Sport will be made available with a new Special Appearance Package. This pairs an exclusive Incognito paint finish with an Obsidian black hood and roof. The looks are finished off with 19-inch Enkei wheels. These will be highly limited, however, as Lexus plans on making 480 examples. Expect it to hit dealership floors this fall.
Power remains unchanged; the V6 produces 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. RWD models use an eight-speed automatic, while AWD variants receive a six-speed auto 'box.
Moving on to the IS 500, new 19-inch Enkei wheels are standard fitment for 2023. The popularity of the IS 500 Launch Edition has motivated Lexus to keep the 19-inch Matte Black BBS forged wheels as an option, for the F Sport Performance models.
The Special Appearance Package will be made available for the IS 500 too, albeit with some changes. The V8-powered model receives Molten Pearl paintwork, complemented by the BBS wheels. The package also includes color-matched floor-trimmed mats and key gloves. Even fewer models will be made (just 150) and, like the 350, will go on sale this fall.
Again, the rumbly 5.0-liter V8 hasn't been fettled with. As a reminder, power is pegged at 472 hp and 395 lb-ft, sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
For some reason, the regular IS 300 twins haven't received any changes for the new model year. Still, we can discuss the generous standard features. The front seats are power-adjustable (10-way for the driver, eight-way for the passenger), and there's dual-zone climate control and NuLuxe (synthetic leather) upholstery.
The rear-wheel-drive model receives a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 241 hp and 258 lb-ft, while the AWD model gets the 3.5-liter V6 with 260 hp and 236 lb-ft. It's a shame the lesser variants didn't get an update, as it's much needed.
Pricing is as follows: IS 300 ($39,435), IS 350 F Sport Design, ($42,510), and IS 350 F Sport ($43,760). All-wheel drive models command a $2,000 premium. The 500 F Sport carries a $57,120 price tag, while the Premium derivative is $61,620. The figures quoted here don't include the $1,150 delivery fee.