Roseville, Calif. – Car buyers get their choice when looking to purchase a Lexus IS, an entry-level luxury sedan. However, one of those choices is not the IS 250, which was been discontinued for 2016.
The Lexus IS lineup now includes the 200t, an appealing turbocharged model that delivers both performance and good gas mileage. Also in the lineup are the IS 300 and the IS 350, two performance-laden sedans that will be a tempting purchase as well.
The 2016 IS series has a lot of fine qualities: stylish exterior, good performance, advanced technology, and high-quality materials. The price range isn’t overwhelming, starting at approximately $37,325 for the 200t and rising to around $43,000 for the IS 350.
With that price comes a long list of standard equipment that includes xenon headlights; sunroof; keyless entry and ignition; dual-zone automatic climate control; eight-way power front seats with driver power lumbar; premium vinyl upholstery; 8-inch color display with a console-mounted control dial, voice command functionality; and eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio and dual USB ports.
Most car shoppers will be enamored with the IS exterior. It features a strikingly rakish style and has a signature front spindle grille that immediately garners attention. Some smart detailing adds to the overall appeal.
Like most vehicles in the luxury class, the Lexus IS faces some stiff competition. Its rivals include the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Acura TLX, Cadillac ATS, and Audi A4.
There are three engine choices to consider in the IS series. Lexus has added the turbocharged selection, which is a popular choice these days among many manufacturers because it delivers strong performance and gas mileage. The 200t features a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that produces 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It gets between 22-33 mpg.
The IS 300, which was test driven here, provided good acceleration in all types of driving situations, thanks to its strong 3.5-liter, V6 that generates 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The gas mileage is not as good as the 200t, ranging from 19-26 mpg.
Accelerating from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, the IS 350 is the quickest car in the lineup. The engine is a 3.5-liter, V6, with 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. The mileage (19-26 mpg) is the same as the IS 300.
The IS series provides upscale ride quality and refinement. It delivers precise handling and gives the driver an excellent feel for the road.
There are many reasons to like the IS interior. But surprisingly, comfort is not among its strongest points. It feels a bit snug for the driver and passenger, and adults in the backseat will experience a legroom problem, especially anyone 6-foot or over.
The infotainment system is first rate and not too difficult to master. Upscale materials are present throughout the interior and the overall look is quite attractive. The trunk capacity is 13.8 cubic feet, and the rear seatbacks fold down to provide much more additional space.
2016 Lexus IS
- Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 241 horsepower; 3.5-liter, V-6, 255 horsepower; 3.5-liter, V-6, 306 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 22-33 mpg; 19-26 mpg
- Estimated price: $37,325 to $43,035
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain: 6 years/70,000; corrosion: 6 years/unlimited; Roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited
The addition of the new turbocharged model makes the 2016 Lexus IS even more appealing to car buyers looking for a stylish small luxury sedan with good performance.