Lexus IS 500 silver

Alluring sound of engine roar electrifies car enthusiasts

Roseville, Calif.- With the roar as a lure, the new 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport should attract buyers who love getting behind the wheel of a car that’s playing irresistible, sweet music to the ears.

The IS 500 lets out a pleasing roar, thanks to its naturally aspirated V8 engine. The noise is for real – it goes 0-60 mph more than a second faster than last year’s IS 350 F Sport.

Before getting too enamored with the enticing performance of this stylish, compact luxury sedan, know that it still can’t eat up pavement faster than certain sedans manufactured by Mercedes, BMW and Audi.

There’s little doubt that true Lexus aficionados are welcoming back a V8 engine. It hadn’t happened since the IS-F and its V8 engine were in production from 2008-2014. That was the first time Lexus chose to take on the high-powered German cars.

Entertaining Sedan

Although still falling a little short, we must applaud Toyota’s luxury division for creating a very entertaining sedan. It can certainly hang with the big boys, capable of going 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 149 mph.

The IS 500 employs a 5.0-liter, V8 that generates 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. That’s right, there’s no turbocharged engine in this performance-laden sedan, a rarity these days. And it should come as no surprise that fuel economy is lacking – 17-25 mpg.

To stuff the V8 into IS engine bay, Lexus had to rework the front end, installing a hood two inches higher, extending the front fenders, and amending the front fascia to ensure proper clearance and cooling.

That it’s historically been an underachiever amidst some major competition is reflected in sales. IS 350 sales dipped to 13,600 in 2020, the third fewest sold in its eight-year history. Lexus responded with a modest reset for 2021 that resulted in a sales rise to just shy of 22,000.

Much like the remodeled IS 350, the IS 500 has a low, athletic stance and plenty of road appeal, providing an elegant and sporty appearance. The sedan clearly possesses both looks and comfort.

Enjoyable to drive

Although the performance still falls short of its major rivals, the IS 500 rates much higher when it comes to handling. It’s enjoyable to drive and features agile characteristics that show up on challenging roads. It also delivers a quiet, smooth ride that can absorb the bumps on uneven surfaces.

AT A GLANCE -2022 LEXUS IS 500

  • Performance: 5.0-liter, V8. 472 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 17-25 mpg
  • Price estimate: $56,600 – $67,500
  • Warranty: Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance 4 years/unlimited; corrosion 6 years/unlimited

A Look Inside

The cabin is nearly identical to the IS 350. The irritating touchpad remains, yet it can be avoided by using the high resolution 10.3-inch touchscreen that can control navigation, audio or the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Even though the roofline is a bit low and might bother taller drivers and front seat passengers, the seating is comfortable overall and very suitable for longer road trips. The back seats are lacking in terms of legroom, but they are still sufficient for average-sized adults.

The cargo area is on the small side at 10.8 cubic feet, another area that stacks up poorly against its competitors. The backseat folds down, but the seats don’t go flat to the floor like most sedans.

The return of the V8 engine is great news for potential car buyers who want more performance. The new 2022 Lexus IS 500 delivers in that department and also in many others, bringing it a little closer to its primary rivals.