2018 Lexus IS 300 Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

I like cars with a dramatic design rather than subdued styling. For me, the avant-garde exterior appearance of the Lexus IS 300 makes it a surefire stand-out. In addition to Lexus’ daring spindle grille, the petite five-passenger luxury sedan sports some of the most graceful lines in its class.


You have four trims to choose from with the Lexus IS 300; the base 300, 300 F Sport, 350, and 350 F Sport. Our base 300 tester displayed a meeker personality than its more aggressive 350 F sport sibling, but provided pure driving enjoyment. nonetheless


Further, even with the 241-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder 300 being the lowest trim level, there is no shortage of luxurious bells and whistles. In this configuration, the engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway.


Comfort and convenience items include a moonroof, adaptive cruise control, satellite radio, LED headlights, heated side mirrors and dual-zone automatic climate control. The baby Lexus sedan also offers keyless entry and ignition, power-adjustable front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, Bluetooth, a seven-inch color display, and a ten-speaker sound system with dual USB ports.


Among the bountiful safety features are automatic high beams, a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, and automatic braking.


Inside, the 300 IS’ luxe cabin is packed with high-grade accoutrements. Seating from front to back is comfortable, supportive and spacious, including offering liberal legroom. However, that can’t be said for trunk space, which doesn’t quite measure up, coming in at just 10.8 cubic feet.


While adequate for hauling weekly groceries or a few pieces of small luggage, that’s about it. The 60/40-split folding rear seat backs are something of a concession in this regard, but they would be an even better one if they’d fold completely flat.


With all of that taken into consideration, driving the IS 300 is sheer delight. The car’s tidy footprint makes it great for negotiating urban environments. It’s easy to maneuver in traffic and parallel parking spaces just seem to reach out and invite the IS into them.


On the highway, the smoothness you’d expect from a refined sports sedan wearing the stylized “L” logo is both present and alert. You’ll find agility and braking to match when you’re exploring two-lane backroads. Cargo capacity issues aside, this is a handsome, nicely equipped, well-rounded offering.


Pricing starts at $38,210.

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