Lexus IS has been a long-standing BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class rival that has not been into much limelight as compared to its top-selling German rivals
The Lexus IS has been on sale for over 20 years now, but it has never been anywhere as popular as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Now, however, things might change as the sedan has received a rather comprehensive update both inside and out. It also gets a revised suspension for sportier handling and some additional features. The engines, however, remain unchanged.
Visually, the 2021 Lexus IS continues to wear the company’s signature spindle grille, albeit, a new, 3D version of it. The new grille is flanked by a larger air intake and two bigger vents on the either side. Even the headlights are sleeker and also a tad larger, while the earlier model’s split headlamp feature is no more on offer. The sedan is optionally available with a triple-beam LED headlamp arrangement.
Even the side profile has been refreshed. It now comes with a more muscular shoulder line and the IS F Sport version is optionally available with 19-inch BBS rims. 18-inch alloy wheels are now standard on all the lower trims. The rear-end now carries a full-width LED taillight. The new taillamp arrangement was first revealed in a teaser image that was released a few days ago.
Like we said, the engine options stay the same as before. The base model comes with a
turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a maximum power output of 241 hp and and a peak torque of 258 Nm. Power is sent to the rear wheels. The more powerful IS 300 comes with all wheel drive and gets a 3.5-liter V6 that outputs 260 hp and 236 lb-ft. The most powerful variant is the IS 350, which is available in both RWD and AWD guises. It is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 motor that offers 311 hp and 280 lb-ft.
Both the RWD models come with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while the AWD versions get a six-speed automatic unit. The RWD IS 350 can sprint from 0 to 96 kmph in just 5.6 seconds while the AWD IS 350 can do so in 5.7 seconds. The F Sport trim is only available on the IS 350 variants.
The car also features an updated suspension for sportier handling. The new model is also slightly bigger as it’s 1.2 inches longer, 1.2 inches wider, and 0.2 inches lower than its predecessor. The interior has also been updated with more features. An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit comes as standard, while a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen is available as an option. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility is standard on all systems.
The car also gets the company’s safety suite called “Lexus Safety System+ 2.5.” It includes features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection and a pre-collision warning system. Features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, road-sign assist, and lane-departure alert with lane-centering technology are available as extra options. No word on how much the 2021 Lexus IS will cost when it goes on sale, but we expect the new sedan to hit dealerships before the end of the year.