Class: Premium Compact Automotive
Coloration: Grecian water
Miles pushed: 2000
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Consolation||C+|
|Energy and Efficiency||A|
|Match and End||A-|
|Gasoline Financial system||C-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus different automobiles in the identical class. Worth grade is for particular trim degree evaluated, and will not replicate Client Information’s impressions of all the mannequin lineup.|
|Huge & Tall Consolation|
|Huge & Tall consolation rankings are for entrance seats solely. “Huge” ranking based mostly on male tester weighing roughly 350 kilos, “Tall” ranking based mostly on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||475-horsepower 5.0-liter|
|Drive Wheels||Rear-wheel drive|
Noticed gas economic system: 17.1 mpg
Driving combine: 60% metropolis, 40% freeway
EPA-estimated gas economic system: 17/25/20 (mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed)
Gasoline kind: Premium gas
Snow Efficiency: N/A
Base value: $61,620 (not together with $1150 destination charge)
Choices on check car: 19-inch black BBS-brand alloy wheels ($2450), rear-bumper applique ($90), carpeted trunk mat ($120), door edge guards ($155), sprint digital camera ($375)
Value as examined: $65,960
The good: Enjoyable to drive, sporty character
The nice: Stylish cabin, mechanical refinement
The not so good: Small door openings, restricted rear-seat area, touch-pad infotainment interface
It’s cramped, technologically quaint, and quaffs premium-gas at an alarming charge. It’s additionally a driver’s dream, packing loads of energy, severe dealing with with nice steering, and stout-feeling brakes. I’m speaking concerning the 2023 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Efficiency, a premium compact sedan that exudes class and character, even when it’s slightly behind the occasions.
Nonetheless dominated by BMW’s near-legendary 3-Sequence, the premium compact sport-sedan phase is full of compelling choices for shopper with the cash to play on this class. Along with the 3-Sequence and the Lexus IS, shopper choices on this phase are plentiful, and embrace, in alphabetical order:
Word that not each trim degree of the above listed small sedans is very sporty, although every will be outfitted to scratch the itch of an fanatic shopper on the lookout for one thing past a median commute.
Word additionally, and that is vital, the IS is the one American-market small sedan that may nonetheless be outfitted with a V8 engine. And what an engine its. Extra on that in a second…
For 2023, the IS lineup is obtainable with three engine choices, a spunky turbocharged 2.0-liter 4 (241 horsepower), a silky 3.5-liter V6 (311), and a burly 5.0-liter V8 (472). Supplied with 4- and 6-cylinder engines is AWD; different fashions are rear-wheel pushed. All AWD fashions are quipped with a 6-speed automated transmission, others an 8-speed unit.
The lineup begins round $43,000 for the 4-cylinder IS 300 with rear-wheel drive, and tops about round $60,000 for the V8-equipped IS 500 F Sport Premium. If 4 doorways is 2 too many for you, the Lexus RC provides a really comparable driving expertise to the IS, however sports activities a rakish 2-door hatchback physique, and even much less helpful rear seats. That mentioned, the RC’s cargo space is a nifty comfort for these inclined to maneuver bicycles and the like.
Client Information just lately spent per week with the 2023 Lexus IS F Sport Efficiency Premium, and got here away principally impressed—and really entertained.
Word that the IS 500 F Sport Efficiency, regardless of its V8 powertrain, just isn’t a reprise of the 2008-2014 IS F, not precisely. Although nonetheless V8 powered, the IS F Sport doesn’t characteristic the devoted wide-body fenders, distinctive sport seats, or as aggressively tuned suspension of the F, neither is it as costly. Regardless of years of inflation, the 2023 IS 500 F Sport begins about $3000 lower than the 2014 F.
That mentioned, the IS 500 F Efficiency doesn’t disappoint as a driver’s automotive. Underway, the experience is agency however grievance, returning loads of road-surface data with out transmitting any harshness into the cabin. The steering is rewardingly fast and direct, and the brakes really feel sturdy and sure. As for energy, there’s loads of it, with the 8-speed automated serving up well timed and snappy shifts. As an added bonus, the exhaust system kicks up a wholesome however mature burble, one suiting a car of specific breeding, that sounds neither compelled nor synthetic, simply throaty and satisfying.
This editor did word often clunky downshifts when coasting down from velocity. The situation was not a daily prevalence, only a little bit of disappointment given the IS’s typically polished demeanor.
Inside, the cabin is a cultured affair, with leather-based and top-grade soft-touch supplies lining the passenger space. The seats, too, are agency and comfy. Although not soft, the chairs will doubtless present loads of long-trip assist with out a lot fatigue.
Although nobody purchases a small sedan for the cabin area, we have to level out that rear-seat passengers can be significantly pressed for knee area when sitting aft of taller front-row of us. Moreover, the small door openings, entrance and rear, significantly compromise ease of entry to the automotive. That mentioned, as soon as located, even this massive editor discovered himself very snug.
We griped earlier concerning the IS being slightly behind the occasions. The first supply of this grievance is the infotainment-system interface, which encompasses a console-mounted trackpad, and sprint mounted monitor. Whereas the display screen is slightly small, which isn’t a giant deal, the trackpad management system is a Lexus characteristic that by no means discovered favor with opinions or homeowners, and due to its limitations, makes accessing sure features troublesome whereas underway. Lexus has changed this method in most of its fashions, however not the IS, nor it’s hatchback stablemate, the RC.
And although a severe annoyance, the IS is just too good to miss due to the infotainment association. This small Lexus sedan, particularly in IS 500 F Sport trim, is properly constructed, enjoyable to drive, clubby and fashionable inside, and feels as stable and the New Greenback.
Just a few free ends:
- The Mark Levinson audio system is great, particularly when enjoying again mid-century jazz.
- The uninitiated will mistake your IS for a BMW (this occurred to us a number of occasions in only a week).
- And, feeding your IS a gentle eating regimen of premium-grade gasoline will harm a bit. We noticed 17.1 mpg over our 200-mile analysis. Your mileage will doubtless not differ a lot from that determine.
- Oh, and the world is stuffed with fanatic fanboys who know all concerning the IS 500. They will’t afford one themselves, however they are going to need to discuss to you about your automotive. Relying on how social you might be, which may be a Professional or a Con.
As a cultured, rewarding, power-packed sports activities sedan that’s completely refined sufficient to drive day-after-day, the IS 500 shines. It’s slightly dear—as is each car on this class–it’s additionally a automotive with actual character, real highway really feel, and the promise of a protracted, trouble-free, Lexus-typical possession expertise. Possibly the IS is slightly dated, however we wouldn’t hesitate to advocate it.
2023 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Gallery
Click on under for enlarged pictures