The crowded compact luxurious sedan section is crammed with just lately up to date fashions from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo. Not like its brisker rivals, the Lexus IS troopers on with growing old design, powertrains, structure, and inside. The 2021 model year gained’t deliver the total redesign we hoped for, however we nonetheless count on to see main modifications.
Driving the present IS for every week reminded us how the sedan has fallen behind the curve. Listed below are 5 issues the 2021 Lexus IS can study from its predecessor, plus a couple of issues Lexus has already mastered.
Maximize inside area
Let’s hope the up to date sedan feels extra spacious than the present mannequin. Not solely does the cabin really feel slim, however trunk area is smaller than rivals at a paltry 10.Eight cubic toes.
Carving out little storage compartments contained in the cabin would vastly enhance its utility. Many new vehicles have loads of cubbies to retailer your cellphone and different gadgets. Sadly, that’s not the case with the IS, which has no storage options in its cumbersome middle stack apart from a tiny middle console field. The cupholders are additionally fairly small, and so they’re positioned too far again for the driving force to comfortably attain.
Wish to be sporty? Then go all the way in which.
The IS 350 F Sport is billed as an athletic sedan, full with particular suspension tuning, a limited-slip rear differential, and sporty seats (with not sufficient padding). Our tester’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine produces a sonorous growl and a wholesome 311 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. RWD fashions characteristic an eight-speed computerized, whereas AWD fashions keep on with a six-speed computerized.
Sadly, the trip and dealing with don’t reside as much as the mannequin’s sporty intentions. The automobile bounces over huge bumps within the highway, missing the management you’d count on. Steering lacks the suggestions it ought to have as an athletic sedan, even within the sharpest Sport S+ mode.
We’ve been informed Lexus will replace the chassis and suspension, and hopefully these modifications deal with a few of our gripes. The engines ought to carry over from the present mannequin, nevertheless.
Ditch the mouse multimedia controller for a touchscreen
We’ve stated it earlier than, and we’ll say it once more: The finnicky mouse-like infotainment controller has acquired to go. Newer Lexus automobiles have upgraded to a touchpad much like the one in your laptop computer, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not straightforward to make use of. The automaker is lastly beginning to embrace touchscreens with the new RX, and we will solely hope the IS follows swimsuit. Some new Lexuses have busy interiors with a cluttered array of controls, so we’re crossing our fingers that Lexus retains issues easy on the brand new inside.
Superior tech is vital
Smartphone connectivity is a make-or-break consideration for a lot of automobile consumers. Sadly, the Lexus IS provides neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto. For sure, the sedan has some catching as much as do with its rivals.
As a substitute of smartphone connectivity, the Lexus IS has … a CD participant. And an analog clock.
Want for a extra streamlined design
We hope Lexus takes inspiration from its new automobiles to create a extra streamlined look on the IS.
Lexus has lengthy been criticized for its spindle grille. Like it or hate it, the gaping maw is the model’s signature design characteristic, and isn’t going away anytime quickly. New Lexus automobiles have a wider grille, however subtler design particulars round it so onlookers aren’t overwhelmed.
Take the Lexus RX for example. It integrates its daytime working lights into the headlamps, offering a extra cohesive look than the split-light design on the IS. As exhibited in our current rendering, a entrance finish with built-in headlights and fewer outstanding vents would enhance the general look. We additionally hope the IS will lose its droopy rear finish design and undertake the smooth physique traces and slim taillights of the ES.
What we don’t need to change
The out there four-cylinder engine is a bit underpowered, however we benefit from the clean V-6 engine on our IS tester. It gives good energy for all driving conditions, from merging on the freeway to switching lanes. It won’t be probably the most environment friendly engine, however we’re glad there’s a potent possibility within the lineup. We additionally respect that the automobile is nimble sufficient to maneuver into parking spots with ease and carry out clear three-point turns. Driving round crowded cities is a breeze.
The Lexus IS already boasts nice security scores and loads of security applied sciences. All variations come commonplace with a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering help, high-speed adaptive cruise management, and clever excessive beams. Different out there security options within the lineup embody blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, park help, and adaptive entrance lights.
|2020 Lexus IS 300/350|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Entrance-engine, RWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINES||2.0L/241-hp/258-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 ; 3.5L/260-311-hp/236-277-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,600-3,750 lb (mfr)|
|LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT||184.Three x 71.Three x 56.Three in|
|0-60 MPH||5.0-7.5 sec (MT est)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||18-21/24-30/21-24 mpg|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY||160-187/112-140 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.80-0.96 lb/mile|
|ON SALE IN U.S.||At the moment|
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