Lexus IS Review
The 2013 Lexus IS ranks 14 out of 22 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Lexus IS, as well as reliability and safety data.
Although it has sporty exterior styling and a high-quality interior, test drivers agree that the 2013 Lexus IS can’t match the performance or comfort of other cars in the class.
The 2013 Lexus IS is available with three engines, and test drivers agree that performance varies greatly depending on the model you choose. IS 250 models come with a V6 engine, but most test drivers say that they are slow to accelerate. As a result, many suggest upgrading to an IS 350, which has a larger, more powerful V6. The Lexus IS F offers performance that rivals cars like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, thanks to a powerful V8 engine. The base IS 250 gets 21/30 mpg city/highway, which is in line with most other cars in the class. Still, cars like the Audi A4 use less fuel. Critics say that although IS sedans offer composed handling, they generally consider cars like the Infiniti G37 and the BMW 3-Series more nimble.
The Lexus IS is available as a sedan or a hardtop convertible, and reviewers say that both models have an attractive interior design that’s crafted with high-quality materials. The IS’ controls are generally considered easy to use, though some test drivers say that some of its electronic features take some time to master. Standard interior features include dual-zone climate control, leather trim, power-adjustable front seats and a 13-speaker stereo with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, satellite radio and a USB port. Optional features include heated and ventilated front seats, wood trim, a backup camera and navigation. While the IS’ cabin earns points from reviewers for its design and feature content, many test drivers note that the space is cramped. They say that there’s not enough legroom in the back seat, and that the front seat doesn’t have enough headroom for those over 6-feet tall.
- "One can find similar luxury and more space in alternatives such as the Acura TSX and Volvo S60, while those looking for a genuinely sporting demeanor should check out the Cadillac ATS, BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G Sedan." -- Edmunds
- "It may lack the athleticism of a BMW 3 Series and trail the Mercedes-Benz C Class in terms of prestige, but the Lexus IS remains a well-rounded performer with exceptional reliability and value." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "These premium compacts impress for their design, features, and materials. They also benefit from Lexus' kid-gloves customer service. However, they're not quite alluring enough alternatives to the BMW 3-Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
- "While the Lexus IS sedan performs well, it makes drivers give up ride comfort and roominess in ways that its competitors don't." -- Cars.com (2011)
Other Cars to Consider
The Audi A4 doesn’t come with as many standard features as the Lexus IS, but reviewers agree that the A4 offers a bit more interior space and better handling. Like the IS, the A4 also offers all-wheel drive and a high-quality interior that the automotive press loves. Additionally, the A4 earns slightly better fuel economy than the IS.
The Infiniti G37 is available as a sedan or convertible, just like the Lexus IS. However, the G37 also gets more praise for its performance, as reviewers love the G37’s powerful V6 engine and athletic handling. The G37 also comes with a slightly longer list of standard features, which includes standard heated front seats.
Details: 2013 Lexus IS
The 2013 Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 sedans seat five and come with rear-wheel drive, while hardtop convertible IS 250C and IS 350C models seat four. All four come with a six-speed automatic transmission. A 2.5-liter V6 engine comes with IS 250 models, while IS 350s get a more powerful 3.5-liter V6. All-wheel drive is optional on IS 250 and IS 350 sedans. The high-performance Lexus IS F sedan comes with a 5.0-liter V8 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A number of option packages are available for the 2013 Lexus IS, which add interior features and upgrade its interior materials. For 2013, HD Radio is available and the base IS 250 no longer comes with a manual transmission. Aside from that, the 2013 Lexus IS is basically unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2010, 2011 and 2012, as well as the current model year.