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#4

in Upscale Small Cars

MSRP: $36,550 - $47,640
Invoice: $33,993 - $44,305
MPG: 21 City / 30 Hwy
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Lexus IS Review

The 2015 Lexus IS ranks 4 out of 14 Upscale Small 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.

The 2015 Lexus IS is ranked:

Test drivers report that the 2015 Lexus IS' performance can't equal some of its rivals, but they appreciate the IS' attractive interior and top-notch construction. 

A 2.5-liter V6 engine powers the base Lexus IS 250 and produces good highway acceleration, some critics say, but others note that the engines in competitors' cars are more powerful. The 3.5-liter V6 is preferred by test drivers for its additional punch. Fuel economy for the IS 250 is low for the class at an EPA-estimated 21/30 mpg city/highway. According to automotive journalists, the Lexus IS’ comfortable ride, precise steering and composed handling should satisfy most drivers, though many note that the IS is less agile than competitors like the BMW 3-Series.

Automotive journalists say the 2015 Lexus IS' cabin is among the most pleasant in the class, with elegant styling, premium materials and quality construction. They find the front seats comfortable and the rear seat spacious. Trunk space, they add, is decent for the class. Reviewers write that the available navigation system comes with a Remote Touch controller that can be hard to use, but overall they say the cabin controls are user-friendly. Standard features in the 2015 Lexus IS sedan include Bluetooth, an eight-speaker audio system, a 7-inch display screen, satellite radio, two USB inputs, a moonroof and push-button start. Available features include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.

  • "Lexus completely redesigned the IS for the previous model year, giving its compact sport sedan a rich-looking cabin, a more finely tuned suspension and, most visibly, a bolder look. The previous iteration's engines carry over, meaning that power and mileage are middling, but its excellence in most other areas means the latest IS is well worth a look." -- Left Lane News
  • "The 2015 Lexus IS 250 offers daring styling, excellent build quality and benchmark steering feel, but it trails most rivals in performance and fuel efficiency." -- Edmunds
  • "If you're looking for an entry-level luxury sedan, but want something with dynamically out-there styling to back up its driving characteristics, you can't do better than the 2015 Lexus IS sedan." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While it's a big step up from its predecessor, the IS can't quite match the poise of its top rivals on a circuit. But that doesn't mean Lexus's latest sedan fails to provide a great all-around car for shoppers who want a bold new luxury vehicle with a sporty flair." -- AutoTrader (2014)

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Other Cars to Consider

Test drivers like the Acura TLX’s nimble handling, lively acceleration and exceptionally quiet cabin. The base TLX costs much less than the IS 250 sedan, and it gets significantly better fuel economy.

The BMW 328i uses less fuel than the IS 250, and reviewers say it’s one of the most fun-to-drive sport sedans on the market. They also appreciate its spacious rear seat and user-friendly infotainment system.

Compare the IS, TLX and 3-Series »

Details: 2015 Lexus IS

The 2015 Lexus IS is available as a five-seat sedan or a four-seat convertible. The base IS 250 sedan and IS 250 C convertible have a 2.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The IS 350 and IS 350 C have a 3.5-liter V6. All models come standard with rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional on sedans. The Lexus IS sedan was fully redesigned for the 2014 model year, and since it sees no major changes this year, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 and 2015 model years.

See 2015 Lexus IS specs »

Review Last Updated: 4/15/15

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