2021 Lexus IS: Find out what’s new

The 2021 Lexus IS remains a strong contender in the luxury sports sedan segment. It offers Toyota levels of durability and a luxurious ride, but it wasn’t the sharpest nor the best way to handle the group. Lexus changed all that in the 2021 IS sedan. The new IS 300 is still available, while the IS350 now comes standard with the F Sport Package.

“What we had in mind primarily when developing the new IS was to make it a car that excels in communicating with the driver regardless of road conditions or driving conditions,” said Naoki Kobayashi, chief engineer at Lexus International. “We aimed to make the new IS a compact Lexus sports sedan that would provide high-quality driving comfort while providing a high level of vehicle control.”

This “relentless pursuit of perfection” means the latest IS benefits from a host of chassis and suspension improvements. Lexus is improving the reinforcement structures from the C-pillars to the roof sides, while key areas of the chassis have been reinforced to improve rigidity.

By revising the suspension layout and front pickup points, Lexus had enough room to fit the optional 19-inch wheels on F Sport models. The new Lexus IS comes standard with new 18-inch wheels, while F Sport models equipped with the Dynamic Handling package receive an impressive set of 19-inch BBS wheels.

The 2021 Lexus IS also has lighter coil springs, forged aluminum A-arms, and a new suspension stabilizer bar to reduce unsuspended weight. Combined with new swing-valve shock absorbers with ultra-low-speed valves, you get sportier feedback and a smoother ride.

The base price for the Lexus IS300 RWD starts at $40,025, which is an increase of $440 over last year’s model. It is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, all-wheel drive remains a $2,000 option, but you also get a larger 3.5-liter V6 with 260 horsepower and a six-speed automatic gearbox to go with it.

Choosing the IS350 gives you a 311-horsepower version of the V6. With base prices starting at $43,925, it also comes with optional pre-installed F Sport upgrades and is about $2,400 less than the outgoing IS350 F Sport. It also has an 8-speed automatic in RWD format, while the AWD adds $2000 to the base price and includes a six-speed automatic.

The 2021 Lexus IS arrives at dealerships in October. Standard feature includes a repositioned 8.0-inch infotainment display (10.3-inch larger screen available with Mark Levinson audio upgrade), Apple CarPlay / Android Auto / Alexa compatibility, and Lexus Safety System + (LSS +) which includes emergency aids Automatic braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and dynamic radar cruise control are among the few.

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