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2019 Lexus IS 300

What’s new

  • Software updates improve engine response on rear-wheel-drive models
  • New upgraded LED headlight option
  • Amazon Alexa-integrated voice commands
  • Part of the third Lexus IS generation introduced for 2013

Pros & Cons

  • Ride quality is smooth and comfortable on bumpy roads
  • Cabin is well-isolated from noise
  • Offers more features for the money compared to German alternatives
  • Optional Remote Touch infotainment system is distracting to use
  • Handling capabilities don't create much driver excitement
  • Lackluster acceleration
  • A tighter back seat than those of rivals
MSRP Range
$38,560 - $43,805
MSRP Starting at
$38,560
MSRP Range
$38,560 - $43,805
MSRP Range
$38,560 - $43,805

Compare dealer price quotes
Incentive offers available
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Compare dealer price quotes
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MSRP Range
$38,560 - $43,805
MSRP Starting at
$38,560
MSRP Range
$38,560 - $43,805
MSRP Range
$38,560 - $43,805

Compare dealer price quotes
Incentive offers available
Select your model:
Compare dealer price quotes
Incentive offers available


Which IS 300 does Edmunds recommend?

The turbocharged four-cylinder IS 300 is the one we'd take. Sure, the all-wheel-drive IS 300 with its V6 makes more horsepower but not enough to sway us. The turbo-four delivers more useful low-end torque for better acceleration off the line and gets better gas mileage, too. We'd add the Comfort package for its extra creature comforts and safety features, but pass on the Navigation package since the Remote Touch interface is frustrating to use. Unfortunately, that package is the only way to get the Mark Levinson premium audio system.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.2 / 10

To reinterpret an old maxim about judging books, we recommend that you not judge a sport sedan by the size or shape of its grille. At rest, the 2019 Lexus IS 300 might look like an uncompromising machine, with its pinched grille, prominent air intakes and aggressive body lines. But make no mistake: The IS prioritizes comfort and cruising over athletic performance, owing to a well-honed ride, hushed cabin and a generous set of features.

Available with a turbocharged four-cylinder or a slightly more powerful six-cylinder engine, the IS 300 is best suited to relaxed driving with an occasional rip through an empty back road. Either engine makes the IS less sporty than its European rivals from Audi and BMW, or even its fellow Japanese competitor, the Infiniti Q50.

But where some of those rivals feel and ride a bit stiffer, or separate desirable features onto a pricey options sheet, the IS offers an alternative: all-day comfort and a broad range of standard equipment.

For 2019, the IS carries over largely unchanged, but there are a few updates of note. Trick new three-beam LED headlights are the most noticeable new option. Software updates reportedly deliver snappier engine response in the four-cylinder engine (though we haven't had a chance to confirm this ourselves), and there's also new voice command integration for Amazon Alexa devices. Alas, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay still aren't available.

While the IS 300 isn't as dynamic or powerful as its luxury sport-sedan peers, it still delivers in the right areas. The interior stands out in both design and quality, standard features are generous by any measure, and the convenience and safety tech are top-notch. It's a solid pick in this segment.

2019 Lexus IS 300 models

The 2019 Lexus IS 300 is part of the IS sedan lineup that includes the more powerful IS 350. The IS 300 is available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), which come with different engines. There is also an F Sport version that adds exterior elements and hardware that improves the IS 300's performance.

The IS 300 RWD has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (241 hp, 258 pound-feet of torque) and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, simulated-leather upholstery (NuLuxe), 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, Lexus Enform Remote vehicle controls, two USB ports, a 7-inch display, and an eight-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio input, satellite radio and HD radio.

Standard driver assistance technology features include a rearview camera, automatic high beams, lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, and a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking.

The IS 300 AWD substitutes a 3.5-liter V6 engine (260 hp, 236 lb-ft of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission. Heated front seats also come standard.

The IS 300 offers several option packages. The Comfort package adds automatic wipers, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems (available separately). A Premium package includes heated and ventilated front seats.

The Navigation package replaces the standard infotainment control dial with Lexus' Remote Touch joystick-type controller, a 10.3-inch display and a navigation system. A 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system can be added to this package.

For those who want to dial up the sporting factor, the F Sport adds revised styling, staggered-width 18-inch wheels (with either summer or all-season tires), a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, an intake sound generator that amplifies engine noise during acceleration, heated and ventilated front sport seats, and a special sport-oriented gauge cluster.

Stand-alone options include upgraded, triple-beam LED headlights, a power rear sunshade, front and rear parking sensors, an automatic parking system, and a heated steering wheel.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Lexus IS 200t F Sport (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | RWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2017, Lexus has renamed the IS 200t to be the IS 300 and introduced a few minor updates. Our findings remain applicable to this year's IS 300.

Scorecard

Overall7.2 / 10
Driving7.0
Comfort8.0
Interior6.5
Utility7.5
Technology6.5

Driving

7.0
Handling dynamics aren't this car's strongest suit, though you can still have fun whipping this luxury compact around a bend or two. The turbocharged engine's acceleration is acceptable but a tad slow for the class, while the AWD model's V6 is strong but a tad inefficient.

Acceleration

7.0
The turbocharged four-cylinder makes good power but doesn't provide the enjoyable thrust achieved by some competitors. The 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in 6.8 seconds, a bit slow for the class.

Braking

7.0
Brake pedal travel is surprisingly short and stiff for a Lexus and lacks a sense of stopping power. ABS pulses are isolated out, which is good for abating panic but bad for brake feel. Stopping from 60 mph required 111 feet with summer tires, on par with other luxury sport compacts.

Steering

6.5
The electric steering builds effort that provides a natural and direct response but lacks road feel, which is important if your front tires ever lose grip. The IS fails to ensure confidence in an area that's critical for spirited driving.

Handling

6.5
Even with the stickier 18-inch summer tire option, the IS tends to push over the limits of front tire grip. Quick directional changes are more to its liking than sweeping sustained corners, so choose your back roads accordingly.

Drivability

7.0
Power is more than sufficient, but the eight-speed automatic transmission exhibits slow responses if you're not in the Sport driving mode. Full-throttle downshifts take about a second to select the right gear, which is too long if you're trying to merge, overtake or perform emergency maneuvers.

Comfort

8.0
Excellent ride comfort and the serene quietness of the IS' cabin are big standouts in the comfort category. We were also happy with the seats until sitting in the saddle for a few hours, which took a small toll on our lower backs due to some mismatched lumbar ergonomics.

Seat comfort

6.0
There's adequate lateral support from the standard seats, with additional bolstering provided by the F Sport's more aggressive thrones. Lumbar support is adjustable, but the position is fixed and sits too high to provide long-distance comfort for an average-size driver.

Ride comfort

8.5
The IS delivers ride quality that combines solid body control with smooth compliance at all the right times. Bumps and impacts are absorbed without issue and the marshmallow-like float indicative of an overly soft suspension. The F Sport's sport-tuned suspension produces a noticeably harsher ride.

Noise & vibration

8.5
Great attention went into cabin soundproofing. Road and wind noise is sufficiently silenced, and you don't hear much even under full antilock braking. The engine sounds more refined at full throttle than BMW's comparable four-cylinder.

Climate control

8.0
On a cold and rainy day, the auto climate control failed to adequately warm the cabin with the temps set to 75 degrees. The front seats' heating and ventilation functions, however, work well and quickly reach optimal temperature. The heated steering wheel is also nice and toasty.

Interior

6.5
The IS struggles with finding a balance between innovation and complication. Its low ride height and roofline require taller drivers to bend and duck to clear the doorways. The cabin is mediocre in its functional efficiency.

Ease of use

8.0
The armrests are positioned at a comfortable height for support while cruising. The controls are all within reach, and there's a padded surface to lay your arm on while using the infotainment system's Remote Touch interface. The touch sliders for the climate control look cool and work well.

Getting in/getting out

6.5
The IS 300's low height requires passengers to dip into the cabin. Even with the easy-entry retracting steering wheel, it's easy to graze a knee against the column climbing into the seat. The rear door openings are on the smaller side and could prove difficult to settle into for older passengers.

Roominess

5.5
Cabin space is not abundant. The wide center tunnel console and armrests can feel tight and claustrophobic. Rear-seat headroom is limited, especially in the center seat, and there's less legroom than the competition. The transmission tunnel will be especially uncomfortable for the middle passenger.

Visibility

7.0
Forward visibility is great, and the rear headrests don't impede the view directly rearward, but the huge rear pillars and a high body slope create blind spots when reversing. A rearview camera is standard, with parking sensors and an auto parking system optional.

Quality

8.0
Other than the steering wheel's leather, which looks and feels like wrinkled skin around the thumb rest areas, this interior is done well. The seats have quality stitching, and all contact surfaces are soft with tight-fitting panels and solid door seals.

Utility

7.5
The IS 300's lack of roominess is echoed in its storage capabilities. The trunk is smaller than those of rivals, there's a significant step from the trunk floor to seatback when the rear seats are folded down, and interior storage space is sparse. LATCH anchors and tethers, though, are easily accessible.

Small-item storage

7.0
There are two small cupholders in front and one in each of the decently sized door pockets. Another two are in the back, thoughtfully concealed in a fold-out tray in the armrest. The rear doors don't have pockets, so storage in the back is limited to seatback pockets.

Cargo space

6.0
The cargo area measures 10.8 cubic feet, which is small for a sedan. The top of the trunk opening is only slightly inset compared to the bottom, so you have to bend over slightly and slide your bags in.

Child safety seat accommodation

9.0
Four LATCH anchors are hidden under wide leather covers at the base of the rear seat. Not only do these covers provide easy access to the anchors just underneath, but they also look as if they are part of the seat itself. The three upper tethers are also easy to reach.

Technology

6.5
The IS 300 comes with an impressive list of standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. It doesn't feature any of the latest smartphone integration tech, and the optional Remote Touch controller is unbearably difficult to use.

Smartphone integration

6.0
Despite refreshes over the years, the IS hasn't kept up with trends in mobile device integration. There's no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. An auxiliary input and two USB ports are located under the front armrest, but there's no cord pass-through.

Driver aids

8.0
A rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and mitigation, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control now come standard. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems are optional.

Voice control

8.5
The voice controls follow a logical menu structure, with users sticking to top-level commands such as "Navigation." The nav system will allow you to modify individual aspects that it misunderstood during the input process. Overall, vocal recognition is good, but Siri Eyes Free would feel more natural.

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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2019 Lexus IS 300.

5 star reviews: 0%
4 star reviews: 100%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 4.0 stars based on 1 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

    Most helpful consumer reviews

    4 out of 5 stars, Racy Lexus
    Jennie Hobbs,
    F SPORT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)

    Interior quality was excellent. Love the f sport package and recommend. Wish I had got the memory seats though since my spouse sometimes drives the car as well. Gas mileage not as good as my 328i but hope I will save on repair bills as the reliability should be better. Ben our salesperson made it one of my best car buying experiences

    Write a review

    See all 1 reviews



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    Features & Specs

    4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
    4dr Sedan AWD
    3.5L 6cyl 6A
    MSRP$41,010
    MPG 19 city / 26 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    HorsepowerN/A
    See all for sale
    F SPORT 4dr Sedan features & specs
    F SPORT 4dr Sedan
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A
    MSRP$41,755
    MPG 21 city / 30 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower241 hp @ 5800 rpm
    See all for sale
    F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
    F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD
    3.5L 6cyl 6A
    MSRP$43,805
    MPG 19 city / 26 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed shiftable automatic
    HorsepowerN/A
    See all for sale
    4dr Sedan features & specs
    4dr Sedan
    2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A
    MSRP$38,560
    MPG 21 city / 30 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower241 hp @ 5800 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2019 Lexus IS 300 features & specs

    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite IS 300 safety features:

    Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
    Monitors lane markings, warns if you are drifting, and can even help steer the vehicle back into the lane of travel.
    Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
    Helps drivers maintain a preset distance by adjusting the vehicle's speed in relation to the vehicle directly ahead.
    Intelligent High Beam
    Switches between high and low beams automatically by using cues from a camera that helps detect when other vehicles are present.
    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
    RolloverRating
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.5%

    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Good
    Roof Strength Test
    Good
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
    IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

    Lexus IS 300 vs. the competition

    Lexus IS 300 vs. Audi A4

    The A4 will please most drivers seeking a sporty ride with athletic handling. The Audi's crisp steering and overall balance make it a driver's choice. And it not only has more infotainment tech available, it's easier to use. The IS isn't nearly as sharp as the A4, but it offers a more comfortable ride. The downside to the A4's dynamism is a stiff and sometimes jarring ride quality.

    Compare Lexus IS 300 & Audi A4 features

    Lexus IS 300 vs. BMW 3 Series

    Arguably the car that invented the sport sedan class decades ago, the 3 Series is the perennial benchmark in this segment. The 3 Series' combination of speed, handling, refinement and practicality created the checklist that other rivals aim for. Many come close or beat the 3 Series in other ways (more power, features), but none blend the ratios quite as precisely as the 3 Series.

    Compare Lexus IS 300 & BMW 3 Series features

    Lexus IS 300 vs. Infiniti Q50

    One of the IS 300's Japanese counterparts, the Q50 straddles both worlds of comfort and performance. It leans toward the latter, with zippy four- and six-cylinder engines, including an especially delightful twin-turbo V6 option at the top end. The Q50 is a little less refined than its Lexus rival, with an interior in particular that isn't as special to touch or look at. On the other hand, it's this lack of polish, specifically in engine power and response, that makes the Q50 the more visceral car.

    Compare Lexus IS 300 & Infiniti Q50 features
    FAQ
    Is the Lexus IS 300 a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2019 IS 300 both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.2 out of 10. Edmunds’ consumer reviews show that the 2019 IS 300 gets an average rating of 4 stars out of 5 (based on 1 reviews) You probably care about Lexus IS 300 fuel economy, so it's important to know that the IS 300 gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg to 26 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the IS 300 has 10.8 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Lexus IS 300. Learn more
    What's new in the 2019 Lexus IS 300?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Lexus IS 300:

    • Software updates improve engine response on rear-wheel-drive models
    • New upgraded LED headlight option
    • Amazon Alexa-integrated voice commands
    • Part of the third Lexus IS generation introduced for 2013
    Learn more
    Is the Lexus IS 300 reliable?
    To determine whether the Lexus IS 300 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the IS 300. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the IS 300's 4-star average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
    Is the 2019 Lexus IS 300 a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2019 Lexus IS 300 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2019 IS 300 and gave it a 7.2 out of 10. Our consumer reviews show that the 2019 IS 300 gets an average rating of 4 stars out of 5 (based on 1 reviews). Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2019 IS 300 is a good car for you. Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2019 Lexus IS 300?

    The least-expensive 2019 Lexus IS 300 is the 2019 Lexus IS 300 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $38,560.

    Other versions include:

    • 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $41,010
    • F SPORT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $41,755
    • F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) which starts at $43,805
    • 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $38,560
    Learn more
    What are the different models of Lexus IS 300?
    If you're interested in the Lexus IS 300, the next question is, which IS 300 model is right for you? IS 300 variants include 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), F SPORT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A). For a full list of IS 300 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2019 Lexus IS 300

    2019 Lexus IS 300 Overview

    The 2019 Lexus IS 300 is offered in the following submodels: IS 300 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), F SPORT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), F SPORT 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A).

    What do people think of the 2019 Lexus IS 300?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 Lexus IS 300 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2019 IS 300 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2019 IS 300.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Lexus IS 300 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 IS 300 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2019 Lexus IS 300?
    Which 2019 Lexus IS 300s are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 Lexus IS 300 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2019 Lexus IS 300.

    Can't find a new 2019 Lexus IS 300s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Lexus IS 300 for sale - 2 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $15,902.

    Find a new Lexus for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,537.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2019 Lexus IS 300?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Lexus lease specials