The Lexus IS is a rear- or all-wheel-drive premium sedan in the mid-size niche, which is a respectable but still sporty car, prestigious and at the same time practical and versatile. The car is initially aimed at a young and well-to-do audience. In total, the Japanese company has produced four generations of this sedan.
The first was presented in 1998. Then the Japanese wanted to release the main rival to the “three” from BMW and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The last, 4th generation Lexus IS was presented in the summer of 2020. The daughter company is working on the newest concept Driving Signature, which implies improvement of dynamic characteristics along with multiple improvement of safety systems. This is what Japanese engineers tried to reflect. The whole model range is Lexus.
Although the Lexus IS 250/200t already celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, the sedan is still very common in many markets around the world, which speaks to the wise work of the specialists during its creation. The new model has become more advanced on all fronts than past variants, so Lexus has high hopes for its premium sedan.
The new arrow-shaped LED headlamp modules look very stylish, which immediately declare the sportiness of the new Lexus IS 4th generation sedan.
Paying attention to the exterior of the new Lexus IS 4th generation, we can see that the specialists managed to keep the corporate spirit of the past cars. But looking at the shape of the door openings and the hinged panels, the sedan stands out against the background of the previous design. Lexus IS 2021 has a signature radiator grille, which resembles the shape of an hourglass, as well as advanced headlamp optics with LED-infill, which has unusual inserts daytime running lights. If we talk about the appearance of the body, the new sedan has become more sporty and aggressive than past sedans.
The custom cut headlights have L-shaped LED inserts. Installed in front, the bumper turned out to be quite huge and got a large-type air intake, as well as integrated running lights lighting. Along the whole length of the side plan there is a place for relief folds and sill strip, standing out for its width. Almost all body panels of the new item are original, which also distinguishes it from past sedans. But as for the unified concept of corporate style – it has not been changed. Many people easily find similarities with the Lexus IS 250.
If you take the modification Lexus IS F-Sport, it stands out very sporty bumpers, which have received aggressive notes, non-standard structure of the grille and spoiler on the lid, made in a sporty way. It also boasts rear tires that stand out for their width.
On the side, absolutely everything eloquently declares the sportiness of the Japanese sedan. Thanks to the side glazing, the car looks very stylish and distinctive. The body got a lot of relief inserts, which form the outlines of the vehicle. Very stylishly fit into the overall exterior of Lexus IS 4 generation wheels, designed for 19 inches, made of titanium, as well as beautiful sills, which received curves near the rear doors. However, the basic set of Lexus IS 4 generation will receive only 18-inch “rollers”.
If you look from the side, immediately notice the characteristic sedan body contour, which has a gentle slope of the domed roof, elongated massive bumper, high line of side glazing and combined geometry of wide door openings. The height of the ground clearance of the 3rd generation Lexus IS was 135 millimeters, which often caused concern for many domestic owners of the “Japanese”.
The rear of the Japanese sports sedan boasts designer optics, which are linked by a line with LED infill. You can also notice the distinctive bumper, the sports spoiler and the exhaust pipes organically hidden under the body. Due to the fact that the shoulders are clearly made above the wheel arches at the rear, the car is perfectly muscled. The expressive surface was achieved with the introduction of the latest offset stamping system. In addition, the stylish L-shaped headlamps of the new Lexus IS 2021.
If we talk about the interior of the new Lexus IS of the 4th generation, it has not undergone almost any dramatic changes, as in the 3rd generation Lexus IS. The presence of installed on the top of the central console multimedia system display immediately catches the eye, while the previous versions could boast only a built-in screen. The basic set will get a screen size of 8 inches, and the top version will have a 10.3-inch display. The entertainment center works seamlessly with Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto, also supports integration with Amazon Alexa.
The company’s specialists tried their best to harmoniously combine traditional and modern elements. In front of the driver is placed a massive three-spoke steering wheel, sheathed in leather, which has a large number of convenient and functional buttons, as well as special platforms for placing hands of ergonomic type. Next comes the informative digital dashboard.
The Lexus IS 2021 climate control unit can be controlled using the touch control. Thanks to this device, it is possible to change the current interior temperature mode with adjustments up to 0.5 °C.
In addition, the Japanese car is distinguished by a dual-zone climate system, which has received sensory control, electric adjustment of front seats (10 variants of regulation for the driver and 8 for those sitting in front), panoramic roof, which received a sunroof, easy access to the cabin SmartAccess, as well as push-button start the engine. For music lovers, Japanese engineers installed a premium Mark Levinson sound system with 835-watt, 15-speakers and an 1800-watt variant with 17 speakers.
As for the basic leather upholstery, you can choose from three options: black, “caramel” and red. Optionally, you can equip the interior of the Lexus IS 4th generation with another shade of red and a 2-color black and white scheme. The seats themselves have been given a very comfortable profile and a wide range of adjustment choices. They have full side support, support ventilation and heating. And the top versions get even a multi-mode vibromassage. In addition, they received thin backrests, which improves the position of people sitting in the back.
Between the front seats there is a place for a wide central tunnel, which is equipped with a gear selector and entertainment system controls. In the central console there is an analog clock, habitually placed in the center of the panel between the standard ducts of the ventilation system of rectangular type.
The car has received a very high quality finishing materials, fully meeting the premium status, as well as excellent noise insulation. The second row can accommodate two passengers comfortably. It is possible to sit in three, but it will not be called a comfortable option. Partly it is because of the big central tunnel and a sloping roof of the Japanese body.
If we talk about the underhood space, here was slightly expanded arsenal of engines. As the base case, the Japanese company offers a 2.0-liter inline gasoline engine, which has received a system of direct fuel injection, twin-scroll turbocharger, dual variable valve timing mechanism Dual VVT-iW, as well as a 16-valve DOHC type timing mechanism. All of this allows for 245 horsepower (350 Nm).
For the all-wheel-drive version of the Lexus IS Generation 4, there’s a 3.5-liter V-twin six-cylinder atmospheric powerplant that produces 264 horsepower. As for the most powerful engines, they are capable of accelerating the Japanese sedan from a place to the first hundred in 5.6-5.7 seconds. It is rather a record figure for cars of a similar niche. Next is the same unit, which is only boosted up to 315 “horses”.
The engine lineup of the new Lexus IS 2021 also boasts a hybrid powertrain, replacing the 2.5-liter diesel powertrain that has already expired. It works with a pair of electric motors that help reduce fuel consumption. Based on the official specifications, the hybrid version consumes no more than 5 liters of fuel in city mode. If we talk about the version Lexus IS 4 F-sport, it has a 5-liter 423-horsepower engine. This variant will perfectly suit fans of fast driving.
The base 2.0-liter engine of the Japanese sedan Lexus IS 2021 has received an eight-speed automatic transmission Sport Direct Shift. And for a modification Lexus IS 300 AWD, having a system of a full drive and 3,5-liter power-unit, Japanese offer a 6-speed automatic gearbox. By default the torque is distributed in the ratio 30/70 in favor of the rear wheels.
Although the Japanese position their model as a new model, the car is still built on the “old” platform. As the base engineers used “bogie” N. It is worth noting that experts have worked seriously on it and improved it. For example, the new Lexus IS 2021 boasts a reinforced body, which has received a large number of welding points. In addition, there is now a more powerful radiator frame and modified roof pillars.
In terms of the running gear there are no special changes. The usual double wishbone suspension in the front and the multi-lever design in the rear. The steel front levers are now replaced by aluminium levers, which reduced their weight by 18 per cent. This also includes lighter springs and stabilizers (by 20 and 17 percent, respectively) and dampers with the latest valves.
The development department has seriously improved the suspension settings, which had a positive impact on handling, responsiveness and steering information. By the way, the latter is helped by the electric booster “steering wheel”. The braking system of the “Japanese” is at a high level – all wheels are equipped with ventilated disc devices.
Although the car positions itself as a sports sedan, it has a huge list of safety systems, allowing the car to be used even by families. The list of safety systems Lexus Safety System+ is already involved even in the standard version. The car boasts automatic braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection function, is able to maintain lane keeping, perform lane change at the turn signal, and track vehicles at the intersection.
In addition, there is adaptive cruise control, which is able to maintain the distance to cars and ensure the resumption of vehicle movement after a brief stop. A more complete list can be found on the official website of the Japanese company.
Features and prices
Plan to sell the car in 40 countries around the world, which includes, of course, the United States. Buy Lexus IS 2021 will be available from about $ 39,000 for the basic modification. Unfortunately, the new generation will not be delivered to the European and Russian market because of the strong competition with the German car. At least for now.
But in America, the 3rd generation Lexus IS is very well proven and has a solid support of motorists. Sedans were supposed to start selling at the end of the last 2020. The final price of Lexus IS 4 generation will depend on the number and properties of special options.
Comparison with competitors
The “Japanese” has plenty of rivals, and it is the German “classmates” do not allow this sedan to gain a firm foothold in the domestic market. In the role of competitors can be new models of Lexus IS 4 generation Mercedes-Benz C-class, Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, as well as the Volkswagen Passat, Cadillac ATS, Jaguar XE, Volvo S60. On top of that, Chinese and Korean car companies are starting to take their “tidbit” on the market, so there is a serious struggle for the buyer.
Pros and cons
- Aerodynamic body;
- Stylish rims;
- Modern matrix optics;
- Quality, pleasant and comfortable interior;
- Modern interior equipment;
- High level of assembly;
- Safety level;
- Good equipment;
- Powerful engines;
- Adjusted in a sport suspension;
- High dynamic characteristics;
- There are versions with all-wheel drive;
- It is possible to buy a sedan with a hybrid power unit;
- Quality “music”.
Cons of a car
- Not the most comfortable rear row of seats;
- Small luggage compartment;
- Although the sedan looks very sporty, the steering can not be called sporty;
- Not sold in European countries and on the Russian market.
So, the Japanese did not release the new fourth generation Lexus IS for nothing. Although in some ways they lost the battle on the Russian and European market to some German models, they did not lose the war. The Japanese company decided to focus all its forces on the vast American market, which, by the way, liked the last 3rd generation Lexus IS. However, now not to lag behind the competitors, and somewhere even to be on the head above them, Japanese have decided to improve their model. Now the premium rear-wheel drive (there are also optional versions with all-wheel drive) has aggressive looks, an improved and more modern interior, as well as the most modern technical features.
The sedan is perfect for those who appreciate luxury and versatility, but for whom the first place is the level of comfort, not the drive. In addition, the car stands out for a high level of safety, which has been repeatedly pointed out by the company itself. Therefore, this sedan has every chance to succeed, at least on the U.S. market. Domestic car enthusiasts should only hope that the company will return with this model to the Russian market.
We suggest you read the article: History of Lexus