Now in its third generation, the Lexus IS has worn the mantle of compact luxury-sport sedan well, performing admirably against its best European rivals.   Now, with 20-17 updates, the IS adds a new dose of visual aggression; catching up to the latest in Lexus styling.

Our test IS 300 AWD wore an ever more dominate spindle grille, bookended by angrier headlights, and enlarged corner ducts. Rear changes are less invasive but do include new lights and flared exhaust tips.

Powertrains are carryover, including our 300’s 255-horse 3.5-liter V6. It delivered quick response with quick shifts from the all-wheel-drive specific 6-speed automatic. 

Inside, the intimate cockpit-styled interior remains Lexus quiet and loaded with premium features, now with revised steering wheel switch gear. Lexus Safety System Plus is now standard.  The technology stays fresh too, adding Scout GPS Link… and an available 10.3-inch LCD screen. All make this small snazzy ride, built on a premium backbone, even more appealing.

On sale now, the 2017 Lexus IS 300 AWD starts at about $40,000.


  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Horsepower: 255
  • Pricing: Starts at about $40,000