With its chiseled features and premium interior, the 2022 Lexus IS looks the part of a compact sports sedan. Three engines are available: a turbo four-cylinder, a V-6, or a V-8, with the latter two delivering aggressive F Sport styling and chassis enhancements. Despite its appearance, the IS delivers a refined ride, but those seeking sharp handling may find that it’s too soft. Rivals such the Audi A4, the BMW 3-series, and the Genesis G70 offer more driving engagement and livelier powertrains. Still, the IS offers a well-rounded entry-luxury package with handsome styling and desirable features that should win it favor with buyers seeking curb appeal.
What’s New for 2022?
A range-topping IS500 F Sport Performance model joins the lineup for 2022 and boasts a 472-hp 5.0-liter V-8 engine and more aggressive exterior styling elements. The bulging hood, rear diffuser, quad exhaust tips, and subtle trunk-lid spoiler are all unique to the IS500.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Although we’re most intrigued by the high-performance IS500 model, we haven’t yet had the chance to test one. In the meantime, we’d suggest the mid-range IS350 F Sport with rear-wheel drive. The F Sport package not only offers more aggressive exterior styling but also comes with unique 19-inch wheels with larger rear tires, a cold-air intake system, a limited-slip rear differential, an F Sport exhaust, and sport seats with heat and ventilation. We’d also opt for the Dynamic Handling package, which includes an adaptive suspension system.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 IS has three engine options: a 241-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the IS300, a 311-hp V-6 in the IS350, and now a 472-hp V-8 in the IS500 F Sport Performance model. We haven’t been fans of the four-cylinder in previous tests of the IS300, as its dull character isn’t well matched to the car’s athletic chassis. Ordering the V-6 allows the IS to shine and unlocks the F Sport package, which brings numerous performance upgrades such as a limited-slip rear differential, staggered 19-inch wheels, and an optional adaptive suspension. When we tested a rear-wheel-drive IS350 F Sport, we recorded a brisk 5.6-second zero-to-60-mph time—average for this swift class. Looking for the ultimate IS? The V-8-powered IS500 model is the one to consider. We haven’t had a chance to test one yet, but Lexus claims it’s capable of a 4.5-second zero-to-60-mph run. When we can get behind the wheel, we’ll update this story with test results and driving impressions.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has given the most efficient IS—the four-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive IS300 model—fuel-economy estimates of 31 mpg highway and 21 mpg city. The V-6 IS350 is rated as high as 28 mpg highway and as low as 19 mpg city; the IS500’s numbers haven’t been published. When we drove an all-wheel-drive IS350 on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route, it delivered 30 mpg. For more information about the IS’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While not nearly as spacious or deluxe as Lexus’s flagship LS sedan, the compact IS still offers a premium experience. Power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and push-button start are all standard features, while a power sunroof and leather upholstery are options. When the IS was redesigned for the 2021 model year, Lexus made few changes to the interior, but a discerning eye will notice relocated cupholders, round air vents near the door panels, and an infotainment system that’s been moved closer to the edge of the dashboard.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard and also uses a console-mounted touchpad; a larger 10.3-inch display is optional and comes bundled with in-dash navigation. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa are compatible with either system. As in the previous-generation IS, a Mark Levinson premium stereo system is available as an option, but this time it has 17 speakers and 1800 watts of power.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Lexus continues to offer a suite of driver-assistance features as standard on the IS lineup. For more information about the IS’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The IS has comprehensive coverage that’s highlighted by the best powertrain warranty. The first year of scheduled maintenance is included at no charge.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles
More Features and Specs