2021 Lexus IS 300

MSRP $39,000 - $41,000 | Check Best Price

Ranked #14 in Compact Sedans

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7.4

Overall Rating

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2021 Lexus IS 300 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: January 15, 2021

S. Kulshrestha's image
S. Kulshrestha

Automotive Journalist


The IS 300 has been a popular offering from the house of Lexus, which has been bringing in some green revenue each year for the Japanese auto-marque. The IS 300 is a name that gives Lexus a confident footing in the compact luxury-sports-sedan segment. 

However, blame it on the SUV surge or various other factors, the IS 300 seems like losing its charm, as evident from the dropping sales figures. Yet, Lexus does not seem in a mood of giving up on one of its star players, as they have revamped the IS 300 for the year 2021. The 2021 Lexus IS 300 gets a wide array of refurbishments, ranging from cosmetic enhancements, handling magnification, to reworked tech interface. The prices for the 2021 Lexus IS 300 are expected to initiate around the $40,000 mark. Lexus plans on rolling 2021 IS 300 in showrooms by fall 2020. 

2021 Lexus IS 300 Latest Updates

  • June 02, 2021 : Lexus May Bring Out High Performance “F” Versions Of The IS, LS Sedan & LC Coupe  Read More »
See Detailed Review »

Pros

Smooth and comfortable ride quality

Well-isolated cabin

A wide range of features available as standard

Handling is expected to touch new heights in 2021

Cons

Ineffective V6 engine

Comparatively low cargo capacity

What's New?

Several cosmetic tweaks

Improved handling

Reworked tech interface


See all »

Features

vehicle bio

base price

$39000

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

143 mph

drivetrain

rear wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

241 hp @ 5200 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1650 rpm

transmission

8 speed automatic w/OD and auto manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

13.2/11.7 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

110.2 in.

length

185.4 in.

width

72.4 in.

height

56.5 in.

curb weight

3715 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

90.2 cu ft.

cargo volume

10.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

7716 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5.6 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

13.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/26/31 mpg

highway range

539.4 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

powertrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos

Videos
2021 Lexus IS 300 Detailed Review video
2021 Lexus IS 300 Exterior video

Trims

Base $39,000 onwards

241 hp @ 5200 rpm | 2L | Inline 4 | premium unleaded

  • 18" Silver Aluminum Wheels
  • 19" Alloy Wheels
  • 1st Row LCD monitor
  • ABS and driveline Traction Control
  • All door remote Keyless Entry
  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control
  • Front Fog/Driving Lights
  • Heated Mirrors
  • Lexus Driving Signature
  • Lexus Multimedia System with 10.3-in color display
  • Mark Levinson premium audio system
  • Nuluxe Interior Trim
  • Power Moonroof
  • Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers
  • SiriusXM AM/FM/HD/Satellite, Seek-Scan Radio
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Colors and Styles

2021 Lexus IS 300 in Caviar color
Caviar

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing And Features

7.0

Engine And Performance

7.3

Fuel Economy

7.3

Interior

6.5

Exterior

8.0

Safety

8.5

Competition

7.0

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.4

Overall Rating


The 2021 Lexus IS 300 comes in two trims, and two powertrain options - a 2L Inline 4, and a 3.5L V6 engine that’s made available with the optional AWD drivetrain.

The cold-blooded war between IS 300, Jaguar XE Base, Audi A4 Premium, and Alfa Romeo Giulia persists in 2021 and it will most likely continue in the future too. Here’s our take on the 2021 Lexus IS 300 that is soon going to be on sale in the US market.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Front Third Quarter View
2021 Lexus IS 300 Rear Third Quarter View

7.0/10
Pricing and Features

7.3/10
Engine and Performance

7.3/10
Fuel Economy

6.5/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

8.5/10
Safety

7.0/10
Competition


2021 Lexus IS 300 Pricing and Features

7.0/10

The 2021 Lexus IS 300, just like the 2020 model, is expected to reach the dealerships as a standalone trim only. The only available choice in the case of the Lexus IS 300 will be the choice of drivetrain. 

The Lexus IS 300 will be available in RWD or AWD models. The Lexus IS 300 RWD gets a 2.0L inline-4 engine, whereas the AWD models swap this 4-pot with a slightly more powerful V6 engine. The prices for the Lexus IS 300 are expected to initiate at $40,000 for the RWD models and go up to $43,000 for the AWD models. 

Model

Lexus IS 300

MSRP (RWD)

$39,000

MSRP (AWD)

$41,000

Key Features

NuLuxe synthetic leather

 

Power moonroof

 

10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

 

Dual-zone automatic climate control

 

Blind-spot monitoring

 

Mark Levinson premium audio system

 

LED headlights

Though the Lexus IS 300 is expected to be offered as a standalone trim, there are numerous customization options available for the buyers. Moreover, the company also offers 3 Packages for the IS 300, namely - Navigation Package, Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package, and Premium Package. 

2021 Lexus IS 300 Side View

The Navigation package costs around $1700. As the name suggests, this package gets you features such as a navigation system with a 10.3-inch multimedia screen display, Lexus Enform Destination Assist, Lexus Enform App Suite, and remote touch. 

Next up is the Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package that costs around $2845. This package adds a premium Mark Levinson Surround Sound audio system along with the Navigation package. 

Finally comes the Premium Package that costs a bit more than $1000 and enhances the appeal of your IS 300 sedan by adding highlights such as Lexus Memory System, Auto-dimming outside mirrors, heated and ventilated seats, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, blind-spot monitor, and rain-sensing wipers. 

2021 Lexus IS 300 Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

Lexus is one of the best automobile brands that provide reliable vehicles with high resale value. All Lexus vehicles achieve good scores in J D Power reports (above 80) and customer satisfaction records. Like other Japanese vehicles, it also provides excellent customer satisfaction.

Reliability and Ownership Costs

Though there are a number of ways and techniques for deriving the actual reliability and ownership experience of a vehicle, one of the most trusted ways is to call attention to what the JD Power says about it. The JD Power Report gives ratings to vehicles on certain parameters like the Quality, Driving experience, resale value, etc. The ratings are mainly based on reviews by car-owners. 

Speaking of the Lexus IS 300, the 2020 Lexus IS 300 bagged a total score of 83 out of a maximum 100, which happens to be a pretty impressive score. Below is a further breakdown of this score:

  • Quality and reliability: 84 out of 100
  • Driving Experience: 79 out of 100
  • Resale: 83 out of 100
  • Dealership Experience: 86 out of 100

Though the 2021 Lexus IS 300 is supposed to get a number of changes from the 2020 model, including exterior revamps, handling improvements, and reworked tech features, yet we expect the new model to fall in the same line as the 2020 model in terms of reliability. 

No recalls have been reported by NHTSA for 2020 IS 300 but it had one recall for the 2019 model. It is due to a faulty fuel system that affected the fuel delivery mechanism resulting in a reduced lifetime of the engine and increased fuel consumption and emissions.

Year

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Total

Tax Credit

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Insurance

$1554

$1608

$1665

$1723

$1783

$8333

Maintenance

$256

$934

$518

$2653

$2871

$7232

Repairs

$0

$0

$0

$455

$695

$1150

Taxes & Fees

$2553

$182

$163

$148

$148

$3194

Financing

$2013

$1619

$1198

$750

$271

$5851

Depreciation

$7550

$3104

$2536

$2843

$2486

$18,519

Fuel

$1875

$1931

$1989

$2049

$2110

$9954

The real cost of ownership 

$15,801

$9378

$8069

$10,621

$10,364

$54,233

The total ownership cost for Lexus IS 300 for 5 years is close to $55,000. It has a low maintenance cost of $7232 and repairing cost of $1,150, all estimated for five years meaning that per year the costs for these are really low when compared with its rivals.

Warranty

Lexus IS 300 is one of the most reliable vehicles that offers long warranty periods. It gets a competitive limited warranty of 4 years per 50,000 miles. Corrosion and Perforation warranty periods are for 72 months and unlimited miles. Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 10,000 miles or 1 year.

Criteria

Period

Limited warranty

4 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain warranty

6 years/ 70,000 miles; whichever is earlier

24-hour roadside assistance

4 years/ unlimited miles; whichever is earlier

Lexus IS 300 offers the same limited warranty as to the Audi A4 Premium and Alfa Romeo Giulia. These are defeated by Jaguar XE providing warranty coverage of the same for 5 years. Powertrain warranty for Lexus is much better than its rivals. 

Miles per Dollar

The total fuel cost per year is $2,099 for RWD and $2,414 for AWD in a combined driving state. On average, a gallon of gas costs 2.5USD. So IS 300 should offer about 12 miles per dollar.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Buying Advice

There is no difference between the RWD and AWD trims apart from the drivetrain and the powertrain. However, the V6 engine, in the AWD models may sound appealing, yet when you get to the fact that it just generates 19 additional ponies than the 2L inline-4 engine in the RWD trim, and has even greater curb weight, you may get to see the bigger picture. 

Hence, we recommend you go for the RWD models as they are cheaper, and just as fun to drive as AWD ones. We also suggest you to check out the Premium Package as it adds a number of safety and convenience features. 

Is buying a used Lexus IS 300 a good idea?

Lexus has a high resale value and the maintenance and repair costs are less compared to other models. Buying a used Lexus IS 300 isn’t a bad idea as it is one of the most reliable vehicles present in the market. It will not encounter many repairs like others.

If you are looking forward to buying a used Lexus IS 300, the 2019 or 2018 model will be better when depreciation values are considered. You’ll have to pay only 73% of the original price and considering the fact that Lexus cars last for 12 years, you get 83% of lifetime left forward. Most of the depreciation will be covered in the first year of purchase. So it is better to opt for a vehicle which is old by a year or two. The most important thing is that when you sell a used Lexus car, you get a high resale value.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Engine and Performance

7.3/10

What Engine is under the hood of the 2021 Lexus IS 300?

The 2021 Lexus IS 300 gives us a choice of two powertrains. It is motorized by the same engine as its previous variant for RWD models –a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder capable of generating power of 241hp and torque of 258 lb-ft. AWD models enclose a non-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine beneath the hood producing a slightly higher power of 260 hp and a reduced torque of 236 lb-ft and can guide about 50 percent of its accessible power to the front wheels.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Engine

The powertrain of RWD models is teamed up with 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters while the AWD is linked up with 6-speed automatic one. V6 gets hold of enhanced smoothness and power than the other, while the turbocharged engine has the ability to make IS 300 more fuel-efficient.

Models

2021 Lexus IS 300

2020 Jaguar XE Base

2020 Audi A4 Premium

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

MSRP

$39,000

$39,900

$37,490

$38,195

Engine

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L, Turbocharged, Inline-4 cylinder

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 cylinders

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

AWD

RWD

Transmission

8-speed Automatic

8-speed Automatic

7-speed Automatic

8-speed automatic

Power

241hp@5,800rpm

247hp@5,500rpm

248hp@5,000

280 hp @ 5200 rpm

Torque

258lb-ft@ 1,650-4,400 rpm

260lb-ft@ 1,300rpm

273lb-ft@1,600rpm

306 lb.-ft. @ 2000-4800 rpm

Alfa Romeo Giulia has the same engine as the other rivals but produces greater power and torque. Unfortunately, Lexus IS 300 generates the lowest amount of power and torque and it can be overcome by employing its AWD version. But still, it falls back in torque.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Acceleration And Braking Performance

2021 Lexus IS 300 does a 0-60 mph sprint in 6.9 seconds. It takes 17.6 seconds to traverse a quarter-mile. When equipped with a 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-6 engine, it takes just 6.1 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Braking Distance 125 ft from 60-0 MPH

Moving on to the braking department, four-piston calipers with 13.1 inch ventilated discs at the front and two-piston calipers with 12.2 inch ventilated discs at the rear are equipped on the IS 300 for braking function. The braking system includes four-wheel power-assisted discs with four-sensor and four-channel Anti-lock Braking System along with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and brake assist features, all aiding to take 125 ft for a halt from 60 mph.

Models

2021 Lexus IS 300

(Expected)

2020 Jaguar XE Base

2020 Audi A4 Premium

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

0-60 MPH

6.9 sec

6.3 sec

5.6 sec

8.3 sec

Quarter Mile

17.6 sec

15.0 sec

13.8 sec

16.4 sec

Top Speed

143 mph

155 mph

155 mph

192 mph

60-0 MPH

125 ft

184 ft (70-0)

99 ft

117 ft.

The acceleration and braking performance of the Lexus IS 300 is satisfactory when compared to its rivals. Audi A4 Premium takes very little time to sprint 0-60 mph and to cover a quarter of a mile. It also shines in the braking field by taking only 99 ft to stop from 60 mph. Alfa Romeo Giulia has the highest top speed. 

2021 Lexus IS 300 Fuel Economy

7.3/10

Fuel economy figures of IS 300 are not yet officially released but since it holds the same kind of engine as its predecessor, we can expect the same figures. 

This implies that the RWD models will cover 21 mpg around the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg for combined driving. AWD models have reduced figures of 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on highways, and 22 mpg combined. With the fuel tank indicated as full, IS 300 can travel around 365miles in the city, 522miles in highway, and 417 miles for combined driving situations.

Models

2021 Lexus IS 300

(Expected)

2020 Jaguar XE Base

2020 Audi A4 Premium

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

MPG (City)

21

24

23

23

MPG (Highway)

30

34

33

31

MPG (Combined)

24

27

27

25

Fuel Capacity

17.4 gallons

16.6 gallons

15.3 gallons

14 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

365/522/417 miles

415/564/448 miles

367/490/413 miles

351.90/474.30/NA miles

Audi A4 Premium is the most fuel-efficient sedan among the other rivals. Lexus IS 300 has the largest fuel tank but the second-placed Jaguar serves a large coverage around the city and highway with top mpg figures.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Interior

6.5/10

2021 IS 300 gets minor interior upgrades. The first feature which catches every eye is the new standard NuLuxe synthetic leather. The previous-gen model lacks a leather-wrapped interior which is compensated in the 2021 model. IS 300 gets new trim in the door and dashboard, new circular-shaped air vents at the corners of the dash, and an HVAC panel at the upper part of the center console polished in gloss black.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Front Seat

Turning onto the seats, Lexus retains its comfortable seats along with the new standard 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and 8-way adjustable passenger seats. IS 300 maintains its 5 seating ability meaning that the seating for rear passengers will be a little bit tight and also the center console is wide making the front passengers in the same situation. Other interior upgrades include dual-zone automatic climate control and push-button start for ignition as standard, and power moonroof is optional. The infotainment system is moved 3 inches closer to the driver to create a more driver-focused environment.

Models

2021 Lexus IS 300

(Expected)

2020 Jaguar XE Base

2020 Audi A4 Premium

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.2/55.9/44.8

37.0/56.8/41.5

38.9/55.9/41.3

38.6 /56.1 /42.4

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

36.9/53.4/32.2

37.0/54.7/35.0

37.4/54.4/35.7

37.6 / 53.6 / 35.1

Lexus IS 300 has a low cargo capacity of 10.8 cu. ft. Jaguar XE has the largest and impressive stowing capacity of 16.1 cu.ft. Audi A4 Premium and Alfa Romeo Giulia have the same trunk capacity of 12 cu.ft. All the rivals provide ample front leg, shoulder and head rooms while IS 300 doesn’t offer much rear room but is tolerable.

How’s the 2021 Lexus IS 300’s infotainment system?

2021 Lexus IS 300has encountered few upgrades in this field too. Updated techs include a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with integrated Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa, and an optional 10.3-inch widescreen display with navigation which is moved 3 inches closer to the driver. 

2021 Lexus IS 300 Infotainment Screen 

The previous variant had mouse-like controls for directing the infotainment system and luckily it was changed to a touchpad this time. An augmented reality app is provided to check the status of the car, turn on the music and so on. To rock on during the ride, Mark Levinson premium audio system package is offered with 17 speakers with much-boosted wattage of 1,800 watts. 

2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan cockpit area
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan steering wheel
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan front seats
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan infotainment screen
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan clutch
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan rear seats

2021 Lexus IS 300 Exterior

8.0/10

2021 Lexus IS 300 witnesses few changes in the exterior which cannot be spotted at the first glimpse but it does attract casual customers. 2021 IS 300 gets updated front and rear fascia, new aggressive grille restyled with a three-dimensional polyhedral structure, new LED headlights, and optional triple-beam LED headlights.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Third Quarter View

Rear updates include redesigned rocker panels and wide LED taillights sparkling the trunk. The 2021 IS 300 has turned out to have a slight increase in dimensions. It grew up 0.19 inch taller, 1.18-inch longer and wider, than its previous-gen with the same wheel radius to house the 18-inch wheel. The exterior gets a shade of either of these colors –Iridium, Grecian Water, Cloudburst Gray, Infrared or Matador Red Mica.

Models

2021 Lexus IS 300

(Expected)

2020 Jaguar XE Base

2020 Audi A4 Premium

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Curb Weight

3583 lbs

3750 lbs

3627 lbs

3521

Length(in)

185.48

184.2

186.1

182.6

Width (in)

72.48

77.4

72.5

73.7

Height(in)

56.49

56.1

56.2

56.5

Ground Clearance(in)

5.3

4.0

7.9

NA

Wheelbase(in)

110

111.6

111

111

Jaguar XE Base is the heaviest and longest sedan with large width when compared with others. The height of the Lexus IS 300 and Alfa Romeo Giulia is almost the same. Jaguar XE Base has the largest wheelbase among the group. 

2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan wheel
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan left side view
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan rear view mirror
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan tail light
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan three quarter view
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan headlamp
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan front view
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan three quarter view
2021 Lexus IS 300 basic Sedan exhaust

2021 Lexus IS 300 Safety

8.5/10

The 2021 Lexus IS 300 adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beam assist and road-sign recognition as standard to the book of safety features. The standard Lexus Safety System Plus gets enhanced safety features loaded with automatic high-beam assist, advanced forward-collision warning, high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and driver assistant features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and vehicle detection including bicyclist, lane-departure warning, and lane-tracing assist. Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management are also included to shield the vehicle and passengers.

Crash test results are not yet out but are expected to be the same as the previous one. The 2020 Lexus IS 300 scored all the five stars. IIHS moved the 2020 IS 300 into the ‘Top Safety Pick Plus’ category by rating it as Good.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Competition

7.0/10

2021 Lexus IS 300 Vs Jaguar XE Base

Both of them come with the same engine but Jaguar XE provides more power. When the IS 300 is equipped with all-wheel-drive, a much better performance vehicle is formed to conquer the market.

2021 Jaguar XE Base

Lexus has a better interior and shines in the field of safety and fuel economy. In terms of exterior, both look classy but Lexus is longer than XE.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Vs Audi A4 Premium

Audi A4 is one of the best-selling luxurious cars packed with a lot of attractive interior features, good infotainment systems, and safety features, all available at low cost when compared to similar sedans in the market especially the Lexus IS 300.

2021 Audi A4 Premium

Audi has a better performance engine with a great braking system making it a performance vehicle or a sporty one. Audi A4 conquers in every field and is the biggest threat to Lexus.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Vs Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia offers a powerful engine than Lexus IS 300 but not fuel-efficient as the latter. It comes with decent interiors as the IS 300 but is more spacious.

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Both of them are loaded with a good amount of tech and safety features. Both models have a luxurious appearance.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Final Verdict

The 2021 Lexus IS 300 is a good sedan, especially in its AWD form. Its new N platform makes its handling smooth by offering enhanced chassis and suspension specifications. Sticking to RWD will be worth it as it costs within $40,000. 2021 Lexus IS 300 will be on sale in late 2020. If you have put your sights on the current-gen then wait for the 2021 model for enhanced features.

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