2018 Lexus IS 300

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6.8

Overall Rating

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2018 Lexus IS 300 Price, Review and Buying Guide

Updated on: January 13, 2021

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P. Pati

Content Writer


Lexus is back with the 2018 iteration of their compact luxury sedan, the IS 300. The ride boasts all signs of a performance car, while also offering stunning exterior quirks such as a sweeping body, a pinched grille, and prominent air intakes. Despite how it looks, the IS 300 is a seriously comfortable cruiser. The 2018 Lexus IS 300 comes with a refined ride, a super-quiet cabin and a lengthy list of standard features. In the small luxury sedan segment, it receives a tight competition from the 2018 Audi A4. Other notable competitors include the BMW 330i and the Mercedes-Benz C300. The IS 300 is bested by rivals in terms of performance and cargo capacity. Nonetheless, the ride fights back with a plethora of standard features, a gratifying safety scorecard, and an impressive ride quality.

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Pros

Supple Ride

Excellent Build Quality

Soft, Supportive Front Seats

Noise-Free Cabin

Cons

Weak 4-Cylinder Drivetrain

Distracting Optional Remote Touch Infotainment System

Awkward, Large Ledge between Trunk Floor and Folded Backseat

Pricey Options

What's New?

10 years validity of Enform Safety and Service Telematics 

Backup Camera and Adaptive Light now Standard

The 3.5L V6 gets a 5-Horsepower Boost


See all new Lexus IS 300 cars for sale »

new Lexus IS 300 For Sale

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used Lexus IS 300 For Sale

Features

vehicle bio

base price

$38210

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

143 mph

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

horsepower

241 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1650 rpm

transmission

8-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.2 in. ventilated disc brakes/13.2 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

110.2 in.

length

184.3 in.

width

71.3 in.

height

56.3 in.

curb weight

3583 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

90.2 cu ft.

cargo volume

10.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

7716 lbs.

payload capacity

1047 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/26/32 mpg

highway range

556.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

6 years/70000 miles

roadside assistance

yes


Pictures & Videos

exterior
interior
Videos
2018 Lexus IS 300 Exterior video
2018 Lexus IS 300 Detailed Review video

Colors and Styles

2018 Lexus IS 300 in Atomic Silver color 2018 Lexus IS 300 in Caviar color 2018 Lexus IS 300 in Nebula Gray Pearl color 2018 Lexus IS 300 in Ultra White color 2018 Lexus IS 300 in Ultrasonic Blue Mica color
Atomic Silver

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

5.3

Engine And Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

7.3

Interior

5.3

Exterior

7.0

Safety

8.2

Competition

6.4

6.8

OVERALL RATING

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Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2018 Lexus IS 300 Base

Base

power
260 hp @ 6400 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
22 combined

$38,210 - $40,660


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $38,210 MSRP (22/26/32) 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, Premium unleaded (required)
8-speed Automatic rear wheel drive 5
4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $40,660 MSRP (19/22/26) 260 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, Premium unleaded (required)
6-speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

6.8

Overall Rating


The 2018 Lexus IS 300 is certainly an underrated vehicle. While the exterior imposes a racey personality, the performance numbers suggest otherwise. The Lexus IS 300 is not exactly a sports car, but it doesn manage to offer a fair bit of driving excitement. The ride is supple and contained, while the comfortable seats keep you well bolstered. Interior is a bit disappointing, and the IS 300 lacks certain infotainment features which are otherwise offered with most cars in its segment. Interior room can’t be complained about, but the rear legroom certainly feels compromised. All in all, the 2018 Lexus IS 300 offers a great package of comfort, refinement and high build-quality. Minus the performance aspect, the sedan is a wonderful alternative to the Audi A4, the BMW 330i and the Mercedes-Benz C300. 

2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan front view
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan rear view

5.3/10
Pricing and Features

7.0/10
Engine and Performance

7.3/10
Fuel Economy

5.3/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

8.2/10
Safety

6.4/10
Competition


2018 Lexus IS 300 Pricing and Features

5.3/10

There is only one trim available for the 2018 Lexus IS 300, namely IS 300. Furthermore, each of the trim is available in 2 variants, with either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. Pricing options for the IS 300 starts from $38,210. The all-wheel-drive variant is priced $2,450 over the rear-wheel-drive IS 300. The following table gives a brief overview of the trims and features offered with the 2018 Lexus IS 300. 

Trim

IS 300

MSRP

$38,210

MSRP(AWD)

$41,655

Key Features

LED headlamps and daytime running lights (DRL)

 

Lexus Display Audio with color multimedia display

 

Power moonroof

 

NuLuxe interior trim

 

Dual-zone climate control

 

Subscription-free Traffic and Weather updates via HD Radio

 

SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop

 

Bluetooth and USB smartphone connectivity

The Lexus IS 300 AWD variant comes with heated front seats as standard. A number of optional packages are available for the ride. While the Comfort Package adds automatic wipers and a power-adjustable steering wheel, the Premium Package adds heated and ventilated front seats.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Buying Advice

The 2018 Lexus IS 300 is a fairly competent vehicle in terms of performance. While the numbers only cover a part of the story, the actual driving experience is pretty great. To make the most out of the 2018 Lexus IS 300, we suggest going for the AWD trim, which comes with a V6 and is a lot more fun to play with. 

2018 Lexus IS 300 Engine and Performance

7.0/10

The 2018 Lexus IS 300 sports a 3.5L V6 engine complemented by an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Lexus engine is capable enough to generate 241 horsepower, in addition to 258 lb-ft of torque. The engine feels fairly responsive and puts down power linearly and readily. The transmission doesn’t always feel optimized but changes gears smoothly nonetheless.

Models

2018 Lexus IS300 AWD

2018 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro

2018 BMW 330i xDrive

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC

MSRP

$41,655

$44,500

$43,250

$43,250

Engine

3.5L V6

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

7-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

9-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

241 hp @ 5800 rpm

252 hp @ 5,000 rpm

248 hp @ 5,200 rpm

241 hp @ 5,500 rpm

Torque

258 lb-ft @ 1650 rpm

273 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

258 lb-ft @ 1450 rpm

273 lb-ft @ 1,300 rpm

While the Mercedes-Benz C300 packs the same horsepower as the IS 300 Sedan, other rivals surpass it. It is the 2018 Audi A4 that offers the most horsepower among the competition, offering 252 horses on the tap. Both the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C300 lead the pack with a maximum torque figure of 273 lb-ft. Other than the Lexus, the BMW 330i offers a similar 8-speed automatic transmission. While the Audi comes with a 6-speed manual transmission as an option, the C300 Sedan boasts a 9-speed automatic transmission.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Acceleration and Braking

With the standard 3.5L V6 engine, the Lexus IS 300 is able to accelerate from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 8.3 seconds. The IS 300 also covers a quarter-mile in 16.2 seconds. Both feats are the slowest amongst the competition, unfortunately.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan accelerate in 8.3 sec

The Lexus also boasts a decent curb weight of 3583 pounds, while also delivering a promising braking distance of 125 feet.

Models

2018 Lexus IS300 AWD

2018 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro

2018 BMW 330i xDrive

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC

0-60 MPH

8.3

5.7

5.5 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter mile

16.2

13.8 sec

14.4 sec

14.8 sec

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3583

3,582

3,541

3,583

60-0 MPH (ft.)

125

126

123

131

The 2018 Audi A4, though a little slower than the BMW 330i for accelerating to a speed of 60, covers the quarter-mile the quickest. The Audi does so in 13.8 seconds. Comparatively, BMW 330i and Mercedes-Benz C300 require 14.4 and 14.8 seconds, respectively for doing the same. The 330i delivers the best braking results, while the Mercedes-Benz C300 ends up stopping over a distance of 131 feet. 

2018 Lexus IS 300 Fuel Economy

7.3/10

While in the city, the 2018 Lexus IS 300 delivers 22 miles per gallon, while the sedan offers 32 MPG on highways. The result is a combined fuel economy figure of 26. The figure itself is impressive, although slightly less than that offered by its class rivals. The IS 300 also comes fitted with a 

Model

2018 Lexus IS300 AWD

2018 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro

2018 BMW 330i xDrive

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC

MPG (City)

22

24

23

24

MPG (Highway)

32

33

34

33

MPG (Combined)

26

27

27

27

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

17.4

15.3

15.8

17.4

Range (City/Hwy)

330 / 452

367 / 520

363 / 521

400 / 557


 

The Audi A4, BMW 330i, and the Mercedes-Benz C300, all boast a combined fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon. The A4 and the C300 offer the most city fuel economy of 24 MPG. On the highway, the BMW 330i shines, offering 34 miles to the gallon. The Lexus IS 300 comes close enough, but delivers smaller gas mileage figures than its competitors. The Lexus and the Mercedes-Benz come equipped with the largest fuel tanks measuring 17.4 gallons. Thanks to better mileage and a hearty gas tank, the Mercedes-Benz C300 offers the best range in the competition, taking you as far as 557 miles on the highway.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Interior

5.3/10

Like its competitors, the Lexus manages to accommodate up to 5 occupants at a time. The compact sedan offers 38.2 inches of front headroom, in addition to a super-spacious 44.8 inches of front legroom. The latter is, in fact, the maximum front legroom available in the competition. While the cabin is offered with high quality materials and good-to-touch trims, the overall interior design feels a bit dated. The driver is invited to comfortable, supportive front leather seats that are adjustable and come with heating capabilities.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan front seats

The steering wheel looks and feels a little outdated, but comes wrapped in leather, which is nice. It also hosts a wide variety of buttons and controls in a nifty, accessible fashion. As with every other Lexus product, the interior of the 2018 Lexus IS 300 feels very well put-together, and comes with excellent build quality.

Model

2018 Lexus IS300 AWD

2018 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro

2018 BMW 330i xDrive

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.2/55.9/44.8

38.9/55.9/41.3

40.3/55.1/42.0

37.1/55.3/41.7

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

36.9/53.4/32.2

37.4/54.5/35.7

37.7/55.1/35.1

37.1/55.5/35.2

At the front, the BMW 330i boasts the highest headroom, while the Audi A4 comes with the most shoulder space. The Lexus IS 300 offers the most legroom at the front. At the back, the most headroom is offered by the BMW 330i, while the Mercedes-Benz C300 comes with the most shoulder space. The Audi A4 has the most legroom to offer to the second-row passengers. Some key interior features offered with the 2018 Lexus IS 300 include:

  • Heated Front Bucket Seats.
  • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel.
  • Front and Rear Cupholders.
  • Dual-Zone Climate Control.
  • Illuminated Locking Glove Box.
  • NuLuxe Leatherette Seat Trim.
  • Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror.
  • Front And Rear Map Lights.
  • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets.
  • Air Filtration.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Infotainment

The 2018 Lexus IS 300 comes with a high-resolution, crisp 7.0-inch infotainment display. It is complemented by a premium 10-speaker stereo system, which really scales up the infotainment feel. The infotainment itself is easy to use, though it can be distracting at times. Probably the biggest issue with the infotainment system is the lack of support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Though there is a touchpad available, it is better to avoid using the same. A redeeming feature for the infotainment system is the GPS app, which offers detailed and precise turn-by-turn navigation directions.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan infotainment screen

Connectivity options are available in the form of AUX input, Bluetooth, and USB. Furthermore, voice support is also offered. Some key infotainment features offered with the 2018 Lexus IS 300 include:

  • 7-inch Infotainment Screen.
  • 10-Speaker Sound System.
  • SiriusXM Radio.
  • iTunes Tagging.
  • Bluetooth Audio Streaming. 
  • USB and Aux Support.
  • Speed Compensated Volume Control. 

2018 Lexus IS 300 Cargo Space

With 10.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity, the 2018 Lexus IS 300 has the least offering among its class rivals. However, it can be increased by means of the 60/40-split rear seats. Storage cubbies inside the cabin are just fine, thought. While there isn’t an incredible amount of practicality offered in the interior, the glove box, the armrest storage and the door bins do the job just fine. 

Model

2018 Lexus IS300 AWD

2018 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro

2018 BMW 330i xDrive

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC

Cargo Volume (Cubic Feet)

10.8

13.0

13.0

12.6

Audi A4 leads the pack with a maximum cargo capacity of 13 cubic feet. It is tied with the BMW 330i, which offers the equivalent capacity for holding freight.The Mercedes C300 offers the better maximum cargo capacity than the Lexus IS 300, of 12.6 cubic feet.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan interior image

2018 Lexus IS 300 Exterior

7.0/10

The 2018 Lexus IS 300 comes with compelling styling and a stance of a race-ready sports car. The proportions are classic sedan-like, while the font fascia boasts aggressive headlights and a sharp DRL strip. The pinched grille constantly reminds you of the build quality and reliability promise of a Lexus, and suits the IS 300 pretty well too.

2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan 

The IS 300 also features smooth creases and swooping lines, highlighting the elegance of the sedan’s ride. The rear end features sharp tail lights and a dual-exhaust setup, accentuating the sport-factor of the IS 300. 

Model

2018 Lexus IS300 AWD

2018 Audi A4 2.0 Quattro

2018 BMW 330i xDrive

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC

Curb weight (lbs.)

3583

3,582

3,541

3,583

Length(in)

184.3

186.1

182.8

184.5

Width(in)

71.3

72.5

71.3

71.3

Height(in)

56.3

56.2

56.3

57.0

Ground clearance (in)

5.3

5.7

5.5

4.1

Wheelbase (in)

110.2

110.0

110.6

111.8

While all the four sedans come really close, the BMW 330i boasts the lowest weight. The Audi A4 measures the longest of the four, while also having the greatest width. The Mercedes-Benz C300 measures the tallest, but offers the least ground clearance. The Audi A4 comes with the most ground clearance, being well suited for difficult roads. The Mercedes-Benz has the highest wheelbase, boasting a 111.8-inch figure, while the BMW 330i comes with the least. Some key exterior features offered with the 2018 Lexus IS 300 include:

  • 17-inch Alloy Wheels.
  • 225/45R17 All-Season Tires. 
  • Moonroof.
  • Front Fog Lamps. 
  • Adaptive Headlights. [Optional]
  • Automatic Wipers [Optional]
  • Full-Mesh Front Grille [Optional]
  • LED Headlights
  • Dual Exhaust Pipes. 
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan exterior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan exterior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan exterior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan exterior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan exterior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan exterior image
2018 Lexus IS 300 Sedan exterior image

2018 Lexus IS 300 Safety

8.2/10

Both IIHS and NHTSA ratings are available for the 2018 Lexus IS300 Sedan. The ride receives “Good” ratings for side and roof strength. The front crash prevention is awarded with a “Superior” rating, with headlights rated “Acceptable”. The 2018 IS300 has also been awarded a 5-Star overall rating by the NHTSA, which speaks volumes about the sedan’s safety merit. The IS300 Sedan comes with a plethora of safety and reliability features, including intuitive parking assist. Other noteworthy safety features include direct tire pressure monitor system and backup camera with dynamic gridlines. Major safety features offered with the 2018 Lexus IS 300 include:

  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect
  • Intuitive Parking Assist
  • ABS, ESP and Traction Control. 
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • 10-Airbag System
  • Backup Camera with Dynamic Gridlines
  • Direct Tire Pressure Monitor System

2018 Lexus IS 300 Competition

6.4/10

2018 Lexus Is 300 vs Audi A4 2.0 Quattro

A 2.0L Inline-4 engine is complemented by a 7-speed automatic transmission with the Audi A4. The robust engine generates 252 horsepower along with producing 273 lb.-ft. of torque. The A4 is the most expensive amongst its class rivals, with a price tag north of $44,000. The Audi A4 is a strong performer, which requires 5.7 seconds for accelerating to 60 MPH.

Audi A4 2.0 Quattro

The ride covers a quarter-mile in under 14 seconds, fastest in the competition. It offers an excellent combined fuel economy of 27 mpg and a league-leading ground clearance of 5.7 inches. Go for the Audi if you’re looking for a sportier sedan than the Lexus IS 300. 

2018 Lexus IS 300 vs BMW 330i xDrive

The BMW 330i is a proper driver’s car, offering outstanding driving dynamics. The BMW also comes with great infotainment technology, it offers a slightly more refined engine. While the Lexus offers better cruising comfort, the BMW can be pushed for better performance.

BMW 330i xDrive

The 330i also boasts more interior room and a better cabin overall. If you want a balanced cruising machine with the capability to attack canyon roads, the BMW 330i is a better choice. 

2018 Lexus IS 300 vs Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC

The Mercedes-Benz C300 comes with a long, comprehensive list of options to choose from. While the German carmaker offers smartly arranged packages, the list is confusing and expensive in case of the Lexus IS 300. The IS 300 offers a slightly more plush interior than the C300, but the latter certainly comes with advanced tech features. In terms of performance, the C300 triumphs over the Lexus by a small margin, but the cruising comfort offered by both sedans are at par with each other.

Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC

 

2018 Lexus IS 300 Final Verdict

The 2018 Lexus IS 300 is one of the best small luxury sedans available in the present-day market. The new iteration of the sedan enhances its overall feel and quality. While the IS 300 comes with a pocket-friendly price-tag, it can quickly escalate with adding optional upgrades. The Lexus lacks the performance-oriented dynamics offered by other competitors, but it offers a fantastic ride quality ideally suited for long drives. If slightly dated interior and the miniscule rear legroom don’t bother you, then the 2018 Lexus IS 300 offers an exciting alternative to the German luxury sedans.

Used Lexus IS 300 for Sale

Car Name Deals Starting Price Number of Listings
2021 Lexus IS 300 0 $38,000 1 Listings
2021 Lexus IS 300 1 $36,070 726 Listings
2020 Lexus IS 300 0 $37,481 23 Listings
2020 Lexus IS 300 1 $28,595 49 Listings
2020 Lexus IS 300 1 $32,763 18 Listings
2019 Lexus IS 300 0 $42,221 5 Listings
2019 Lexus IS 300 7 $23,994 187 Listings
2019 Lexus IS 300 0 $27,699 33 Listings
2018 Lexus IS 300 25 $22,598 470 Listings
2018 Lexus IS 300 3 $24,200 157 Listings
2017 Lexus IS 300 53 $16,890 699 Listings
2017 Lexus IS 300 3 $23,894 188 Listings
2016 Lexus IS 300 26 $16,787 289 Listings
2016 Lexus IS 300 2 $19,987 39 Listings
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