2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan

2020 MODEL
$41,755 - $43,805
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6.3

Overall Rating

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2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 10, 2020
Tijo Tenson's image

Tijo Tenson

Content Writer

Lexus is Toyota’s offering to take on the dominant luxury automakers of the west. Lexus relies on sharp lines and sporty stance to stand apart from its fellow luxury competitors. Lexus is also one of the few manufacturers which builds cars which are utterly fun to drive and at the same luxurious as well.

See detailed review »

Pros

Handling at its best

Striking Design

Feature-rich interior

Cons

Uninspiring V6

Cramped Second Row seats

No Apple Carplay or Android Auto

What's New?

Updated Infotainment System

Refreshed aesthetics


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$41755

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

143 mph

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

241 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

258 lbs.-ft. @ 1650 rpm

transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

brake rotors (f/r)

13.2/13.2

dimensions

wheelbase

110.2 in.

length

184.3 in.

width

71.3 in.

height

56.3 in.

curb weight

3583 lbs.

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 ¼-mile

13.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

19/26/21 mpg

highway range

452.4 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr. /50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Interior video
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Review video

Styles

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan in Atomic Silver color 2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan in Caviar color 2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan in Eminent White Pearl color 2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan in Nightfall Mica color 2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan in Redline 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

Features

6.0

Engine And Performance

6.0

Fuel Economy

5.0

Interior

6.5

Exterior

6.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

7.0

6.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Base

Base

power
260 hp @ 3600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
21 combined

$41,755 - $43,805


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $41,755 MSRP (19/21/26) 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 5
4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $43,805 MSRP (19/21/26) 260 hp @ 3600 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, premium unleaded (required)
6-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

6.3

Overall Rating


Lexus has been trying hard from the beginning to play catch up with all the dominant players in the luxury segment. The IS300 F Sport is Lexus’s player in the compact luxury sedan segment with a tinge of sportiness. It is powered by two sets of engines with a marginal power gap. The design is striking, to say the least, and is predominant with sharp lines. Design has always been an integral part of Lexus. With the IS 300 F Sport, Lexus has managed to build a sporty luxury sedan.

It has a host of safety and creature comfort features which makes it a luxurious place to be in. With a tempting price of $38560, the Lexus tips in a very tempting deal. But as this is a very competitive segment, only a proper competition would show the dominant one.

2020 Lexus IS300 F Sport front view
2020 Lexus IS300 F Sport rear view

6.0/10
Features

 

6.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

5.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.5/10
Interior

 

6.0/10
Exterior

 

8.0/10
Safety

 

7.0/10
Competition

 
 

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Features

6.0/10

The 2020 Lexus IS300 is available in two exclusive trims: F SPORT and the limited edition F Sport Black Line trim. These are again subdivided into four, two under each with two different engines and powertrains. With rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configuration and 2L inline-four and 3.5L V6 engine options, the IS300 F Sport has a variety of options to choose from.

The F Sport Trim is loaded with all the latest features and the F SPORT focuses on the handling aspect with a tuned suspension setup with complementing high-performance brake pads.

The Black Line trim has added aesthetical upgrades that differentiate it from the base trim. It is only limited to 900 units in the US.

Trims

F Sport

F Sport Black Line

MSRP (RWD)

$41,775

$45,200

MSRP (AWD) $43,805 $47,250

Key Features

Paddle-Shift Transmission

All the features in F Sport added and :

 

Triple-Beam Headlamps

Black Interior Upholstery

 

10.3-inch multimedia Display

Black Vapour Chrome finish on front grille and mirror caps

 

Performance Driving Modes

Wood Trim on Steering Wheel

 

Lexus ENFORM comfort kit

 
 

G-force and Turbo Boost Displays

 
 

Homelink System

 
 

18-inch F SPORT Split 5-spoke wheels

 
 

Custom Driving Mode

 
 

F SPORT Tuned Suspension

 
 

High Friction Brake Pads

 

Along with the various trims options, an array of optional packages are also available. These packages mostly focus on creature comforts. 

Various Add-On packages available:

Package Name

Navigation 

Mark Levinson Premium Audio

MSRP

$1745

$2845

Features

Navigation System with 10.3-inch Split-screen Multimedia Display

All the Features in Navigation Package and:

 

Lexus Enform Destination Assist

Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System

 

Lexus Enform App Suite

 
 

Remote Touch

 

Which 2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport trim should you go for?

We would recommend the F Sport RWD variant with the humble 2L inline 4 engine producing 241 horses. The more powerful AWD variant is not sensible as the slight increase in power is coupled with added curb weight and reduced fuel economy. So the base variant is light on the pocket and not any less fun to drive thus justifying the price tag.

Moreover the limited edition Black Line trim only has aesthetic upgrades both inside out, and there are only 900 units available for sale. The added features don’t justify the added premium.

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Engine and Performance

6.0/10

The IS 300 F Sport has a multitude of configuration, with engine choices of either a 2L inline 4 or a 3.5L V6 along with an All or Rear Wheel Drive Configuration. The power band ranges from 241 to 260 horses. 

2020 Lexus IS300 F Sport powered by 2.0Liter inline 4 engine

The Lexus is powered by two engine setups: A 2L inline 4 which powers the Rear-wheel driven variants and the slightly more powerful 3.6L V6 powering the All-wheel drive variants. The 2L produces 241hp and 258lb-ft of torque which is pretty decent as the IS300 was made as an entry-level luxury sedan. The power figures are way above average. But the 3.5L V6 produces just 260hp and 236lb-ft of torque. With an increase of 19hp, we wonder why Lexus even went on to put up with the V6. The 3.6L V6 with a few tweaks would have made much more power and sense!

Models

Lexus IS 300 F Sport 

BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

Mercedes Benz C-Class C 300

Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

MSRP

$41,755

$44,750

$41,400

$42,900

Engine

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

Drivetrain RWD RWD RWD FWD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

9-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

Power

241hp@5,800rpm

248hp@5,200rpm

255hp@5,800rpm

250hp@5,500rpm

Torque

258lb-ft@1,650rpm

258lb-ft@1,450rpm

273lb-ft@1,800rpm

258lb-ft@1,500rpm

All of the cars are powered by a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four engine, in varying state of tune. Merc is the most powerful of the lot with 255 horses. Lexus comes in at last with 241 horses. 

How quickly does it pull off the line?

The 2L 4 cylinder pot helps propel the Lexus from standstill to sixty in 6.9 seconds. The power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed sequential shift transmission with manual override. It is not a part of the rat race rather is a calm and linear mover.

2020 Lexus IS300 F Sport Acceleration

The main highlight of the V6 power plant surfaces only when coupled with the All-Wheel Drive which gives it an edge over the Rear Wheel Drive variant. The added advantage is increased cornering grip and increase in the driving dynamics which makes it better at being driven.

Models

Lexus IS 300 F Sport 

BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

Mercedes Benz C-Class C 300

Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

0-60 MPH

6.9 sec

5.5 sec

5.6 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3* sec

14.3 sec

14.1 sec

14.3 sec

Top Speed 143 MPH 130 MPH 130 MPH 155 MPH

Engine

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

Mercedes once again tops the list because it is the most powerful of the lot. Another crucial pointer is the fact that it is also the lightest of the lot. This enables it to sprint much quicker.

How well does the 2020 Lexus drive?

The underwhelming performance of the Lexus is contradicted by its precise and connected handling. The ride instills confidence with an ample amount of stability. The steering is crisp and gives good feedback on straights, but feels disconnected at curves. With the upgraded dampers, cornering has vastly improved when compared to the Basic IS 300.

Then IS300 F Sport comes with four distinctive drive modes. The Eco mode synchronizes the engine to provide a linear ride and being efficient. Comfort and Normal modes relaxes the transmission and suspension of the car for a more composed and relaxed ride. And the Sport mode flexes its muscles for performance with instant throttle response and tighter steering. The Sport+ mode pumps the Lexus with steroids! The ride becomes serious with adaptive dampers and a limited-slip differential and makes its presence felt with a throaty exhaust note.

How good are the brakes on the 2020 Lexus?

The brakes on this car are at most moderate. It isn't the most confidence-inspiring one as the pedal is short and stiff. The front brakes are 13.1 inches and the rear ones are 12.2 inches in diameter 

2020 Lexus IS300 F Sport Disc Brake

The high friction brake pads used in the F Sport trim only gives it much better braking power. It would have been a wholesome package if Lexus had worked on the brake modulation and feel.

Models

Lexus IS 300 F Sport 

BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

Mercedes Benz C-Class C 300

Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

Brake Rotors Front

13.1"

13.0"

13.0"

11.8"

Brake Rotors Rear

12.2"

11.8"

11.8"

11.9"

Curb Weight

3583 lbs

3680 lbs

3472 lbs

3657 lbs

60-0 MPH

N/A

162 ft

N/A

N/A

The use of high friction brakes surely gives the IS 300 F Sport an edge over the others. But as much data isn’t available at the moment we will not be able to give a clear cut view on how the brakes fair against the lot. In terms of size, Lexus has the largest rotors of the lot.

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Fuel Economy

5.0/10

The Lexus is rated at 21MPG in the city and 30MPG on the highway. These are pretty good numbers for a compact sedan. As both the engines available on the Lexus are not stressed to its maximum, a moderate fuel economy range is achieved.

The engines used in the IS 300 F Sport is not refined to the brim. This is evident from the varying figures when compared to the competition. Lexus has the least efficiency figures, in spite of having the least powerful engine of the lot.

Models

Lexus IS 300 F Sport 

BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

Mercedes Benz C-Class C 300

Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

MPG (City)

21

23

24

23

MPG (Highway)

30

34

35

34

MPG (Combined)

24

27

28

27

Fuel Capacity

17.4 gallons

15.8 gallons

17.4 gallons

14.5 gallons

Range

(City/Hwy/Combined)

365/522/417 miles

363/537/426 miles

418/609/487 miles

334/493/391 miles

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15k mi/yr)

7.4

6.6

6.3

6.5

The Germans outclass Lexus here. Mercedes Benz tops the list with a combined 28 miles to the gallon. The Bimmer and Volvo tie in at 27 MPG. 

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Interior

6.5/10

The interior of Lexus IS300 F Sport completely contradicts its exterior design statement. It is a no-nonsense, simple and well laid out setup which makes it less cumbersome. It gets an all-black treatment by highlighting blue stitching. 

Lexus has made its interior at par with its German brothers in luxury. The cockpit is well laid out with all of the controls in the vicinity of the driver. The LFA inspired instrument cluster helps in simple readouts. All the seats are comfortable and are low to facilitate tall drivers as well. The quality of the interior shouts LUXURY. The steering has a wooden trim on it. Kudos to Lexus for trying to pull this off in 2020 where Alcantara and Carbon fiber trims define sportiness.

2020 Lexus IS300 F Sport seaitng and comfort

The numbers don't speak up for the seating arrangements. More focus has been given for the headroom and legroom but the cabin isn’t roomy. The second-row seats are cramped with limited headroom.

Models

Lexus IS 300 F Sport 

BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

Mercedes Benz C-Class C 300

Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

Seating Capacity 5 5 5 5

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

38.2/55.9/44.8

39.9/54.8/42.2

37.1/55.3/41.7

37.4/56.1/42.3

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

36.9/53.4/32.2

36.9/54.3/33.7

37.1/55.0/35.2

37.2/54.5/35.2

Volvo provides the most spacious seating of the lot. This is because it utilizes is the widest car of the lot. The rear seats also are the comfiest of the lot. 

What are the infotainment Offerings?

The infotainment system on the Lexus has been improved and now flaunts a 10.3-inch split-screen display. It comes with the Lexus Enform app suite ensures passenger safety in case of mishaps and also seamlessly keeps the car connected with a central agency. A class-exclusive Scout GPS Link navigation system is also included. It also helps connect smartwatches and smartphones and interacting with it seamlessly over Alexa or Google’s assistant.

The infotainment system on the 2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport has been improved

A universal Center console controller serves as a remote for literally all the controls in the car, ranging from the drive mode selection to the infotainment. 

But ironically this universal feature makes it very complicated as well. Android Auto and Apple Carplay are still a missing feature.

Infotainment features

  • 10.3-inch multimedia Display
  • Mark Levinson Surround Sound System
  • 15-Speaker 835 W set
  • Navigation System preloaded
  • Voice-Enabled

How much cargo can it take?

Lexus has 10.8 cubic feet of cargo volume which is a very big downside. This volume deficiency is mostly directed to its steep rear three-quarter design. With such poor space management, the Lexus is surely a no-go for weekends.

Lexus IS 300 F Sport has 10.8 cubic feet of cargo volume which is a very big downside

Lexus makes up for the low storage capacity with added cubby holes in the cabin and nest in the trunk to store small items.

Models

Lexus IS 300 F Sport 

BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

Mercedes Benz C-Class C 300

Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

Cargo Capacity

10.8 cu.ft.

14.0 cu.ft.

12.6 cu.ft.

11.6 cu.ft.

Bimmer has the most cargo volume of the lot and that is owing to its longer length with smart placement of seats which helps to extract more cargo space. Mercedes Benz comes in next with 12.6 cubic feet. Volvo offers just 1 Cubic feet more than the Lexus.

Interior Features

  • Heated And Ventilated Front Seats
  • Leather-Trimmed Steering Wheel and Shift Knob
  • Nuluxe Interior Trim
  • Dual Zone Climate Control
  • Power Rear Sunshade
  • F Sport Logo on Steering Wheel and Shift knob
  • Aluminum Pedals
  • Remote engine start-up support through Alexa or Google Assistant

 

2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Steering wheel
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Power Window Switch
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Interior
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Interior
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Rear Seats
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Exterior

6.0/10

Lexus has always been about sharp lines and big grills. The IS300 F Sport is nothing different. It embraces the bold styling with luxury and manages to keep it subtle as well. LED Headlamps and taillights complement the street presence of the Lexus.

Lexus has always gone all out with their styling. With sharp lines and the huge spindle grille, it embraces it all. The design makes this Lexus stand out of the crowd without going too over the top. Even with all the crazy lines it still manages to keep it luxurious.

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Exterior Design

A wide array of colors are available, seven to be precise. It includes two shades of black, two shades of white, two shades of silver and an eye-catchy redline to top it all. There are four types of rims available as well.

Models

Lexus IS 300 F Sport 

BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

Mercedes Benz C-Class C 300

Volvo S60 T5 Inscription

Curb Weight

3583 lbs

3680 lbs

3472 lbs

3657 lbs

Length

184.3"

182.7"

184.5"

187.4"

Width

71.3"

71.9"

71.3"

80.3"

Height

56.3"

54,7"

56.3"

56.6"

Ground Clearance

5.3"

5.1"

3.8"

5.8"

Wheelbase

110.2"

110.6"

111.8"

113.1"

F Sport trims offer a few bonus items over the basic IS 300. It flaunts an exclusive exterior color -Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 which isn’t much of a change but, exclusivity does count. The front grille and rims are finished in black vapor chrome, which was present in the 2019 F Sport line up.

In terms of sheer dimensions, Volvo triumphs here. It is also the widest car of the lot.

Exterior Features

  • Triple Beam LED Headlamps
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System
  • Exclusive paint job
  • 18 inch split five-spoke alloy wheels
  • Spindle Front Grille
  • Black chrome highlights
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Front View
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Grill
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Head Lights
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan
2020 Lexus IS 300 Sedan Exterior
2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Safety

8.0/10

The Lexus has a strong point and its the safety features available in it. A host of safety features are available from the bottom up in the Lexus Safety System+ pack. Apart from that, the IS300 also fares well in the NHTSA and IIHS ratings. A list of active and passive safety features is available on the Lexus which makes it a sweet place to be in.

There are no new added features for the F Sport trims. All of the features are carried forward from the basic IS 300 trims.

Safety Features

  • Pre-Collision System With Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Intelligent High Beams
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect
  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management(VDIM)

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Competition

7.0/10

Lexus IS 300 F Sport vs BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

The bimmer is priced higher than the Lexus at $44750. The hatchback body style of the 4-Series makes it easy to load and unload cargo. Lexus provides a better ride quality with a well-isolated cabin. If we take into account the whole picture, Lexus IS 300 F Sport provides a better value for money with the added benefits of adaptable dampers and performance brakes to strengthen its hold. And being a Lexus, reliability is the last thing which you should worry about. If you are on a tight budget then Lexus would pitch in perfectly for you, but if you can stretch it to about $45k, then you will be more than satisfied with the Bimmer. 

2020 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 430i

Lexus IS 300 F Sport vs Mercedes Benz C Class C300

Mercedes C-Class C300 has one of the best-specced interiors in the small luxury sedan category. The new overhauled design for 2020 is an eye-catcher. The only downside in the Merc is the clumsy infotainment interface which is rather clumsy to use. It is also the most powerful of the lot which puts the C 300 in a whole different territory. It also offers a better and well-sorted feature list than the IS 300 F Sport. All of these features for $355 less than the Lexus is a deal that we can never resist and neither should you. 

2020 Mercedes Benz C Class C300

Lexus IS 300 F Sport vs Volvo S60

Volvos are known to make the safest cars in the automotive industry. It is priced higher than the Lexus at $42900 but has the perfect feature list to back the premium. The seats are comfortable and spacious in the lot. The amount of comfort offered outweighs the competition by a huge margin. The driving aids help you maneuver the large sedan with ease. It has more power than the Jap and handles better. All in all, it is the better car of the lot and we would happily invest our money on the tank.

2020 Volvo S60

2020 Lexus IS 300 F Sport Sedan Final Verdict

The Lexus IS300 is a decent car in all but it doesn't stand a chance against its updated and superior competition. It sure does mark its territory with bold and futuristic design. But the lack of optimized interior space and a very lackluster engine gives it away.

It scores poorly in practicality with the least cargo space. There are much better options now in the market which provides the best value for money propositions. The 2020 Volvo S60 is a much better offering of the lot and provides more in every aspect. For a premium of $1145, it is surely a bargain for the innumerable features on offer and is our wholesome entry-level luxury sedan.