2020 Lexus IS 300 Review: Dynamic Range

Lionel Kong

Rivals and Conclusion

Perhaps the biggest hurdle for the IS 300 at the moment is that sedans are currently not trending, in the face of the very popular crossover and SUV craze. However, as rivals go, it’s priced within shouting distance of both the BMW 318i and Mercedes-Benz C 180, both which have nearly 100 horsepower less under the hood. So if you’re the type looking for pure firepower that at least looks like pretty good value. 

As far as the ownership experience goes though, Lexus owners will attest to the fact that the cars have a unique ‘Japanese-ness’ to them, with a level of craftsmanship and quality you would typically expect from a five-star Japanese hotel. But there’s no escaping the fact that for a certain audience the IS 300 lacks the Apple-like high techniness of its continental rivals, which could be an immediate deal-breaker for some shoppers. 

But make no mistake, beneath the plush cabin, swathes of supple leather, and well-insulated engine is a chassis that has been honed like the keen edge of a samurai sword.

Lexus IS 300

Engine1,998cc, in-line 4, turbocharged
Power244hp at 5800rpm
Torque350Nm at 1650-4400rpm
Gearbox8-speed automatic
0-100km/h7.0 seconds
Top Speed230km/h
VES Band / CO2 C2 / 191g/km
Fuel Efficiency8.4L/100km
AgentBorneo Motors
PriceS$198,800 with COE
VerdictStill a sports sedan with a Japanese vibe at heart, though the radically different approach from continental rivals will continue to polarise opinion

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IS 300 Lexus sports sedan

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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