2020 Lexus IS 350

2020 IS 350 Photos
Serving for two decades as the smallest Lexus sedan, the compact 2020 Lexus IS continues as the brand's entry-level model. The IS is less compelling compared to the competition compared to its early years, yet the current model promises decent value strong available V-6 engines as an alternative to the turbo-4.

Last redesigned as a 2017 model, the IS 300 and IS 350 largely carry over into the 2020 model year, except for addition of a limited-production F Sport Blackline Special Edition. Only 900 will be produced, available with any IS model. Black trim replaces some of the customary chrome, including a blacked-out grille and wheels, complemented by black synthetic leather inside.

Both IS 300 and IS 350 configurations are available, with each available with an F Sport variant. Among other features, the F Sport versions substitute adaptive dampers that help smooth the ride on choppy pavement, while restricting body lean in corners.

Model nomenclature is a bit confusing. The base IS 300 sedan makes use of a 2.0-liter turbo-4, engine yielding 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels. With all-wheel drive selected, the IS 300 substitutes in a 3.5-liter V-6 with 260 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque paired with a 6-speed automatic.

For additional vigor when accelerating, the IS 350 adopts a more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 311 hp and 280 lb-ft. The all-wheel-drive version uses a 6-speed automatic, but the rear-drive IS 350 gets an 8-speed transmission.

A console knob selects Comfort, Sport, and Eco modes. Each F Sport version adds a sharper Sport+ mode. A limited-slip differential is available, for even sharper roadholding.

Considering their modest power outputs, no IS engine is particularly thrifty, falling well short of rivals. The IS 300 with the turbo-4 is EPA-rated at 21 mpg city, 30 highway, and 24 combined. It gets 18/24/21 mpg with AWD and the V-6. Producing greater power, the IS 350 is rated at 20/28/23 mpg with RWD, or 19/26/21 mpg with AWD. Every Lexus IS uses premium gasoline.

Mostly good crash test ratings and a welcome array of collision-avoidance technology combine to make the IS a reasonably strong safety choice.

The NHTSA gave the IS a five-star overall safety rating, while it earned the top score of 'Good'? in each IIHS crash test. However, it hasn't yet been put through the challenging passenger-side small-overlap test. Headlights were judged “Acceptable,” while frontal crash prevention was rated “Superior.”

A number of active safety features that are optional on some rivals come standard on the IS, including automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, active lane control, lane-departure warnings, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert are optional.
Full Review

Serving for two decades as the smallest Lexus sedan, the compact 2020 Lexus IS continues as the brand's entry-level model. The IS is less compelling compared to the competition compared to its early years, yet the current model promises decent value strong available V-6 engines as an alternative to the turbo-4.

Last redesigned as a 2017 model, the IS 300 and IS 350 largely carry over into the 2020 model year, except for addition of a limited-production F Sport Blackline Special Edition. Only 900 will be produced, available with any IS model. Black trim replaces some of the customary chrome, including a blacked-out grille and wheels, complemented by black synthetic leather inside.

Both IS 300 and IS 350 configurations are available, with each available with an F Sport variant. Among other features, the F Sport versions substitute adaptive dampers that help smooth the ride on choppy pavement, while restricting body lean in corners.

Model nomenclature is a bit confusing. The base IS 300 sedan makes use of a 2.0-liter turbo-4, engine yielding 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels. With all-wheel drive selected, the IS 300 substitutes in a 3.5-liter V-6 with 260 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque paired with a 6-speed automatic.

For additional vigor when accelerating, the IS 350 adopts a more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 311 hp and 280 lb-ft. The all-wheel-drive version uses a 6-speed automatic, but the rear-drive IS 350 gets an 8-speed transmission.

A console knob selects Comfort, Sport, and Eco modes. Each F Sport version adds a sharper Sport+ mode. A limited-slip differential is available, for even sharper roadholding.

Considering their modest power outputs, no IS engine is particularly thrifty, falling well short of rivals. The IS 300 with the turbo-4 is EPA-rated at 21 mpg city, 30 highway, and 24 combined. It gets 18/24/21 mpg with AWD and the V-6. Producing greater power, the IS 350 is rated at 20/28/23 mpg with RWD, or 19/26/21 mpg with AWD. Every Lexus IS uses premium gasoline.

Mostly good crash test ratings and a welcome array of collision-avoidance technology combine to make the IS a reasonably strong safety choice.

The NHTSA gave the IS a five-star overall safety rating, while it earned the top score of 'Good'? in each IIHS crash test. However, it hasn't yet been put through the challenging passenger-side small-overlap test. Headlights were judged “Acceptable,” while frontal crash prevention was rated “Superior.”

A number of active safety features that are optional on some rivals come standard on the IS, including automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, active lane control, lane-departure warnings, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert are optional.
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Retail Price

$42,180 - $44,345 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

NA Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
Engine 3.5L V-6
MPG 20 City / 28 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 8-spd auto w/OD
Power 311 @ 6600 rpm
Drivetrain rear-wheel
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