2018 Lexus IS300: Awesome, or Just Expensive? [Video]

Sarah is back with another review, this time of the 2018 Lexus IS300 AWD. This one, as tested, has a sticker price of $47,289 which begs the question: Is it really awesome or really expensive?


Styling is always subjective. However, this Lexus IS300 seems to be quite controversial. Sarah doesn’t mind the wide grill and aggressive front fascia. But the ‘melty’ grill may also contribute to the negative opinions on this car’s styling. The back end of the car does not garner such rave reviews. While the lights are edgier, we wish that Lexus took some notes from the original IS300’s ‘Altezza’ tail lights.


2018 Lexus IS300
[Photo: Lexus]
Being a Lexus, the IS300 certainly feels luxurious. We particularly liked the location of the infotainment display, noting that it was at a great position to see while you are driving. However, the small shelf that sits just below that display was a bit puzzling. The biggest negative about the interior was possibly the strange trackpad that Lexus has to interact with the infotainment. It is hard to use and Sarah questions how well it will age. The other downside to the IS300’s interior is the lack of rear legroom. Sarah is not a short person, at 5’11”, and the IS300’s interior was small enough that she had a really hard time sitting in the back seat with the front seat positioned where she would be driving. In short: tall people will find it cramped.

Driving Experience

2018 Lexus IS300
[Photo: Lexus]
Sarah took the 2018 Lexus IS300 into the roads around Mt. Lemon, near Tuscon, Arizona to see how the car felt on the road. The 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 produces 260 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. It is the same engine from the IS350, but Lexus has de-tuned it for the IS 300.

While the the 2018 Lexus IS isn’t out-and-out ‘fast’, she did commend its midrange punch. However, the IS300 felt a bit pokey on twisty mountain roads. It seems the IS300 is better suited for cruising than it is tearing up a back road. Fuel economy isn’t too great, either – EPA figures peg the 2018 Lexus IS300 AWD at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined MPG.

Awesome, or Just Expensive?

The 2018 Lexus IS300 is comfortable and luxurious, but its performance doesn’t really back up its aggressive styling. Even though it’s not a top-notch performer, is it still worth the buy? Check out the video below to find out! Come back to TFLcar.com for more news, views and real-world reviews just like this one. Subscribe to TFLcar and TFLnow in more videos published throughout the week.