The 2021 Lexus IS just made its official debut as the luxury brand’s latest sports sedan.
The new IS makes its presence known thanks to revised styling highlighted by sharp headlamps and a large spindle grille treatment. Five new paint colors join the lineup. Extra visual punch can be had with the F Sport, which adopts new bumpers and functional aero.
The 2021 Lexus IS also equips 18-inch wheels as standard, but 19s are optional. The latest 2021 model year sedan is physically larger than the previous model year in terms of overall length, width, and height, though only slightly. The wheelbase remains the same at 110.2 inches.
The 2021 Lexus IS equips the same powertrain and drivetrain as the outgoing model, albeit with a few updates. Buyers can select between a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder, which produces 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, or a 3.5L V6 engine, which produces 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Both RWD and AWD or available, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission and six-speed automatic transmission. The quickest configuration yields a sprint to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
Under the skin is revised suspension and a more rigid body, with the optional Dynamic Handling Package and Adaptive Variable Suspension adding even more punch in the corners.
The 2021 Lexus IS cabin gets a standard 10-way adjustable power driver seat, as well as standard dual-zone automatic climate control and touch-sensitive inputs. An 8-inch infotainment screen is also standard, while a 10.3-inch touchscreen is optional. Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 is standard, adding a bevy of safety tech features.
The 2021 Lexus IS will arrive in dealers later this fall. When it does, it’ll square off against the Cadillac CT5 in terms of pricing. However, while the D segment has gotten bigger over time, the IS remains relatively small, slotting more comfortably into the C segment that’s the domain of the Cadillac CT4.