The 2023 Lexus IS sport-luxury sedan is now inching closer to the sportier side of the equation with the new Lexus Driving Signature philosophy. Introduced in 2021 with the heavily re-engineered IS, the existing third-generation variant also got an IS 500 model with a naturally-aspirated V8 engine in 2022. The comprehensive redesign and revamped underpinnings have made the new IS a genuine driver’s car, and Lexus made it more interesting by introducing a host of changes for 2023.
2023 Lexus IS: What’s New?
Let’s start with the V8-powered IS 500 F Sport, which now comes standard with updated 19-inch Enkei wheels in a dark finish. On the other hand, 19-inch matte black BBS wheels remain optional for the IS 500 F Sport and F Sport Premium. The IS 500 F Sport Premium now gets a Special Appearance Package that includes 19-inch BBS forged alloy wheels, Molten Pearl paint, a black NuLuxe interior, and color-matching floor liners. The Special Appearance Package in the Lexus IS 500 F Sport is limited to 150 units and should arrive at U.S. dealerships in the fall of 2022.
Meanwhile, the IS 350 F Sport remains available in RWD or AWD. The new Handling Package includes an adaptive variable suspension, sportier driving modes, unique 19-inch wheels, and a Torsen limited-slip differential (LSD) for RWD variants. Moreover, the IS 350 F Sport receives a Special Appearance Package for 2023. The package includes Incognito paint, a black hood and roof, 19-inch Enkei alloy wheels, and a black NuLuxe interior. The IS 350 F Sport with the Special Appearance Package is limited to 480 units and will go on sale this fall.
The base Lexus IS 300 RWD has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and an eight-speed automatic that generates 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. However, the IS 300 AWD has a 3.5-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic, pumping out 260 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque. Lexus claims the electronically controlled AWD system varies the torque distribution between the front and rear axle from 30:70 on dry roads to 50:50 when the going gets hot.
The IS 350 has a higher-output 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque. The RWD model has an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the all-wheel drive variant gets a six-speed automatic. The IS 350 RWD goes from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while the AWD does the same in 5.7 ticks.
The range-topping IS 500 F Sport, our pick in the 2023 Lexus IS lineup, has a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine under the hood, good for 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft. of torque. The IS 500 comes exclusively with a rear-wheel drivetrain and an eight-speed direct-shift automatic.
Luxurious Cabin With a Sporting Twist
Standard in the 2023 Lexus IS is a 10-way power driver’s seat, an eight-way power-operated passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium NuLuxe upholstery, and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen. The bigger 10.3-inch screen features standard navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and is available with the Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package. Additionally, F Sport variants feature custom door trims, black and chrome ornaments, and a solid or two-tone interior.
Lexus Safety System+ 2.5
Every 2023 Lexus IS comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ 2.5, a comprehensive package of advanced driving aids. It includes frontal collision warning, automatic emergency braking, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, emergency steering assist, lane departure warning, lane tracing assist, intelligent high beams, and road sign assist.
The new Lexus IS has a four-year, 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain warranty. There are options available to extend the factory warranty. Before you decide, see this helpful guide first.
2023 Lexus IS: Pricing & Availability
The 2023 Lexus IS will go on sale in fall 2022 with a starting MSRP of $40,585 for the IS 300 RWD, $44,910 for the IS 350 F Sport, and $58,270 for the IS 500 F Sport. All the MSRP figures are inclusive of the $1,150 delivery fee. The new Lexus IS is available in up to 10 paint colors, including Ultra White, Atomic Silver, Iridium, Caviar, Grecian Water, Cloudburst Gray, and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0, to name a few.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.