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Should You Buy? • Pros vs. Cons

Why Buy a 2016 Lexus IS?

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Why Buy a 2016 Lexus IS?

Should You Buy a 2016 Lexus IS? Here are the Pros and Cons

When the Lexus IS sedan was new in 2014, it carried over the base 2013 model powertrains. All else was new, even the updated equipment and features. In the initial two model years, what was offered in the Lexus were two V-6 engine alternatives, for the Lexus IS 250 sedan a 2.5-liter and for the IS 350a 3.5-liter. In both versions, automatic transmissions were available plus the optional AWD, with rear-drive coming standard.

The IS lineup for 2016 bids farewell to the IS 250 and ushers in two new IS models:
  • The turbocharged 4-cylinder IS 200t engine
  • The 3.5-liter V6 AWD IS 300/350.

Minor updates include the standard 18-inch wheels that come with the 2016 Lexus IS 350.

Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2016 Lexus IS – The Pros

1) Performance and Powertrains

Featured on the 2016 Lexus IS 200t is a rear-wheel drive plus a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine rated at 241 hp as well as torque at 258 pound-feet.

  • In an acceleration test by Edmunds, an IS 350 rear-wheel drive accelerated to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds.
  • The IS 350 car has an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Exclusively on the new 2016 IS 350 RWD F Sport, you will get a variable-ratio steering system plus the power tilt-wheel and telescoping steering.

2) Acceleration and Power

No matter the model you opt for, the 2016 Lexus IS will deliver satisfying power. Steeping on the pedal hard gives you satisfying and nice blast acceleration in no time.

  • The 8-speed automatic transmission of the car is quite suitable for the Lexus brand.
  • Both the3.5-liter V6 and the base 2.5-liter engines offer ample thrust power for passing and quickly merging.

3) Handling and Braking

Automotive journalists have liked the refined ride of the IS and note that it remains comfortable even when you are over rough road patches.

They have noted that:

  • It offers precise steering and dependable handling.
  • It stays flat and neutral even under cornering loads
  • The front ends have a feeling of being rather light and are fairly quick to turn in.

4) Lexus IS Interior/Cabin

Test drivers have given praise to the cabin of the 2016 Lexus IS for its upscale materials and handsome styling.

These include:

  • Appealing accents and standard leatherette upholstery
  • Impeccable detail fit-and-finish

Inside the car, every IS dashboard feature feels nicely assembled even for the base entry level, and a very premium feel for those equipped with additional/optional upgrades.

5) Interior Features

The instrument panel of the Lexus IS has a resemblance close to the Lexus GS sedan, being of one family.

  • The touch-sensitive and conventional switches are easy to use and locate.
  • Reviewers particularly like the friendly operation and familiarity of the infotainment system’s mouse-like controller.

6) Seating

The 2016 Lexus IS comes with leatherette upholstery and seats 5. According to reviewers, the majority are going to find the sedan’s front seats supportive and comfortable.

Highlights include:

  • All leather seats
  • Rear seats have sufficient space for three adults
  • Front passenger seat is comfortable
  • Rear legroom is at acceptable levels
  • Front heated and ventilated seats
  • Telescoping steering wheel and power tilt

Also available is an optional heated steering wheel.

7) Cargo Capacity

The 2016 Lexus IS comes with trunk space measuring 13.8 cubic feet, which is above what you will get in the majority of cars in that class.

  • The Sedan’s back seats will fold forward, increasing your cargo-carrying capacity.
  • Rear seatbacks will fold downwards to open up some extra cargo space.

8) Safety Ratings

The new generation 2016 Lexus IS 350 has not yet been fully subjected to IIHS crash tests.

  • An evaluation of the FCP system has awarded the 2016 model an “advanced” rating.
  • This FCP system rating has made the new IS 350 to be eligible for an overall Top Safety Pick Plus rating, subject to the IIHS small frontal overlap test pending outcome.

9) Driving Experiences

The 2016 IS’ well-tuned and precise steering enhances your confidence in all manner of situations, letting you have an enjoyable experience.

  • A driver-focused cockpit that is LFA-inspired gets you perfectly in the mood to simply blast off.
  • A quilted driver's seat provides decent lateral support and snug comfort.

10) Recalls and Reliability

The 2016 Lexus IS has not had safety associated recalls from the NHTSA. As of now, there is insufficient data on vehicle reliability.

  • The 2016 Lexus comes packaged with a 4-year basic warranty for 50,000-mile.
  • Powertrain 70,000-mile 6-year warranty.

Reasons Not to Buy a 2016 Lexus IS – The Cons

1) Remote Touch Interface

Perhaps the only real major foible with 2016 Lexus IS may be the navigation system’s mouse-like Remote Touch interface. Reviewers have noted that the cursor control is imprecise, especially when you are mobile.

  • It doesn’t make matters any better that the system comes with no hard ‘back’ buttons.
  • The icons have all been set in the same monotonous color.

2) Below Average Acceleration

The rear-wheel-drive IS 350 acceleration is technically somewhat below average when you consider that this is a small luxury sedan coming with a new and upgraded engine. Additionally, the sport-tuned suspension of the F Sport can at times seem overly firm.

3) Using the Joystick Controller

According to auto critics, using the infotainment’s joystick controller as you move through the system’s menu is a drag as the selector tends to bounce all over the entire screen. Most reviewers think it is difficult to manipulate the mouse-like joystick for infotainment functions and navigation.

How It Stacks Up To The Competition:

Automotive reviewers have compared the 2016 Lexus IS against the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the 2015 Lexus RC.

  • The MRSP for the 2016 Lexus ($37,325) is lower than both the Lexus RC ($42,790) and the Benz C-Class ($38,950)
  • The performance rating for the Lexus IS stands at par with that of the Lexus RC at 8.3, higher than that of the Benz at 8.2
  • Safety rating is at 9.6 higher than the 8.9 for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class but slightly lower than the 10.0 for the RC.
  • Rating for the interior at 8.3 is higher than that the 7.7 for the RC, but lower than the Merc’s 8.9
  • Passenger Volume (cu. ft.) for the 2016 Lexus at 90.2 is higher than both the Mercedes (88.2) and the Lexus RC (82)
  • The Trunk Volume (cu. ft.) is also higher (13.8) when compared against the Lexus RC (10.4) and the Mercedes (12.6)
Overall rating for the 2016 Lexus (8.5) compares favorably with the Mercedes (8.8) and the 2015 Lexus RC (8.9)


The new 2016 Lexus IS comes in 3 models: IS 350, IS 300 and the IS 200t. With only a couple of exceptions, the equipment is largely similar from one model to the other. However, the 2016 Lexus IS 350 is entering the 2016 model year a clear winner.

If you are looking for a highly-styled compact and modern premium sports sedan, then you should think of the 2016 IS 350 as a worthwhile option in this popular car segment.
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