Lexus IS 300 Luxury 2021 Review

Lexus IS 300 Luxury Taken for a road trip

Lexus IS 300 Luxury, Lexus has updated its popular IS range model in 2020 and included a 300 Luxury model which we drove.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury exterior front quarterWith the increasing demand for SUV s in Australia, cars like the Lexus IS 300 are often overlooked which is a shame as it’s a pretty good car.

Five ‘Lexus firsts’ in Australia become standard on all grades, including:

  • intersection turning assist,
  • emergency steering assist,
  • automated collision notification,
  • SOS call and
  • Stolen vehicle tracking.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury exterior Profile

Lexus IS 300 Luxury External

The overall look has a low and wide stance, with sleek styling, almost coupe like, slimmer headlights and a lower, sharper side character line that enhances the sleek profile.

In Lexus own words – Gently sloped rear-quarter pillars, which help form a sleek cabin silhouette that wraps around from the sides, contrast with muscular rear guards to create a fast and aggressive look. New 18 inch alloys are better.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury wheels

At the rear the most noticeable design feature are the single-blade rear combination lights sporting an “L” motif and a sharper overall contour created by the character line around the boot lid.

Overall it’s actually a good looking sedan

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury interior

What is the Lexus IS 300 Luxury like inside?

Very comfortable and cocoons the driver. The ventilated leather seats fitted my bearish frame with ease and you seem to relax into the car.

Once seated the leather steering wheel frames the instrument binnacle perfectly. Instruments are clear and easy to read.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury instrument binnacle

Finally Lexus has replaced that antiquated foot brake with an electric brake. Happy Days

The centre console area is well laid out but I’m definitely not a fan of the scratch/mouse pad concept. It’s something Lexus has persevered with when a simply multi-function knob is easier to use.

The centre console bin is well padded for elbows, but is small, as well as having two USB ports, 12V and 3.5m plug.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury central tunnel

I do like the ease of use of the transmission lever and the digital clock adds a nice touch. Surprisingly there is still an optical drive for CDs.

Lexus now has a 10.3 inch touch screen, semi integrated, and improved connectivity for smart phones. I like the split screen functionality.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury rear seats

Rear seats are a little tight, as are all sedans in this size, but again very comfortable for two occupants. Access is a little restricted by the curved ‘C’ pillar. Rear air vents allow good air flow.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury boot

The boot is actually reasonably large.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury screen

Lexus IS 300 Luxury Features

With the upgrade, Lexus has increased the level of standard features to include 18-inch alloy wheels (replacing 17-inch), an electric park brake (replacing foot-operated), new 10.3-inch touch-display with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™.

This is an addition to smart entry and start, heated and 8-way power adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker audio, DAB+, satellite navigation with SUNA™ live traffic, voice control and LED headlamps with automatic high-beam.

The car we drove had the enhancement pack 2 which is a $5500 option pack including a moonroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, hi-grade LED headlamps, leather-accented seat trim, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, 17-speaker Mark Levinson® audio and power rear sunshade.

2015 Lexus NX 200t 2.0-litre turbo engine

Lexus IS 300 Luxury Engine and Drivetrain

The Euro 6 compliant 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder engine produces 180kW and 350 Nm and drives the rear wheels through a revised 8 speed automatic transmission. It’s smooth, reasonably responsive and quiet but I would probably opt for the Hybrid version with better economy for another $3000.

Lexus self-charging hybrid electric system with a combined power of 164kW and combining a 221Nm 2.5-litre normally aspirated four-cylinder engine and 300Nm electric motor.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury drive

Lexus IS 300 Luxury fuel use is an ADR figure of 7.1l/100k and the 300h uses just 5.1L/100K. We averaged about 10.9l/100k in real life.

Drive select allows the driver to choose between Eco, Normal and Sport as well as a snow start function. Sport mode provides a little more responsive fun.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury grill

What does the Lexus IS300 Luxury drive like?

Lexus has done some work on the body rigidity, suspension and a wider front and rear track and it shows. It’s relatively heavy and that helps as well to provide a very smooth, compliant ride while giving reasonable handling. It gives that luxury ride with a touch of edge.

Where you really notice the difference is when you shift direction quickly, it feels more rigid and secure.

It is a long way from a sports saloon, but the driver inputs are all reasonably responsive.

Comfortable is the key word to describe the driving experience.

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury safety

What about safety?

The new Lexus IS matches or exceeds the active safety technology featured in the current flagship Lexus LS.

As you would expect the IS300 Luxury has a five star ANCAP safety rating.

For this reason alone it’s worth repeating some of the Lexus information.

The new Lexus Safety System+ supports

  • pre-collision warning (from approximately 10 to 180km/h),
  • pre-collision brake assist (from approximately 30 to 80km/h with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection,
  • or approximately 30 to 180km/h with a detected preceding or stopped vehicle),
  • and pre-collision braking (from approximately 10 to 80km/h with pedestrian
  • And daytime cyclist detection, or approximately 10 to 180km/h with a detected preceding or stopped vehicle).

These systems are designed to work with both daytime and night-time pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection.

The new IS is the first Lexus to be equipped with intersection right/left turn assistance.

At an intersection, the pre-collision system is designed to provide a warning alert then braking if a driver is turning right or left in front of a detected oncoming vehicle in the opposite lane or pedestrian in the opposite direction.

It is also the first Lexus to offer emergency steering assist (ESA), which is designed to automatically apply additional steering torque to assist the driver in manoeuvring within its lane around an unforeseen pedestrian (for example) walking ahead.

And, it is the first Lexus in Australia to debut Lexus Connected Services, including automated collision notification, SOS call and stolen vehicle tracking –

Some other key safety features include:

  • all-speed active cruise control,
  • lane tracing assist,
  • road sign assist,
  • blind-spot monitor,
  • parking support brake and
  • Rear cross-traffic alert+brake.

What are my overall thoughts about the Lexus IS300 Luxury?

I liked the IS 300 Luxury. Typically Lexus, it is packed with standard features, exceptionally comfortable and luxurious. Everything is user friendly.

It’s not a car to engage the senses though. Let me give you an example. The leather steering wheel is perfectly sized, fits nicely in the hands, gives good feedback, but the smooth leather is great quality, but slippery, so you don’t feel attached to the car.

Lexus IS 300 Luxury is priced from $67,000 with the enhancement pack 2 plus the usual costs. It’s a good car in a shrinking segment

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury exterior rear

What is good?

  • Build quality
  • Heavy with superb ride quality
  • Packed with features

What is not so good?

  • Thirsty, the Hybrid is better
  • No smart phone mirror
  • The mouse/scratch pad

Also look at

2021 Lexus IS 300 Luxury front qtr

Model   

Lexus IS 300 Luxury

Model Price from $67,000 MLP* (With Enhancement pack 2)
Engine 2.0L 4 Cyl Turbo
Drivetrain RWD 8 Sp Sport Automatic
Power 180kW @ 5800rpm
Torque 350Nm @ 1650-4000rpm
Safety Five Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions 191g/km
Economy ADR 8.2 L/100km
Tow Capacity 3500 Kg
Tow Ball Rating 350 kg
Payload 1240 Kg
Servicing 12mths/ 15000km Capped Price
Warranty 4yr / 100,000 km, 4yr Roadside Assist
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

 

Overall Rating - Lexus IS 300 Luxury
  • 9/10
    Behind the Wheel - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Comfort - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Equipment - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Performance - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Ride and Handling - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Practicality - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Fit for Purpose - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Street Appeal - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Fun Factor - 6/10
  • 9/10
    Value for Money - 9/10
7.8/10

Summary

I liked the IS 300 Luxury. Typically Lexus, it is packed with standard features, exceptionally comfortable and luxurious. Everything is user friendly.

It’s not a car to engage the senses though. Let me give you an example. The leather steering wheel is perfectly sized, fits nicely in the hands, gives good feedback, but the smooth leather is great quality, but slippery, so you don’t feel attached to the car.

Lexus IS 300 Luxury is priced from $67,000 with the enhancement pack 2 plus the usual costs. It’s a good car in a shrinking segment

About Rob Fraser 1594 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.