Although it remains one of the youngest entrants in its segment, the Lexus IS has quickly built a reputation for outstanding quality and reliability which, consequently, have translated into stellar resale value. Retaining class-leading levels of dependability and value are high priorities, but the IS also has an emotional side effect on account of its athletic driving dynamics, handsome exterior styling and strong engine choices. All told, value-conscious buyers in search of an entry-level luxury car will find a lot to like in the Lexus IS.
In typical Lexus fashion, IS interiors provide a reserved show of luxury. The cabin is constructed with high quality materials and features top-notch ergonomics. Unlike many of its rivals, the IS offers leather seating and a premium audio system as standard fare. Outside, a softened wedge profile, raked windshield and well-defined fender flares combine to emphasize the performance credentials of the IS sedan.
A sport-tuned suspension delivers engaging driving dynamics while retaining Lexus' trademark ride comfort. The IS reacts eagerly to steering inputs, and the powerful brakes supported by a host of electronic stability controls provide an extra measure of confidence. The standard powerplant is fuel-efficient and a great day-to-day performer, while the mighty 3.5-liter V6's 306 horsepower is enough to thrill more spirited pilots.
Given its $36,000 starting price and generous helping of standard features, the Lexus IS simply outclasses comparably equipped rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 both in terms of up-front cost and resale value.