For 2018, the Lexus IS receives only a few changes. The 2.0L, 4-cylinder IS200t has been renamed the IS300 RWD, even though its displacement has not changed. IS350 RWD models optioned with the F Sport package now include a limited-slip differential, and all IS350s gain five horsepower.
The 2018 Lexus IS sedan comes in two models: IS300 and IS350, with several variations. The IS300 RWD is the only model powered by a 2.0L twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder, which produces 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a Sport Direct-Shift 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The IS300 AWD features a 3.5L V6 making 260 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and paddle shifters. Finally, IS350 variants benefit from a more potent 3.5L V6 that delivers 311 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. It puts power to the rear wheels through the Sport Direct-Shift 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Both transmissions feature Sport, Normal, and Eco modes and will match engine revolutions during downshifts when set in Sport mode.
All engines feature variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to help boost economy and efficiency. As a result, the IS300 RWD offers 32 mpg on the highway, the IS300 AWD returns an estimated 26 mpg on the highway, and the IS350 is rated at 28 mpg.
Suspension across the lineup is fully independent, courtesy of double wishbones up front and a multilink setup in the rear. The IS300 RWD and IS300 AWD ride on 17-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels, while the IS350 RWD sits on 18-inch alloys.
All IS sedans come nicely equipped with standard features like HID headlights, LED daytime lights, dual-zone climate control, a next-generation Remote Touch Interface and 4.2-inch color display, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power moonroof, HomeLink universal transceiver, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and satellite radio. Additionally, each IS benefits from a suite of 10 airbags.
All IS sedans can also be given the F Sport treatment, which improves handling with unique 18-inch wheels, high-friction brakes, and aggressive suspension tuning. Exterior and interior design elements are also upgraded, including special instrumentation and F Sport heated front seats. IS350 RWDs so equipped also feature a limited-slip differential. On IS 300 AWD and IS 350 F Sport models, the intake sound is more aggressive, which creates a more sporting engine note.
Other optional equipment on the IS lineup includes a navigation system, a backup monitor, power rear sunshade and intuitive park assist, which aids in parallel parking the IS. The Premium Package includes heated front seats, twin projector LED headlights, and a backup camera. The Premium Plus Package includes power tilt and telescopic steering and rain-sensing intermittent wipers, while the Luxury Package boasts a blind spot monitor, special leather and wood trim, headlamp washers, a heated steering wheel, parking assist and more.