2021 Lexus IS first drive review: Sufficiently satisfying – Roadshow

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    <figure class=”image image-large pull-none hasCaption shortcode” section=”shortcodeImage”><span class=”imageContainer”><span>2021 Lexus IS</span></span><figcaption><span class=”caption”><p>In full-on F Sport Dynamic Handling Package guise, the 2021 IS looks downright mean.</p></span><span class=”credit”>

    <p class=”speakableTextP1″>Time and attention can revive a car that perhaps never really rose above the level of underwhelming. The Lexus IS always felt like an also-ran that never received the attention it may have deserved. Now, there’s a new (OK, facelifted) IS for 2021, and after some time behind the wheel, I think this compact luxury sedan is ready for reconsideration.</p><h2>A more cohesive look</h2><p class=”speakableTextP2″>The outgoing Lexus IS has largely the same design as when it debuted in early 2013, and boy, was that look getting old. Other Lexus models came, adopted similar pieces of the design language and made them better while the IS just kinda… hung out. A major freshening for the 2021 model year gives the IS a more cohesive and contemporary look. Pre-’21 elements are still there, like the checkmark-style running lights, but now they’re integrated into a single-piece headlight that looks pretty slick — and yes, you can still see the DRLs from a mile down the road.</p><p>The rear end went through a pretty dramatic shift, too. Gone are the melting taillights of yore that practically stretched to the asphalt. The new taillights better integrate with the all-new bodywork, blending into character lines more seamlessly. F Sport models like my tester get more aggressive bumpers and larger 19-inch alloy wheels, and an optional Dynamic Handling Package ramps that up even further with BBS wheels and a carbon fiber rear spoiler. Both F Sport getups look pretty swell, so you won’t miss out on too much if you don’t want to spring for the performance pack ($4,200 with rear-wheel drive, $3,800 with AWD).</p>

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