2018 Lexus IS vs. Its Competition

2018 Lexus IS 350 F Sport
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The 2018 Lexus IS is in the sport-sedan game, but perhaps not as a starter.

Among the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Lexus IS falls behind in performance, packaging, and style.

We love the rear-seat space in the BMW, an odd posit for a car that’s all but built a brand on its driving manners.

The Audi A4 has better, more attentive steering these days, and better infotainment by a wide margin.

Mercedes tucks splendid design into the C-Class body, and scorching performance in the top models.

We love the Cadillac ATS for its steering and ride and high-power V-Series, but rear-seat space is laughable.

Finally, the Q50 offers a lovely shape, but steering feel goes amiss in most models, and its dual-screen infotainment isn’t well developed.

2018 Lexus IS 350 F Sport2018 Lexus IS
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2018 Audi S4/S5 First Drive2018 Audi A4
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2018 BMW 3-Series2018 BMW 3-Series
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2018 Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V Championship Edition models2018 Cadillac ATS
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2018 Infiniti Q502018 INFINITI Q50
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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (C300 Coupe)2018 Mercedes-Benz C Class
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Quick Specs
6.7
The Lexus IS needs more powertrain guts, and more styling glory, to tackle the cars it wants to take down.
8.0
The 2018 Audi S4 balances perfectly performance with luxury in a package that's both practical and sharp. Hardly a recipe for excitement, but one that touches all the bases.
6.7
The 2018 BMW 3-Series makes its strongest case in performance for luxury compact buyers’ attentions.
6.8
A sports car with a more practical body, the 2018 Cadillac ATS-V represents American engineering at its very best.
7.0
The 2018 Infiniti Q50 is powerful, well-equipped luxury sedan that doesn't quite match up to Germany's finest yet.
7.5
Very expensive and still not very large, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class nonetheless leads its luxury niche with fabulous style and fantastic power and grip.
MSRP From     
$38,210$36,000$34,900$35,495$35,200$40,250
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Turbocharged Gas I4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsMid-Size CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
IS 300 F Sport RWD2.0 TFSI ultra Premium S Tronic FWD320i Sedan South Africa4-Door Sedan 2.0L RWD2.0t PURE RWDC 300 Sedan
Drivetrain     
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style     
SedanSedanSedanSedanSedanSedan
Transmission     
Automatic w/ODAuto-Shift Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2018 Lexus IS vs. 2018 Audi A42018 Lexus IS vs. 2018 BMW 3-Series2018 Lexus IS vs. 2018 Cadillac ATS2018 Lexus IS vs. 2018 INFINITI Q502018 Lexus IS vs. 2018 Mercedes-Benz C Class