Two new Lexus IS powertrains are joining the rear-drive executive sedan ranks for 2016: the turbocharged IS200t and the AWD IS300.
The 2.0-liter turbo puts out 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque from just 1650 RPM — ensuring it will have the fun drive manners of the NX200t. This is a really quick-boosting turbo with great character in its power delivery. Always charging ahead like a puppy.
The IS200t replaces the IS250 to become the base model of the IS line — but also one of the friskiest. The turbo is rear-drive only and offered with or without the F Sport design tweaks.
The style of both new models outside is crisp and clean, with stellar proportions and body surfacing often causing double takes. A good-loooking car, to be sure. We believe the taillights are a new LED design for 2016, while the grille internals have been darkened in new woven patterns.
The second big engine addition is a new 255-horsepower version of the 3.5-liter V6 from the IS350. Down from the top IS350 and IS350 AWD’s 306-horsepower, this mid-level model replaces the old IS250 AWD. The ride height still looks low and cool, which is great and not always the case with AWD variants of sedans.
The IS300 AWD is also offered in standard or F Sport, as shown here, but is only offered with four-paw traction.
Confused? Don’t be. It’s actually fairly simple overall, with eight models to take on the BMW 320i, 328i, 328d, 335i and new-for-2015 340i.
2016 Lexus IS models:
IS200t F Sport
IS300 AWD F Sport
IS350 F Sport
IS350 F Sport AWD
2016 Lexus IS200t F Sport
Lexus IS Sport Sedan Gets Revved Up In 2016 With Three Available Engines
- 2.0L Twin-Scroll Turbocharged Gas Engine for New IS 200t
- New 3.5L V6 Engine Provides More Options for All-Weather Drive with IS 300 AWD
- Agile Handling Throughout IS Lineup
- Available F SPORT Package Heightens Driving Experience
Lexus continues to offer the IS 350, in both RWD and AWD models.The IS sedans convey an aggressive yet elegant presence with the brand’s unmistakable spindle grille, L-theme LED daytime running lights and dynamic bodylines. The lineup combines silken power delivery with multi-link rear suspension and finely tuned electronic power steering derived from the Lexus GS sedan to deliver a rousing driving experience.
At the same time, the brand’s hallmark luxury and sumptuous appointments remains intact. In addition to more engine choices, the Lexus IS features a few other changes for 2016. The new optional Premium Plus Package includes a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and rain-sensing wipers. A heated steering wheel is also now available as a standalone option. The IS 350 adds standard 18-inch five-spoke wheels with all-season tires.
2016 IS300 AWD F Sport
Drivers can also now opt in for additional peace of mind with Lexus Enform Service Connect. Lexus Enform Service Connect (one-year complimentary subscription) allows customers to remotely view information about certain aspects of their Lexus vehicle via the MyLexusandBeyond mobile application for iOS smartphone users or LexusDrivers.com. Information includes maintenance alerts, warning light notifications and a vehicle health report that includes email and push notifications for diagnostic information, required maintenance reminders, current vehicle alerts, service campaigns, and more.
The IS 350 delivers scintillating performance from a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Its eight-speed, Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission integrates advanced G-force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system to choose gears intuitively. Or, shift yourself with the paddle shifters.
The electronically controlled all-weather drive system standard on IS 300 AWD and available on IS 350 models is designed to help enhance traction and grip under all driving conditions by automatically varying front-to-rear torque balance from 30:70 to as much as 50:50.
A Drive Mode Select system features up to four driving modes to tailor the car’s combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics. All IS sedans feature ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT modes. Equipping the IS 350 with the F SPORT package also nets Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), controlled with SPORT S and SPORT S+ modes. In addition, AWD models also feature a SNOW mode.
Available for all IS sedan models, the F SPORT package sharpens handling acuity with unique 18-inch wheels and special suspension tuning, while sharpening the design with unique interior and exterior trim. The finishing touch on the F SPORT experience for IS 300 AWD and IS 350 is an intake sound that creates a more sporting engine note.
A Display Audio system equips the IS models with a seven-inch screen, HD Radio™, Bluetooth® audio, automatic phone book transfer, a vehicle information display and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio. The multimedia system also incorporates cache radio which has the ability to pause live radio. It automatically records the previous 15 minutes for convenient replay.
Keeping drivers connected, all IS models have Siri® Eyes Free mode, with technology licensed from Apple®. Compatible with the iPhone® 4S and iPhone 5 models forward, Siri responds to verbal requests to play music from iTunes®, get turn-by-turn navigation, and much more. Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while Siri reads notifications and calendar information and lets you, when safe to do so, add reminders, appointments and notes.
Luxuries abound in the 2016 Lexus IS models. A high-efficiency dual-zone climate control system uses touch-sensitive electrostatic temperature switches. The IS offers two multimedia systems: a standard high-resolution Lexus Display Audio (LDA) with controller or the optional Lexus navigation system.
The navigation system puts a world of capability at the driver’s fingertips via the second-generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) multi-function control device. The RTI also allows control of the climate, audio, phone controls and more. Lend your ears to the available Mark Levinson® Premium Surround System and enjoy strikingly life-like sound reproduction, with 835 watts powering 15 speakers.
The IS models exemplify the brand’s advanced passive and active safety technology. Ten Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags are standard, and the IS models employ the innovative Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, which integrates: Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) active safety systems with the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) or, where fitted (for IS 350 RWD F SPORT), Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS).
The 2016 IS models can also be equipped with the available pre-emptive Pre-Collision System (PCS), which incorporates Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The model range offers several safety features, including a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system and a standard Auto Location Tire Pressure Warning System (AL-TPWS).
What’s New for 2016
- New IS 200t model with inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine, engine oil cooler and ventilated rear brakes
- New IS 300 AWD model featuring 3.5-liter V6
- Standard 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels for IS 350 models
- Heated steering wheel available as a standalone option
- New Premium Plus Package with power/tilt telescopic steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers
- Available Lexus Enform Service Connect
- Advanced construction techniques include laser screw welding and adhesive body bonding that help provide enhanced overall body rigidity.
- Rear sub frame and cowl side braces help to further enhance handling control and steering response.
- Electric Power Steering System for a smoother more accurate feel with greater feedback.
- One 17-inch alloy wheel design and three 18-inch alloy wheel designs.
- High- and ultra-high-tensile steel body structure help provide occupant protection.
- Available Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control can help reduce collision damage. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control system uses millimeter-wave radar to help measure and help maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead. PCS is equipped with a front-mounted radar sensor that is designed to detect certain obstacles in front of the car.
- Ten SRS airbags; two-stage dual SRS front airbags, driver and front passenger SRS knee airbags, front and rear SRS side airbags, as well as full length SRS side curtain airbags.
- Interior design with LFA-inspired, driver-focused cockpit and enhanced rear seat roominess and luggage capacity.
- Quilted driver’s seat offers greater comfort and better lateral support.
- Dual-zone automatic climate control with touch-sensitive electrostatic switches.
- Lexus Display Audio (LDA) with display audio controller.
- Available Lexus navigation system with Remote Touch Interface (RTI) and Lexus Enform App Suite.
- 4.2-inch full color multi-information display including audio, trip, navigation, phone, ambient temperature.
- Available Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included) allows the owner to remotely view and control certain vehicle features (remote door lock/unlock; remote stop/start for the engine and climate control; and more ) using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
- Mark Levinson® Premium Surround System with Unity, Wide Dispersion and Inverted Motor Structure loudspeaker technology with 15 speakers and 835-watts.
- The Clari-Fi technology on the available Mark Levinson system automatically analyzes compression in the signal of digital tracks (satellite radio, mobile streaming, mp3, etc.) and determines how much amplification is needed, and where, to correct it.
- Luxury Package with electrochromic side mirrors with reverse tilt-down and memory, leather-trimmed interior, seat heater/ventilation, and more.
- Compared to previous generation, the wheelbase is increased by nearly three inches and width by nearly half an inch, for an aggressive stance.
- A further evolution of the spindle grille features a more three-dimensional design with a chrome-plated frame and darker gray insert from top to bottom.
- Standard HID low/high beam headlamps with LED DRLs and available twin projector LED low/ high beam headlamps.
- Eight exterior colors: Eminent White Pearl, Ultra White Metallic (exclusive to F SPORT), Nebula Gray Pearl, Silver Lining Metallic, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Redline, and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 (exclusive to F SPORT).
- Driver-oriented cockpit design inspired by Lexus LFA supercar.
- Dashboard is divided into two distinct zones, a display zone and an operation zone, offering drivers more comfortable, ergonomically ideal interaction with the vehicle’s control systems.
- Combination of longer wheelbase and a special front seat design increases rear seat legroom by 1.6 inches
- Standard 60:40 split-folding rear seats.
- Five interior colors: Black, Light Gray, Parchment, Flaxen and Rioja Red (exclusive to F SPORT)
- Soft touch finishes throughout, including padding on the center console sides.
- Silver metallic trim analog clock with surface-emitting illumination.
- 48 month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles.
- 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.
- 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.