Lexus IS 500

A Spirited Sensation?: Lexus IS 500 Brings V8 Swagger to Sedan Segment

Lexus has resided as a top luxury car pick for many years. The 2019 ES 350 S Sport won the “best midsize luxury car” award from the Texas Auto Writer’s Association. The LS flagship sedan earned a spot on Ward’s “10 best interiors” list. And for 2024, the Lexus IS 500 Brings V8 swagger to the sedan segment. 

Lexus IS 500 Brings V8 Swagger to Sedan Segment

J.D. Power also ranked the 2022 Lexus IS as their “highest quality premium compact car.” The 2024 IS 500 was just given a very exciting new gift in the form of a hefty V8. This is the same 5.0-liter naturally aspirated powertrain found in the LC 500 and RC F. Nico Dematta from The Drive remarked that “its silky smooth power delivery and spine-tingling noise has not gotten old.” 

The Allure of V8 Muscle in Petite Packages:

Putting an engine of this stature in a small, somewhat aging rear-wheel-drive sedan is a huge boost. At this point in the review, the true dynamics of the IS are questioned. The car definitely struck the writer as gorgeous at first glance, but a few pitfalls were visible. 

This engine immediately proved itself to be razor-sharp and just as smooth and full of very earthy aspiration. As it roars out toward the redline, it produces one of the burliest sounds in the business! The volume is delightfully high, and still quite melodic. As it comes from what appears to be a sensible sedan, this muscle is quite appealing. 

Lexus IS 500

The Resilience of the Lexus IS’s Design Language

The IS can still boast amazing looks after all these years, with its “predator” style grille making a good impression. The optional 19-inch forged wheels make for a sweet design additive that isn’t too flashy.  Here the review pro points out that the sliding tachometer slides to the right to offer more vital details.

The ride quality is naturally ideal on the highway and handles bumps amazingly well. The steering unfortunately didn’t meet the mark during a few recent road tests! It doled out performance with a strangely heavy characteristic. It was a bit more indirect than competitors such as members of the BMW camp. 

Breaking Down the Bane: Weight Build-Up’s Impact on Performance

The IS 500 is a prime example of what luxury cars should look and drive like. There are a few areas where improvements would be appreciated by the most judgemental out there. Immediately these test drivers could sense some additional front-end heftiness within the IS 500. Each time the wheel is turned, you are reminded of the “V8 lump” in the front. 

The Genesis G70 and BMW M340i both feel appropriately fast, but their powertrains are a bit lighter. Turning the wheel quicker yielded a response that was just a bit too soft. Even though softness can be a great characteristic, the IS 500 began to feel as if it was suffering from a billowy sensation. 

Infotainment SOS: Recognizing Signs of Aging

The review team from The Drive has seen many cars pass through their busy itinerary. They happened to think that the infotainment inside was not up to par with current expectations! The last generation OS was still on deck, and the mousepad system was not given many props. 

The screen resolution seemed low, while the team still wanted to praise the car for its aggressive stance and performance. The V8 shows up for work wholeheartedly and goes the distance, but the car just seems to struggle with its large footprint. As long as it’s dutifully pointed in a straight line, things get hefty in an old-school way rather quickly. Even if the cabin is a bit dated, this is still a symbol of wayfaring freedom. 

Unplugged and Unforgettable: Celebrating Analog Experiences

The Jalopnik crew was very quick to mention that cars like this are a dying breed! Any true petrolhead owes it to themselves to get their hands on one, since the focus lately has been on crossovers and SUVs. There’s a grip of performance equipment here that is admittedly missing, but the price point softens this blow. 

This V8 does not employ turbo, but the Topspeed crew still deemed it as a “glorious and rare experience.” Since even BMW and Cadillac rely on turbocharged 6’s in this category, the peak power enjoyed at 7,300 RPM is very distinguished. These testers claimed that “the throttle is simply willing to gather speed while the V8 is amazingly at full cry.”

What do you think of this new and sophisticated Lexus IS 500 sedan? Some may think that the charm and suave stance here are a bit outdated. Anything delightfully pure such as this stands a dreamer’s longshot in the current climate! Let us know your opinions in the comments below, or check out another article about the Lexus GX.

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Jon Weirman
I am a freelance writer in the Midwest who specializes in vehicles built for expert-level off-roading, and anything with a staggering amount of horsepower. In my first life I worked in broadcasting for Starz Network and Discovery Channel. I also love retro video games and sci-fi movies. Everything from the loud and burly muscle cars of the late 1970s to new crossover SUVs with futuristic tech features have populated my inbox!

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