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The entry-level luxury sedan is filled with rivals like the Audi A3, BMW 3 Series, and the Genesis G70. However, the Lexus IS sedan is one of the most formidable and longest-running competitors in the category. It looks sharp, has plenty of comfort and tech features, and plenty of power in its base form. Let’s take a closer look at the base Lexus IS, which is the cheapest entry in the brand’s sedan lineup.

What does the base 2023 Lexus IS come with?

A front view of the 2023 Lexus IS 300
2023 Lexus IS 300 | Lexus

For the 2023 model year, there are eight Lexus IS sedan trim levels to choose from. That’s a lot, but the good news is that buying the stripped-down version – the base Lexus IS 300 – doesn’t mean that the car is literally “stripped down.” Instead, the IS 300 comes equipped with a lot of luxury features you need, but maybe not all of the ones that you want.

Some of these features include a NuLuxe synthetic leather interior, dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. For the tech features, the IS 300 comes equipped with the standard Lexus multimedia system. This includes an 8-inch display, Bluetooth, and satellite radio.

Under the hood of the IS 300 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that makes 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Stepping up to the higher trim levels will unlock a potent V6 engine or an earth-pounding V8. However, the turbocharged four-cylinder sounds like it’s enough to get the car going. According to Lexus, the IS 300 can get up to 60 mph from a standstill in 6.9 seconds, which isn’t slow.

What the Lexus IS 300 lacks in power, it makes up for in fuel efficiency

Although the IS 300 isn’t a powerhouse, it’s fairly fuel efficient. The EPA estimates that it can get up to 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. We would expect the IS 300 to meet or exceed those numbers in real-world driving situations. However, your mileage may vary.

How does the 2023 Lexus IS 300 cost?

A rear view of the trunk on the 2023 Lexus IS 300
2023 Lexus IS 300 | Lexus

The 2023 Lexus IS 300 carries a starting price of $41,235, which is fair compared to other Japanese and German rivals. However, if you want more amenities like a heated steering wheel, heated/ventilated front seats, and a power moonroof, you’ll have to add another $2,375 for the Comfort package.

If you want more than that, the Premium package ($4,020) comes with everything the Comfort package does, but with some additional kit:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Lexus memory seat system
  • Black open-pore wood trim
  • Power rear sunshade
  • Rear armrest with cupholders

Other packages include an onboard navigation system ($1,670) and a premium Mark Levinson sound system ($2,750). Adding all of these options could easily mark the price up to around $50,000.

Is it worth stepping up to the higher IS trim levels?

The 2023 Lexus IS 300 next to the IS 350
2023 Lexus IS 300 | Lexus

If you like having a more powerful engine, then it could be worth stepping up to the Lexus IS 350 or IS 500. Also, if you plan to load up an IS 300 with all of the packages, you may find more worth in the higher trim levels. Otherwise, if you’re looking to save a few bucks and want a budget-friendly luxury sedan, the base Lexus IS 300 is a good option.