Review: 2023 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance Premium

If you found delight in the prowess of the LS 500, then I think you’ll really enjoy what we have today: the 2023 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance Premium! As we dive into this review, we will also draw comparisons with its sibling, the LS 500 Sport Performance. Pricing comes in at $62,770 for our fully loaded premium trim and $58,270 for the non-premium package. 

What does this package bring to the table, you ask? Well, the most important thing is obviously what lies under the hood. A 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine, a rarity nowadays in its class, delivering 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, this powerhouse propels the IS 500 from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.4 seconds, all while maintaining a respectable fuel efficiency of 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Not too shabby for a performance V8. 

In addition, the premium trim features bright triple-beam LED headlights, a Mark Levinson 17-speaker sound system, a top-tier navigation system, parking assistance and plenty more. Those headlights look aggressive; however, they are perfectly complemented by the daytime running lights and the commanding bulge of the hood. The signature Lexus spindle grille takes center stage, concealing a forward-facing camera, while black chrome trim accentuates its performance-driven persona. Sporting 19-inch Enkei wheels and an array of features including power-folding mirrors, the IS 500 is undoubtedly a new car. 

As we glance towards the rear, we’re greeted by a trunk lid spoiler, quad-tip stacked exhausts, and a lower rear diffuser, hinting at the sheer power that lies within. 

Stepping into the cabin, we’re greeted by power-operated bucket seats that promise to keep us comfortable while burning rubber. The IS 500 may lack the upgraded infotainment system of its LS 500 counterpart, but it compensates with a large 10.3-inch screen. Despite the dreaded trackpad interface, the inclusion of climate controls, a CD player, heated and ventilated seats, and plenty of storage options, makes everything quite all right. The beefy steering wheel, adorned with paddle shifters, provides you with a way to get better connected with the vehicle. As you may know, sporty cars tend to make people cramped unless you’re shorter than 5’10”. I’m happy to say that’s not the case here. You’ll be treated to ample legroom and headspace, so fret not tall humans! 

While the LS offers a blend of luxury and performance, the IS leans more on the performance side of things. With its V8 engine, the IS 500 delivers raw power without the lag associated with turbocharged engines. Traction control can be easily disabled if you want those spinning wheels or enabled when you need a smooth ride. Equipped with features like cruise control, lane assist, and a suite of parking aids, the IS 500 offers a rather good balance of exhilaration and safety. 

Click above to watch our full video review on YouTube.

In conclusion, the 2023 Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance Premium is a whole bunch of fun. If you’re in pursuit of a vehicle that seamlessly combines luxury, high performance, reliability, and excitement, then look no further than the IS 500. Don’t just take our word for it. Head down to your local Lexus or Toyota dealership and try one out for yourself! 

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