It shouldn't come as a surprise that sedans are having a tough time in the market that's dominated by crossovers. Sedans have been unseated from top sales volume spots that were once assured just a couple of short years ago. The Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, and the Honda CR-V are kicking ass and taking names, specifically mainstream sedans. But luxury sedans are taking hits, too. Rumor has it that Lexus might not continue their IS after the current model ends. Despite the fact that it can't hold a candle to its European brethren may point to the fact that owners care more about image than they do about driving.

2018 lexus is red bridge
Even in red, the IS has trouble standing out in a very competitive segment.

The IS has always struggled against the likes of its more illustrious and longstanding competitors, namely the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, all of which present more attractive and roomier options than the rather polarizing IS with its big spindle grille, chevron LED lights, cramped back seat, and headache-inducing infotainment system. But the IS is a hoot to drive. It's more fun than the 3-Series and C-Class and about on par with the Audi A4 in terms of driving dynamics, steering feel, and performance.

2018 c class and 3 series
Both the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class outsell the IS by about twice the volume.

This equates to the American public generally not caring about driving thrills. There's a reason why the IS has failed. If it had been more luxurious, larger, and better styled, it could've been a contender, but its fate is now seriously in question because crossovers are dominating. This is more evidence that driving fun no longer matters all that much when it comes to sales volumes.

The GS sedan is also slated for the same fate, and while Lexus isn’t getting rid of every sedan (the ES and LS were redesigned), it looks like no one is safe in a world where crossovers are the cash cow (Lexus' RX has been its best-seller for years now).

2018 lexus gs 350 f sport white
The sporty GS sedan probably won't see the light of redesign. Too bad.

Lexus’ North American group vice president and general manager, David Christ, declined to confirm reports the IS is definitely going to end. He did inform Automotive News that the company plans to take a "strategic look" at the IS and the GS. If that isn't writing on the wall, we don't know what is. The IS falls behind sales of all three German small sedans, so the proof is in the pudding. 

Part of the problem can, of course, be attributed to the wane of sedans, but the fact that the larger and newer ES costs barely more than the IS, and the IS hasn't been redesigned since 2014. The odd styling of the IS contributes to its poor sales volume, even though it is fun to drive, a sad statement on what is far more than just a trend in the industry.

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