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Lexus IS 500 prices prove it’s impervious to depreciation

The Lexus IS 500 is still in production, but it's nearly impossible to find. I compare it to a BMW M340i to see what the better deal is.


Whether it be the convertible, the SMG, or the color, 57% prefer the screaming deal of the Mercedes. Now, it’s time to talk about a press car I’ve had all week – Lexus IS 500 prices. It’s really good, but this isn’t the review, this is Talk Me Out of It, and I have a question:

Why doesn’t this thing depreciate?

The 2023 Lexus IS 500 vs the 2023 BMW M340i

See the IS 500 listing here

See the M340i listing here

Modern cars, for the most part, depreciate badly (Sit down 911 GT3). You and I know this, and still we buy new cars because…they are new! New is nice, and if we didn’t buy them new, then we couldn’t buy them used later on.

That’s car guy math for you.

Without giving too much away, the Lexus IS 500 has a lot going for it, namely that glorious naturally aspirated V-8. It’s very much not perfect, but neither are you and she said yes anyway.


Here’s the deal – I don’t see them anywhere. Not car shows, not driving, not at dealers…anywhere. Is the car even real? Lexus said yes and proved it because it’s sitting in my driveway, but wow are they hard to find.

The car itself is sort of old-school inside, and so I wouldn’t call the MSRP of around $67,000 a wonderful deal, but it does something many other new cars don’t – makes me feel something. Expanding my search nationwide, I found a whopping 30 for sale. That’s the entire country. For a mainstream car still in production. All that means that IS 500 prices are out of hand on the used market.

Perhaps now is the time to mention that for some reason, Lexus does not make many in Ultrasonic Blue Mica, which is one of my favorite colors ever. None are even available used, thus breaking my heart.

Still, you know…V-8, no turbos.

The 2023 Lexus IS 500

The 2023 IS 500. Edmunds

All 30 examples are around the same price regardless of mileage, so let’s pick a lower one. Keep in mind, there are no examples on Bring a Trailer, and only two on Cars & Bids – sold two years ago.

  • 6,778 miles
  • Listed for $59,354
  • Ultra White over over Circuit Red leather
  • Every IS 500 is rear-wheel drive, with an eight-speed automatic and a 472-horsepower V-8.
  • This one has the optional 19-inch BBS wheels, a $2,450 option
  • It doesn’t say if this is the Performance trim or not, which includes a larger nav screen and triple-beam headlights, but it looks like it.
  • One owner, clean CarFax
  • Located in North Carolina right now.

Now you must understand, this is not on the same level of an M340i, but it is 4,957,895,712,498 times more fun. It’s also subdued, looking like a an IS 350. No fender flares, a very subtle bumper change, just the stacked exhaust and badge give it away.

Bring in the German.

The 2023 BMW M340i

The M340i. Cars & Bids

I could pull a million different examples for this car, but let’s keep it as close to the IS as possible. That means the same model year, relatively close in mileage. I know this one sold, but you can find 175 listed on Edmund’s alone.

  • 12,400 miles
  • Sold for $50,750
  • Brooklyn Grey over Tacora Red SensaTec
  • The famous B58 with 382 horsepower, tied to a ZF eight-speed auto.
  • Fully loaded – Premium Package, M Cooling Package, M Sport diff – the works
  • MSRP new: $65,220
  • Clean title and CarFax

This car, in one year, lost 22% of its value, which is on par for the particular breed we’re talking about. The Lexus on the other hand – just 11%. And that’s just this example – the cheapest I found. Most of these are going for the same price as a new model, or just a few grand off. If you have a rare color, forget it.

For an even bigger discount, find a pre-LCI example.

That means you could buy one, drive it around for two years, then go buy a new one and lose no money. That’s unheard of for mainstream cars like this. Sure, you could get an ancient IS F, but though it has the same motor, it’s not nearly as pretty (and slightly less fun).

The IS 500 review is coming, but for now know that though the M340i has 100 fewer horses, it’s almost a full second faster to 60. Yet, I wouldn’t pick it.

You don’t need to talk me out of this one, but can I instead break your allegiance to the Roundel?

Want MWS to review your car?

If you live in the tri-state area and want me to check it out, send me an email! 

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