The Lexus IS luxury sedan occupies a very important position in Lexus hierarchy of models. However, the sedan has not received a refresh since 2013 which is a long time in the fast-changing automotive environment. Finally, the automaker decided to give it the much-needed refresh. The refreshed model 2017 Lexus IS was showcased at last month’s Beijing Auto Show in china.
The sedan’s exterior profile has established a loyal following as it is and the automaker didn’t alter its overall look. Only the front fascia has received an extensive redesign to make it more aggressive. The automaker has also added more flavor to the sedan’s cabin. Read along to find out more:
2017 Lexus IS Exterior
As said earlier, only the front fascia has received an extensive redesign. The new fascia looks more aggressive courtesy of a bolder spindle grille. The central crease line of the grille is more elevated and flows into the hood. Lexus has also added functional brake cooling ducts on the grille. To complete the new front look are redesigned LED headlights and LED DRLS. The bumper also features larger air intakes.
On the sides, everything looks identical to the outgoing models; from the body lines, side skirts to the side mirrors. The rear has however received a mild refresh. Although the automaker has maintained the same design of the taillights, their internal layout is different. Their piping is more dramatic while the reverse lights have been shifted to the lower edge of the lens.
The automaker has also retained the vehicle’s reflectors which look like shark fins on each of the corners. The exhaust tips have been revised to a rectangular shape. The rear diffuser has also been modified and now features 5 fins placed in between the vehicle’s dual exhaust tips.
To complete the exterior refresh are two new color schemes i.e. Graphite Black Glass Flake and Deep Blue Mica. The sedan rides on 10-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels as standard.
2017 Lexus IS Interior
There are minor changes in the cabin; just like the outgoing models, the cabin looks warm, comfortable and luxurious. The biggest change and the most exciting is the replacement of the previous 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system to a 10.3-inch system.
The seats and door panels are still upholstered in the same red leather trim as the outgoing models. The center console also features a leather trim with a contrasting red stitching. The automaker has also added a stitching on the instrument cluster’s overhang. Control buttons have been added to the remote touch interface to ease operation of the system. HVAC controls have been relocated further back in the center stack. Chateau, a light shade of Gray has replaced Moonstone and Ivory interior color themes.
Overall, the interior looks much cleaner and uncluttered which invokes a feeling of serenity.
In the safety department, Lexus has maintained the same impressive features as in the outgoing models. They include a full package of airbags which includes 2-stage dual front airbags, 10 SRS airbags, front and rear-side airbags, front knee airbags for both the driver and front passenger and full-length curtain airbags. In addition, Lexus has added the Safety System Plus which adds an array of driving aids including lane departure warning, a pre-collision system, radar cruise control and high-beam headlights among others.
Engine Specs and performance
The 2017 Lexus IS sedan features the lineup of drive-trains as in the outgoing models. There are three different engines on offer. The base is 200T models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0 L, 4-cylinder engine that comes good with 241 horses and 258 lb-ft of torque.
The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The mid trim IS300 AWD models are powered by a 3.5 L engine which is capable of 255 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque. Power is channeled to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission system. For more juice, you can opt for the range-topping IS350 which features the same 3.5 L engine but here it is tweaked to produce 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with an 8-speed direct shift automatic transmission system.
Though Lexus is yet to release performance information, we expect the model to perform slightly better than the current models. The base IS 200T will likely accelerate to 60 mph from standstill in around 6.9 seconds and attain a 143 mph top speed. The IS300 AWD on the other hand should complete the same run in 6.1 seconds but will have a lower top speed of 131 mph. The range-topping IS350 will take around 5.7 seconds to complete the same run. It will have a 131 mph top speed just like the IS300 AWD.
Price and release date
Official prices are not yet out but expect a price hike of between $1,000 and $1,500 across the trims. Currently the IS200T has a starting price of $37,325 while the top IS350 attracts MSRP a $43,035 price tag. Lexus will deliver the new IS sedans in dealerships this fall.