The 2017 Lexus IS executive sports saloon has undergone significant changes, embracing new styling, quality, safety, handling and equipment features. The result is a prestige car that captures the essence of Lexus craftsmanship, luxury and performance.
2017 Lexus IS: exterior design
Changes to the exterior styling focus on the car’s frontal perspective. This begins with new headlights that have a more pronounced look, extending inwards and adding visual impact to the L-shaped daytime running lights. F Sport and Premier grade models now feature high luminosity LED units in a triple-L arrangement.
The spindle grille angles back at a higher point than before, increasing the area of the lower section to create a more sporty appearance and suggest a low centre of gravity. The horizontal fins are thinner in the top section and thicker below the pinch-point, while a chrome frame now surrounds the entire grille. F Sport models offer a new jet black finish and mesh design that transforms from an L- to an F-shape pattern between the upper and lower sections. Either side of the lower grille are new brake ducts with a tapered design.
A stronger character line has been carved along the side of the car, bolstered by new machine finish 17-inch (Executive Edition, Advance and Luxury grade) and multi-spoke 18-inch (Premier grade) alloy wheel designs. Chrome detailing is added to the lower bumper panel, and the rear lights have also been redesigned, with LED lamps and new light guides that create an L-shape motif.
2017 Lexus IS: interior design
Improvements to the cabin target even higher visual and tactile quality. The high-resolution multi-information screen that accompanies the Lexus Premium Navigation system has increased from seven to 10.25 inches, presenting larger, clearer images and providing a split-screen function to display a wider range of information.
The steering wheel now echoes that of the Lexus RC coupe, with new metal ornamentation, re-shaped switches and revised stitching that adds to its pleasing feel when gripped. Attention to detail also extends to new stitching on the instrument binnacle hood and a revised angle of the start button so it is easier to operate.
Reducing the width of the audio and ventilation control panels means the driver and front passenger knee pads and now more cushioned and run the full length of the centre console. There are also new cup holders, a satin finish for the gear lever, a larger, leather-wrapped and stitched palm rest for the Remote Touch Interface control, and new dial markings on the analogue clock.
New interior upholstery and colour choices are now available, plus a new laser-etched dark wood trim finish on Premier grade models and Naguri machined-effect inlays for F Sport models with the optional Premier pack.
2017 Lexus IS: revised suspension and steering
The dynamic performance of IS has been improved through revisions to the front and rear suspension and steering. As a result of these measures, all models demonstrate better ride quality, body control, rear-wheel traction and straight-line stability, as well as better steering response and feedback.
The front double wishbone suspension (above) has a new, more rigid, forged aluminium lower arm assembly together with more rigid bushing – changes that bring no weight penalty and contribute to better steering response at cruising speeds. Changes have been made to the spring and damper settings to improve control and yaw response, and the power steering’s ECU settings have been revised in order to achieve better communication with the driver.
At the opposite end of the car, the rear multi-link suspension has also gained new bushes, an anti-roll bar, shock absorber components and revised damper settings.
Lexus Safety System+
The Lexus Safety System+ portfolio has been added as standard on all versions of the IS bar the entry-level IS 300h SE. Its features make use of camera and radar sensors to support the driver with improved information, better forward vision and prompt warnings of hazards and collision risks. Autonomous braking in emergency situations adds another layer of protection.
In addition, the 2017 Lexus IS gains a reversing camera and Sway Warning. This latter feature monitors the vehicle’s lane position and driver steering inputs, detecting any deviations (sway) that might be due to the driver losing concentration through tiredness or distraction. In such circumstances, it will sound a buzzer and trigger a warning light in the multi-information display.
All information was correct at the time of publishing.