Lexus has updated its IS sedan with revised styling and latest safety systems. It has grown in dimensions too, now measuring 4,710 mm (+30) in length, 1,840 mm (+30) in width and 1,435 mm (+5) in height. The wheelbase, however, remains unchanged at 2,800 mm.
The styling has been sharpened up with new front and rear fascias. There are new slender headlamps with L-shaped (more like V-shaped) running lights, re-designed Spindle Grille with 3D polyhedral structure, new 19-inch alloy wheels, and triangular taillights connected by a light bar. The F Sport variant boasts a unique mesh pattern, sporty bumpers, black accents, special 19-inch alloy wheels and an integrated boot lid spoiler.
The side profile has a combination of a sharp character line on the front door and a deep, upswept crease on the rear door that sort of joins the rear wheel arch.
The refreshed interior features a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity, and a choice of two-tone themes such as the F Sport-exclusive Flare Red. The F Sport variants also get satin chrome accents.
The updated IS gets the latest Lexus Safety System+ suite of active safety and driver assistance technologies. Depending on the market, these include the Pre-Collision System, which can detect daytime bicyclists and pedestrians in low-light conditions; Emergency Steering Assist, Low Speed Acceleration Control, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist, and Driver Emergency Stop Assist (works with LTA and brings the vehicle to a stop if the driver is unresponsive).
Other features include Active Sound Control that is claimed to enhance comfort and quietness in the cabin during urban driving while letting in only the sweet exhaust note.
The IS employs swing-valve shock absorbers with ultralow-velocity valves in their pistons that manage oil flow responding even to the most minor road irregularities and generate appropriate damping force, Lexus said.
Even when the stroke speed of the shock absorbers is low, appropriate damping force will be exerted, providing excellent responsiveness on all varieties of road surfaces, resulting in ride quality that is consistently even.
As for powertrains, there are no changes. The IS continues to be powered by 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo and 3.5L V6 N/A gasoline engines with RWD and AWD variants. In the Japanese market, there’s also a hybrid variant available with a 2.5L V6 engine.
The 2.0L turbocharged engine in the 300 F Sport RWD pumps out 241 bhp and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque, and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5L V6 motor in the 350 F Sport AWD offers 311 bhp and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque, and is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.