The third generation Lexus Innovative Sedan, or IS for short, was introduced in 2014, and in just two short years has experienced a significant evolution. First, the brand shuffled the models, dropping the 250 and introducing a new turbocharged entry-level 200t and a detuned 300 version of the 3.5-litre V6 found in the 350. Now, 2017 brings a mid-cycle facelift and the addition of extra technology.
Starting with the trademark spindle grille: the bottom section has been widened, flaring out further to the sides and flowing into larger front air intakes. As before, the grille is either filled with horizontal slats on regular variants, or mesh on the F SPORTs. All trims get LED lighting and slimmer headlights featuring built-in signature L-shaped styling cues.
At the back, the taillights have been reshaped to match, housing stacked L layers creating a cool 3-D effect when lit. Dual round tailpipes have been switched out for rectangular units, and small fins have been added to the integrated black bumper diffuser.
The interior has been given an overhaul as well, the seats now utilizing bigger, more supportive side bolsters. In the 200t, the upholstery is made from the environmentally friendly and lighter NuLuxe, a faux leather material. There is a gorgeous 10.3-inch multimedia wide-screen display offered as part of the optional Luxury Package (+$6,700) that comes with 18-inch wheels, navigation, power moonroof, and more.
Another big piece of the refresh is Lexus Safety System +, standard across every grade. Included in the suite are Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Automatic High Beams. At an extra cost, there is also a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert System.
As mentioned, there are no powertrain changes, and the 2017 Lexus IS continues to be sold in three flavours: a rear-wheel drive 200t ($40,150) producing 241 horsepower; a 300($42,950) making 255 hp, and a 350 ($53,350) with 306 hp, the latter which are both all-wheel drive. F SPORT Series 1 and 2 treatments are also available.