Facelift for Lexus IS
May 10, 2016
Lexus brought along its updated IS saloon to the Beijing motor show, but it's one of those squint-and-you'll-miss-it updates, with no major mechanical changes.
The IS 300h's hybrid system (2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with electric motor) remains the same, as do the petrol models we don't get here in the shape of the turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol IS 200t (this engine is available in the RC 200t in Ireland) and the V6-engined IS 350.
There are some styling changes at the front though - the IS now has new headlights (which keep the occasionally divisive 'Nike-Swoosh' LED running lights underneath), new bumpers and a revised, and bigger, 'spindle' grille. F Sport models get a more aggressive mesh pattern in the grille, as well as bigger air intakes to feed the brakes. There's also a new 'character line' along the side, and new 10-spoke machine-finish 17-inch alloys. At the back, there are new lights that have a more pronounced 'L-shape' along with squared-off, chrome-tipped exhaust outlets. Inside, the biggest update is to the central infotainment screen, which is now up from seven inches to 10.3 inches (still dwarfed by the GS and RX's 12.3-inch whopper though...) while the mouse-like Remote Touch Interface controller gets some extra buttons.
The central console, where you'll find the audio and heating controls, has been redesigned and there are new, bigger cushions on the side of the console for your knees to rest against.
The clock and main dials have been subtly updated too, while the cupholders are now larger, which Lexus admits is as much about holding larger smartphones as it is anything to do with a refreshing beverage.
The new IS also features Lexus Safety System+, which combines a networked package of advanced safety features, including Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Warning with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam and Active Cruise Control.
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