Lexus restyles 2017 IS and bolsters safety tech
A year after introducing new powertrains to the current IS, Lexus has amped up the design once again with a more dramatic version of the brand’s signature spindle grille and other enhancements. The makeover for the 2017 Lexus IS, however, goes well beyond the sheetmetal. All versions now come with the Lexus Safety System+ as standard, which includes: Pre-Collision System (PCS); Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist; Intelligent High Beam (IHB); and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system is also available.
The entire front fascia of the IS has undergone a transformation, highlighted by new headlamps, larger air intakes in the front bumper, and a daring evolution of the Lexus spindle grille. The air intakes seem to flow off the fenders and frame a new grille that folds back at a higher point, changing its proportions and emphasizing a more road-hugging stance.
The reshaped hood appears more sculptural, with the raised center portion flowing rearward from the top of the spindle grille and standard LED headlamps. Beneath those, the
L-theme LED daytime running lights give a dramatic daytime glow. On the IS F SPORT, the grille features an exclusive three-dimensional F-mesh pattern, with jet-black metallic coating that is also used on the functional brake ducts.
At the rear, the Lexus IS leaves a refined nighttime signature with more pronounced “L”-shaped LED light guides that are now triple layered within the taillight housing. New rectangular chrome exhaust tips accentuate the car’s sporting nature. Capping off the style rejuvenation are standard 5-spoke 18-in. wheels on the IS 350, and two new paint color choices, Caviar and Nightfall Mica.
First-Class Cabin Upgrade
The IS conveys its sporting intent from the moment the driver gets behind the wheel. Both the wheel and instrument panel designs were inspired by those in the Lexus LFA supercar.
Luxuries abound in the Lexus IS models, including standard NuLuxe trimmed seating, 10-way power front sport seats, a high-efficiency dual-zone automatic climate control system with touch-sensitive controls, power moonroof, and SmartAccess with pushbutton start. The AWD models also add standard heated front seats.
Everywhere you look and touch in the 2017 Lexus IS, you’ll see or feel new details, including a new cupholder design; revised climate-control panel, analog clock, and steering wheel switches; and new interior colors. A redesigned speedometer and tachometer and new stitching atop the gauge hood enhances the cockpit’s sporty feel.
The 2017 IS offers two multimedia systems: standard high-resolution Lexus Display Audio (LDA) with a 7-inch screen and 8-speaker audio or the optional navigation system, which features a new 10.3-inch screen. This screen offers a larger and clearer image of the various functions of the multimedia and Enform® systems.
The navigation system puts a world of capability at the driver’s fingertips via the second-generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) multi-function control device. The RTI is the go-to control for the audio, driver’s phone and more. Available in conjunction with the navigation system, the Mark Levinson® Premium Surround System delivers strikingly life-like sound reproduction, with 835 watts powering 15 speakers. New “Enter” buttons on either side of the RTI on the center console help make the system easier to use, as does a new larger leather-wrapped palm rest.
The standard Display Audio system incorporates HD Radio™, Bluetooth® audio, a vehicle information display, and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio. Also available for this audio system is the Scout® GPS Link app. With the app on the driver’s smartphone, navigation maps and turn-by-turn directions appear on the car’s central display screen.
Three Power Sources, Two Drivetrains
The 2017 IS model lineup continues with a three model line, including the IS 200t, IS 300 AWD, and IS 350, available in RWD and AWD. All three offer an F SPORT model that further revs up the bold style and handling agility.
The IS 200t, available in rear-wheel drive form, features a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with intercooler. This super-smooth powerplant produces 241 hp and quickly builds up a wide torque plateau of 258 lb.-ft. from 1,650-4,400 rpm. Variable Valve Timing intelligent – Wide (VVTi-W) allows the engine to switch between the Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles to maximize efficiency. The D-4ST fuel injection system combines a high-pressure direct fuel injection system with a low-pressure port-injection system.
The IS 200t comes equipped exclusively with the eight-speed Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission that integrates advanced G-force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system to choose gears intuitively. Steering wheel paddle shifters are also available for those who prefer to shift for themselves.
For those seeking all-season grip, Lexus offers the IS 300 AWD model with a 255 hp, 3.5-liter V6 producing 236 lb.-ft. torque at 2,000-4,800 rpm. The electronically controlled all-weather drive system, also available for IS 350 models, is designed to help enhance traction and grip under most driving conditions by automatically varying front-to-rear torque distribution from 30:70 to as much as 50:50. The AWD models use a six-speed automatic transmission.
The IS 350 delivers dazzling performance from a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The RWD model uses the eight-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic transmission.
A Drive Mode Select system features up to four driving modes to tailor the car’s combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics. All IS sedans feature ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT modes. Equipping the IS 350 with the F SPORT package also adds Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), controlled with SPORT S and SPORT S+ modes. The AWD models also feature a SNOW mode.
The agile handling of all IS models owes much to the multi-link rear suspension inherited from the company’s GS sedans, along with finely tuned electronic power steering. Available for all IS models, the F SPORT package sharpens handling acuity with unique 18-inch wheels and special suspension tuning, while sharpening the design with unique interior and exterior trim. Inside, all-season comfort is enhanced through heated and ventilated front seats. The finishing touch on the F SPORT experience for IS 300 AWD and IS 350 models is a rousing intake sound to rev up the car enthusiast in anyone.
Just Ask Enform®, or Siri®
With standard Siri® Eyes Free mode, iPhone® users need merely ask aloud to
play music through the phone’s iTunes® library, get turn-by-turn navigation, and much more. Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while Siri reads notifications and calendar information and lets you add reminders, appointments and notes when safe to do so.
Drivers can also opt in for additional peace of mind with Lexus Enform Service Connect (one-year complimentary subscription included). With it, Lexus customers can remotely view information about certain aspects of their Lexus vehicle via the MyLexusandBeyond mobile app for iOS or at LexusDrivers.com. Available information includes maintenance alerts, warning light notifications and a vehicle health report. Receive email and push notifications for vehicle diagnostic information, required maintenance reminders, current vehicle alerts, service campaigns, and more.
Ten Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags are standard, and IS models employ the innovative Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, which integrates: Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) active safety systems with the Electric Power Steering (EPS) or, where fitted for IS 350 RWD F SPORT, Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS). New for 2017 is the standard Lexus Safety System+, which includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Also available is the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system.
What’s New for 2017
- Redesigned front with bolder rendition of Lexus spindle grille, new bumper with large air intakes, more sculptural hood and standard LED headlamps.
- Revised rear bumper with unique F SPORT treatment.
- Lexus Safety System+ made standard; includes PCS, LDA with Steering Assist, IHB and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
- Revised multimedia systems with Scout GPS Link and available 10.3-inch LCD screen.
- Standard 18-in. wheels for IS 350.
- New exterior and interior colors, and revised design for switches on steering wheel.
- Advanced construction techniques include laser screw welding and adhesive body bonding that help provide enhanced overall body rigidity.
- Rear subframe and cowl side braces help to further enhance handling control and steering response.
- Electric Power Steering System for a smoother more accurate feel with excellent feedback.
- High- and ultra-high-tensile steel body structure.
- Ten SRS airbags; two-stage dual SRS front airbags, driver and front passenger SRS knee airbags, front and rear SRS side airbags, as well as full length SRS side curtain airbags.
- Dual-zone automatic climate control with touch-sensitive switches.
- LDA with display audio controller.
- Available Lexus navigation system with RTI and Lexus Enform App Suite.
- 4.2-inch full color multi-information display including audio, trip, navigation, phone and ambient temperature.
- Luxury Package with perforated leather-trimmed interior; heated/ventilated front seats; power tilt-and-telescopic steering column; Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert; rain-sensing intermittent windshield wipers; backup camera with dynamic gridlines; Intuitive Parking Assist; electrochromic side mirrors with reverse tilt-down and memory; Gray Sapele Wood Interior Trim, and more.
- Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound System.
- Heated steering wheel.
- 48 month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles.
- 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.
- 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.