The facelifted 2017 Lexus IS mid-sized sedan range has arrived in Australia, complete with styling changes, revised equipment lists and new pricing.
Key updates include eight exterior and some 15 interior design changes said to have drawn inspiration from the RC Coupe range, "effectively creating a four-door of the coupe", according to Lexus Australia.
The range structure, though, remains unchanged, with the three established variants, IS 200t, IS 300h and IS 350 each available in three carryover trim levels: entry-level Luxury, mid-spec F Sport and flagship Sports Luxury.
Outside, all nine versions get a new, more aggressive front grille, bar and LED headlight styling, with overall length up marginally by 15mm (to 4680mm). The Luxury and Sports Luxury grades get new wheel designs. Two new colours are available in Deep Blue and Graphite Black (which replaces Starlight Black).
All versions now come with the Lexus Safety System+ which incorporates adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning systems, pre-collision protocols and automatic high-beam functionality. The F Sport and Sports Luxury versions add blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Inside, across the range, key changes include a new 10.3-inch infotainment screen replacing the old 7.0-inch arrangement, a new Remote Touch controller, a revised steering wheel, RC Coupe-inspired driver's instrumentation with non-linear speedometer, and changes to the meters, clock, panel switches, shifter knob, centre console cup holders, door handles, rear-view mirror and knee pads. And there are new interior trim colours called Nuance Black, Noble Brown and Chateau.
Also standard range-wide are 10 airbags, rear-view camera and parking sensors, daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers, hill-start assist, steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters, DAB+ radio, proprietary sat nav, heated and power-folding mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats, infotainment voice control and tyre-pressure monitoring.
The IS 200t – from $59,340 in Luxury trim – is powered by the unchanged 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 180kW/350Nm backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The IS 300h petrol-electric hybrid again uses a 133kW/221Nm 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four and a 105kW/300Nm electric motor for a combined hybrid system output of 164kW and 300Nm. Transmission is a continuously variable design with a 'six-step' calibration. This version starts at $61,890 for the Luxury trim level.
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Topping the output stakes is the IS 350, its petrol 3.5-litre V6 an unchanged 233kW/378Nm paired with an eight-speed automatic. The entry point for the "highest performing" IS is, of course, the Luxury trim at $65,390.
Under the skin, the changes are few: suspension wise, there are revised springs, dampers and anti-roll bar rates as well as new aluminium front arms and bushings and revised upper bracing. All F Sports versions and the IS 350 Sport Luxury get adaptive suspension with predictive anti-dive control.
Key changes to Luxury versions include a revised 17-inch alloy wheel design, a revised rear bumper, dual trapezoidal exhaust tips and a 10-speaker Pioneer sounds system. Standard equipment includes power-adjustable front seats and powered steering adjustment, while an optional $2500 moon roof is available.
F Sport versions receive a specific front grille, bumper side garnish and rear lower bar design, F Sport badging, 18-inch wheels, high-friction front brake pads, a bespoke steering wheel, LFA-style 8.0-inch driver's LCD instrumentation, 'Naguri style' aluminium interior ornamentation and a customisable/assignable mode in the Drive Mode Select system.
A 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system and moon roof is optionally available on F Sport as a $4000 enhancement package.
The Sports Luxury differs from the F Sport in adding a specific 18-inch alloy wheel design, laser-cut wood interior ornamentation, Mark Levinson sound and moon roof as standard, LED headlamps, electric rear sunshade, five-setting Drive Mode Select, and driver's seat and wing mirror settings memory.
Pricing has risen marginally across the board, Lexus says, to reflect the revisions made to equipment levels. Lexus Australia expect the sales split in range will be IS200t at 50 percent, the IS 300h hybrid at 30 percent and just a 20 percent take-up for the V6-powered IS 350.
2017 Lexus IS pricing (plus on-road costs)
IS 200t Luxury – $59,340 (up $690)
IS 200t F Sport – $67,480 (up $950)
IS 200t Sports Luxury – $78,040 (up $290)
IS 300h Luxury – $61,890 (up $690)
IS 300h F Sport – $70,310 (up $950)
IS 300h Sports Luxury – $81,160 (up $620)
IS 350 Luxury – $65,390 (up $690)
IS 350 F Sport – $73,540 (up $890)
IS 350 Sports Luxury – $84,160 (up $290)
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