The luxury sports sedan segment is heating up with new additions and updated versions of some of the most legendary models. The segment is occupied by the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, and the Lexus IS. There are also some newcomers including the Jaguar XE, Infiniti Q50, and the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
With all these updates and new additions, automakers are working extra hard to keep up with the times and offering a something little extra with each model year to stay competitive. The Lexus IS is a perfect example. Ever since the new generation model went on sale in 2013, Lexus has been updating and retouching the luxury sedan with new design cues, a more versatile powertrain lineup, and more technology features. With that in mind, Lexus once again updated the IS for the 2017 model year and we’re here to take a closer look at how it is keeping up in the competitive segment.
The 2017 Lexus IS carries on its extremely aggressive design for the new model year but also features some enhancements. The overall silhouette and polarizing front-end with the giant spindle grille are here to stay, but other design upgrades make it look more refined.
Changes include new headlamps, large air intakes, and a slight evolution of Lexus’ spindle grille. You’ll notice how the air intakes flow fluently from the fenders making for a more refined and aggressive look. The upgraded spindle grille folds back at the top and changes its top and bottom size for a sportier look. Our 2017 Lexus IS 200t F Sport model features a three-dimensional F-mesh pattern grille with a jet-black metallic coating. The rear end of the new 2017 Lexus IS a more pronounced ‘L’-shaped LED light and new rectangular chrome exhaust tips.
Size-wise, the 2017 Lexus IS sits on a wheelbase that measures 110.2 inches with an overall length of 184.3 inches. The width of the 2017 Lexus IS comes in at 71.3 inches and the height comes in at 56.3 inches.
Overall, the changes to the exterior may seem subtle – but they definitely give the Lexus IS a cleaner and crisper stance. When compared to other options in the luxury sedan segment, the Lexus IS definitely stands out from the crowd with its aggressive design while others go for a more luxurious and subtle design language.
Take a seat inside the 2017 Lexus IS and you’ll be welcomed by an extremely quality built luxury interior. For the new model year, there are few changes that include a new 10.3 inch multimedia display screen (replacing the seven-inch screen), a refined audio and ventilation control panel, stitching on top of the meter hood, new cup holders, larger leather-wrapped palm rest, and a new design to the signature Lexus analog clock.
Our test model, the 2017 Lexus IS F Sport, features additional upgrades included bolstered leather heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, aluminum pedals, race inspired instruments, and exclusive stitching accents.
Depending on the model or package you pick, the 2017 Lexus IS comes with many technology features including the 10.3-inch center console mounted widescreen display, 15-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson sound system, navigation, Lexus Enform infotainment, Bluetooth, remote touch control, memory power seats, dual-zone climate control (standard on all models), heated steering wheel, and a range of safety features that we’ll get into later.
Dimensions-wise, the 2017 Lexus IS offers 44.8 inches of legroom for front row passengers and 32.2 inches of legroom for rear seat passengers. Cargo volume comes in at 13.8 cubic feet.
Overall, the interior of the 2017 Lexus IS has been slightly upgraded with better additions and an impressive list of standard and optional features.
The 2017 Lexus IS is available with three powertrain options but we’re going to focus our attention on our test model – the Lexus IS 200t F Sport.
The Lexus IS 200t F Sport is powered by a 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo engine making 241 horsepower and a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft. The engine is mated to an eighth-speed automatic transmission which allows the 2017 Lexus IS 200t to run from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 139 mph.
Now, while this is a four cylinder turbo, you may think that performance is lacking here. Well, while this isn’t a downright fast sports car, the Lexus IS 200t surprisingly offers quick acceleration and sporty handling in a more refined and comfortable package. The Drive Mode selector allows you to circle through four driving modes including Normal, Eco, Sport, and Sport+. If you opt for the F Sport model you will notice a little more bump in performance in terms of acceleration and handling.
When it comes to fuel economy, the 2017 Lexus IS 200t F Sport offers an EPA-estimated 22/33 mpg* (city/highway).
Besides your long list of standard safety features, the 2017 Lexus IS can be optioned out with some next-level driver assistance technologies. The Lexus Safety System + adds on a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot alert, automatic high-beam, adaptive cruise control, park assist (automatic parallel parking), and much more.
There is no doubt that the 2017 Lexus IS continues to carry on the legacy for this model. It continues to get more and more refined with an aggressive and classy design and continuously evolves with time to offer the best technologies for a vehicle in this segment. Prices for the 2017 Lexus IS start at $37,825**. Visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealer for a test drive today.
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.