Founded in 1989, Lexus has been since known as one of the top luxury vehicle brands on the market today. What may not be as commonly known, is that in fact Lexus is the luxury division of the Japanese automaker Toyota. Yes, the makers of the gas-sipping Prius produce a large line of luxury sedans, coupes, convertibles and SUVs. Scion is another division of Toyota as well, but that is a discussion for another time. The Lexus brand began as a challenge from Eiji Toyoda, Toyota founder and chairman, when he wanted to build the world’s best car. From that challenge, Lexus was born and the first model, Lexus LS 400 was the result. Since then Lexus has expanded into over 70 markets today and is Japan’s largest-selling maker of high-end cars. While the impressive story of how Lexus came to be and the cars that have resulted since its beginning is interesting, the matter at hand is the newly restyled 2017 Lexus IS.
The 2017 Lexus IS is the updated third-generation sports sedan and its looks fall more closely in line with the rest of the Lexus models like the GS sedan and the RC sports coupe. Expected to arrive at dealerships later this fall, the IS has been given a dramatic facelift and is one of the highly anticipated arrivals of the fall. While the styling of the IS has always been very popular, Lexus believes that the new look will generate even more excitement and hopes to draw newcomers to the market. Competitors of the IS are the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. While the competition is strong and brand loyalty is hard to shake, the new Lexus IS is a hard one to pass on.
- Colors- Along with the design updates, two new exterior colors will be offered; Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black Glass Flake. These new colors will be available along with the original colors of Eminent White Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl, Silver Lining Metallic, Atomic Silver, Obsidian and Redline.
- Grill- The iconic grille of the Luxus line of vehicles got an aggressive upgrade with the new IS. The grille will feature a 3D F-mesh pattern with a jet-black metallic coating. Also, there are matching brake-cooling ducts on either side of the front grille. The headlamps were given a slight modification, which make them more pronounced to give a more eye-catching appeal especially with the daytime running lights on. Not a huge change, but will definitely be noticeable to those that are familiar with the traditional grille style. Luxus was trying to give a sportier and more assertive look to the IS F Sport and from the looks of it they were successful.
- Others- The hood has been raised and bulked up in the center for a more dominate appeal. The back bumper and taillights have been shaped and restyled a bit. Rectangular chromed exhaust tips add a flashy new piece to the exterior of the car.
- Screen- the infotainment screen has been enlarged a significant amount to appeal to the tech savvy generation, the old models featured a 7-inch screen, which has now been increased to 10.3-inches. The interface has also become more user-friendly and intuitive, which the new “Enter” buttons along the side of the second-generation Remote Touch Interface can take credit for. The audio and HVAC control panel has been modified slightly and the option for a 15-speaker sound system by Mark Levinson is also available to those who truly value high quality sound when listening to music.
- Cup holders and Colors- a brand new color scheme called Chateau, which is a light-gray shade, is meant to appeal to the luxury shoppers. This new color will be added to the eight others that are already available to customers. Who doesn’t love more options to choose from, right? And don’t forget the redesigned cup holders because it is the small touches that make Lexus a luxury brand.
Performance and Safety
- Safety- the safety equipment has been upgraded with the Lexus Safety System + that includes driver-assisting features like pre-collision system, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam headlights and radar cruise control. Lexus brings together the latest safety technology for not only the IS, but all their models as well. You know that you are not only getting a luxury car, but a very safe one as well.
- Performance- Lexus is constantly trying to improve the driving experience with each new upgraded model they launch and the IS is no exception. While the powertrains remain unaltered, the engines have been given a bit more kick. The base features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder with 241-horsepower and the upgraded engine is a 3.5-liter V6 with the option of 255 or 306-horsepower. While not quite muscle car status, all three options give the Lexus IS enough power to enjoy driving. Along with the three engine options, the IS will come in three different models: IS 200t, IS 300 AWD and IS 350. Lexus discontinued the IS 250 and IS 250 AWD models and the 2017 IS with not be offered in a hybrid model like previous years.
So overall, the Lexus IS wasn’t reinvented or completely overhauled but instead given a few style updates that help the model align more closely with what the customers are looking for; a sportier luxury car. Since the beginning, Lexus has set out to produce the world’s best car and continue to do an exceptional job trying to reach that goal. From their sedans, coupes, convertibles and SUVs, their brand loyalty is extremely high and luxury car owners know what to expect when they buy a Lexus and the new 2017 Lexus IS is no exception.
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