Lexus’ compact sport sedan, the 2015 Lexus IS, is tweaked this year after a complete redesign for 2014. The slightly updated Lexus IS 350 and IS 250 models gain some new technology features in addition to a slightly updated interior, but otherwise remain the same mechanically.
We’re frankly surprised that the 2015 IS is not gaining the newly developed 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will make its debut on the 2015 Lexus NX 200t compact crossover later this year. We expected that this new engine would replace the 204-hp 2.5-liter V-6 engine in the IS 250, but that engine, and the IS 350’s 306-hp 3.5-liter V-6, remain for 2015. Both engines are available with all-wheel drive as an option. Look for a possible mid-year update to bring the turbo four to this sport sedan, though, as this new engine would provide much more competitive power and fuel economy numbers to compete with rivals like the BMW 3 series and Cadillac ATS.
Most of the 2015 Lexus IS’ minor updates center around new technology features. The Remote Touch infotainment system gains Siri Eyes-Free mode, which allows for iPhone 4S and 5 voice commands for things like navigation, calendar, and music requests as well as phone notifications to operate through the car’s Bluetooth system. Additionally, the backup camera gains grid lines for easier parking, and there is a new Lexus Enform Remote app for smartphones that allows owners to use unlock, lock, remote start, and vehicle finder functions from afar.
There are also some trim changes to the interior, like additional piano black inserts on the window switches and instrument panel and a Stratus Gray interior color that replaces Light Gray. 2015 Lexus IS F Sport models also now have heated and ventilated front seats as standard, and F Sport sedans equipped with all-wheel drive also now have a heated steering wheel. The heated steering wheel is also an option on non-F Sport models. On the outside, the only change is the addition of LED foglights, so you’ll be hard-pressed to tell a 2015 IS from a 2014.
Stay tuned for updated pricing numbers on the 2015 Lexus IS lineup closer to when the car goes on sale, likely within the next few weeks.