2017 Lexus IS Revealed in China with Sharpened Styling
No mechanical changes, just a slight visual overhaul
Following an earlier teaser, the 2017 Lexus IS debuts at the Beijing auto show with an updated look inside and out. Lexus applied some very mild changes to the IS sedan's exterior, but the overall style of the sport sedan is maintained.
The most significant facelift takes place at the front fascia, with new headlamps, enlarged front air intakes, a slightly tweaked spindle grille, and a subtle reshape for the hood. The headlamps now use square-shaped lighting elements rather than circular lamps, but the familiar check-shaped LED daytime running lights underneath remain. In F Sport trim, the 2017 Lexus IS gets the same black mesh pattern as on the larger GS sedan, but the IS now also has functional brake cooling ducts thanks to the larger openings in the front bumper.
The look is essentially the same in profile, save for small design and finish changes to the 10-spoke 17-inch wheels. At the rear, the 2017 Lexus IS gets gently updated L-shaped signature LED lighting for the taillights, as well as a pair of rectangular chrome exhaust outlets.
Inside, the 2017 Lexus IS will now offer a 10.3-inch infotainment display, which is a big step up from the 7-inch unit in the older car. Otherwise, the changes are very mild: A new "Enter" button next to the touchpad controller, a new dash finish, small clarifications for the instrument cluster, new cupholders, and updated stitching. Upgraded active safety tech, including adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist are all now offered.
Mechanically the Lexus IS will go unchanged, carrying on with its base 2.0-liter turbo-four for the IS 200t and eight-speed automatic transmission. A pair of 3.5-liter V-6 engines will remain available, either with 255 hp in the IS 300 AWD or 306 hp in the rear-drive IS 350.
Expect the 2017 Lexus IS to go on sale with these updates in the U.S. later this year. We'll report back with more market-specific details such as pricing as they become available.