WHILE riding the wave of record sports utility vehicle sales, Lexus aims to maintain the strength of its core conservative market with an updated IS sedan.
Lexus Australia chief executive Peter McGregor describes the mid-life update of the 2017 Lexus IS Line as the "sum of its parts”, with incremental improvements across the range.
Prices have risen, less than $1000 across the board, now starting from $59,340 for the entry-level IS 200t.
There are three engines, a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol, a petrol-electric hybrids and the tried and trusted V6. Each drivetrain offers three equipment grades for a nine-variant line-up.
Fifteen changes have been made inside, including a new 10.3-inch colour screen, but the upgrades are certainly more evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
Mr McGregor says the upgrades have brought new levels of driver engagement, styling, luxury and convenience.
"Every improvement on the new Lexus IS Line has been made with the aim of enhancing the owner, driver and occupant experience,” Mr McGregor said.
"It is a typically thoughtful response to the requirement of continual improvement in everything Lexus undertakes.”
Lexus maintains the price increases are offset by adding safety technology, convenience features and luxury appointments.
All IS vehicles now have "Lexus Safety System+”, consisting of Pre-Collision Safety System, Active Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning+ with Sway Warning System and Automatic High-Beam. That combines with 10 airbags and rear camera.
Other standard gear includes daytime running lamps, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, emergency brake lamps, Hill-start Assist Control, paddle shifters on the steering wheel, digital radio, LCD multi-information display, Lexus Remote Touch controller, satellite navigation with Suna traffic alerts, heated and ventilated front seats, voice-control multi-media system, pop-up bonnet and Tyre-Pressure Monitoring System.
IS 200t Luxury $59,340
IS 200t F Sport $67,480
IS 200t Sports Luxury $78,040
IS 300h Luxury $61,890
IS 300h F Sport $70,310
IS 300h Sports Luxury $81,160
IS 350 Luxury $65,390
IS 350 F Sport $73,540
IS 350 Sports Luxury $84,160
IS 200t - Grades: Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury
A front performance damper is standard equipment on IS 200t, as are power-adjustable front seats and steering column.
New features in the model include 10.3-inch multimedia screen, 10-speaker audio system, new design Bi-LED headlamps, new design bright-finish 17-inch alloy wheels and dual trapezoidal exhaust tips.
Optional $2500 enhancement includes a sunroof.
The F Sport grade adds special badging, front grille and rear bumper, steering wheel, scuff plates and LFA-style eight-inch LCD instrumentation, as well as Adaptive Variable Suspension, sports suspension calibration, four-mode Lexus Drive Mode Select, sports pedals, high-friction front brake pads, new '3L' LED headlamps, dark premium metallic finish 18-inch alloy wheels, sports front seats, unique instrumentation, new Naguri-style aluminium ornamentation, driver's seat and exterior mirror memory functions, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
An F Sport enhancement pack adds the 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system and sunroof for $4000.
The top-of-the-line $78,040 IS 200t Sports Luxury has as standard moon roof, 18-inch alloy wheels, new finish laser-cut woodgrain trim, Mark Levinson 15-speaker audio, LED headlamps, electric rear sunshade, Smart Key card, AVS, sports suspension, five-setting Drive Mode Select, and driver's seat and exterior mirror setting memory.
IS 300h - Grade: Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury
The $61,890 hybrid IS 300h has the same features as the 200t, and an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission with sequential-shift feature, electric vehicle (EV) mode, run-flat tyres in lieu of temporary spare wheel, switchable tacho/HV meter and acceleration sound control.
The sunroof is $2500.
IS 300h F Sport adds adaptive variable suspension (AVS), sports suspension, four-setting Drive Mode Select, sports pedals, high-friction front brake pads, 18-inch alloy wheels, sports front seats and unique instrumentation, and retails for $70,310*.
The $4000 F Sport enhancement pack adds the premium Mark Levinson audio system and sunroof.
The $81,160 IS 300h Sports Luxury gains 18-inch alloy wheels, electric rear sunshade, woodgrain trim, Mark Levinson audio and metallic scuff plates.
IS 350 - Grades: Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury
All IS 350 models have a front performance damper designed to "increase agility, stability and ride comfort, as well as driving quality while reducing noise, vibration and harshness”.
Unique to this derivative, IS 350 F Sport and Sports Luxury have variable gear ratio steering.
The range starts at $65,390 with new 17-inch alloy wheels. A sunroof pack is $2500.
IS 350 F Sport, $73,540, features 18-inch alloy wheels, unique bodywork, sports pedals, F Sport steering wheel, high-friction front brake pads, F Sport seats, Mark Levinson audio, unique instrumentation and driver's seat memory function. Add $2500 for the sunroof.
IS 350 Sports Luxury retails for $84,160 and gains 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio, unique new design bright machine finish 18-inch alloy wheels, moon roof, electric rear sunshade, metallic scuff plates and woodgrain trim.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.