After quite some time, the Lexus IS has finally been updated, and the facelifted version of the IS has been revealed. It has received substantial changes on the outside, inside and under the hood as well. The IS seems to have taken inspiration from the ES, and that is a good thing because the ES itself is quite a handsome looking vehicle. Without further ado, let us see what is new with the 2021 IS.
The exteriors of the 2021 IS
Before we talk about the styling or new features, I think it is important to talk about how the IS has grown up. This can be proven by the fact this IS is now 30mm longer and 30 mm wider than the passing IS model. This would surely make the cabin a tad bit roomier, and changes like these are always welcome.
On taking a closer look, you notice that the headlamps are now much sleeker and within these headlamps are the new triple-beam LEDs. The DRLs resemble a ‘tick-mark’ like design. Heading on to the rear, you will notice that the tail lights have been received a massive revision from the previous generation IS. The tail light runs across the entire width of vehicle, and while it may look quite exquisite, it reminds me a lot of the 2020 Hyundai I20’s posterior. The IS sits on a set of standard 18 inch alloy wheels (19 inch alloy wheels are optional), as for the body paint options, there are 5 new paint colours.
The interiors of the 2021 IS
The cabin of the IS would be a familiar place to be in for those who have used Lexus vehicles in the past. On the lower end trims, the IS would be equipped with an 8 inch infotainment system, as for the higher end trims, a 10.3 inch infotainment system would be included. Both of these systems have been brought closer to the driver, which makes it more driver-centric. Android and Apple users can rejoice as the smaller and larger system support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. What is surprising is that it also supports Amazon Alexa as well, good job Lexus. The speaker system continues to be a Mark Levinson sound system, and the 17 speaker set has been improved to produce 1800 watts.
The seats use a NuLuxe trimmed upholstery, and colours of the seats can chosen, the options being Black, Glazed Caramel, or Roja Red (red makes the cabin look incredibly hot and sporty). Furthermore the driver’s seat is electrically adjustable in 10-ways while the passenger seat is adjustable in 8-ways. Other features include push button start, dual-zone climate control, a moonroof and it continues to sport the trademark Lexus trackpad.
The mechanicals of the 2021 IS
Naoki Kobayashi, the international chief engineer of Lexus said, “We retained the compact body and aimed to make the new IS a Lexus compact sports sedan that provides high-quality ride comfort while offering a high level of vehicle control.”
The IS has been powered by a 3 engines, the base IS 300 uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 244 ps and 258 pound feet of torque and this engine is coupled to an 8 speed automatic transmission. The IS 300 AWD on the other hand is brought to life by a V6 3.5 litre engine which creates 264 ps and 236 pound-feet of torque. The other higher end trims such as the IS 350, IS 350 AWD, and IS 350 F Sport variants employ a 3.5 litre V6 as well, but this engine delivers 311 ps. Amongst these trims, the is 350 and IS 350 F Sport use an 8 speed automatic transmission, while the IS 350 AWD uses a 6 speed automatic.
The changes to the mechanicals are not restricted only to the powertrain. Lexus claims that the chassis of the IS has been tweaked, and the body rigidity of the vehicle has been improved because of which, noise, vibration, harshness will be minimised, and ride comfort would be bettered.
Safety features of the 2021 IS
The IS has done quite well in all departments, and it continues to do well here as well, as it is equipped with Lexus Safety System+ 2.5. Under this system the vehicle has prime features such as automatic emergency braking, road sign assist, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, bicyclist detection and adaptive cruise control. Other basic safety features are also included in the vehicle.
I am impressed, when can I get it?
It looks like only the US, Japan and a few other Asian markets will see the 2021 IS landing on their shores. Though I hope Lexus considers selling this model in India, as this vehicle could prove to be a great alternative to the Mercedes C Class, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE and Audi A4.