Lexus IS saloon - Interior & comfort
As we’ve come to expect from the brand, the Lexus IS is spacious and comfortable inside
Inside, the Lexus IS is luxurious, welcoming and characterful. The interior design is pleasingly different from rival cars, while material quality is excellent.
Lexus IS dashboard
The Lexus’ dashboard is very distinctive and quite different to the restrained classiness of an Audi interior or the flowing stylishness you’ll find in the latest Mercedes C-Class. It’s quite angular and futuristic, which will likely appeal to some buyers more than others, but at least Lexus is trying something different here. Satin silver trim prevents things from getting too grey and oppressive and the dashboard is divided into several sloping steps.
The dashboard also features some very nifty touch-sensitive heating controls - there’s no physical dial to twist or slider to move, you just slide your finger along the panel to raise or lower the temperature as desired. Finally, models fitted with Lexus’ sat-nav infotainment system get a joystick controller in the centre console, which works well most of the time but can be put off if you’re on a bumpy road.
One particularly neat touch are a pair of knee pads for the driver and front passenger for added comfort. They run along the length of the centre console and have additional stitching on high-spec models.
Like all Japanese luxury cars, the Lexus IS is very well equipped. Standard kit across the range comprises alloy wheels, electric windows all round, power-adjustable heated door mirrors, foglights, bright xenon headlights, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a seven-inch display screen and DAB digital radio.
After the entry-level SE model, all models of the IS come with Lexus Safety System+, which includes autonomous emergency braking. Luxury trim adds bigger alloy wheels (17-inch), parking sensors, rain-sensitive wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, as well as a larger 10 inch infotainment screen, complete with sat nav.
The Executive Edition is primarily aimed at business users and has plenty of standard kit so company-car buyers don’t have to increase their tax liability by adding options. It also has 17-inch alloy wheels (along with all the features of the SE and Luxury), plus heated adjustable leather seats.
Advance trim adds leather, electrically adjustable seats, while Sport models come with black exterior detailing, larger 18-inch black alloy wheels and contrasting interior upholstery colours. Luxuries like heated seats are thrown in, as is Lexus' sat nav system and a reversing camera.
As its name suggests, the F-Sport is the sporty member of the IS family – it gets 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and lower, stiffer suspension, which unfortunately results in a pretty harsh ride on UK roads. You also get special sports seats and dials inspired by those in the Lexus LFA supercar.
Top of the IS range is the Premier specification, which boasts 18-inch alloys, heated, ventilated and power-adjustable seats, a premium navigation system with a 10.3-inch screen, an upgraded Mark Levinson stereo and driving aids like adaptive cruise control.
Lexus IS options mostly consist of equipment that’s standard on higher-spec models and can be added to trims lower down the range. So you can add leather seats, sat nav, parking sensors and safety aids to the SE, while the both the Luxury and F-Sport can be bolstered with leather seats, as well as the standard and premium navigation systems. Finally, you can specify smaller 17-inch alloy wheels on the range-topping Premier if you think the standard 18s will result in too-harsh ride quality.