Making its debut at the Beijing Auto Show, the 2017 Lexus IS lineup gets a welcome refresh that adds a new level of polished edge to the automaker’s popular midsize 4-door sport sedan. The changes bring a bolder exterior and a more user-friendly cabin with more driver assists.

The most obvious changes to the 2017 IS are up front. Modifications to its L-finesse design language start with a more aggressive fascia in the form of a bolder spindle grille where the central crease line has been elevated and now flows into a reshaped hood. The new grille also houses functional brake cooling ducts and on the F Sport models sports a new 3D-look F-mesh insert done in a jet-black metallic finish. The nose is also fitted with reshaped LED headlamps/running lights and larger air intakes.

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The profile of the 2017 IS Sedan has sharper character lines and revised, aero-enhancing side garnishes along with new 17-inch alloy wheels. Redesigned taillamps gain more visible L-shaped LEDs and the restyled diffuser features bright dual exhaust outlets. All versions of the IS will offer new Deep Blue Mica and Graphite Black Glass Flake exterior colors.

Cabin upgrades

Inside, Lexus upped the appeal of the well-finished passenger compartment with new trim and accent elements that emphasize its sporty elegance. Functional enhancements include a new 10.3-inch high-res multimedia touchscreen that works with an improved Remote Touch Interface controller featuring convenient Enter buttons on either side. The audio/climate control panel has been redesigned for better functionality along with the graphics on its in-dash analog clock. Even the cupholders had been upgraded to make them more useful.

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There are no changes to the powertrains on the 2017 Lexus IS Sedan, which will continue to offer a 241-horsepower/2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder in the IS 200t, a 255-horse/3.5-liter V6 in the IS300 AWD and a 306-horse/3.5-liter V6 in the IS 350/IS 350 AWD. Rear-drive IS models use 8-speed automatic transmissions and the AWD variants backing their engines with a 6-speed automatics. All 2017 IS family members will feature an upgraded Lexus Safety System + that expands the roster of driver assists to include previously optional Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams.

The 2017 Lexus IS Sedan arrives in dealers later this year and pricing will be announced closer to the actual on-sale date.

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