It's sensible to suppose that when you are offered more, you will have to shell out more. But that logic is inappropriate where the new 2009 Lexus IS is involved. Lexus has provided its fashionable sports saloon a striking appearance both inside and out, placed additional equipment features and made detail modifications to supply even better handling, while cutting prices in excess of £1,000 on some models in the process - £22,490 (IS 220d SE).
Carbon dioxide discharges from the 175 bhp (177 DIN hp) 2.2-liter diesel engine in the IS 220d have been effectively lowered from 168 to 163g/km, moving the model down a band for Vehicle Excise Duty (E to D). This saves £25 on a year's road fund license and also lowers the Benefit in Kind (BIK) price for company car tax computation to 23 per cent. Emissions generated by the 2.5-liter V6 petrol motor in the IS 250 remains the same at 231g/km (manual) and 214g/km (automatic).
Lexus launches a new three-level configuration for the 2009 IS series: SE, SE-I and SE-L, with comprehensive improved specifications. The most prominent improvement is the provision of Lexus' highly developed handling and safety system Vehicle Integrated Dynamics Management (VDIM) as normal on all vehicles.
VDIM synchronizes the function of the car's ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with the Electric Power Steering (EPS), offering seamless, maximized support as the car reaches the top of its performance boundaries. All models are currently equipped with rear seat folding headrests for enhanced rear view when the rear is not occupied.
Cellensia suede-effect upholstery is created for the entry level SE versions, while the new SE-I model is patterned on the current SE grade with the fitting of front and rear parking sensors. For the top of the line IS 250, which is now offered entirely with automatic transmission, and 220d SE-L models, 18-inch alloy wheels become a typical feature.
These and the 17-inch rims highlighted on the SE-I models both have a new design. The Multimedia Pack selection for the IS SE-L (£2,710) offers the same features, but with a 14-speaker Mark Levinson hifi system with 5.1 surround sound and six-DVD changer. The satellite navigation provides an extra Dynamic Route Guidance function to provide automatic reroutes to stay away from any delays identified on a pre-programmed ride.
The Multimedia Pack selection for the IS SE-L (£2,710) offers the same features, but with a 14-speaker Mark Levinson hifi system with 5.1 surround sound and six-DVD changer. The satellite navigation provides an extra Dynamic Route Guidance function to provide automatic reroutes to stay away from any delays identified on a pre-programmed ride.
At the rear of the vehicle are understated alterations to the rear lamp clusters, and to the rear bumper of the IS 250. New-design 17-inch and 18-inch alloys are set up and two new paint finishes join the IS palette: Atacama Gold and Sable. In the passenger compartment the changes are restricted to minor modifications to the tone of interior upholsteries and trims and the shape of switches and graphics on the center console. The SE-L grade profits from improved wood colors.