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Lexus announces ‘significant’ updates for IS

Frugal new diesel engine now available

The Lexus IS gets a frugal diesel engine

The Lexus IS gets a frugal new diesel engine

Lexus has announced a series of updates for its junior executive IS model, describing them as ‘the most significant’ since the current generation’s 2005 launch. Chief among the changes to the Lexus IS is the introduction of a more frugal diesel engine.

New IS 200d is more efficient

The new IS 200d replaces the existing IS 220d. A heavily revised version of the same 2.2-litre capacity turbodiesel, the IS 200d sees fuel economy improve to 55.4mpg and CO2 drop to 134g/km – compared with 50.4mpg and 148g/km CO2 for the IS 220d. It is also fitted with a diesel particulate filter as standard, bringing it in line with Euro 5 emissions regulations.

Lexus IS: new engines cause a drop in power

The new diesel is less powerful

However, in achieving this Lexus has reduced the power output from 175bhp to a considerably less impressive 148bhp. This sees a corresponding drop in performance, with the 0-62mph time slowing from 8.9 seconds to 10.2 seconds.

The V6 petrol engine powering the IS 250 saloon and IS 250C coupé-cabriolet has also been updated. It’s now available only alongside an automatic gearbox, but it achieves Euro 5 emissions compliance. Fuel economy for the saloon improves from 31.7mpg to 33.6mpg, with a CO2 reduction from 209g/km to 194g/km; the convertible sees a milder increase from 30.4mpg to 30.7mpg, while CO2 drops 6g/km to 213g/km. These improvements come without any performance penalty; the 2.5-litre V6 maintains its 205bhp power output.

F-Sport trim looks even more like the IS-F

F-Sport looks even more like the IS-F

IS looks different, too

In addition to the engineering alterations, Lexus has also made some cosmetic modifications and standard equipment enhancements. All versions of the IS benefit from new lights front and rear, with LED daytime running lights incorporated into the HID (high intensity discharge) headlamps. There are also new wheel designs and exterior colour changes.

The aggressive F-Sport trim moves visually even closer to the high performance IS-F it’s based on – with a new front spoiler with foglights, new grille, new rear spoiler, and dark-silver 18-inch alloy wheels. On the inside there is leather and Alcantara, extra titanium-effect trim and an anthracite roof liner.

F-Sport saloons start from £28,290

F-Sport saloons start from £28,290

Meanwhile SE-I spec cars gain automatic wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, and a new leather trim including heated front seats.

Lexus IS prices

Prices for the revised Lexus IS start at £24,350 for the IS 200d SE, rising to £40,941 for the IS 250C SE-L. This means the new, less powerful diesel starts at exactly the same amount as the outgoing higher-output version – but at least you’ll have less to pay in vehicle excise duty, and/or company car tax.

F-Sport specification saloons are priced from £28,290, while the range is completed by the SE-I trim level, which slots in between SE and F-Sport. On sale now.

Read our reviews of the Lexus IS

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