The 2008 Lexus IS bears the styling hallmarks of larger Lexus sedans, according to reviews from around the Web and the firsthand impressions of TheCarConnection.com’s editors. It's part of a new styling theme for the brand that has woken up its snoozy reputation for looks. Still, the Lexus IS is more mild than wild, though the interior has nice aluminum-look trim on the console.
Cars.com points out that the 2008 Lexus IS's styling this year "bears a strong family resemblance to its larger, GS series of sport sedans." Kelley Blue Book also comments on this, calling this 2008 Lexus "visually reminiscent of the larger GS." This vehicle's visual attractiveness seems to be a matter of personal taste; Kelley Blue Book, comparing the Lexus IS to its rival BMW 3-Series, finds it lacking. The Orlando Sentinel calls this 2008 Lexus a "BMW Series-3 fighter," while Car and Driver sings its praises: "the styling Lexus gave the new IS line turns the car from sharp to stunning." The Los Angeles Times reports “the luxury division of Toyota has managed, not quite consciously, to build the 3-series that Munich would have built if they hadn’t gotten a straitjacket on design chief Chris Bangle,” and dubs the look “crowded and turbulent.”
In addition to the Lexus IS's "athletic poise [and] impressive build," the Edmunds reviewers are very impressed with its interior, describing the cabin as "impeccably finished." Car and Driver reports that the interior "has a more luxurious look, and the leather and plastic seem even better than those in the original model." ConsumerGuide describes the Lexus IS's interior in glowing terms: "decor is the Lexus-typical mix of rich-looking upholstery, soft-touch surfaces, and high-grade plastics."