According to the firsthand impressions of TheCarConnection.com’s editors and reviews from around the Web, the 2009 Lexus IS wins with styling that reminds everyone of larger, more expensive Lexus sedans.
For 2009, styling upgrades include revised front and rear bumper covers, as well as a grille. IS wheels feature new designs, and new turn signals are now integrated into the exterior mirrors.
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.” The Orlando Sentinel calls this 2009 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." Cars.com points out that the 2009 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 2009 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.
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." In addition to the Lexus IS's "athletic poise [and] impressive build," the Edmunds reviewers are very impressed with its interior, deeming the cabin "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."