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#6

in 2011 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $22,327 - $31,351
Original MSRP: $33,295 - $46,640
MPG: 19 City / 27 Hwy
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2011 Lexus IS Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The passenger cabin of the 2011 Lexus IS is luxurious, as one would expect from a Lexus. But some find the ambiance too relaxed for a car that is supposed to be sporty. The new-for-2011 F Sport package adds heated front seats with microfiber inserts that hold you in place while you’re carving canyons.

  • "Lexus' usual large, legible gauges and handy, intuitive minor controls. The steering wheel obscures switches on the lower dashboard, though. On the convertible, some displays wash out in sunlight with the top down. The screen of the optional navigation system is easy to read. It controls many audio and climate functions but is easier to learn than most navigation systems" -- Consumer Guide
  • "Boasts a finely wrought interior, with top-notch materials and an attractively sporty design. Fit and finish is generally excellent...noise levels are Lexus low." -- Edmunds

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Seating         

The front seats of the Lexus IS win praise for comfort but reviewers say the rear seat is too small for adults. A few testers say the heated and cooled front seats are too small for taller adults as well.  The sharply raked roofline gives the car small doors, especially in the rear, so getting in and out can be a challenge.

  • "Don't let the IS 350's four doors fool you; in terms of interior space, it's more akin to a luxury coupe" -- Edmunds
  • "Adult-size leg space, but headroom is very limited for six-footers. The seats are comfortably shaped and padded on IS 250 and 350.... Narrow door openings and small footwells impede entry and exit." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Also new for the IS Convertible: the front seats have increased ventilation for cooling, and the heating elements have been included in the seat shoulders - good stuff for when the top is down in chilly weather." -- Autoblog

Interior Features

Lexus outfits every IS with leather and a choice of maple or metallic trim. Reviewers are particularly impressed with cabin electronics that testers think are some of the best in the business. Reviewers say the interior controls on the Lexus IS are easy to understand; that’s a sharp contrast to the controls from German competitors, which some reviewers joke are labeled with Egyptian hieroglyphics.

  • "Lexus' usual large, legible gauges and handy, intuitive minor controls. The steering wheel obscures switches on the lower dashboard, though. The screen of the optional navigation system is easy to read. It controls many audio and climate functions but is easier to learn than most navigation systems." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Lexus also offers one of the best electronics interfaces in the business, with easy-to-use controls all around. The optional navigation system and accompanying touchscreen are particularly user-friendly." -- Edmunds
  • Convertibles are available with interiors in "alabaster and black, and - this is where that wilder side starts to play - an alabaster and blue two-tone interior. Like the sun that will shine upon it, the two-tone affair is the source of serious polarity. If you like it, it's there for you. If you don't, you're back to black or (off) white." -- Autoblog

Cargo

The trunk of the IS is small for its class and cursed with a small opening. Sedans come with 13 cubic feet of space, which trails the Cadillac CTS and Infiniti G37. Even worse, testers say that interior storage isn't much better. Lexus says that a full-size golf bag will fit in the trunk of IS convertibles even when the roof is down, but no media outlets have yet been able to test that claim.

  • "Packing gets complicated with a small trunk opening and intrusion from the rear wheel arches and trunklid hinges. The hinges are covered, though, to keep them from damaging any cargo. Cabin storage is mediocre. -- Consumer Guide
  • "The IS C is 2.2 inches longer than the IS sedan, and the rear decklid hunchbacks upward, leaving room for golf bags and flat luggage. It'll even hold one of the full-size tires with the top down if you happen to get a flat" -- Car and Driver
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