$8,269 - $9,794

2009 Lexus IS Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 Lexus IS was new.


Interior: 7.7

The passenger cabin of the 2009 Lexus IS is luxurious, as one would expect from a Lexus. But some find the ambiance too relaxed for a sporty car.

  • "Cabin decor includes rich-looking upholstery, soft-touch surfaces, and high-grade plastics." -- 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
  • "Climbing inside, we had every reason to believe that this is a fine luxury automobile, marked by glove-soft leather seats that are adjustable more than 10 ways, a nice three-spoke leather-wrapped wheel and easy-to-read gauges." -- MarketWatch
  • "The immaculately trimmed interior with fastidious fit and finish won't disappoint luxury seekers." -- Car and Driver
  • "The car's interior is fairly comfortable and stylish, with large backlit gauges and a tasteful application of metallic trim. It's also relatively quiet, thanks to extra attention paid to reducing wind and road noise" -- Forbes
  • "All the surfaces are soft to the touch, and the switchgear is well laid out and of high quality. The wood trim sprinkled about is genuine and looks rich and lustrous; the sport package replaces it with a satin-finished faux-metal material." -- Motor Trend


The front seats of the Lexus IS win praise for comfort, but the rear seat is too small for adults. A few testers say the heated and cooled front seat is 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
  • "Front-seat riders will like the cabin of the Lexus IS 250, but taller riders will dislike the rear." -- Forbes
  • Convertibles"rear seats offer decent leg space if the forward passengers are considerate and slide up." -- Car and Driver
  • "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, including an optional Mark Levinson stereo that exceeds what some competitors have to offer.

  • "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
  • "While the navigation system includes audio and ventilation controls, it's fairly easy to get the hang of. This system should be the model for others." -- MarketWatch
  • "The main gauges are easy to read, nicely detailed, and offer driver-adjustable redline and speed warnings." -- Motor Trend
  • 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


The trunk of the IS, however, is small for its class and cursed with a small opening. 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
  • "There were two cupholders in the console, revealed when the top slides back, and one in front. In addition, there's a fold-down armrest in the rear with a pair of cupholders for the cramped rear passengers." -- The Auto Channel
  • "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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