September 19, 2018

The 2017 Lexus IS Interior’s Big Annoyance: Form over Function

Form and function are two often competing for the same space. Form, the beauty and style of an object, can prove hard to retain when adding functionality, the ingrained usability of an object. The is a perfect example of an automotive battleground where these two concepts duke it out. And in the case, form is winning.

Let’s back up a bit. I’m driving the revised sedan this week – the 2.0-liter turbo-four-powered, RWD sports sedan from s brand. This compact 3 Series competitor offers a taught suspension with summer performance tires, sexy bodylines, and a beautifully designed interior, all powered by 241 horsepower. There are negatives about the but they relatively few and far between. The biggest complaint, however, is the lack of functionality within its center console.

Lexus designers did an amazing job sketching out the dashboard, steering wheel, and center console. Sadly, they seemed to forget how Americans use their cars. There is simply a lack of handy storage space and usable cup holders.

The two cup holders are placed too far rearward, making it hard to reach for drinks. Even worse, the presence of cups renders the passenger’s left arm an orphan, consuming all the armrest space afforded to the shotgun rider. The cup holders are also too small for larger drink containers. Secondly, there is no space for cell phones, wallets, or other odds and ends people tend to store in a console cubby hole. Yes, there’s the under-armrest storage compartment, but it’s not the handiest place for such items.

The remedy for this form over function layout is simple – though it doesn’t change anything: think of the IS as a driver’s car. Sure, the vast majority of American IS buyers use the car as daily transportation, but the designers apparently thought coin trays, storage bins, and convenient cup holders weren’t necessary to the task of driving. And while they’re right in the purest sense of a the lack of everyday usability is unwelcomely compromised.

The faux pas doesn’t diminish my appreciation for the IS sedan, but would make ownership a bit more challenging. Let’s hope Lexus finds a way to inject functionality into the cockpit of the next generation.


The 2017 Lexus IS Interior’s Big Annoyance: Form over Function

Form and function are two often competing for the same space. Form, the beauty and style of an object, can prove hard to retain when adding functionality, the ingrained usability of an object. The is a perfect example of an automotive battleground where these two concepts duke it out. And in the case, form is winning.

Let’s back up a bit. I’m driving the revised sedan this week – the 2.0-liter turbo-four-powered, RWD sports sedan from s brand. This compact 3 Series competitor offers a taught suspension with summer performance tires, sexy bodylines, and a beautifully designed interior, all powered by 241 horsepower. There are negatives about the but they relatively few and far between. The biggest complaint, however, is the lack of functionality within its center console.

Lexus designers did an amazing job sketching out the dashboard, steering wheel, and center console. Sadly, they seemed to forget how Americans use their cars. There is simply a lack of handy storage space and usable cup holders.

The two cup holders are placed too far rearward, making it hard to reach for drinks. Even worse, the presence of cups renders the passenger’s left arm an orphan, consuming all the armrest space afforded to the shotgun rider. The cup holders are also too small for larger drink containers. Secondly, there is no space for cell phones, wallets, or other odds and ends people tend to store in a console cubby hole. Yes, there’s the under-armrest storage compartment, but it’s not the handiest place for such items.

The remedy for this form over function layout is simple – though it doesn’t change anything: think of the IS as a driver’s car. Sure, the vast majority of American IS buyers use the car as daily transportation, but the designers apparently thought coin trays, storage bins, and convenient cup holders weren’t necessary to the task of driving. And while they’re right in the purest sense of a the lack of everyday usability is unwelcomely compromised.

The faux pas doesn’t diminish my appreciation for the IS sedan, but would make ownership a bit more challenging. Let’s hope Lexus finds a way to inject functionality into the cockpit of the next generation.


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The 2017 Lexus IS Interior’s Big Annoyance: Form over Function

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