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When I saw the first spy shots of the updated IS, I was stoked.

That's because if there's one product in the Lexus lineup that needs to be brought up to speed, it's the IS. When this generation first came out it had a bit of "swagger" to its credit.

But it completely lacked the first-gen product's chutzpah. The second-gen car seemed a bit too tame and even bordered on "femme."

Now we have the updated IS for 2013 and it's pretty clear to me that Lexus is taking a walk on the wild side. Except, there's one problem -- at least from the author's eyes.

It doesn't seem to look all that great in the photos below. It actually is pretty offputting. More or less along the same lines as the BMW "Bangle-era" E60 5-Series. It doesn't matter how good it is, I'd never want to be caught dead in one.

And if these pictures are painting an accurate image, it'll be the same with the 2014 IS.

From the inside out, there's nothing to like about this design.

Outside, notice how small the wheels and tires look relative the vehicle's body. Then there's the wheel gap. Is this thing a sport-utility vehicle? I like how Lexus took away the "heft" of the vehicle by using a blacked-out rear diffuser element but God almighty those elongated taillights are brutal!

Getting more comfortable inside could be a tad scary from what we're seeing here. Note how the interior seems disjointed? The center stack seems to be sweeping then you're confronted with protruding HVAC vents? Then, the infotainment screen appears to be BURIED back towards the windshield.

All and all, when I look at these initial shots of the new IS, I am a bit concerned. It seems like Lexus just went a bit over the top with its most sporting model.

Here's MY problem when I see the IS: When I compare it against the BMW 3-Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class it doesn't capture my interest. When I originally lined up the GS against the 5-Series and E-Class, I felt that it was a competitive offering that would give them some trouble.

So, I have to ask: Am I the only one thinking it? Did Lexus over do the styling on the 2014 IS?

What say you, Spies?


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DETROIT AUTO SHOW PREVIEW: Did Lexus OVER Do It With The 2014 IS?

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