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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I think IS350 is going to get a manual tranny sooner or later (maybe during the mid-life upgrade in 08'?). As for the backseat I'd agree with you, it is too small. However, I think Lexus purposely made the backseat of the IS smaller so it won't hurt ES's sales.

    One needs to realize that Lexus currently has two entry level sedans in IS and ES unlike the other brands. Since they know the ES will sell well no matter what as long as they put enough goodies in there. Thus, they have the luxury to experiment with the IS. One thing that puzzles me, I wonder what's Lexus' intended demography for the IS?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "One needs to realize that Lexus currently has two entry level sedans in IS and ES"

    Yes and no, mostly no. The ES 350 starts at 33K msrp. The IS 250 starts at 31K MSRP. So for almost the same price you get one car with a 3.5 liter engine and one car with a 2.5 liter engine. The IS350 is significantly more expensive. They are not the same cars (furthering the thought the ES 350 is a rebadged CAMRY). Most car manufacturers have some overlap with the price in their product lines as well.

    In reality the ES350 is a top of the line CAMRY, while the IS250 is a bottom of the line IS.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    The IS350 is significantly more expensive

    Not really.

    Top of the line ES350: $44,774.00
    Top of the line IS350: $41,139.00

    IS350 has a higher MSRP than the ES but once you added all the goodies (most ES's do) the ES is priced higher than the IS350.

    From this we can see Lexus' strategy to have 2 entry level sedans in their lineup. ES will attract buyers whom have families and are looking for a comfortable and luxurious ride (there are a lot of them out there, in fact, more than the so called enthusiasts). IS is aiming for...I don't know, semi-enthusiasts (or so called poseur by some of you)?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    An ES350 can run 44K? Yikes!

    M
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The IS350 is significantly more expensive"

    You're playing the option game. The IS350 is $5K more msrp, starting at $36K, than the 250. From what you post it is obvious that Lexus let's you option out the ES350 more heavily than the IS350.

    ES350 - $11K in options.
    IS350 - $5K in options.

    The IS350 is $3K more expensive then ES350 according to Lexus website.

    So that even furthers my contention the ES350 is a top of the line CAMRY. It is true Lexus does have 3 models of cars and two platforms within $5K base price of one another, but there is no mistaking the rear seat of an IS with the rear seat of an ES. It's like saying the MiniCooper and 325 are two entry level sedans within BMWs lineup.

    That's about the difference between the ES and IS.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Please read my post before replying some random stuff...

    According to the Lexus website, a TOP OF THE LINE ES is more expensive than the IS. All what I was trying to say is Lexus has 2 entry level sedans aiming at different market demographic. THAT'S IT. Why you think Lexus let you option out the ES more heavily? Because they are aiming at the customers whom are looking for more luxury.

    At least the ES and IS belong to the same segment (entry lux), the MINI and your beloved 3er are not (not even close).

    3er: entry lux
    MINI: subcompact?

    but there is no mistaking the rear seat of an IS with the rear seat of an ES

    Didn't you read my previous post?
  • jzalkinjzalkin Posts: 56
    "The reality for many of us is that we want a 4-Door RWD car with a manual transmission, good handling, good power and a back seat that isn't a joke for adults to ride in (the back seat in the IS is such a joke that my kids couldn't even fit)."

    I agree that the IS is not for you, but I would argue that Lexus and many other manufactures are willing to give up those sales. Lexus can do it - they choose not to. It makes their cars better for some and worst for others. Clearly the IS is not for people who carry 4 people often. It is for people that prefer coupes, but want/need the benefit of a sedan. I rarely have anyone in the back seat (one every few months), but it is nice to have it as extra storage. The rear doors help with utilizing the space for many reasons. Think of it as a roomier execution of the RX-8 concept. If one needs a full family car - then Lexus offers the ES and GS.

    I have had multiple people in my back seat as everyone wants a ride in the new car so the backseat is just fine for lunch trips, etc. I think people make too big a deal about the size unless they need a full size sedan. A lot of single or married (no/small kids) professionals that do not need a roomey back seat.

    Why would Lexus make the 350 have a manual? Retool and add the extra cost for maybe 5% more sales. Does that make economic sense? Time will tell if Lexus has judged the market correctly. If they have solid (does not have to be industry best) sales then they have targeted correctly. Early results are positive. Keep in mind, car makers are in business to sell cars - not satisfy a minority of posters. That is why the IS250 automatic will be the best seller in the lineup. I believe as stated in a previous post (reinforced by Edmunds article) that manuals are a dying breed. I had several through the years and have no desire to use a clutch ever again.

    The great thing is that there are a lot of good choices. If manual and a large engine is your thing then you can have a great car. Lexus will not mourn loosing you. I also believe (don't have the statistics) that automatics have a better resale since they are more desirable. Same as having leather.

    Enjoy whatever car you choose.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    One of the many problems that I have with the IS is that it was originally touted by Lexus management as their answer to the 3-Series. The IS doesn't even come close on many levels.

    Why retool? Well, under the old adage of "Cover your competition", Lexus is the ONLY maker of small Lux/Sport sedans that doesn't offer a manual gearbox with their larger engine.

    As far as Automatics having better resale than Manuals, well, I suppose that depends upon the car. My 2002 530i 5-Speed, PP & SP was resold (after lease end) for a higher price and quicker than any of the comparable 530i Automatics on my BMW dealer's lot. Think about this, I paid ~$43,000 in 2002 and my dealer sold it for $36,000 (had it listed at $36,999) in 2005, just two weeks after I turned it in.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Please read my post before replying some random stuff... "

    Did you even read what I wrote? So I had a typo the rest of my post stands as is. Lexus is not the only manufacturer different models of car within a few thousand of one another.

    "but there is no mistaking the rear seat of an IS with the rear seat of an ES"

    Have you sat in the back of both?
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    but there is no mistaking the rear seat of an IS with the rear seat of an ES

    Dude, you wrote this...not me.

    Of course there is no comparison between IS and ES's rear seat. IS's way smaller. It is really pointless to keep going back and forth on the backseat issue. It works for me and doesn't work for you. Tough. At the end Lexus still got my business and many more and that's the most important thing.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    As found in edmunds "Somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of the Ferrari F430s that come to America have the "F1-inspired" electronically triggered and hydraulically actuated transmission installed

    That's still a manual though. There'a giant difference between an SMG system and an automatic. The shift speeds in the F1 tranny can be measured in microseconds. in the IS350 a triple downshift takes multiple seconds.

    BMW is not making cars for you! They are making it for the professional that likes the image and wants a bigger, safer car with bells and whistles.


    Bigger and safer? Size has nothing to do with safety.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    The IS doesn't even come close on many levels.

    But it also exceeds the 3er on many OTHER levels. So what are we arguing here? There is no best car out there, the car you bought is the best car FOR YOU.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Bigger and safer? Size has nothing to do with safety.

    That's the only thing you got out of that sentence?

    WOW!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    As far as Automatics having better resale than Manuals, well, I suppose that depends upon the car. My 2002 530i 5-Speed, PP & SP was resold (after lease end) for a higher price and quicker than any of the comparable 530i Automatics on my BMW dealer's lot. Think about this, I paid ~$43,000 in 2002 and my dealer sold it for $36,000 (had it listed at $36,999) in 2005, just two weeks after I turned it in.

    Ditto my 2003 manual 330i ZHP. The dealer was so excited to get their hands on that car and they flipped it right after some mild reconditioning (cleaning up the scuffed rims). Used 3 series with manuals don't last long dealer lots.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Dude, you wrote this...not me."

    Dude..you said they were competing models. How can they be competing if the back seat in one is not usable and the drivetrains are totally different.

    The TSX and TL are then competing models.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You missed the point. Lexus management allegedly targeted the 3-Series when they redesigned the IS. Unfortunately for them they were so wide of the mark that the car has become something of a joke in the "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans" market. Why, well, it cannot be used as a Sedan (for all practical purposes), and with it lacking a manual transmission, its "Performance" credentials are seriously in question as well.

    Looking at this issue from another perspective, I know that I (and a number of other folks) were looking forward to the GenII IS with great anticipation. Why? Because we were thinking that we were finally going to be offered a car that was a viable alternative to the 3-Series. As an overall package, the IS doesn't measure up to the pre-release marketing hype from Lexus management. Oh the disappointment. :cry:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    They are in the same segment via price range and do a search on "entry level luxury sedans" you'll see both the IS, ES and 3er. But you won't see a MINI. Did I create that segment by my imagination? NO. Who did? I have no idea.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Okay, what's the criteria to be in the "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans" segment? Let's see...

    Entry-Level: IS is below $40K. CHECK
    Luxury: Made by Lexus. CHECK
    Performance: 300+ HP, sporty ride (fine, sportier than Buick, but still sporty), RWD. CHECK
    Sedan: 4-door. CHECK (Does the definition of sedan involve backseat size? Last time I checked...NO)

    Because we were thinking that we were finally going to be offered a car that was a viable alternative to the 3-Series

    Exactly, the IS is an alternative to the 3er. Not a 3er clone with different sheetmetal and Lexus badge. Lexus offers more luxury on the IS and an awesome engine. That's all it needs to convince me that the IS is the right car for me. Did I buy a joke? I really don't think so. No stick, just fine for a so-called poseur like me I guess. The very important thing here is Lexus didn't disappoint the general public, they merely disappointed the so-called enthusiast like you. Like I posted before, general public: 92%, enthusiast: 8%. By that I think Lexus made a right business decision.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Performance: 300+ HP, sporty ride (fine, sportier than Buick, but still sporty), RWD. CHECK

    Lost me there. UNCHECK. Why? Can't properly use the power that the engine generates.

    Sedan: 4-door. CHECK (Does the definition of sedan involve backseat size? Last time I checked...NO)

    Actually, apparently the rear seat size does determine whether a car is a sedan. There was a thread here a year or two back where some folks who were quite versed in automotive history quite convincingly claimed that there were many 2-Door cars that could be called Sedans and many 4-Door cars that could be called Coupes or 2+2s. Which is the proper usage in our language? I'll leave that argument to folks more studied than I. That having been said, I didn't claim that the IS wasn't a sedan. What I said was that it cannot effectively be used as a sedan. Different language, and more accurate. When my (then) eight year old and eleven year old couldn't fit in the back seat, I quickly determined that the IS is a Sedan in name only. So, UNCHECK here too.

    Did I say you bought a "joke"? Nope, for your needs/wants/desires, the IS apparently fills the bill. What I said was that calling the IS an "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans" is considered something of a joke. Once again, different language.

    As for the IS being an alternative. Nope, sorry. An alternative needs to be able to perform the same functions, and the IS falls short. Given your criteria a 2-Door car would be a viable alternative for your needs, but I wouldn't consider any 2-Door cars a true alternative to a true sedan.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The 3 series is not an entry level luxury sedan. It is an entry level sports sedan. The key is sport. In my world the 3 series does not compete against the CAMRY, although some would view it as such.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    What's the title of this thread again? Oh yeah it's the entry level luxury performance sedan. If the 3er is not one of them why in the world we are talking about it then? I guess we are way too off topic.

    No, 3er doesn't compare with Camry, Camry is in the "midsize sedan" segment.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Can't properly use the power that the engine generates.

    Wow, says whom? You? Good god if you are such an expert why don't you get a job with C&D, R&T or become the chief engineer of BMW in that case.

    In case you haven't got your license yet, let me teach ya: in order to properly use the power that IS350's engine generates is to depress the gas padel. Once the car is moving forward or backward you are using the power of the engine.

    rear seat size does determine whether a car is a sedan

    Says whom? You again? Case closed.

    From dictionary.com

    sedan: A closed automobile having two or four doors and a front and rear seat.

    Sounds to me that the IS fits the description.

    What I said was that calling the IS an "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans" is considered something of a joke

    Exactly, says by you again...Do I need to go on here?

    An alternative needs to be able to perform the same functions

    From dictionary.com:

    alternative:

    1. The choice between two mutually exclusive possibilities.
    2. A situation presenting such a choice.
    3. Either of these possibilities.

    So that was your definition again. What a surprise.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Apparently you don't read too well. A few points:
    - I never said that the IS wasn't a sedan.
    - I stated that there are some automotive historians that dispute the modern usage of the terms Coupe and Sedan.
    - I said that the IS "cannot effectively be used as a sedan". Different language, different meaning, and far more accurate.

    Regarding the IS being something of a joke in the "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans", hey, don't shoot the messenger. I didn't coin the term, even if I happen to agree with it.

    Regarding my usage of alternative, your snippet from dictionary.com supports my usage. Item 2 says "A situation presenting such a choice". That assumes that both options will each meet the minimum criteria. Item 3 says "Either of these possibilities". See the assumption from item 2.

    As the IS cannot be used as a true sedan, it is NOT an alternative to a 3-Series Sedan any more than a Mazda Miata is an alternative.

    "In case you haven't got your license yet, let me teach ya: in order to properly use the power that IS350's engine generates is to depress the gas padel."

    Pretty funny. In many countries in Europe, that mentality will only qualify a driver a "Restricted" license. I however qualify for a full unrestricted license as I am very well versed in telling a car how and when I want the power transmitted to the wheels. ;-)

    Like it or don't, the IS as it is currently offered to the driving public is only a half baked 3-Series competitor.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I never said that the IS wasn't a sedan.

    So it is a sedan then...case closed. It probably cannot be effectively used as a sedan for YOUR purpose but for MY purpose it is a perfect fit. Again, it's the your preference vs. mine.

    So if you didn't call IS a joke in the "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans", who did? Sources please. Don't tell me it's blueguysdotcom, if so that is just lame because we all know that his opinion weighs about as much as mine.

    As for the alternative, it merely means providing the general public with more options, that's it. If you don't like it get another alternative. Looks to me that your "minimum criteria" for "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans" is a bit off from the general public's. Not that it's wrong, it's just...off.

    As the definition of a true sedan...please enlighten me what is it (I want REAL definition, not YOURS). Funny that we went from the definition of sedan to "true" sedan. It's kind of hard to shoot at a moving target ya know.

    We are living in America so the Euro discussion is irrelevant. However, last time I checked you are freed to move to other countries (sounds like a slogan...AirTran?).

    Like it or not, the IS is in the same market segment as the 3er and is doing quite well.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Keep in mind that not nearly everyone lurking and participating lives in the US or even North America - not at all! :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, maybe it's time for a poll.

    Questions:
    1) Is the Lexus IS large enough to be USED as a sedan on a regular basis?
    2) Does a small sedan qualify for the "Performance" moniker if it only offers a manual transmission on its most anemic engine?
    3) Based upon the pre-release Lexus marketing hype along with the pre-release rhetoric from Lexus management about the IS being a true 3-Series competitor, "Has the IS lived up to its pre-release billing or is it something of a joke?"

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'll start:

    1) No, it's too small.
    2) Nope. For a car in this class it needs to at least offer an optional manual.
    3) It falls well short of the mark. Joke.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Yeah pat but only NA and Japan get the IS350.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The CAMRY aka ES350 does not belong in this discussion, the 3er is fine.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Funny game, let's see...

    1) Yes. My IS is not a people hauler so it's truly large enough. On the other hand, if one haul people on regular basis, why buy an entry level lux sedan? :confuse:

    2) Yes. Don't see any direction relationship between "performance" and "manual tranny"

    3) Funny, it all depends on whose expectation. My answer is...If one is expecting a 3er clone, then yes it's joke, I guess you've got punk'd by Lexus. However, if one is looking for an alternative in the "Entry-level Luxury Performance Sedan" market segment then the IS is one of the best options out there.

    So, apparently you weren't the messanger, it's you whom call it a joke. Why can't you just admit it the first time? Also, this segment is called "Entry-level Luxury Performance Sedan" not "Let's all play 3er". Give Lexus some credit for being itself for crying out loud.
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