Lexus IS 350 and IS 250

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Comments

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    I think it's important to note that Lexus had every intention of differentiation for the IS from the rest of the line. It's not really supposed to be like any other Lexus; that was the whole point.
      
    The buyer they were after with the IS wasn't coming their way for some specific reasons, none of them having anything to do with luxury, sales or service experience or market image, all of which they have in spades throughout the rest of the line.

    No, if you're looking for reasons behind the numbers, you have to embrace the points already made regarding initial equipment and prices, then updates (or rather lack of) to power and performance, and finally the end of the product cycle. Interiors and minor styling cues would have to be at the bottom of the list frankly. If interiors and styling cues were that critical in this class, as opposed to performance and driving experience, the G35 would have been a dud...
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    The Altezza, especially in Altezza Gita (sportback) form, would be perfect for me if I had the money. I'm not part of a big market though... I'd just like a comfortable, modern interior (I don't know how "modern" and "wood" go together) that won't try to be noticed while I enjoy the ride. No frills except the things I'm going to be looking at - the gauges.

    Make it a Scion. It's already got the young demographics, even more so than the other Scions. The tC's more of a cruiser anyway.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    "I'll take a full compliment of gauges over wood trim any day. I'll take LSD over universal opener."

    Sounds like a nice Evo MR would be the perfect car for you. You get a nifty booster gauge, even an intercooler sprayer! When one thinks Lexus, two words come to mind first, silence and luxury. You can have a no holds barred all sport sedan, but you need to change the image of the brand FIRST, rather than the other way around. The L badge shouldnt be on the current car.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Style and luxury shouldn't be confused.

    As I said, I cross-shopped the 325iT in detail before going with the IS, and there's very little difference between the two for what I'd refer to as luxury content.

    Since BMW has been the avowed target of the IS program, it is fitting that their best-selling model and the IS be close in materials and creature comforts on a dollar-to-dollar basis, and they in fact are, with the cost advantage going to the IS.

    It has to be a driver's car first and a luxury car second. Otherwise it has zero credibility with the press and the target customer. The G35, again, is a case in point, IMO.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    "If interiors and styling cues were that critical in this class, as opposed to performance and driving experience, the G35 would have been a dud... "

    You forget, the G35 actually has a usable interior vs. the coupelike backseat of the IS.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    "It has to be a driver's car first and a luxury car second. Otherwise it has zero credibility with the press and the target customer. The G35, again, is a case in point, IMO. "

    Agreed, the IS has to be a driver's car first, much like the BMW 3-series is and the G35 is. The current IS is a driver's car but doesn't seem to even put luxury second, it's more like 3rd or 4th.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    The G35 is a tank by comparison as well, Max. It's huge. The IS is much closer to the 3-series, though one has to concede a touch smaller in back. To imply, however, that the backseat area of the IS is unuseable by comparison is simply untrue. Not only do I regularly chauffer the Mrs. and my two young'uns and their stuff from A to B quite comfortably, we also take on local distance journeys (overnight to Grandma's, say) in the hour to hour and a half range. The only complaint is lack of a DVD! And taking three associates from the office for Thai food is no biggie either (four I would not do!).

    For long trips we run the Town & Country, which I imagine tallies with the habits of most families with two cars. One of 'em ends up the local and the other is the distance runner.

    Sorry, but while I understand the back seat thing as a sales pitch, in reality I'm betting those expansive G35s spend most of their road time with one occupant, just like a 3er.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    The tilt towards luxury and comfort is a phenomena that exists for most performance cars today, including BMW, Porsche and Audi. The Automotive Corporate Hierarchy is currently ruled by marketing and accounting departments. Catering to performance enthusiasts needs are not a priority unless the sales and margin numbers justify the product.

    I admire Honda for not introducing the S2000 as an Acura. I admire the great non-luxurious high powered machines from Subaru/Mitsubushi. I admire BMW for introducing the 2 series, especially the M2.

    The above are exceptions.The general future trend will be the G35 and future IS and 3 series models not only competing in terms of performance but in terms of what kind of woodtrim that would satisfy comfort-seekers most.

    In the future I beleive the manual stick will become an expensive option (most likey it will not even be offered at all)
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    You know I looked at the IS300 a few years back and found the backseat quite useless. If it wasn't for that useless backseat, as well as lack drivetrain efficiency, I would buy a pre-owned one in a second, because it really is a great driver's car. It has excellent seats, excellent handling, and a nice ride. But the back seat kills it for me and I'm sure many others, because even though, you may have a Town & Country, other's don't have one or don't want one. I myself use my car for hauling my wife and son also, and the IS300 can't even comfortably fit my child seat in the backseat with enough room for his legs.

    Yeah, the G35 is a tank by comparison but you know what it is big, has a roomy interior, handles great, and is just about a perfect car except for that subpar interior.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Like a book thou speakest o' Dewey, like a book.

    I blame the G35 for the size war that's heating up. It's really more of a 5er-sized offering in the 3er price range. Unfortunately, it will now drag the 3-series, A-4 and IS out of the compact range they inhabit and into the midsize field. It's not all bad of course, but they are becoming something other than what we've taken to these years past. I for one have no interest in such expansion.

    On the positive side, there are one or two options coming to fill the void, just not quick enough in some cases.

    But my point is that the knock on the IS per lux versus its key competition (325) is a negligible point at best, and not key to numbers. They're remarkably similar.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    wale_Bate,

    It seems like a Lancer Evo would fit you better in the future.

    I'm personally looking forward to the next Lexus IS. Hopefully they make it a little bigger, but not longer than 180", a little wider, and give it a lot nicer interior free of what I think are gimmicks right now like the ribs over the glove compartment, as well as give it more luxury amenities like a real center armrest, rear side curtain airbags, while upping the performance factor.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Max, you seem kind of bitter about all this.

    I'm suited to the car and it's suited to me!

    You'll get your wish. The next IS gets a five-inch boost in wheelbase, plus a widening. As I said, it's heading out of the compact territory, which makes it less appealing (to me) as a driver's car and more appealing (to someone else) as a family car. That's the way the market seems headed right now. I'll reserve final judgement until I drive it, but the indications are that it will be what you want. Enjoy!

    For me, no, I'm not Evo or WRX or even 9-2X fodder, though I do respect them greatly. A RWD compact wagon with an in-line six and leather was what I wanted and I picked the better of the two available, IMO. I maintain there is very little lacking in the appointments in the IS. The style may not suit you, but the content is there.

    A3 interests me for the next go 'round, but there is a part of me that , since I've never owned one, wants a stoplight slayer. I'm seriously thinking of the S4 Avant in the Goodwood green with no badges. Talk about your sleepers.

    "What is that?"

    "You mean what was that?"

    ;-)
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    After your comments, I wouldnt think the 9-2X would interest you at all. It is, after all, a gussied up WRX that costs as much as an STi but has lower performance than the regular WRX because of all that extra lux feature weight. I agree that the back seats of the IS300 are completely worthless. The Volvo S60 has 33" of rear legroom, and that car is very uncomfortable to sit in the back for long. The IS300 makes do with 3 less inches than that. No thanks.

    What do you think of the V50 T5? I've heard very good comments about that little wagon.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    wale_bate,

    I'm hardly bitter. The IS300 is a great car as it is, and you picked wisely for your needs, but the current IS has just not cut it in the marketplace because of it's almost total slant to performance. If I was single, I could care less about back seat, or rear curtain bags and would probably buy a 5-speed manual IS300 but reality speaks differently.

    And obviously since the current IS hasn't done well in the marketplace, Lexus will tweak the formula to reach a wider audience, and that means improving on things which made the current IS a bust-interior, power, and features.
  • deanedelldeanedell Member Posts: 16
    How big are all you people who find the back seat to be "worthess?" I find the IS300 interior size to be perfect! Granted, I'm not that tall (5'10) but I love how the interior fits like a glove. The back seats fit my colleagues and family just fine as well. Only improvement I can think of is that Lexus should have added folding rear seats.

    The IS also has all the luxury features I need. There are very few lux features available on a 3-series that my IS doesn't have. A few I can think of are rainsensing wipers and auto-up/down on all windows...not sure there is much else.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Well, you guys write your own page on the backseat thing. I make full and frequent use of mine with no complaints. Again, compared to a 325, there ain't much difference to talk about.

    I haven't driven the Volvo. In FWD format, it interests me not at all. In AWD, on paper, it's something to look at. Never really been a brick fan, so I'd have to work up the lust factor somehow.

    The advance pics of the E90 don't look bad, but neither do they inspire lust, so BMW may well be out again; we'll have to see.

    Abandoning RWD is a bad enough sacrifice to begin with. If I'm going to be forced to consider AWD options, my first choice would be quattro. And waterfall grille not withstanding, I think Audi has the best design crew available these days as well. I do believe their interiors eclipse all others (that's icing, baby, not cake!) on the market.

    So we'll see. If BMW can bring a touring I like, I might go that way. If not, I have to decide between Audi 3 or 4.

    Of course, Lexus could see the light, make a hot wagon (not crossover, yecch) and get a better styling direction than that LF-C thing they're floating around, and maybe it won't be too big and bulky, but I'm not holding my breath...
    ;)
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Sorry Doc, you slipped in while I was typing.

    Agreed, except for the folding seats thing. Mine's a SportCross, so I've got folding seats! Wagons rule! [-P

    BTW, I'm 6'-0" and 180 lbs. (183 on Mondays), and, yeah, this smack on back seats just ain't washin'!
    ;)
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Max, c'mon. You're ignoring the meat of the conversation here. I don't contend that it can't use an update, but I do contend that currently it is not lacking for lux as befits a sport/lux entry a la the 325.

    The thing has sold just fine considering the factors already outlined (none of them lux considerations); again, two GS versions sold less together.

    I've been married 16 years, got two kids 8 and 11, pull regular Home Depot duty, and the car just plain works. I realize you didn't find it suitable, but then again I'm sure there are people out there who "need" a Yukon instead of an Envoy too!
    [-P
    ;)
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    Wale_bate1,

    You may not hold your breath for a IS wagon but I will not hold my breath for a new BMW 3 series touring. This vehicle would be on my future wish list but it appears unlikely based on current North American sales. Even the BMW 1 series wagon will not be availabe here.

    My hope is that the x3 will be a complete flop and BMW will reconsider introducing a future touring.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Here Dewey, my lad, this ought to make your day, courtesy of AutoWeek! Pay particular attention to that last paragraph!

    http://autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=100608

    Wait, I'll cut it out:

    "However, as is usual with BMW, expect the top-end models to arrive first, with the 330i leading the way. The 3 Series wagon should arrive soon after the sedan, and looks certain to head Stateside, while the coupe and cabriolet aren’t due until 2006..."

    Don't say I never did nuthin' fer ya!

    BTW, AFAIC, the X3 is a flop, regardless of how many they unload...
    ;)
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    "but I do contend that currently it is not lacking for lux as befits a sport/lux entry a la the 325."

    You can get a 325i with more features than a IS300. Correct? This is a safety feature, but you can get a 325i with rear curtain bags, the IS300 not. Manual equipped 325i's come with DSC, Lexus can't seem to figure out how to put VSC on manual equipped cars. The 3-series has a real center armrest, folding back seat available, and such things as rain sense wipers. If Lexus is going to charge $30K+ for the IS, it should compete better with it's competition on every count, otherwise they should drop the price so it competes less on features and more on performance and maybe even ship it over to the Toyota store for about $27K.

    "The thing has sold just fine considering the factors already outlined (none of them lux considerations); again, two GS versions sold less together."

    That's not a good argument, the GS gets slaughtered by it's competition because it's never been able to gain traction in it's price range against 2 phenomenal cars in the E-class and 5-series. And it doesn't even come close to even the 325i in terms of sales. YTD 31K for just the 325i vs. 8K for the IS300. And in terms of sport(since a Lexus IS shouldn't have lux) the IS get's it's butt spanked by the 325i with supposedly only 184bhp. That is also what doesn't help a IS sell, performance.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    Since you brought up the new 3-series article in autoweek, it must be mentioned, Lexus has a golden opportunity to steal thunder from the 3-series with the next IS. With the bangled interior and exterior, a properly designed IS should do really well.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    I know you said it Max, but none are lux features except the armrest, which mine has, as have all of them since '02, and the rain sensing wipers.

    BMW sells nine (or ten?) variations of the 3er here. It's also the incumbent and the benchmark. For the way the IS launch was muffed and the total lack of updating it has received and the minimal at best promotion, the numbers are just fine.

    It's plenty lux for what it is supposed to be.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    You guys must a lot more tolerance for having your knees up to your face than me. When Lexus first introduced the IS, I went to the dealer, put the drivers seat back enough for a comfortable driving position, and then got into the back behind the drivers seat. Or squeezed in back rather. I'm only 5'9", not exactly NBA tall, but there is no way I would want to sit back there for more than 5 minutes.

    Interesting about the new 3, accel (or at least the estimate) isnt really any better than the current 330i. Perhaps They chose to put the power up top for highway passing, rather than down low for street starts.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    "You guys must (have) a lot more tolerance for having your knees up to your face than me..."

    LOL! So that's what these bruises on my cheeks are from!
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    BTW, I've got a little leg on me, and this IS is the first car I've ever owned in which my seat position wasn't all the way back. That includes my '65 Olds 98 convertible!

    I also find it more comfortable to drive the IS with a more upright setting on the seat back; something I usually adjust slightly backward on any other car I drive or have driven. Don't know what it means, but I have to say I find it extremely comfortable for long solo trips. Last year I had a remodel scope meeting in Santa Maria, CA, about four hours or so from me (San Ramon) so I decide to drive it since an air trip would have taken longer and been annoying to boot. Talk about being in hog heaven. But for a couple of pockets of LLC's I could have made that a commute!

    One thing I love and will likely not find on an E90 or Audi is the perfed leather. It's firmer and pulled a bit more taut than some, but it's soft and has a good hand to it. I hate gathered leather. That's hate! I may not be in plentiful company, but my opinion is gathered leather belongs on a tacky recliner, not in a performance automobile. The Bimmer seats were good. No gathers; smooth and almost taut, but supple and conforming.

    The Recaros that Audi offers in leather/Alcantara, now those are some seriously comfy seats.
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    In my opinion, for long distance comfort, you cant beat the seats in the S60. A friend and I took his S60 on a seriously long drive a year or so ago, and those things are just heavenly. The magazines say you'll want to rip them out of the car and put them in your living room, and I believe it.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    I found that I fit pretty well in the IS's backseat. Not a lot of room to spare, but some.

    I've had none in the 3-series' I've sat in, one a '95, one a '00.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    That's interesting, Lexusguy. I don't know enough about Volvos to comment. I've never had any seat time in an S60, though I've admired the styling from the outside.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    Thanks wale_bate1

    An E90 Touring is best automotive news I heard in a long time. I hope to be a future owner of this vehicle...unless, hold your breath---there actually will be a new IS wagon.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    You're welcome! Always happy to spread a little cheer.

    IS wagon? I don't see it happening, unfortunately. :(

    Everything they've said officially always adds it as an after thought to the sedan, coupe and convertible, and then they say something about a tall wagon a la the HF-X, or whatever the heck that concept was that looked like Leonard Nimoy's RX!

    I think it's down to this:
    image

    or this:image

    I'll wait and see of course (got a year and a half left on the lease), but breath holding?
    ;)
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    Let me see. Looking at the past 100 or so posts, seems like most of the complaints are about:

    - not enough luxury
    - no wood trim
    - too small rear seat & can't get babyseat(s) in rear

    If these are your major concerns, Lexus has a ton of ES330s sitting on all their dealers lots waiting to take your money.

    I can't believe anyone truly interested in the IS platform is all that concerned about the above issues. It is a sport sedan. Not a people hauler or lxury cruiser.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    I've owned 3 ISs (2 sedans and one SportCross). Currently own 2 (sedan and SportCross). I'm married with two kids. I'm about 6'2", 185 lbs. There is more than enough room up front for wife and me. And the kids don't complain about the back seat. All four of us fit comfortably. I've also had myself and 3 adult co-workers in it. We fit, even if a bit snuggly. But I bet I've had 4 adults in the car about 1% of the total miles I've driven. Hardly a big concern!

    The back seat of the 3 Series isn't much bigger. I don't see them losing sales due to back seat concerns. [My wife owned a '00 323ia.]

    You want to see small back seat, check out the E39 5 Series, sold in USA from 1996-2003. [I used to have a '98 540i6.]

    Trunk is useable. Not huge, but just pack smartly. My only complaint about utility is the use of space-intruding trunk hinges. IS300 sedan really needs to use the space-saving multilink trunk hinges. (Plus, they should drop the prop rod up front.)

    Will be sad if the next IS adds both size (length and width) and weight! The IS has a wonderful size and could use a diet, say lose 100 lbs. If only Toyota would put an all aluminum alloy I6!!!!
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    "If these are your major concerns, Lexus has a ton of ES330s sitting on all their dealers lots waiting to take your money."

    Just one problem with that, the ES is a boring yawn-box on wheels. Why cant those items be in a sports sedan? Is there a law against it? If so, somebody better go out and arrest the E55, M5, RS6, and S-Type R, as they are all clearly in violation of the Creature Comforts in a Sports Sedan Act (2001) and must suffer the penalty of death by lethal injection.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    lexusguy... My former '98 540i6 had an MSRP around $60,000 (it was loaded). You likely would've raised the same complaints about it. The interior wasn't very luxurious. The rear seat was terribly cramped. The trunk was small. There was wood trim (but I can't say it looked the best). But no one bought a 540i6 for those attributes. They wanted (and got in spades) performance.

    Both the IS and GS have under-delivered on performance. Heck, you can no longer get a manual transmission on the GS. That is why they haven't stood out in market. I can assure you that cars like the M5 do NOT fail at delivering performance. And they provide a bit more luxury, though not that much (esp. the E39 M5), but you are looking at the $50-100K price range for those uber-sedans you mentioned.

    Not to mention Lexus doesn't push either, nor do their dealers, who would rather sell ES, LS, and the SUVs.

    Don't forget that about 50% of Lexus' USA sales are SUVs!!!

    The IS and GS are about performance. The key to their success is giving the buyer the performance they believe they should be getting in light of the other cars out there.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    wale_bate,

    the sales figures were just for the 325i sedan, not even the Xi or touring or any 3-series with the 3.0L straight 6 were included.

    riez,

    "....But no one bought a 540i6 for those attributes. They wanted (and got in spades) performance."

    No one bought a 540i for luxury or back seat room? gimme a break. You didn't buy a 540i for back seat room or for the wood trim, but plenty of people buy a 540i for the back seat room. If performance was on the minds of every 540i customer, they would be selling each and everyone one with a manual transmission, as it is very few 540i's are sold with a manual. And about back seat room, my bro has a 525i(same car) and the back seat is plenty roomy. I'm 5'11" and fit comfortably in the back seat on 4 hour drives without my knees touching the back of the front seats.

    "Heck, you can no longer get a manual transmission on the GS."

    The GS has never been available with a manual.

    "Not to mention Lexus doesn't push either, nor do their dealers, who would rather sell ES, LS, and the SUVs."

    Please, they pushed the IS300 hard when it first came out. I drove one about 2 days after intro., the dealer pushed it hard, so did another dealer that called me to try to sell me one. There was even plenty of advertising by Lexus for the car in the first year. It just didn't sell, and you know why, no manual for the get-go and more importantly it may handle like a 3-series but it doesn't accelerate like it's competition and it's interior isn't as luxurious as the competition.
    The IS300 was built for the euro and japanese market and it shows, and it was basically a stop gap measure until a designed for North America market IS was developed.
  • deweydewey Member Posts: 5,251
    Yes, wale_bate1 I can understand your attraction for the new A4 wagon.
    I am sure performance/handling will be great.

    Unfortunately I am scarred with memories of my old Audi 4000.
  • kscbruinkscbruin Member Posts: 10
    I agree with riez... the people that consider the IS, is for it's handling and smooth I6 engine. It may not be the fastest, but it's good enough for what it is. The interior may not be up to "LEXUS" standards, but once again the people that like it different love the interior. I know the IS300 is more a 2 door than 4 when talking about the rear seats not having much room, but for me it's nice that I "could" sit 5 people even though most of the time I'm the only driver and I don't need the rest of the car. Wood Trim? are you guys serious? I want a sports car, not some luxo barge. Aluminum trim would be good enough. If you want luxo barge, get the ES330. If you want a RWD sporty 4 door, the IS3 is your tix.

    I don't have an IS, but I'm currently looking at a used one. I currently drive a 90 Cressida, and I have the same small rear seats, and not that much power but it handles great. I think the IS is a perfect fit for me.

    http://www.geocities.com/kscbruin/
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    I understand!

    My ability to write off a fairly substantial portion of the monthly keeps me leasing. Therefore, I'm perpetually under warranty, which is right where I want to be, regardless of mfr!

    My personal insight on Audi is that if you stay away from the 1.8T versions, your chances of getting to know your service rep better than you'd like are significantly reduced. I can only back that up with anecdotal data, but I have yet to find enough documented exceptions to change my mind.

    Max, I caught that afterwards; my bad. I'd love to know where your data came from. Not that I doubt it in any way, it's just that I only know of autosite.com as a resource, and they lump all 3er sales in one category. I still say it's the incumbent and benchmark, and given the conditions, the little rocker did just fine!

    The new one will do better, but most likely without my help. And I had so wanted to just drive back into the Lex shop in Monterey and say "gimme my new IS!". Oh well...
    :(
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    wale_Bate,

    I checked out their respective press releases on prnewswire.com. Both were released Oct 1, 2004. The 3-series is broken out by model, ie. 325i, 325xi, 325ci, etc.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Thanks. I wish autosite would break stuff out by model. Sometimes their data can obscure more than it defines...
  • lexusguylexusguy Member Posts: 6,419
    "I want a sports car, not some luxo barge." Again, Mitsubishi and Subaru have much faster, much better handling sports sedans than the IS for those that could care less about luxury features. When you build a luxury\sports sedan with a luxury badge...well you might want to have some luxury in there.

    Wale_bate, Audi turbo engines generally have lots and lots of issues. The ignition coils on 1.8T, 2.7T were recalled 3 times (same problem) and there has been a bunch of other issues with them. The normally aspirated engines seem to fare better. Still, Audi's mechanical quality pales in comparison to BMW or Mercedes.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Well, I'm kinda getting bored with the circular here, but as a direct competitor for dollars with the 325i, the IS is simply not lacking for creature comforts. It just isn't.

    Maybe that's the problem with this discussion; BMW, whom Lexus has named as their target, is not traditionally a "luxury" badge. That's an aberration evolved by the marque-mentality in this country. BMW, with their bread and butter offerings being the three series, has always been about sport first and lux second. It's absolutely core to their success, and it's what drives their ability to sell their higher-priced, more lux offerings with comparative ease.

    It's important to understand that Toyota realized where the demographic was headed for the Lexus marque (see also "Buick"), to understand that this car was not supposed to look or feel like the rest of the line, other than the "L" on it and the sales/service experience (which I have found regretably lacking locally, BTW).

    Obviously, I went looking for some level of plush in shopping the 325 and IS as opposed other less expensive, and perhaps even more potent options. They offer it. I think there is real confusion here between style and actual content.

    The thrust of this car is to attract people who otherwise would spend their money on a BMW. Which is exactly what I would have done if there were no IS. There certainly is no other car on a Lexus lot that would satify me in the least.

    Re Audi: I wouldn't be looking at turbos. Not that I think turbos themselves are bad, though as you point out, there have been issues. I'm interested in the 3.2 DSG combo for the A3, or, if I can justify the cost to myself (SWMBO is already on board!), the S4 with with the 4.2 and the Tip.

    Benz has nothing I really want without going AMG, and I think there are better ways to get my jollies!
    ;)
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    Honestly, autosite is terrible. SOmetimes they don't update their info. for a few months. It's best to look at prnewswire.com on Business day 1 of each month and you will see sales press releases for every carmaker except for I think GM, which posts on their own site.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    "The thrust of this car is to attract people who otherwise would spend their money on a BMW. Which is exactly what I would have done if there were no IS. There certainly is no other car on a Lexus lot that would satify me in the least."

    exactly. so what's the problem with making it more like a BMW? Basically getting rid of the gimmicky interior and making it more like a Lexus interior. You know, as I said before, they have made some nice sporty interiors like the SC and the first GS, except keep the wood trim optional for those who want it and make aluminum trim standard.

    The current IS is a little more like the 3-series from 2 generations ago. Nothing wrong with bringing it more up to snuff with a more Lexus-like interior. But I have always agreed, performance/handling should come first on the next IS also, just more of it.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Thanks, Max. I'll check 'em out. Do they archive so you can access the info at any time?
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    maxhonda99...

    1. I meant SC. You used to be able to get a manual transmission with the SC300, thinking maybe up to about '97 or '98.

    2. The lack of manual transmission has crippled the GS in the press and performance buyer's mind. It just isn't serious without it.

    3. I have nearly every published car review of the E39 540i6, 540ia, and 540ia Sport. Every one extolls the outstanding performance of this magnificent car. And pretty much every one makes mention of a tight back seat and smallish trunk. The E39 5 Series made its mark as the single best overall Sport sedan. And the 525i, 528i, 530i, and 540i all could be had with a manual transmission!!! [All it lacked was LSD, which comes only with M5.]

    4. I've got back issues of MT, R&T, C&D, and Automobile back before CY2000. You won't find much advertising for the IS! And can't say I remember ever seeing a TV ad.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Member Posts: 1,986
    Well, I think we've all agreed that they have to update a fair deal on the next one just to keep abreast of the industry. No argument there whatsoever.

    I simply, after shopping the two marques in '02 (MY03), can't agree that the outgoing model is so lacking by comparison. Not enough to warrant the huge volume difference. Plenty of other reasons, but not lux content.

    Update away, provided it doesn't end up like a current GS or RX, with all the gathered leather inserts and the wood trimmed wheel and shift knob!
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    oh god, I sure hope it doesn't get a wood steering wheel or wood shifter. Aluminum trim would be nice, real aluminum that is.

    prnewswire updates as soon as stories/press releases come out. All you gotta do is type in the company you want to search for and all their recent articles show up. I don't know how far back they archive, but any given month auto sales figure press releases will give you monthly figures for current year as well as same month last year as well as Year to date figures for current year and prior year.

    Also another source for the same articles is wardsauto.com. Click on "industry press releases" on the left side of the page and it will give all auto related press releases for like the previous 3-5 days.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Member Posts: 1,289
    I don't think at the GS's level, it's the lack of manual that has crippled it as the E-class doesn't have one and very few 5-series are sold with one. On the other hand, I can see the IS300 sales being hurt by not having a manual for the 1st year because a high number of BMW 3-series are sold with manuals.

    With the GS, they really have lacked advertising as well as a clear market direction for the car. Not to mention the 1st generation overpriced and underpowered GS killed it's reputation. Also, the dimensions of the GS are very similar to the ES. and actually the ES offers more rear seat legroom and both offer similar power. The ES and GS have poor product seperation. Due to this, it would beneficial for the GS to be more sport oriented(a manual would also be nice) and also spread out the power difference between the GS and ES.

    Magazines may say tight back seat space, but does that mean it's as tight as a 3-series or IS300? No, it means it's tight relative to some other cars in it's class.

    "And the 525i, 528i, 530i, and 540i all could be had with a manual transmission!!!"

    As I said before very few 5-series are sold with sticks, especially the 525 thru 530i. Even the 540i probably doesn't have a greater than 20% take rate on manuals. A story coming here...a friend of mine leased a 530i with a manual which he had to shop at 4 dealers for. All of the dealers basically told him they get very few 530i's with sticks, even with the sport package like the one he ended up finding. 2 years later in excellent condition and with average mileage he tried to sell it on his own, couldn't sell it for months, and then he had to sell it back to the dealer and take a hit because even they didn't want it(and he used to sell cars at this same dealer a year before). So I would surely say the lack of a manual transmission doesn't hurt the GS, it only hurts in magazines.
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