Need Help - GS 350 AWD or IS 350 AWD F-Sport???

mcb345mcb345 Member Posts: 32
edited January 2015 in Lexus
I have written a small novel here but would appreciate anyone's input on either car for my situation. Somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison but I'm deciding between the IS350 F-Sport w/ nav, cold weather and blind spot vs the GS350 w/ nav, premium package, cold weather & blind spot (the non f-sport version). After an initial test drive of both I 'm having trouble deciding which is best for me. The difference in price isn't my concern, with the dealer cash available for the GS it should put them very close in price so my comparison has nothing to do with value. I will be taking each car out for a full 24hr test drive in the next week or so but just wanted to hear what others think so I can try to make an educated decision...

The IS350 F-Sport is a little smaller than I'd like inside but the car just exudes confidence with the cockpit wrapping around the driver which partly makes up for the lack of interior size. 95% of my driving does not include anyone else in the car except periodically my wife so my only concern with the IS is the tight backseat (may need to fit an infant car seat perhaps in the not to distant future). I don't mind the stiffer ride quality and would drive the pants off the IS on a daily basis (I live downtown in a major city though and sit in stop and go highway traffic 70% of the time so perhaps I won't quite use the F-Sport qualities every single day but knowing it's there around every turn and on ramp would make me very content. One downfall I'd like to point out is the interior of the car looks great in pictures but in person doesn't quite feel like a $50k car and is definitely lacking in comparison to the GS.

Additional Positives:
-extremely fun to drive
-60/40 split rear seat
-LFA style gauges
-very good looking car! (in my opinion)
-would fit like a glove in my garage space

-smaller interior / mainly backseat
-tires/brakes wear faster?
-no rain sensing wipers, memory seats, auto high beams
-interior nice but no GS, feels cheap in comparison
-lacks storage/cup holders

As for the GS, I can't quite rationalize jumping up in price to the F-Sport (and my wife would kill me if I did spend more) so it's the non F Sport GS or no GS. My thoughts: The exterior of the non-f sport GS might have looked bold a few years ago but to me it's already looking dated which is a major turn off when you see the IS F-Sport. Luckily, the interior looks like a million bucks so that does help make up for what the exterior lacks. I think this car would be spectacular sitting in stop and go traffic and road trips since it's so comfortable, roomy and has a great center console, so this is a big plus for my commute. Having driven this car after the IS F-Sport I was not nearly as impressed with the handling characteristics but I have read a lot of praise about this aspect of the car in comparison to others in it's class so input here would be greatly appreciated.

-bigger backseat
-massive screen/great interior
-includes rain sensing wipers, memory seats, auto high beams
-more refined ride quality for the not so great Chicago streets
-exterior mirrors fold in, nice for the garage

-Steering feel not quite IS F-Sport quality
-boring exterior, doesnt do the car justice
-no 60/40 split, only a pass-through seat
-not excited about the extra length and a few inches in width for my tight garage
-side impact rating so so

I WANT to say the IS-F Sport is the car for me but common sense is pointing me to the GS but I feel like I need to be 40 years old with 2 kids (I have no kids) to need something like the GS. At this point it's a 50/50 split...


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