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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I can add a hands-on viewpoint to the recent IS 350 vs. R thread. We went from not knowing what an IS 350 was, to my wife wanting one and getting one in 3 weeks. We are very lucky; the car is super hot at the moment in California, especially in the colors she wanted, with the premium package. We lucked out in the late March dealer allocation. To the 50+ western US dealers, Lexus only sent 6 red w/cashmere interior and premium goodies, and we scored one. Here are some pictures:<p><A HREF="http://web.mac.com/stugary" TARGET="_blank">http://web.mac.com/stugary</A><p>Some observations after one week and a 400 mile drive home from the dealer in So Cal to the SF Bay area and just a day later getting my R back from the body shop after 5 weeks, so it was an interesting back to back feel:<p>Lexus:<br>Cabin quieter at almost any speed than the R, little road/tire noise<br>Steering is very responsive, yet with a light feel – variable power assist<br>Brakes really work well<br>Paddle shifting is a hoot<br>Power band is fun, higher revving, and no turbo<br>Very nice cabin, smaller than the R, I would not fit in this car full time, I am 6’3”<br>Electronics are INCREDIBALE – especially the Nav, Bluetooth and the Levinson premium sound system, which has a factory sub and rocks when playing DVD-Audio disks!<br>Car feels smaller than the R, yet in outside dimensions is almost the same<br>No AWD, no 4C<br>Better turning radius<br>Way more HP, nicer interior and more technology than even a loaded 3-series at less $$<br>While I did not lease, I checked and the IS residual was 62% - on the R 23 months ago it started at 52%...<p>R:<br>Better seats, but the Lexus is real close…<br>Larger cabin<br>Better touring car given the comfort and cabin room<br>Nav placement by Volvo is MUCH better. I don’t like looking down now at the lower Nav unit in the Lexus.<p>Both – are really nice in their own ways. To a dedicated BMW driver, is the IS 350 the ultimate driving machine? Probably, for the 95% of the population who will never drive either car hard…<p>Here are some pictures. When it stops raining in California, I will clay it, and then try Zaino and Pinnacle Souveran as a topper.<p>Lexus really wants market share from the Europeans, it will be interesting to see the market share for them in a few years, especially after the re-release the big Lexus. It will be VERY interesting to see how the new S80 does against the big Lexus and the Germans…<br>
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

Very nice car.<p>I looked at the IS and drove one, again a nice car but did not feel that fast and certainly no faster than my R. The interior appointments are very nice and as always Japanese technology is breathtaking.<br>As far as the BMW beater not according to a single magazine and tester and I know why, handling while good is not BMW like and as always the Auto transmission kills it with most purists.<p>I think a 6 speed IS would be a better match. I have also read that the IS is having some realibility issues and the 0-60 times have been re-stated twice, going up each time.<p>Overall though I think its a very nice car and an improvement from the previous model which my personal assistant drives. I have also noticed more females driving the IS offerings from Lexus..go figure. Also true of the new Porsche Cayman...seen 5 all female drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (ForceReconTrojan)

I agree with the BWM comments - for DRIVERS. But, if it is true that BMW sells 80% of the 3-series as the least expensive builds possible, then many people are not buying the car for the all out handling. So IF that is true, over time, some might look to the IS.<p>Again, would I buy this car for me, and long distance driving, no. As the wife's car, its great to have in the fleet <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>FireR</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Well, I can add a hands-on viewpoint to the recent IS 350 vs. R thread...</TD></TR></TABLE><p>There's one parked in the same spot every day in a building that I frequent. I had to go give it a good tail-sniff when I first saw it.<p>Very nice looking car overall but still doesn't hit some of the marks that I was looking for when I bought the R. Notably missing are AWD and a manual 6sp right? But I absolutely despise the design of the front doors. It looks like to get into the car you have to open a cereal box. Completely tabular and boxy design. I don't get it. But overall the car does flow if you ignore those uninterrupted square lines.<p>The Japanese adoption rate of newer electronics are to be expected (and appreciated). Volvo lags way behind Lexus/Acura/Infiniti in that regard no doubt.<p>But as far as an "R-killer" (in as much as the R aimed to be an "M3 competitor" <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/rolleyes.gif" BORDER="0"> )... IMO the 335i sedan is going to be the car that Volvo has to surrender to or step up to. <p>It still may not have AWD... but if King Salomon had to split the baby between the 330i and the e46 M3 (which will be a long-forgotten distinction when the 400 hp '08 M3 debuts) ... The 335i is it and I might easily be convinced to give up 300hp AWD for a twin-turbo I6 300hp/RWD. Certainly wouldn't for a 300hp/FWD even if that's the more prudent choice. I'd be buying on emotional compromise even though I've never really been lured by the BMW hallmark on anything other than a hypothetical level.<p>And if it arrives in the ~42K base-trim price range as rumored... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/sly.gif" BORDER="0"> <BR><BR>
<i>Modified by StaggRLee at 10:25 PM 3-31-2006</i>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (StaggRLee)

As to the 300/FWD, IF you mean the IS, the IS 350 is RWD. The 250 can be had AWD, but with a much smaller engine. I agree the twin turbo BMW could be very interesting <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>But again, most of us here are hard core car nuts and drivers. The auto trades and finance publications say the 3-series sales in America keep BMW afloat. IF true, then what happens if the "low end" BMW buyers see a car with more HP, more technology, Lexus quality for less money than some of the 3-series? Some of these buyers won't care about max handling. That is all I am saying, will Lexus or anyone else start to eat at the 3-series sales volume in the US?
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>FireR</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">As to the 300/FWD, IF you mean the IS, the IS 350 is RWD...</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Just goes to show I don't cross-shop a lot of cars. That does give the 350 an advantage. I've never really liked FWD cars, even in my Volvos. I've prefered my old RWD Volvo's handling characteristics to the FWD ones. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>FireR</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">...will Lexus or anyone else start to eat at the 3-series sales volume in the US?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Oh c'mon. The 335i isn't the answer to the reality that <I>this</I> is already happening? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>The "lesser" 3s aren't competitive on a price/performance basis and the M3s are overpriced on the same basis. Appointment and brand cachet wear thin and will only get you so far for so long.<p>The Acura TLs/Infinity G35s sucked the life out of the '04-'05 325 and cut deep into the 330 sales for those whose weren't sold on brand appeal or trim appointments. Resale/residuals are good to great, service/reliability beats them pants down, performance is comparable/better... Same goes for them beating Volvo (just check JD Powers as objective as that is). <p>Bangle did marvels for enabling the competition. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/rolleyes.gif" BORDER="0"> <br><BR><BR>
<i>Modified by StaggRLee at 12:41 AM 4-1-2006</i>
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

Looks like a very nice car. That color of car will need a radar detector. BTW can you get a shot of the speedometer when you take the other pictures? I like to see if the dials change from the IS300
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

They had this color IS350 at the Denver Auto Show this weekend, and it is absoultely beautiful. A beautiful candy apple red metallic. HOT. I agree with KillerB, get a good radar detector to ward off the cops cause that color is going to be like honey to a bear for them. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"><br><IMG SRC="http://web.mac.com/stugary/iWeb/Site/886D90E2-AFE2-4422-90DA-9C36DFF16ADC_files/IMG_2957.jpg" BORDER="0"><p>- Polartek
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>FireR</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I agree with the BWM comments - for DRIVERS. But, if it is true that BMW sells 80% of the 3-series as the least expensive builds possible, then many people are not buying the car for the all out handling. So IF that is true, over time, some might look to the IS.<br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Ok, could you please explain what that's supposed to mean? I'm not getting it?<p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (needsdecaf)

That a majority of the 3-series buyers buy the image, not the great handling... That is why they don't load it or get the max HP etc... So IF that market opinion is true (only BMW really knows) then that kind of buyer might look at more makes as they strive to catch up to the 3-series...
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

Now that I have a lexus I figured I'd chime in on this thread. I have the big brother to the IS350, the GS430. Coming out of my tuned R it is quite a change. Much smoother and refined.....obviously much quieter too.<p>Overall I enjoyed the driving aspect of the R more, but as I'm in sales I seem to spend more time on the phone with my clients or planning my next route than really driving aggressively. So I think the GS fits my needs better. The R will and is missed though, GREAT car. I really loved the speed and the handling, seats, stereo, looks, and the exclusivity.<p>Here are a few pics of mine for comparison to the IS, the GS is a good deal bigger and has more backseat legroom than the R.<p>I'm already itching to put more power into it, but I'm trying to resist the modding urge and save up for a Z06 to go nuts with. My co-worker is looking at trading in his Merc CLS500 for a CLS55 (drooooool).....I need to have something that can beat him!!<p><IMG SRC="http://img464.imageshack.us/img464/5881/frontsmall3hu.jpg" BORDER="0"><p><IMG SRC="http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/7892/rearsmall3ty.jpg" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (sniz)

Nice car Sniz <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0"> btw, Lexus is working on a V10 5.0 with 500 hp...<p>
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>FireR</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">That a majority of the 3-series buyers buy the image, not the great handling... That is why they don't load it or get the max HP etc... So IF that market opinion is true (only BMW really knows) then that kind of buyer might look at more makes as they strive to catch up to the 3-series...</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I thought that's what you meant, but then I'm not getting your logic. If your hypothesis is that the majority of the 3 series buyers buy the image, and does not upgrade for the larger engine, etc., then why would a Lexus with more HP or bells and whistles entice them? <p>To them a BMW is still a BMW. I think the reverse is true. Someone who buys a 3 series because it's a great handling car, but is a bit turned off by the price and the prestige (which for many people is a negative) would more likely be willing to shop other brands that offer similar performance for less money or without the negative stereotype. <p>Of course, I could be completely mis-understanding what you are saying.
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (BenES)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>BenES</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Nice car Sniz <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0"> btw, Lexus is working on a V10 5.0 with 500 hp...<p></TD></TR></TABLE><p>really?? for what platform? That would be pretty sweet in the GS, couldnt see it making sense in anything else that they sell.
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (sniz)

Lexus LF-A<p> <IMG SRC="http://www.autoblog.com/media/2006/03/Lexus-LF-A-Front-3-4.jpg" BORDER="0"><br>
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (needsdecaf)

I like your point and either way works depending on the buyer. All in all, the point is there are more choices, some very good at a price point the same or lower than the 3-series...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (sniz)

Sniz - I really like your tint, that is the next step for ours. We looked at the GS, but my wife wanted a smaller, more fun car. It suprised me she even went for a 4-door. In Mid-07 I have to deal with the R and the small back seat, so I will be looking at the new S-80, or a larger BMW, unless the new large Lexus stuns them all...
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>FireR</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Sniz - I really like your tint, that is the next step for ours. We looked at the GS, but my wife wanted a smaller, more fun car. It suprised me she even went for a 4-door. In Mid-07 I have to deal with the R and the small back seat, so I will be looking at the new S-80, or a larger BMW, unless the new large Lexus stuns them all...</TD></TR></TABLE><p>The next LS (450?) should be quite a car if Lexus continues with what they have done with the IS and GS
 

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Re: IS 350 vs. the R – Have Both Now! (FireR)

Sniz, what are the particulars of that tint? Huper? Where did you go to get whatever it is installed?<br>
 
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