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Old 18th October 2005, 19:36   #1
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Default The IS350 is super quick but horrid to drive

Well thats how i felt when I went for the taste of lexus this weekend in chicago twice and drove the IS350 around the track about 4 times..infact the only lexus i seem to like was the RX400h..all others had no driving dynamics..they had the 330i which is slower but what driving dynamics that car had..i mean..it was soo much more composed and tight unlike the IS which was very responsive but the steering had a very light feel to it which spoilt the whole thing...

Paddle shift was nice but again didnt do enough damage control from the steering..I have come to realise that the steering feel is the single most important thing...i would pick a slower car (in this case the 330i soon to become the 335i and then will be closer in acceleration) than a faster car with no feel...oh well sad day for lexus overall in my eye..

my G35 is a much better car I think (spare few details) which is now a 4 year old model and soon to be changed in 2 yrs..

Last edited by 1Day : 18th October 2005 at 19:38.
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Old 19th October 2005, 06:42   #2
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Hey was this the event at the Arlington Heights racecourse? What kind of track did they setup....in the parking lot?

I did the 3-series event earlier this year at US Cellular Field during the launch.......and I thought it was fixied because the 3 was head and shoulders about the G35 and the A4 that were also on the track. The E90 330i with sport packagae just rocks.
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Old 20th October 2005, 01:28   #3
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yeah thats the one..it was nice but too small..it should have been bigger, they added nice turns, some sharp some not so sharp with a long straight to start with..

when you say 3 series was head and shoulders about the G35 and A4, what do you mean..??

i am assuming you are saying above...the new 3 had good steering feel i would say , if i give the 3 series 5 on 5, the G is 4.7 on 5 if not all 5...i like the interior space and quality of my G better, have you tried to feel the dash over the dials, it bends..anyhow..i like th eG's shape better too..even though it is now 4 model years old..

now I am waiting for the new G to come out in 2 yrs to "own" all these cars for a longer time..

The only thing i will give the IS350 is the throtle feel, now that was top notch...very responsive and light..unlike my G which is heavier..but...the sound coming out of my G is godly in comparison..

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Old 20th October 2005, 20:21   #4
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Well first of all, the cars were all automatics. The 3 was the only 6 speeed auto and the rest were 5 speed.
The course was really tight with a couple of hairpins and not much of a straight. I mean a Mini would have smoked a Corvette here.

OK, so the G had the grunt, almost a 50 hp advantage, but the gear ratios were horribly spaced and the engine would just bog down coming out of turns and the trans would be hunting for a gear.
Throttle response was really poor. I hammer the throttle and nothing for like half a second (electronic throttle lag). The body roll was way more
than the 3 and the car just felt heavier and ponderous and pushed quite a bit too. I think the G is more of a 5 series competetior.
The A4 was really slow but hung on better in the corners due to its quattro.

Anyways, the 330i was brilliant, Turn-in was kinfeedge sharp.....car just rotates around corners(zero understeer). very little body roll. Always in the right gear
and the engine is always 'on the cam'. I have no doubts the G is more practical on the road....more roomy and rides better, but on a track the 3 series just rules.

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Old 17th November 2005, 04:05   #5
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This is what The Toronto Star had to say about the new Lexus IS350.

Quote:
There was a lot of buzz about the Lexus IS350: Have the Japanese finally built a Bimmer-beater? Certainly, the 306-horsepower 3.5-litre V6 engine is terrific, the interior is lovely, and you know it's going to have Toyota quality. Then you get it on the track back-to-back with the BMW 3-Series. The BMW remains the unquestioned champ when it comes to handling. At speeds where the Lexus is nibbling at the edges of its adhesion limit, the BMW is saying to you, "Hey, buddy — is that all you got? Bring it on." If only the BMW's interior quality were better.
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Old 13th December 2005, 17:50   #6
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As a former IS300 owner, I must say that the two cars are very different and cannot be compared. When I traded my IS300 for the 330i ZHP it was an enormous change. I too attended the taste of lexus driving event in Houston and it offered a good exposure for the lexus lineup. I find it surprising that you like the hybrid SUV rx400h over the IS350 in terms of driving dynamics? It is without doubt that the the IS350 is a more capable car than the RX SUV in every way The Lexus IS sedan aims towards luxury and reliability first, and then comes performance. Yes the 300HP engine is nice but with everyone up'ing HP in sport sedans, it was a move that they had to take. Lexus can make some reliable big engines. The V8 LS430 was the world's most reliable V8. The 330i on the other hand is a very agressively tuned car, and the germans are known for that, just as the japanease as known for their reliability tanks.

What you are feeling about the IS350 is the same thing what we felt when the IS300 was launched in 2001. It is an automatic and the suspension is soft. That is why I waited until 2002, when they launched the 5 speed IS300 which has a Stiffer suspension, and a rear (LSD) limited slip differential which was a lot of fun and enhanced rotation, also used widely on the track. LSD's are in great demand and was only a $500 option on the IS300. It costs nearly 10 TIMES as much to get an LSD in a beemer, which is around 5 grand.

I would say that you will have a whole new impression of the IS350 when the 6 speed manual comes out in 2006, and the suspension will be improved too. In addition, the Lexus IS is very conservative from the factory and this is expected of a toyota. The japanease aftermarket parts market is huge and with simple bolt ons like TRD sway bars & shocks / springs, even the IS350 auto will shapen up in terms of driving dynamics.

Is there anywhere I can host videos? I would like to show you guys what my IS300 was capable of back in the day. From its stock form, I transformed it into a track monster and I must humbly admit that it took 1st place overall in the 2004 autocross season, beating even the 330ci by far. I am sure that the IS350 6 speed will be a nice car when tweaked up, but by then the E90 M3 will be out, and with the V8 in there, I just wont be able to resist so for me at least, its goodbye lexus! The beemers are just spectacular when it comes to handling but thats a whole new story...

Last edited by idnani : 13th December 2005 at 18:03.
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