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So I walk into a bookstore in downtown SF and what do I see? The IS300 on a cover of Automobile magazine (June issue)!

The 4-page article is more of an informal test drive, without any measurement data. Here is the highlight (paraphrased):
  • Despite obvious physical similarities, driving IS300 is vastly different than BMW 3-series.
  • Although interior is made of high quality materials, it is more Toyota-like than Lexus.
  • The driver's seat is second to none... it's perfect. The reviewer loved chronograph dash and shifter ball as well.
  • The reviewer wants manual, but he did praise E-shift -- "it's one of the most crisply shifting manu-matics we've used."
  • In E-shift or power modes, the engine revs all the way to 6400-rpm redline, producing "crescendo of power" from 5700-rpm.
  • The chassis is unforgiving at high speeds. At low-speed, however, it is very agile and fun to drive.
  • Very quick and accurate steering, but it slacks off if you push it too far.
  • The 17" wheels are not very forgiving to poor driving surfaces.
  • Awesome brakes. The best performing part of the car.
Overall, Automobile gave the car a very positive review, but concluded by saying that in comparison to BMW 3-series, the 2001 IS300 is a "work in progress."

I will probably get the IS300 anyway, largely because (1) the car is cheaper, (2) I am getting bored seeing a parade of Bimmers every day, and (3) the dashboard, man.
 

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I like how the dead pedal is nice and big; it'll be great if you're wearing big shoes or boots.


Originally posted by Filburt:
I forgot to mention... that mysterious left foot padel is a foot rest.
 
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