I have been interested in buying the IS300, but am concerned about how it handles in the rain or snow. This is very important because I live in Chicago, and am consequently thinking about the A4 Quattro or 325xi. Please advise. Thanks.
Glue... I don't know if you've owned a "sporty" RWD car before, but it will never equal the superior traction of a AWD car. The thing is, you just have to know how to drive properly if the roads are slick. Modulate the power so you don't slip on take-off (LSD should help a bit) and take it easy in the corners. Unless your racing in the snow, RWD should be fine, keeping in mind that your taking care.
I live in Iowa and I have owned many rear wheel drive cars. I've never had a problem driving them in the winter. The IS has traction control so it should be safe to drive on wet roads as long as you don't drive like an idiot. Besides, in most large cities, the salt trucks are out on the roads as soon as it starts to snow and so there are only a handful of days during the year when there actually is any snow accumulation on the roads. Also, four-wheel-drive is useless on icy roads. I had an Explorer and I slipped on a patch of ice and went off the road and flipped over several times before landing sideways in a farmer's field.
Great in the rain. The Lexus event I went to was in pouring rain and huge puddles, and you could drive the IS300 like a nut and it never slipped, til you turn off traction control and nail it in fast corners. In the snow it probably sucks, but never driven it. RWD is terrible in the snow with wide performance tires, ok with snow tires or snow-biased M+S tires. Don't even think about driving the IS300 in snow on stock 17" tires.
Originally posted by Opr8tr: Rain...good.
Snow...very very bad.
I live in Toronto, Ontario. We get our share of snow. With my experience, as long as you purchase snow tire and drive with common sense. I think the IS300 is a fine car for winters. I have driven the car in 10cm+ snow road with out problem. Of course I had the winter tires and snow mode activiated.