Hmm, I don't think it would have killed the competition, but it definitely would make the competition more fierce. I was considering the IS300 and took a look at one at the dealership but it was too small, didn't like the leather, and didn't come in a manual. But I was seriously considering it nonetheless. I got the S4 (picked it up last Thursday!) instead. My friend is considering the IS300 w/ manual next year. She has good taste!