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test drove the IS250

Regretably, I have to say I was a bit dissapointed. The interior was amazing and it truly felt like a full fledged luxury car. That was better than my current IS300. On the road, however, I don't think it felt as nice as my 1st gen IS.

The first thing I noticed when I sat in the car was the HUGE a$$ door mirrors. I'm not exagerrating, these things looked the size of volleyballs. It probably has to do with the fact that they are closer to the driver, but the visibility was incredible. The view, the nav screen and the dials were really impressive. The steering wheel felt sooo nice, everything is tight, and the finish is very high class. "Daaaaamn" was the exact words I used.

The drive, on the other hand, was not that exiting. It was smooth like everyone has said, but not exilerating. The pull that the 250 can muster is not really insignificant, but imperceptible. You do get going fast, but you can't hear it and you can't feel it. Smooth is a nice way of putting it, because it was a real numb experience. The ride was nice and tight like my IS... a little choppier even probaly due to the 18" wheels that they force on you in every package. This didn't translate into any more confidence on the twisties tho. It didn't feel any more planted than my current IS, and (probably cause it sits higher) I prefer my 1st gen IS by a lot.

Now...all this could come from the fact that I am going from a 5-speed with Hotchkis springs to an Auto stock IS250... but that was my impression. I also think the packages are too expensive right now, and they need to lower the enterance fee if they want to lure BMW loyalist... as it stands, they are priced almost identically.
 

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Before I start, I currently have a fully loaded 2002 IS300 E-Shift. I am not a car geek either. With this said, here is my story. Let me know if you have any questions about something I might have left out.

The Hennessy Lexus Gwinnett (Duluth, GA) dealer got 2 IS250s and 1 IS350 in. I got a chance to test drive the IS250... they wouldn't let me test drive the IS350 since they only had 1 and it was on the showroom floor for display. They are suppose to get a couple more IS350s in on Monday and the Dealer said I could come back and test drive the 350 then. So these impressions are based on the IS250.

The car rides nice. Smooth feeling and quiet. Seats are really comfortable. Dash layout is nice. The acceleration isn't as good as the IS300. The turn radius is not as sharp either. The car felt more stable around corners. The layout of the window and mirror controls is really wierd. They are slanted down. The IPOD hookup will not control your IPOD. It's really just a Stereo Jack. Navigation and DVD was nice. Navigation doesn't look like it changed much since my 2002 IS300. Touch screen is a nice addition. There is dual-climate control. Two cup holders. Trunk space seems to be better. Brakes seemed very sensitive, but it is probably due to the fact the car was brand new. Head room seemed to be reduced. Rear passenger leg room is better. The smart Access/Push Button thing is really cool. You can just walk up to the car and open the door and start the car, without ever having to get the key out of your pocket... no more locking your keys in your car.

Overall, I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong... it's a nice driving car, but I like the Go-Cart feel of the IS300 and the IS250 seems to drive more like an Altima instead of a IS. It didn't feel fun to drive, imo. I'm probably going to keep my IS300 because to get a IS250 with the same options, it would be $3K more than I paid for the 300 and I would lose the fun feeling of driving.

Pricing
IS250 Manual - Roughly $30,500 (They didn't have a final price) - Leather, Smart Access/Push Button Start, In-Dash 6 CD Changer, Power Moonroof and Windows, 10 way adjustable w/Lumbar Front Seats, 18' Tires and Wheels, Audio Outlet (MP3/IPOD)

IS250 Auto - $32,644 - All of the above... Six Speed Auto w/ Paddle Shift Option

IS250 Nav - $35,214 - All of the above... add Gen 5 Navigation/DVD System w/ Speech Command and Backup Rear Camera, Bluetooth Hands Free Phone System

IS250 AWD - $35,789 - Leather, Smart Access/Push Button Start, In-Dash 6 CD Changer, Power Moonroof and Windows, 10 way adjustable w/Lumbar Front Seats, 18' Tires and Wheels, Audio Outlet (MP3/IPOD)

IS250 AWD Nav - $38,339 - All of the above... add Gen 5 Navigation/DVD System w/ Speech Command and Backup Rear Camera, Bluetooth Hands Free Phone System

IS350 - $36,944 - Leather, Smart Access/Push Button Start, In-Dash 6 CD Changer, Power Moonroof and Windows, 10 way adjustable w/Lumbar Front Seats, 18' Tires and Wheels, Audio Outlet (MP3/IPOD)

IS350 NAV - $42,224 - All of the above... add Gen 5 Navigation/DVD System w/ Speech Command and Backup Rear Camera, Mark Levinson 14 Speaker 7.1 Surround Sound Audio System, Bluetooth Hands Free Phone System, Heated and Ventilated Seats

IS350 LUX - $47,685 - All of the above... add Wood Trim, Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, Front and Rear Intuitive Park Assist, HID Headlights with AFS, Headlamp Washers
 

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Again ~$48,000 for a "near luxury" IS300.... I hope they don't build too many like that because they aren't going to sell very many at that price point.
 

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i got to drive the is 350 there!!! mr. mccole let me drive it as soon as it got there, its amazing! i got it up to 80 on satilite boulv. they are letting people test drive it later today (smokey granite is 350) and at 2pm they will put it up for sale after TOL is over.
 

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Regrettably, I haven't posted here in awhile, having sold my '02 IS back in July 2004 to purchase an M3. However, I've been lurking here for awhile because I had planned to purchase a new IS, seeing them as a huge improvement over the last gen.

With that said, I've heard many complaints about the IS350 topping out at $48k, which is indeed too high, but at least it is approaching E46 M3 performance with a price about $10k less expensive...

More disturbing in my mind is the fact that a baseline IS250 Manual with only 204 hp, with Sport Package and Nav/ML is nearly $40k! Anybody else (like me) in the manual-tranny boat contemplating how a car so slow could cost so much?
 

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CRB said:
Again ~$48,000 for a "near luxury" IS300.... I hope they don't build too many like that because they aren't going to sell very many at that price point.
Fool... that is not lexus pricing...thats about an 7,000 dollar mark up by the dumb dealers.
 

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You guys dont know what your talking about, the car came out friday... dealers makring up huge... go on the site... a fully loaded IS350 is 40K...wait a month or two, the dealers are morons.
 

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Ahh, lucky bastard. I got there around 12:15 and there was like 4 sets of people waiting to test drive and they only let me take it around the block, since they didn't want the car out too long. I hope nobody buys the 250 I test drove cuz I was driving it like a rent-a-car :) so I could see how it accelerated and took corners and stuff.

How'd the 350 feel ? I probably won't go back today, being that I'm trying to recover from being sick and I live all the way up by the Mall of GA.
 

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Larock said:
Ahh, lucky bastard. I got there around 12:15 and there was like 4 sets of people waiting to test drive and they only let me take it around the block, since they didn't want the car out too long. I hope nobody buys the 250 I test drove cuz I was driving it like a rent-a-car :) so I could see how it accelerated and took corners and stuff.

How'd the 350 feel ? I probably won't go back today, being that I'm trying to recover from being sick and I live all the way up by the Mall of GA.
Anyone who buys the IS you drove will buy it as a demo and save some money... unfortunate lol.
 

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LexIShirm300 said:
Fool... that is not lexus pricing...thats about an 7,000 dollar mark up by the dumb dealers.
Wrong.

Add around $4000 for one of the premium packages, $4000 for navigation/ML, $3000 for PCS, and $500 for parking assist, and you're pushing $48k MSRP.
 

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LexIShirm300 said:
You guys dont know what your talking about, the car came out friday... dealers makring up huge... go on the site... a fully loaded IS350 is 40K...wait a month or two, the dealers are morons.
That's not true at all, there's an $8900 option package for the IS350, bringing the sticker up to $45k without PCS ($2850). The build tool is customized to the cars available in your area. If you want to see an expensive IS, use zip 54981
 

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Larock said:
IS350 - $36,944 - Leather, Smart Access/Push Button Start, In-Dash 6 CD Changer, Power Moonroof and Windows, 10 way adjustable w/Lumbar Front Seats, 18' Tires and Wheels, Audio Outlet (MP3/IPOD)

IS350 NAV - $42,224 - All of the above... add Gen 5 Navigation/DVD System w/ Speech Command and Backup Rear Camera, Mark Levinson 14 Speaker 7.1 Surround Sound Audio System, Bluetooth Hands Free Phone System, Heated and Ventilated Seats
They should have put the bi-xenon light/adaptiv lights in the middle nav package rather than the lux package.
 

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ok i just talked to them on the phone to get a price quote for a black with sterling int. with sport package and nav with ml. he said that if i want the sport package i will have to special order and it will take 4 months. so now i dont know what to do, should i get the sport package and wait 4 months or should i get the preium lux package and live with that ugly wood (hopefully i can take it out or there will be an aftermarket replacement later) and without the sports tuned suspension, but i will be paying about 500-600 bucks more? any opions or advice?
 

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LexIShirm300 said:
Fool... that is not lexus pricing...thats about an 7,000 dollar mark up by the dumb dealers.
LexIShirm300 said:
You guys dont know what your talking about, the car came out friday... dealers makring up huge... go on the site... a fully loaded IS350 is 40K...wait a month or two, the dealers are morons.

A fully loaded IS350 is $40K? LOL, what have you been smoking?

A "base" IS350 is close to $40K, and here is how.

All prices are from Lexus site pricing section.

No IS350's in rpwsrw's region are going to be made without a "package", so we have minimum of $1,290 Premium Package, plus destination on top of $36,000!

Now to the $48K MSRP IS350

$36,030 IS350 MSRP
$4215 Luxury Package w/ 18 inch wheels
$3990 Mark Levison audio w NAV
$500 Intuative parking assist
$2850 Pre-Collision System

Totalling the above, we have $47,585 MSRP for Lexus.com prices and that is before any PIO have or DIO have been added. Such as:

18-in G-Spider alloy wheels [3] (RWD only)
- 18-in ISP Mode alloy wheels [3] (RWD only)
- All-weather floor mats
- Car cover
- Cargo net
- Dual sport exhaust by HKS® (available Spring 2006)
- Ground effects kit (available December 2005)
- Rear spoiler
- Sunroof wind deflector (available Winter 2006)
- Trunk mat
- Wheel locks
- XM® or SIRIUS Satellite Radio capability [11] (available Spring 2006)

My guess is there will be IS350 in our land with a true MSRP getting awfully close to $60K when the HKS exhaust, Ground effects kit, G-spider (BBS mesh-look) wheels , rear spoiler, and XM radio capability are added. And God save the sucker who writes the check for that one.
 

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Since the Build Your Own thing is different for everyone since it is done by zip code, I have a few zipcodes with different packages:

34240(Sarasota, FL): 18 inch alloy wheels with summer tires
08846(Middlesex, NJ): Has Permium, Sport, and Luxury Packages
54981(Waupaca, WI, thanks to rubley for giving it to us): Premium packages and he $8,900 Luxury package

Post what your zip code gives you as package options.
 
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