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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. Yes, new member here posting for the 4th time.


You know, I've always been a stick-shift driver. From my current Honda S2000 6-speed weekend car, to my daily driver.. I've always believed in stick and the experience driving stickshift gives you.

Now, the Lexus IS350 (the best luxury sedan on the road, for the money) doesn't offer a manual transmission.

From reading these forums I know that it may not be as fast from 0-60, or as fast in the 1/4 mile in "manual mode."

However... how responsive are the paddle shifters to your commands?
Is the car enjoyable to drive when placed into manual mode?
Personally, I think the evolution of the manual transmission is a fantastic one.
No more 100's of a second spent on cluthing and moving that antiquated shifter.. all you need to do is blip the paddle, and the transmission/computers do the work for you.
This may be absolute bliss on a Ferrari F430... but how do you feel about the paddle shifting on an IS350?


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The thing is, it's not a real shifter. It's a top gear limiter. And it works great if you understand it as such. If you expect it to be a clutchless manual however you're in for disappointment. The IS-F offers that, but the IS350 doesn't.
 

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Honestly I'm far from impressed by the paddle shifters. I just use them to obtain engine compression going downhill when needed. I wonder if I can take them off, so get a better view of the instrument cluster.

For acceleration, put the ECT in power mode and just slam the gas. The computer does a better job.
 

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The IS-F doesn't even offer a clutchless manual. It's an 8-speed automatic, torque converter and all with a manual shift mode.
 

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The IS-F doesn't even offer a clutchless manual. It's an 8-speed automatic, torque converter and all with a manual shift mode.
Yep you are right there is no clutchless manual for either models. If you get the hang of how to use them properly it can be fun when you are downshifting around the highway. The only thing is there is a shift limiter where the ecu lets you shift at certain rpms and speed which is to save the tranny. other than that all the models are using the tiptronic thing like the old honda prelude. Only difference between the is300 and the x50's are that the x50's can shift with the shift knob as well as paddle shifters.
 

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The IS-F doesn't even offer a clutchless manual. It's an 8-speed automatic, torque converter and all with a manual shift mode.
Except it can -work- like a clutchless manual in that it will actually hold the gear you select, unlike the ISx50. And once a torque converter locks up you've got similar efficiency to a "real" manual too.
 

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The thing is, it's not a real shifter. It's a top gear limiter. And it works great if you understand it as such. If you expect it to be a clutchless manual however you're in for disappointment. The IS-F offers that, but the IS350 doesn't.
ur exactly rite, its hardly considered tiptronic, it basically lets u choose the highest gear ur car will go into, in simple terms. Works great for downshifting but dont expect to get better times using it from 0-60. If u understand how it works, u can have some fun with it, but its not ur traditional "tiptronic" in the sense that it wont necessarily be in the gear u choose. Example, flooring the gas and using either paddle or shift level to up-shift at about 5000 rpm wont do that, itll hold the gear all the way to redline to maximize power. You have to play around with and and get used to to to be able to have fun with it, my trick is to lightly get off the gas when up-shifting to ensure it goes into the next gear when I want it to
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I see... so manual mode is really more for "holding" a gear and downshifting, and not so much for upshifting through the gears?

More than one thread and online article has mentioned how the full auto mode is faster than the manual mode. So I understand the IS's trans isn't going to act like a clutchless manual.

But I wanted to know if when I downshift, will the shift respond instantaneously to my commands, or will there be a significant hesitation.

I test drove an IS350 on Saturday. Although I did play around with the paddle shifters a little bit, the ride was short, and I really didn't get a good feel for how responsive they are.
Besides... didn't want to put the IS sideways, and have the salesman flip-out on me :)
 

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When you move the shifter to S it will display 4 on the dash.

This means your max top gear is now 4. If you were in 5th or 6th, and not going a massively insane speed, it will downshift into 4th.

It will still operate as a normal auto now, but with a max of 4th gear.... ie if you stop at a light it'll still display that 4, but it'll shift all the way down to 1. It just won't shift higher than 4 when you take off again.

You can use this for downshifts as long as your speed isn't above what the next lower gear can handle and you're actually IN the top gear already (ie if you're doing 45 in 4th gear in S mode and you blip it down to 3, it'll go into 3rd, with it's top gear now being 3rd... but if you were only doing 5 it won't downshift since it was likely in 1st or 2nd and can still go as high as 3rd).

I'm overexplaining it at this point though :)

The shifts aren't instant, certainly not insane fast like on the IS-F... but they're decently quick.
 

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Hey, I own a 03 first gen and I finally had and opportunity to drive a 2nd gen last weekend. Both of the cars were autos with the button and paddle shifters. The paddles were fairly responsive, there is little hesitation, the average driver probably wouldnt feel it. they were great.
 

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ya u pretty much understood wat i said, and as for the downshifts they`re pretty instant, i wouldnt complain about them at all, as long as the next lower gear can hold that speed, itll downshift for you. With time u get used to it, my trick is i learned the minimum rpm i can downshift at for each gear, 4th to 3rd is 4,500, 3rd to 2nd is 4,200, and 2nd to 1st is 2,800, so i kno if the tranny will let me downshift or not. Sucks that its not the same concept for up-shifting but i love my car too much to hold such a small fault against it :) hope i helped
 

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The paddles are not for racing there good for mountain driving on my old 300 shifters were buttons down on the bottom and up on the top very convient to be able to shift with one hand.
 

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if you think you are getting a clutchless shifter with the paddles you wil be disappointed but they add a little fun when u want it.. you just have to get used to them and know when to hit the upshift soo u dont hit the limiter but once u get used to it.. can be alot of fun.. I mostly just leave it in regular mode for most of my driving
 

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i notice more of a pull and change in suspension when i switch to my paddle shifters, turns are tighter, and torque is a lot more noticeable, although it may be my intake and exhaust, who knows
 

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The paddle shifters have exactly zero to do with your suspension. They change the maximum top gear the car can shift into. That's it.

Then again, your intake and exhaust have zero to do with it too.
 

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lmfao
 

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The IS-F doesn't even offer a clutchless manual. It's an 8-speed automatic, torque converter and all with a manual shift mode.
The IS-F Transmission is different tho... it really acts like a manual. It holds onto the specific gear you tell it to... it won't even downshift under hard acceleration when you are in manual mode.
 

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The Lexus transmission will not give you DSG type of shifting... but it was world's better than the manual mode in the Infiniti G37 I drove recently... and that's a 7-speed auto.
 

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Yea i agree the IS-F sport shifter is pretty damn good. The response time on that thing is very good.


As for the Sport Shifters on my IS350, I find them useful at higher speeds, 60mph~ triple digits.. I can control the car better and is more acceptable using them at these speeds. For rocketing from a dig, no, do not use Sport Shift. I just turn off VSC/Traction Control, turn on the ECT and leave it in auto and watch the thing rocketing off...:cool:
 
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