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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Hope all the fellow members make it ok and their babies (cars) are unhurt over here in South Florida

I have been mulling over the options for a couple of days, and wondering if the sports package is a good idea in South Florida, given the poor road conditions (the I95 stretch in Dade county is particularly bad). The car looks decent with 17s and i get most the the amenities i want with the lux package.

So what do you guys think, should i get the 350 with:

1) Sport Package w/18s?
2) Lux package with 17s?

(Lux with 18s are too expensive, IMHO)
 

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It's my understanding that 350's only come with 18's, but that could be a west coast thing. Somehow I think it's not though.

If you are concerned, get the Luxury package and mod the suspension after-market. Springs would cost < $400 and shocks not much more than that. You could cuztomize your ride as well, probably getting handling benefit without affecting your ride quite as much.

Based on what I have read, the sport package is a harder ride, but also handles better. There is also the question about the trim you want. Do you like wood? Aluminum? That might not be a deciding factor for you.

Other than that, it's illuminated scuff plates and a rear sunshade setting the two apart, oh and peddles.

I think the fast majority of people will enjoy the Luxury package. If you arent a "good driver", I go that route. I'm not a good driver, but went sport anyway. I would have taken Luxury had that been the car on the boat.

One more thing. The sport package is the standard suspension for European IS350's. Not sure if that matters to most, but it sort of leaned me in that direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well i am in Florida, so sunshades is not a bad idea. Wood or alum? I think the wood looks better with the intended Cashmere color i want to get for the interior. the aluminum looks better with black, which would sear my butt on 100 degree days in Miami.

But i still want to hear what people would say they prefer, and more advice is always welcome.
 

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OneHump said:
One more thing. The sport package is the standard suspension for European IS350's. Not sure if that matters to most, but it sort of leaned me in that direction.
Europe is only getting the 250 and 220d (deisel)

No 350's for Europe, so whoever told you this is wrong.
 

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BUD001 said:
well i am in Florida, so sunshades is not a bad idea. Wood or alum? I think the wood looks better with the intended Cashmere color i want to get for the interior. the aluminum looks better with black, which would sear my butt on 100 degree days in Miami.

But i still want to hear what people would say they prefer, and more advice is always welcome.
You won't sear anything with those vented seats! :approve:

I would go for the sport package because it's a 350. The 350 is all about speed/performance so you might as well go all out. I wouldn't mind the rear shade and illuminated scuff plates with the sport package, but that might raise the price too high.

You can always get an aftermarket suspension with the Lux package, but you might run into issues later on that won't be covered by the warranty. At least you know if you get the sport package you will be covered 100% if anything suspension related goes wrong.
 

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Norcal IS300 said:
Europe is only getting the 250 and 220d (deisel)

No 350's for Europe, so whoever told you this is wrong.
David Vandelinde, Regional Manager of Lexus - West Coast

Not sure what model he was referring to, but that's exactly what he told me. :)

Maybe he was referring to 250s or what might be coming on a future 350 release?
 

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Driving both cars tomorrow back to back, I'll give my thoughts then

I've already driven a 350 with the Luxury package and 18's and was not impressed with the overall handling of the car. Way too much understeer for me as well as poor driver confidence when pushing the car pretty hard through the turns. Even though it didn't feel like the car had much body roll, it still felt mushy to me, weird. The Luxury package with the 18's did have a very smooth ride to it though, which is probably what many less enthusiastic drivers are looking for. My plan for tomorrow is to take out the Luxury package again, and then the Sport package car (both have the 18's so it should be a pretty fair evaluation of the actual suspension differences) and really see what kind of difference there is. Also, I'm not a big fan of the wood trim (wish they would have had a black bird's eye wood available) as I'm looking for a more sporty look, so that makes it even easier for me to lean towards the sport package.

Again, I'll let you guys know my thoughts after tomorrow. However, this is no substitution for you going out and driving both vehicles yourself, preferably back to back on the same roads. That's my best advice to you. Find a dealer with a 350 with Luxury+18's and a 350 with sport, and go thrash them both. You'll easily figure out what you prefer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well my local dealer would hopefully have both versions soon (right now the stock they have are all bare-bones with 18s as the only add-on). (hint: Shannon, when i can i test both?)
 

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the base is350 (w/18s and regular accessories) is the best overall deal imo. it is priced at $36,944 msrp. the only semi-important item that you won't get w/ base models are the bi-xenon headlamps. the halogen lamps on the base are pretty darn bright already.
 

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I'd prefer the sport package for handing, if I could get it in my region. BUT, I'll be happy not having the metallic inserts, pesonally I think they've got a copper hue to them and I think they look cheap, not that the wood is all that much better, but it gives a more rich look in my eyes, besides, this way I can always upgrade the suspension, even maybe get an adjustable aftermarket system.



 

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can you get the sport package with the nav minus the ML? what happened to the handbrake? now it is a foot e-brake(like my honda pilot)? I just talked to the dealer manager who sold me the IS300 and said he will find out if he can get the sport package with nav minus ML.
 

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The problem hasnt been getting sport without ML, it has been trying to find anyone on the planet WITH ML. :)

There are ML systems out there, but it's rare. As a rule, ML is something you typically have to order and doesnt came with Nav by default.
 

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I've only driven Sports Package ISs (drove an IS250 Manual for an hour and the IS350 for an hour in upstate New York) and the sports suspension hits a perfect ride/handling balance. It did not feel harsh at all. IMHO the Sports Package is a MUST in any IS250/IS350. Sure, the sunshade from the Luxury Package is nice to have here in South FL but, personally, I value the sports suspension and ½" lower ride height of the Sports Suspension FAR more than the sunshade from the Luxury Package. Plus, The roads here in South FL in general are reasonably smooth and well-paved overall. They're not total crap like they are in Michigan, for example. I've driven I-95 in South FL many a time and I think the Sports Suspension can handle it without undue harshness.
 

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OneHump said:
The problem hasnt been getting sport without ML, it has been trying to find anyone on the planet WITH ML. :)

There are ML systems out there, but it's rare. As a rule, ML is something you typically have to order and doesnt came with Nav by default.
You're basically correct except for the very end of the last sentence. The stand-alone ML option has been cancelled. You can only get ML in conjunction with Navi, but there's also a stand-alone Navi option.
 

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evo8 said:
can you get the sport package with the nav minus the ML?.
Yes.

evo8 said:
what happened to the handbrake? Now it is a foot e-brake(like my honda pilot)?.
Yes on automatic-transmission ISs. The IS250 Manual has a handbrake.


evo8 said:
I just talked to the dealer manager who sold me the IS300 and said he will find out if he can get the sport package with nav minus ML.
Yes, but you might have to special-order.
 

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^^^ I will have to agree, for a car like the IS especially the 350...Sports Package is a must
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i am trying to get eh IS for 40K MSRP (incl. delivery) so its going to be:

36K + either 3.6K for the sport package or 4 K (lux with 18s) or 3.9K (lux with 17s)

Looks like Lexus isnt giving a lot of high-content cars to South Florida yet. I hope that would change soon.

What do you guys think of the grey interior? I am not really a big fan. I think i would pick the Glacier Frost Mica or the dark gray (whats that name of that one?)
 

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Would that 36K + 3.6 be without NAV? My car has the sports package + NAV is is ~$43K.

Glacier Frost Mica is an amazing color. It would definately be my first choice had I been able to pick. I think the grey interior looks like pleather, but a lot of people like it. I think my opinion is in the minority. The dark gray is Smokey Granite Mica. It's a real nice color too.

My problem was that I didnt want a dark color because I drive a lot of miles and don't want it looking dirty all the time. I wanted the black interior for the same reason. This left me with Tungsten Pearl and Black interior. Tungsten is about mid-way down my list of color choices, but I'm not a huge fan of white-ish colors with black interiors.
 
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