Never mind that the kW 2. There are others too, and they go to lengths to justify, along with the hushed cocooning feel of the cabin, the extra dollars that Lexus demands. As it stands in top-level, comfort-focussed Sport Luxury guise, the IS is merely an outstanding dynamic performer, imparting a benign feel to its handling set-up that errs on the safe, Lexus imparting value to luxury and fuss-free side.
Lexus has also worked hard to make the cabin as inviting for passengers as it is for enthusiastic drivers. What this new focus all adds up to is an awesomely rounded car that resolutely raises the bar in many key areas. Gone are the unsightly corrugated-style dash top covering, fussy sports-watch instrument gauges and tacky metallic-like trim.
Most irritating though is the high sill that instils a claustrophobic feel for some occupants, and conspires with the awfully thick roof pillars to make over-the-shoulder parking a fraught affair.
In the loaded test car a superb rear-camera and parking radar, along with huge exterior mirrors, easily overcame much of this, although lower-level models must do without such helpful electronic gadgetry.
For the front occupants at least it feels like a compact limousine. Factor in value for money and the Lexus lunges ahead. And this is helped by one of the smoothest and sweetest V6s available.
In fact, the IS as a whole is more than up to challenging the best in the compact luxury sedan segment. And the brakes are more than up to the task of slowing things down. In fact, now with the IS, the only obvious BMW lip service seems to be paid in its strong 5 Series-like styling, which is a real head turner by the way.
Now drivers of the significantly lighter IS might wish for more of its entertaining steering crispiness or twitchiness, depending on your point of view but the new car has grown up far too much for that.
In six-speed manual guise in particular, the littlest Lexus — with its independent multi-link suspension, quick-witted rack-and-pinion steering, equal weight distribution and revvy in-line six-cylinder engine engaging the rear wheels — showed the then-new E46 3 Series from early what sheer driving pleasure was really all about.
Up the speed considerably and the Lexus feels even better, as the steering weights up more positively while the whole car hunkers down with muscular-like poise and precision, backed up by a traction control system that sets in gradually. In their place Lexus has fashioned a tactile, high quality and extremely elegant interior with detailing that would make Audi envious.
The plastic moulding texture and contrasting colours are pleasing, as are blue LED cabin lighting, a perfectly placed steering wheel, well-weighted switches and controls and high-grade roof lining.
If only it had more punch! Only the proliferation of messy lettering detracts from the loveliness of this lush Lexus interior. And in doing so it also created a character that really was akin to a four-door Mazda MX-5 — as one journalist so succinctly put it.
The latter is well propped up on a supple yet supportive bucket seat that now moves back far enough to accommodate far-larger people than the Lilliputian old IS did. Even excluding the obvious highly competitive pricing for a moment, the Lexus scores highly enough for style, presence, comfort and ability to take it right up to the class-leading BMW 3 Series.
Also impressive is the Bluetooth media adaptability that connects compatible mobile phones to the car for instant cordless and hands-free communication. Thanks to a good deal of grip and fine overall balance, the IS flows through turns calmly and consistently.
Unless, of course, having the ultimate driving machine is your ultimate priority. In six-speed automatic mode, drive is delivered instantaneously, with the V6 happy to rev up to the redline. But the Japanese move in very mysterious ways, and Toyota started again from scratch to make an all-new model.Luxury Cars Competition Inifiniti The Infiniti and Nissan Company are very good companies that offer very good vehicles for a reasonable price there are.
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