My first year leasing the IS AWD has been "fine." It is a sporty looking pre-luxury all wheel drive vehicle, top notch reliability and a spectacular dealership experience. Beyond that it's an expensive AWD Corolla with added bells/whistles. It does do a great job in the harsh Midwest winters, but is not nearly as fun to drive as the Audi/VW cars I have owned in past. Its handling is okay but not sporty; the ride is generally compliant but at times punishing. It never "goes" when you need it to and then whines like a four cylinder. I am generally not as excited to drive this Lexus as I was my previous autos, and sadly look forward to returning to a German AWD car when my lease is up.
The AWD/ESC works as well as a Quattro. Okay handling. Gas mileage(for an AWD) in town 24. Interior appointments. Comfortable, heated seats. Feels safe to drive. Emergency handling. Sexy looking. Back up camera. Front cup holders. Crash ratings. Trunk/storage generous for car's size. Quiet cabin.
Rear leg room; expect complaints from your rear passengers. Fold down rear seats to the trunk. Rain gutters on doors; you get soaked when entering/exiting. Stiff ride over rough roads. More horse power; the V6 feels like a 4. Google Maps should handle the GPS system. Ugly "sport" wood grain.
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