This car is the best I've ever owned overall. The only thing I would trade would be a BMW sport suspension, but it's not worth all the frustration I've had with my 535i ($20k more than the IS!).
I've had both the 250 and 350. I stuck with the IS350 because I value the acceleration, but the IS250 is really great and sporty with good mileage. The rear wheel drive platform has very precise steering with a firm suspension that still soaks up bumps pretty well. If you like a cushy, quiet ride, go with the ES.
BMW, Acura, and Infiniti don't hold a candle to the overall combination of performance, reliability, and dealer experience. There is no better service department than that of Lexus.
Direct/port mixed injection engine is powerful and efficient.
Ergonomics are unmatched--even by other Lexuses.
Styling makes my mother-in-law "drool", so she says.
The acceleration of this car is really more like 0-60 in 4.9s (see C&D), which makes it a real sleeper.
Infiniti G's are no match.
Lexus dealer service is bar-none the best.
Then again, I never owned a Bentley :-)
Stock suspension setup is better on the 250 than the 350.
The 350 has more understeer (Google it).
I installed the aftermarket F-Sport sway bars, which made the 350 handle great now.
Like ALL sporty cars, the aggressive wheel camber wears tires out much faster.
Probably 20k miles for a set of tires.
I switched from an 03 BMW 530i. Yes I gave up a lot of interior room; but thats it! I gained so much more when I purchased this vehicle. It's faster, more reliable, better looking, fit and finish is worlds apart from BMW. Did I mention more reliable; so long to numerous trips to the repair shop. I am really enjoying this ride!
I like the park assist (no more guessing in the garage) the headlights. I also like the auto-dimming rearview mirror. I average about 23.5 MPG so far, which is not bad for the performance. The perforated leather seats are cool too, no pun intended. My passengers like the cool air on their bums.
I think navigation and the mark levison upgrades should come standard on these vehicles. The suspension could be a tad stiffer as well. No real complaints!
I decided on the IS350 mainly because of the great experiences I had from my IS250 in Asia. It is not a BMW, but I know it's likely to give me less trouble. I upgraded the sway bar with the F-sports parts, and it is definitely worth every penny.
Test drove MB C350, Caddy CTS, Infiniti G37, M35X, Jag XF. All great cars however for me the IS 350 had the most bang for the buck. It is very fast, (5.1 secs 0-60), handling and quality are awesome and Smokey Granite Mica paint with light gray interior is absolutely gorgeous IMO. The ride is a little harsher as the suspension was returned for 2009, however the handling makes up for it and is never too harsh. AND Ive been averaging 25 MPG about 50/50% city/hwy driving. My Infiniti G35C only Avg 21 MPG... I made the right decision, a lot of car for the money!
All the gizmos are cool too... adaptive HID headlights that steer with the car, paddle shifters, push button start/keyless entry (just touch the handle), 13 speaker stereo, air cooled seats, backup camera, park assist, voice activated commands list goes on and on. Highly recommend!
No memory seats and power telescoping wheel as standard features. The rear seat is also a bit tight for leg room (although my four year old fits fine back there). Nav is DVD based vs. hard drive based models on some of its competitors. AWD may have been a nice option for the 350.
I have owned the is350 for 14 days approx... Ok it's a fun car to drive, the paddle shifters are a bit slow, faster on the 335i beemer twin turbo. I test drove these vehicles, CTS, ISF, IS350, BMW335i, Audi S4, C 63 AMG. Like them all. Ended up with IS350 and it's a good practical choice. Fuel economy is above average, comfort is good. Fit n finish this car is an excellent value, picked up the 09' for 7k less than asking price, car is fully loaded, plus 3m invisible shield, tint, nav. No question about it, great value, fit n finish is...? Well let's just say it's a Lexus.
Paddle shifter improvement, memory seats, the transmission flutters between 3-4k in third gear, manual setting. Dont know why? It's a bit annoying. It's like the car has a mind of its own... 0-60... Quickly!