Last week I wrote about my Lexus ES 350 loaner I hated as much as my old Toyota Sienna minivan, so I stopped by Newport Lexus on Saturday to find out how much longer I'd have to have it before my car's moonroof was fixed. My favorite (and only) service rep, Mike Sanders, was kind enough to swap out my ES for an IS 350.
Now, if you've never driven an IS 350, you're missing out. The IS 350 (not to be confused with the IS 250 that I call the "high schooler car"), is one of the most fun, lower end sports cars I've ever driven. The thing shoots off from a complete stop like nobody's business and it handles turns pretty well (it's not a BMW, but it's not bad). The engine also purrs nicely when accelerating.
There are a few things I don't like about it, though. The first, at no fault of the car, is that the suspension is pretty rough (necessary for a car of it's kind) - sometimes it gives me headaches. Naturally, being used to the boat-like suspension of the GS, I am always in for a shock when I take out the IS 350. Also, the road noise can be heard more than expected creeping through the doorjams. I caught myself several times checking to make sure my windows were up all the way. Lastly, it was surprising to only find one cupholder in the center console. It seems like it could have been engineered to hold two cups. After all there are two seats up front. Maybe they left it out so that when you turn a corner at 40 mph, you only have to clean up one spill and not two.
But all in all, the IS 350 is one of my favorite cars I've ever driven. It's now got me thinking what it would be like to drive an IS F. Yikes...I really don't need that kind of power. The IS 350 has plenty. Too bad I couldn't find the AUX jack until the last day.
Don't worry, my Matador Red Mica GS; I am coming for you soon. I hope you aren't offended by my weekend affair with the IS. I still love you and wouldn't trade you for the world.
Anyway, big thanks to Mike Sanders at Newport Lexus for swapping my granny car for the IS 350. It definitely made my weekend much more enjoyable. The customer-focused service at Newport Lexus is what keeps me coming back for my car's maintenance, and is what will eventually bring me back for my next car purchase.