GM is touting a new OnStar feature that disables your vehicle if OnStar thinks it is involved in a high speed pursuit.
There are so many things that can go wrong here. It's a good idea in theory, and maybe a good selling point, but when put into practice, these things tend to be a nightmare. There are always bugs and glitches - you'll be driving and for no reason, your car will shut off. Besides that, I don't trust the people in control of these systems, and with the government owning part of GM, the lines between government and personal freedom get crossed way too easily.
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.
When my moonroof on my GS decided to not close anymore, I took it in to Newport Lexus and ended up getting an ES loaner, called by my service representative a "granny car."
Turns out, this thing has a decent sized engine for it's kind, but it is as loose as my old Sienna and certainly drives just as poorly as my dad's Avalon. Despite its power, it's really hard to put it all to good use without the entire car shaking and feeling very wobbly (such technical car terms in this post).
Moderate braking also results in a severe shaking of the steering wheel. Of course, that could be due to the fact that it is a loaner and people treat it as such.
The sound system is also nothing to write home about - sounds very muddy. I clearly have a better system on my GS, despite this being a newer ES.
I know my car and this car are clearly not in the same league, despite both being midsized sedans, but if I knew someone considering buying an ES, I would recommend they go with the Toyota Avalon. I don't see anything special about this car that would make me want to pay extra for the Lexus badge, unless it's solely for the free washes at Newport Lexus, in which case I would completely understand.