The early IS 300 was just decent. The redesign with the 250/350 line was very striking looking for its era. They looked like sports sedans and turned heads in a “3 Series rival” sort of way. Now their looks are muted because everything has “sport” looks from OEM kits. Just look at the 2018 Camry!
He might be talking about the ugly girls he hooked up with in college, but it also implies that sports sedans used to be a little more uncompromising. That’s why the IS 350 rides hard, like a Subaru STI on coilover suspension.
It’s also pretty small on the inside, with the rear seats being particularly problematic on this 4-door. But then the current generation IS isn’t that good in the passenger space department either.
We’re once again reminded of the fact that Lexus built a couple of nice V6 engines. There was the small displacement unit in the IS200 that Car Throttle trashed and this 3.5-liter.
As a second-hand car, this is for those people who want to go fast but don’t like being looked at. The Lexus IS is not a car you admire now and one day aspire to own. That could be because Lexus wants its customers to buy new, unlike the hand-me-down Subarus or Volkswagens.
With the IS, Lexus was gunning for the performance market. The company already had the front-wheel-drive ES and needed to make a name for itself. That’s why this isn’t the soothing experience you expect from the L badge. It’s like… a 4-door 2-seater.