It appears to be quite nice and includes some new gee-whiz gadgetry. However, no manual is offered on the sport version and the exterior seems rather bland in an anonymous japanese-vehicle sort of way.
But seriously, why cannot they make it better looking? Does anybody else think the front looks like a Honda Accord and the back looks like Acura TL?
If you do not, here are some pics:
The interior is VERY nice though, definitely. I am very impressed by the interior, performance characteristics, blahblahblah. But the car just does not look very good. Manual tranny issues on IS again?
This car reminds me of poor chaps who cannot move past the "friends" stage with girls because they "just don't do it" for them This is a nice car - it just does not do it for me
Previous model looked better imho... What's up with making cars worse looking? The interior though, VERY nice!
I definitely thought "TL" when I saw the rear-end - it's unmistakable. It's too bad they didn't really make a sport version of this car . . . perhaps that's coming later? Having had an auto in my current 9-3 Aero I'm going back to manual for good whenever I get my next car, and if I were to buy this car I'd definitely want the 300HP+ version. It's too bad because I had high expectations for this car.
As far as 9-3's being "rattleboxes", I guess that depends. When top seals on my doors are freshly lubed or it's raining out, my car is pretty dang quiet for one that's as stiff as it is and is on a sport tuned suspension. When the silicone lube has worn off it gets pretty noisy. The fact is now that I've found relief to the creaking in the doors I like my car a helluva lot more than I did. It's the little things that can make you disgusted with an otherwise great car and I now consider mine great. There are still a few buzzes and rattles here and there but I'd no longer consider it a rattlebox.
hmmm...i'll reserve my final opinion until after i get to test drive it myself. as far as lexus styling goes, i think it looks better than most of their previous models. yeah, nothing really stands out about the front end, but the back is pretty unique and the overall wedge shape looks pretty good. sure, japanese cars may have a reputation for producing boring and uninspiring cars to drive, but i happen to really like the driving characteristics of the outgoing IS300 model. we all know how much test drive opinions can vary as well. i'm afraid i won't like my car as much after i test drive it. assuming this car handles as well as a sports sedan should, pair that with rear-wheel drive and lexus reliability...that's a hard combination to beat.
ok, i see some opinions about the back end looking like the TL after i posted my response. what are you guys smoking? the only similar thing i notice is the pointed trunk. what else?! the tail lights?!
While I think that my 9-3SS is the best looking car in it's class (with the new A4 a close second), the quality of the car is lacking compared to its competitors. Friends of mine drive a 2005 330ci and a 2005 TSX. Both are screwed together infinitely better than the 9-3 is. Plastics are nicer, leather is nicer, audio is nicer, no squeaks... the list goes on. The best thing about the 9-3 besides the body shape is the engine. It is superb for its class but the rest of the car is lacking. I considered a 2004 IS300 but the lack of rebates made me go Saab. I love my car but, if I lived in a world based on MSRP only, I'd have gotten a Lexus, Acura, or Infiniti. Sorry guys, the new IS250/350 is gonna be a hit.
I remember when the IS first came out, it only offered an automatic. Then a year or two later they decided to offer a stick.:roll: I hate to be a snob, but there's not much sporting about driving an automatic (IMHO), and all this flap about "manual gate" automatics is fluff. Ferrari makes a nice gearbox that you can shift with paddles, but it's a manual transaxle with a paddle-actuated clutch... solenoids, hydraulics, and can bang off a couple of downshifts faster than Michael Schumacher. You've always been able to manually shift an automatic, it just never had a nifty gate of it's own. It's not the same thing at all as driving a stick, and selling a car billed as a "sports coupe" or "sports sedan" with an automatic is a marketing gimmick designed to sell more cars (successful, too), and make people feel cool. (sorry for the long-winded "I have a manual transmission in my car, but it can also shift itself" rant )
And the clear tail light lenses (original model)... too reminiscent of the "Civic tuna" crowd.
Rear wheel drive- very nice for most of the year, and a real drag in the winter, which is an issue for me.
Thankfully, my Saab is not a rattletrap. I had a couple minor ones, but have them fixed.