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Well, it was time to send my wife's 98 Neon down the road, albeit 6 months before we were planning on it. We were all over the map on what to get, everything from an RX-300 to a Volvo V-40 or Cross Country to perhaps a Jetta Wagon. At my urging we did a little "early" car research, and my wife made the mistake of test driving an IS. When a car puts that much of a smile on your face, you're doomed.
We ended up with a Blue SC with Leather, Heated Seats, Moonroof, Nav, and 16" all-seasons (she preferred the ride comfort over the raw performance of the 17's). I wanted either LSD or VSC, but basically they aren't making those for the NorthEast region for some ridiculous reason. I had to negotiate pretty hard, but the dealer was willing to do around $700-800 over invoice, putting it $4500 below MSRP.
The car? Way cool! I'm not usually one for performance cars (I just got an '02 ES and like the relaxing ride), but for the 15 miles I've been able to pry her hands off the steering wheel, I'm really impressed. This car moves like a bat out of hell, handles effortlessly, and even at 80 shows no signs that it is even close to its limits. The paint job is gorgeous, and I really, really like the lines of the SC, much preferring it to the sedan. Everyone who's seen it can't stop commenting on how nice the exterior is. The fact that there are hardly any SC's out on the road adds to the coolness factor.
After getting an ES with Nav, we just had to have it on hers as well. The screen position is ideal---up high where you don't really have to take your eyes off the road to see it. The fact that it isn't a touch screen is nice in that it keeps it clean, and having it fold down out of sight keeps the dash uncluttered. The tradeoff is easy of programming, which is much, much easier on my ES with the touch screen.
What's important to realize is how unlikely it seemed that my wife would ever be sold on a Lexus. She likes a small car feel, for starters (she liked the Neon, be it ever so humble), so that rules out most of them. The conservative Lexus styling and color schemes are also something of a mismatch. But when I was negotiating the ES purchase I had a chance to take a good look at the IS on the showroom floor, which went something like this:
"Hmmm... right size, funky interior styling (love the pedals and the dash!), beautiful exterior, bold colors... hmmmmmm... practicality of the hatchback, has Nav, all the latest safety features... HMMMMMMM.... "
I'm still amazed that Lexus actually made a car that fits my wife's style so well. I've never, ever seen her so excited about a "mere automobile".
Kudos to ClubLexus as well. She admitted to drooling over the IS gallery for awhile, which I'm sure played a big part in the hook-line-sinker effect. Thanks guys!
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Congratulations yon!!! I think you guys made a good pick. Hopefully my future wife will have that much sense. My current girlfiend prefered the 2001 A4 to the IS. I am very disappointed. Now we have to argue who gets to drive their two week old car. I win most of the time ;-)
Oh and Yon, if I were you I would be careful about driving that thing too often, you might get addicted!
Graphite Grey Pearl / Ivory Ecsaine / OEM Spoiler
K40 front & rear radar / L-Tuned Sway Bars / 28% Titanium Tint / 2nd set of Rims w/ 225 Azenis
If you see Texas plates in SoCal it's gotta be me!
Congratulations on the new Lexus Yon. I really like the speakers in the cargo area of the SC with the chrome "Lexus" writing. Very nice touch. I have never seen the 16in SC wheels. Thanks for the pic. Enjoy! Well, at least tell your wife to!