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2014 IS 350 (non F Sport) dealer unveiling, my thoughts

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Old 04-04-13, 12:12 AM   #1
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Default 2014 IS 350 (non F Sport) dealer unveiling, my thoughts

Just a few pics I took today of the 2014 IS 350. This was a non F sport equipped car. I drove about 45 mins to take a look at this car so I can plan my next car purchase. The new IS has definitely been dropped from my list. I'm sad.

Either way, here's a few pictures.

I'm a little perplexed they got rid of the engine bay covers - as the engine compartment looks a little - bland? There is lots of new switchgear in the car, which seems to be of better quality, but other trim components appear to lack quality (center console materials, door switch plates, etc).





I think the LED cutout was one of the worst and tackiest choices on the car. It looks great from a DISTANCE but up close simply looks cheap and aftermarket. I can also see it being an annoying place to keep clean, with bugs likely getting stuck in there in addition to the bottom of the headlight housing.











BASE gauges and transformer-esque steering wheel:



Center LCD is actually quite nice and crisp. I believe it's from the LS/GS parts bin now (good choice).




Not impressed with the new stalks, they copied the euro design of having a recessed wheel inside of the stalk. Completely unnecessary. The old stalk design was great. I'm glad they kept the cruise control stalk at least.






LCD has a great resolution but is honestly too small. Not sure why they made the opening so large.





Weird quality issue that is hard to see in this picture. I thought I was sitting at a weird angle OR the panel was dirty, but if you look at the area stating "PWR-VOL" you see dimness at the top of the lettering. This was present when the lights were off as well. It appears to be a bad finish on the panel and the black slightly overlaps the white lettering.




Leather shift boot aside, the plastic quality is sub par in this area:



The world's most useless center console:



Paint on window switchgear panel looks cheap and aftermarket, speaker grille is tacky (current IS has a very flush speaker grill)



Back seat leg room! yay (since they made the car look gigantic, they at least added some room in the back)



Quick underbody shots to show exhaust layout, etc:





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Old 04-04-13, 12:13 AM   #2
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Non-body colored lower valance makes it look cheap...


Cool rear lights, and big fenders with awfully fit wheels. They must sit 1-2" deep behind the fender. It makes the whole car look "fat" like the wheel wells are overflowing over the tires. hard to explain.



More fender weirdness:



Turn signal portion of light looks absolutely out of place, sticks out a good 1" from the light:






CHMSL looks EXTREMELY cheap and needs a diffuser/lens of some sort.



All said-and-done I was immensely underwhelmed and was really hoping seeing the car in person was going to change my opinion from being so negative to something positive. I can honestly say the car did nothing for me. I don't think it's a poor purchasing decision for anyone, but I don't think they will retain many 2IS buyers with the 3IS.
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Old 04-04-13, 12:46 PM   #3
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Great review and I completely agree with you.
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Old 04-04-13, 01:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for your review. I got an invitation to the exclusive showing at JM Lexus yesterday but I could not make it.

I think the reason the Navi display is so small....it gives Lexus room to make changes in 2015 and 2016 versions of IS along with increased HP later. Why bring all the goodies out in first yr model. I was considering getting the new IS this year but I will probably wait another year for additional changes.
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Old 04-04-13, 02:48 PM   #5
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How would you rate the quality compared to your 2IS?
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Old 04-04-13, 03:02 PM   #6
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A couple of things I can agree with by looking at the pictures, is how cheap the plastic textured base for the nav remote looks, and also how small the center console is. My cell phone and ipod are going to have to duke it out in there for some space.
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Old 04-04-13, 03:23 PM   #7
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With a closer look at the picture. I'm kinda sad too. I'll wait till I see it in person to make a decision.
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Old 04-04-13, 03:40 PM   #8
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is this an actual production model of the 3IS or for display / promotional purposes only. on the promotional models there was a notice about quality and fitment of the pieces so it may not be up to par yet.
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Old 04-04-13, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanadu350 View Post
Thanks for your review. I got an invitation to the exclusive showing at JM Lexus yesterday but I could not make it.

I think the reason the Navi display is so small....it gives Lexus room to make changes in 2015 and 2016 versions of IS along with increased HP later. Why bring all the goodies out in first yr model. I was considering getting the new IS this year but I will probably wait another year for additional changes.
You saved yourself some time. I think once this body style has gone through a revision or three or might be what people were looking for. Like you said - 2015/2016.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Burns View Post
How would you rate the quality compared to your 2IS?
That's tough seeing as I only got to sit in / poke around the car. No driving, etc.

Seeing as the front of the car kind of acts as "center stage" I feel lexus missed the ball on this. The grille looks flat out cheap. Along the lines of the new ford grilles. The headlights, from far away, look nice. Then you get up close and realize they cut out a piece of the bumper to stick a "lightning bolt" into it -and it's not part of the headlamp design. This is where the whole car begins to look cheap. An integrated headlamp / DRL design would have been far more preferable. Lexus is trying to bring the brand together with the new grille shape/design, but cant seem to get the headlight styling figured out. Not sure why.

The engine bay - although not normally open - is a little perturbing. in the 2IS, you look and think "wow, that's a lot of plastic covering up stuff - how useless". But then, when you see 3IS without the plastic - it looks somewhat.. cheap. I don't know how or why, but it just doesn't look right. You can see the horn(?) on the top left side, along with a very oddly mounted Panasonic relay. It's like they went "hey, we need somewhere to put this.. oh, there's a bolt. stick it there!"

As mentioned, "the plastics" they are using are just.. not up to par. They tried to provide a textured look on some, but not all. Then a flat finish on others. The flat finish pieces literally look like afterthoughts(cheap). The overall "presentation" of the car is done decently - the stitching on the dashboard/steering wheel, etc, looks good - but it's hard to say how it will hold up. I do NOT like the steering wheel button feel at all. It's too clicky and the whole set of buttons moves when you touch one button (for the most part). The steering wheel center itself looks cheap. The nice part of the steering wheel is that it's relatively thick, and the stitching looks well done.

The shifter boot area seems to be okay. Then there is that huge area of wasted space in between the "sport" **** control and the actual gear shift. No idea what it's for (the empty space, not the ****). The **** is nicely done but seems like a distraction from the mouse-thingy over to the right. Everyone I talked to was complaining about the lack of feedback and accuracy on the screen pointer. This isnt anything new, though. I'm just sad to see them carrying on the trend. Give me a good old touch screen. Radio controls (*****) seem okay, but like i mentioned, there is a weird issue with the way the PWR-VOL button lights up. It may only be an issue with this particular car. I think the new steering stalks feel cheaper, and really, really dislike the "rolling switches" they put inside the stalks.

The HVAC controls look like something that came out of the parts bin as well - overly shiny, too abundant, and oddly shaped. The temperature control is an unnecessary gimmick which is guaranteed to frustrate people. They spend all the time to get AWAY from touch screens, buttons, etc, and then implement those "sliders" for HVAC. Seems contradictory. The "Base" gauge cluster gauges for temperature and fuel look oddly cheap and out of place - like someone just was tired of working on it and said "stick those there".

The 3IS is apparently PRESENTED to be much more "luxurious" than the 2IS. The 2IS is more sport + utilitarian. I do NOT consider the 2IS a luxury car. I consider it a luxury/sport car (whereas I consider the G37 a sports/luxury car - sport being more prominent). The 3IS comes across as luxury/luxury. I honestly didn't feel a hint of sport anywhere in the car. At all. Period.
The driver's seat was actually particularly mediocre which I am NOT accustomed to with lexus. It felt under-padded and somewhat flat/thin. The rear seats were spacious (much more than the 2IS), but it's also a bigger car. The seats fold down as well, which is nice, but in my experience tends to lead to a less supportive seat.

Lexus got rid of the gas release on the IS, they have gone to the central locking system method. If the driver's door is unlocked you can simply push the gas cover and it releases. I am not particularly fond of this method - my Infiniti's had it, and i dont know.. i'm just not a big fan. I like the interior release switch method.

The rest of the buttons on the doors match the new RX (that's the only thing i can relate it to as it's what i've driven); the buttons for the mirrors feel a little "hard" but texture is okay.

The trunk is a bit odd - much like my current IS. It's a bit finicky to get to close tight without slamming it. It seems like lexus could come up with a better latching design for the trunks or a power pull-down.

The back bumper area is an annoying one to me as well. The lower non-color matched valance seems at home on an SUV, not a mid-level luxury car. The exhaust tips look "ok" but not the least bit sporty. Even the base 2IS tips seemed to look sportier..

Sorry, i know this is largely a crazy rant but I am just going from memory of the car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Individual View Post
A couple of things I can agree with by looking at the pictures, is how cheap the plastic textured base for the nav remote looks, and also how small the center console is. My cell phone and ipod are going to have to duke it out in there for some space.
I honestly have no idea what they were thinking when they did that. I thought my 2IS console was bad. Now i feel blessed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin350 View Post
With a closer look at the picture. I'm kinda sad too. I'll wait till I see it in person to make a decision.
Yup, definitely do that - my main reason for taking a peek sooner than later was so I could decide if my next car is going to be the 3IS - or something else. "Else" is now in the cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alias View Post
is this an actual production model of the 3IS or for display / promotional purposes only. on the promotional models there was a notice about quality and fitment of the pieces so it may not be up to par yet.
That is a very good question but all indications show this is a production level vehicle. There were no disclaimers on it anywhere stating pre-production, unfinished, etc. Minor tweaks could happen on the assembly line but given how soon the car is coming out I cannot imagine any major changes (or minor for that matter) will be made unless they are crucial / safety issues; as I know the car as a whole has undergone rigorous testing as-is.
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Old 04-04-13, 05:05 PM   #10
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Was this car at JM Lexus?

I feel your giving an honest opinion based on owning the 2IS, however I wonder if anything would change your mind once you drove the car?

Also remember that no car is going to be perfect and this vehicle is entry level it's what 10K less than the GS? I wonder if you have sat inside the BMW F30, I hear the finish on that vehicle is worst than prior gen E90. The dash on the F30 is also really weird with a pop up navi that in FL has no cover for sunlight and the way the dash swoopes to the passenger side is strange looking to me.
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Old 04-04-13, 05:10 PM   #11
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one thing ill say, the interior is dope. that exterior will have to grow on me in a major way
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Old 04-04-13, 05:37 PM   #12
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i wonder how it drives compared to the older gen/ . Agree with you the interior is nice, except for the steering wheel controls- not clean at all
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Old 04-04-13, 05:39 PM   #13
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The real tails on Lexus are actually used for aerodynamics..that is why they "stick out" they help with air flow..fyi...

I like the rear looks here, very sculpted. That center console does look very small.

Thanks for the quick review. It is a pre-production car.
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Old 04-04-13, 05:59 PM   #14
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so what is the consensus on engine bay covers...because seems like Lexus cant win. Also, that seems like the same amount of plastic as before.

I agree the remote touch area looks cheap, especially considering the current IS has a large piece of wood there. Also the nav screen can be at least two inches larger. Lexus had a chance to make their cars unique by adding a 12 inch screen in every model like bmw does but they blew it big.

Remote touch seems to be getting more and more disappointing reviews since they switched to the floating pad instead of a rotary based pad like in my RX. Again this was just cost savings since they did not need to redesign the whole navigation GUI and just stuck a controller to it
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Old 04-04-13, 06:35 PM   #15
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Thanks fr your review and opinions. Can't wait to see it in person
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Old 04-04-13, 06:35 PM
 
 
 
 
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