Originally Posted by vipergts
Thanks very much everyone! I test drove an IS350 today and here is what I thought:
- Build quality , features , finish , etc (million times better than the vette, DUH).
- Very smooth ride - kind of lke my LS430.
What I was suprised by was lack of responsivness and acceleration. The car I tested was at a carmax and had 30K miles on it. Tried turning off AC and put her into sports mode but it just felt a little slow. At times I had to check to see if I could be driving an IS250. NOt bad though, overall I would give everything else besided responsivness and acceleration a perfect 10. I may have had a lemon, but compared to my unmodded auto C5 it seemed a lot slower when in fact I was expecting it to be be just as quick - the c5 is a 1998 (0-60 about 5.5). So I am going to go drive another one and will hopefully have more luck. Thanks again everyone!
What you're referring to is a very common and irritating issue with the IS350. Actually, there are two potential issues going on here.
#1 - The traction control in the IS350 is extremely
intrusive. Traction control completely bogs the car down during 1st gear where the IS350 should shine the most and in general will make the car feel extremely sluggish.
If you were driving with traction control on, there's your problem right there.
Let me give you a few numbers. Edmunds tested the IS350 (2006) with traction control on many years back. What did they get? 0 to 60 in 6.1 seconds. That's pretty sluggish.
In 2010, Edmunds tested another IS350, only this time they turned traction control off. The result? They found nearly a full second
improvement in acceleration, 0 to 60 came in at 5.2 seconds with traction control off.
Almost a full second improvement by turning traction control off? That's massive, and it's a testament to how intrusive the system is in this car.
That's not even the entire story - with the IS350, you can technically turn off traction control regardless of the model year. However, it's far
easier to turn traction control off if you have a 2007+ model.
With the 2006 IS350, you can turn traction control off, but it requires an elaborate "pedal dance" which is described by the following video -
Most 2006 IS350 owners don't see to be too phased by this, some argue that they've mastered the "dance" sufficiently to the point where they can turn it off quickly and efficiently at a stoplight if full acceleration is necessary.
#2 issue - The IS350 utilizes a sort of "intelligent" transmission that allegedly monitors your throttle inputs and modulates throttle sensitivity and response accordingly.
In other words, if you drive like a snail all the time, the throttle will not
be as responsive on partial throttle application, which in turn can give you the illusion of sluggishness.
That's not even the entire story. If the car is driven like a slug for long enough time, then in some
cases if you mash the accelerator to go WOT from a roll, the car won't put you into the lowest gear for optimal acceleration. Sometimes, it will actually put you into the next highest gear.
For example, if you are cruising along at 45 MPH and you mash the accelerator, for the car to provide optimal acceleration, it should put you into 2nd gear. If the car is driven like a snail for long enough, the "intelligent" transmission will, for some time, put you into 3rd gear instead. I find this to be phenomenally irritating, and there is a temporary fix for this, but it's cumbersome and I shouldn't have to do this - the temporary fix involves periodically unplugging the battery from the car for 5 min., thereby "resetting" the data gathered by the ECU. Throttle sensitivity will start off high again (in ECT normal), and most importantly, the car will put you into the correct gear during acceleration from a roll.
#1 is a major
issue. If you're driving with traction control enabled, you're driving with a severe handicap.
#2 is a more minor issue during acceleration from a dig. If you decide to go WOT from a dig, then whatever data the intelligent transmission has gathered will be irrelevant. Assuming you have traction control turned off, you're going to achieve optimal acceleration. It is, however, sometimes
an issue for acceleration from a roll. I've tested this out extensively (mostly during roll acceleration from ~45 MPH).
In general, during partial throttle, #2 can give you the illusion that the car is slower and more sluggish than it actually is.
Truthfully, the IS350 is 0 to 60 in 4.9 and quarter in mid 13s (13.5 flat, is about the average). During terrific conditions (low temperature, favorable density altitude) you can get as low as 13.2 bone stock.
Depending on traction/weather, you might get as high as 13.9. It's fair to say that the range of 1/4 mile times is between 13.2 to 13.9, and in general, that range is likely higher than that of you C5 vette.
Bottom line is this - If you want to really explore the potential of the IS350 you need
to turn traction control off. For 2007+ models, this is achieved by pressing and holding the traction control button for 5 seconds (until the appropriate light comes on and stays on on the dash)
For 2006, you'll need to perform that "pedal dance" described in the aforementioned video.
Try that out, and see if you can arrange a solo test (no passenger) and let us know how that goes.
When you are test driving, set the display to show what gear you are in. This brings me to another issue, the IS350's "intelligent" transmission is very quick to place you into higher gears in an effort to save gas.
The situation where this is most annoying and noticeable is if you are at a stop waiting to take a 90 degree turn onto a road. Often times, during your turn, the car will prematurely shift you from 1st gear into 2nd gear.
Then, if you only gradually
depress the pedal to go WOT, it's very likely that you will end up accelerating through 2nd gear instead of 1st gear.
If, after the turn, you stomp on the pedal as fast as possible, most likely the car will shift you from 2nd gear into 1st gear and you will accelerate in the appropriate gear (at least), although even in this case, I still find the fact that the IS350 puts me into 2nd gear (when I don't want it) to be rather annoying.
I could blather on and on in great detail about the performance in this car, but I'll spare you for now
To begin - let us know if you had tested the IS350 with traction control on or off. If traction control was on (this is the default, by the way), then that explains why you found the car to be sluggish (the car is
relatively sluggish from a dig with traction control on)
If traction control was off during your test and you still found the car to be sluggish, then #2 could be an issue if you were doing mostly partial throttle applications during your test run.
If you found the car to be sluggish with traction control off
going WOT from a dig
, I would be be extremely surprised, because while the IS350 isn't a race car or full fledged sports car by any stretch of the imagination, one thing it does well - damn
well - is accelerating forcefully from 0 to about 50 MPH. Acceleration, in general, is "strong" up to 100 MPH, but 0 to about 50 should never feel sluggish with traction control off, especially compared to a regular C5 vette (not the Z06 version).