Lexus IS 350

Lexus is at a very important fork in the road; they either have the opportunity to completely reestablish themselves as a true performance luxury automaker, or they will knock themselves out of the game by lessening the prestige of their name. To their credit, the IS 350's performance was praised in a 2007 Road & Track luxury sports sedan comparison, in which the IS took first place and clocked a 0-60 mph acceleration time of an astounding 4.9 seconds. Lexus, citing independent testing by an auto research firm touted the IS' acceleration as the "fastest in its class". Some say this marks Lexus' first foray into the sport compact market that compares fairly well with its German competitors. However, prevailing criticisms are that the IS 350's steering is not as communicative as that of the BMW 3 Series. Additional complaints are that its stability and traction control systems could not be fully disabled, and that the higher-performance IS 350 is only offered with an automatic transmission. In response to these criticisms, Lexus added a stability/traction control disable switch for the 2007 IS models. This was an incredibly respected move by Lexus as it indicates that they are aware and in tune with what drivers are requesting. This is more than can be said for some of today's other large manufacturers. The IS was wholly remade for the 2006 model year and made its new introduction in the fall of 2005. Further, a pre-production car of the second generation IS model was shown in the 2005 Geneva Auto Show. It also seems that the slow-selling SportCross station wagon version was dropped from the lineup worldwide on account of profitability. Nevertheless, the IS line as a whole has been holding its own in terms of sales and has yet to face any major media or marketing disasters, which is surely a load off for Lexus.