Long-term update: 2012 Lexus IS 300C goes public
When you’re asking people for their opinions on a car they do not own, you have to keep in mind that there are three kinds of people you are likely to encounter. First, there would be the car enthusiasts, who prefer cars with a sporting edge to them, and actually own cars with a sporting edge, such as a Dodge Charger or a Honda S2000. Second are the kind of people who you’d find on the street, who spend more time on sports and news websites than on car websites, and they drive regular cars such as a Toyota Prado or a Honda Civic. And third is the worst kind, made up of people who think they are car enthusiasts, tech enthusiasts and everything enthusiasts, so they will have a detailed critical opinion on everything from iPhones to Lamborghini Aventadors, but they themselves own things as mundane as a Nokia ABC123, and drive around in an old Hyundai Azera or an aging Honda CR-V, so you wonder what they are harping about when they call cars like Lexus retarded.
We’ve been getting all sorts of opinions on our Lexus IS 300C from people who’ve never driven one. Of course, some of the opinions are valid, while some are just imaginary.
The first bunch, car enthusiasts, say the IS 300C isn’t very attractive and it isn’t very sporting. As car enthusiasts, we personally feel the car looks big-butted with the roof down, but actually looks pretty decent with the roof up. We also feel that it is sporting enough for the street, with its firm steering, taut suspension and enough high-rev power. Of course, the controls offer limited feel and we generally prefer more power than just 228 horses, but that brings us to the next group of people.
The second bunch, regular folks, simply love the car unquestionably. The IS 300C is made for people like them. My entrepreneurial friend loved the exterior and the luxurious interior. My wife asked me to ditch our recent BMW X3 tester and go out in the Lexus. It even attracts a crowd when the folding roof does its dance. Aside from those, these people would care more about the comfort, the fuel economy, and the stereo. And this Lexus delivers that in droves.
The third bunch, wannabe car enthusiasts, have the worst things to say about it. They complain about how the fake big exhaust tips hide the small muffler outlets, how the stupid folding roof won’t allow operation at highway speeds, how cramped the rear is, and how Mercedes-Benz or BMW do these things differently. And they’d be hilariously wrong on all counts.
There’s also a fourth bunch, the brand fanboys, who we’ve neglected to mention here because Lexus doesn’t seem to have too many fanboys beyond the LX 570, unlike the rabid bunch who worship only BMW or only Audi or only Honda. Maybe that’s a good thing, as some of them generally overlap with the third bunch.
We captured some initial impressions from enthusiastic people who showed up at our last meet and went on a very brief spin with our IS 300C and the all-new Lexus GS 350. Lexus already has the majority of regular folks favourably impressed, but to go after the enthusiast niche, they might have a little more work to do in terms of brand perception beyond the expensive IS-F.
Interviews by Imran Raja. Video by Rizwan Khan.
Original Mileage When Borrowed: 4,640 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 6,025 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 10.7 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Borrowed: Dhs 0
I’ve been following this website from over one and a half year… how do can I also join one of your meets? =]