I've owned the car since new, in June '06. Did lots of research before I started shopping, and the car was second on my list. After I drove one, I stopped the search. I was there when my Matador Red I...
I've owned the car since new, in June '06. Did lots of research before I started shopping, and the car was second on my list. After I drove one, I stopped the search. I was there when my Matador Red IS came off the trailer, and it has been love ever since.
For a four door sedan, the car is quite the performer. This car does it all well...
Acceleration is amazing; there is never a doubt when I need to get onto a highway or out into traffic. It's nice having that kind of confidence.
The handling is also quite impressive. I have the sport package, which may make a difference. But the car never disappoints when I feel a little "spirited" on the twisties.
Most surprising to me was the braking capability with this car. Stand on the pedal, and your eyeballs practically get sucked out of your head. And the car has good enough mechanical grip that in the dry, I can't remember the ABS ever activating, and in the wet, it rarely needs the ABS, but it works well when it is needed. Not too intrusive, just right.
Exterior fit and finish is by far the best of any car I've ever owned. I don't wash my car much, and NEVER run it through car washes, and that may help. But looking at the outside, you'd never know it is 6 years old aside from some people-induced dings and scratches.
Interior is close in quality - I had a rattle in my glove box from day 1 (fixed by putting the manuals on top of the little cubby they put in there for them) and one in the dash after about 4 years. I don't really notice it anymore, as it isn't really obnoxious - it's just something someone in tune with their car picks up on because its a change. The leather has held up great, and I haven't been the best about taking care of it. The car came with things to take care of it, but I've only applied it twice. Nevertheless, just some wrinkles, nothing too awful to the eyes. The audio system (not even the top level Levinson system) is terrific! Though satellite wasn't available (or standard?) until the '07 model year.
All the mechanicals and electronics have held up great. Nothing unscheduled (aside from a handful of recalls). Having been dealer maintained, the overall maintenance costs have still been surprisingly low. I don't really abuse the car, but I've gotten good tire wear (I've only had to replace tires and brake pads once each, which is surprising with a car of this performance level). I haven't even had to replace a light bulb yet (I hope I didn't jinx myself)! I'm averaging 24.63 mpg over the life of ownership, literally about half and half city/highway, but getting 26.38 average in the first half of 2012 with the same commute for almost all that time.
Complaints? The aforementioned recalls. Some of them were for big deals (steering arm, fuel system). I don't think it is good that THAT kind of item come off the floor with quality control issues. However, Lexus stood behind the car, and extended my powertrain warranty to 6 yr/100k without me even having to ask.
Also, the valve train is pretty noisy - especially on startup. I asked about that several times. There was some service bulletin, and the work was performed and did help a little, but I've never had another car make that much noise. However, since the car just seems to run better each year, it must not be hurting anything.
There is VERY little back seat room. This is really not a family car, despite being a 4-door. The rear seats are good for kids or very short adults, but once you get over about 5'5", especially with taller front seat passengers, forget it.
The tires from the factory are very noisy and do some strange things on the highway with pavement changes and the like. I switched to Michelin Pilot Sport A/S when the time came, and that weirdness went away. They are quieter and more comfortable, MUCH better in the rain, but did numb the feedback just a bit over the original tires.
I just looked up book values on the car yesterday. They have retained quite well, especially lately. The car still books for more than 50% of what I paid for it, and has had almost NO decrease in the last year.
Overall - I love the car. It is the best automotive purchase I've ever made. It is the first car I've ever owned where I haven't been looking around me on the road a year after I bought it, thinking "I wonder if I shoulda bought one of those instead..."