I expected a Lexus convertible, whose mission is making its driver look good and feel fine, to have one-finger steering and a pillowy ride. But that's not the case here. The steering has some real substance, and the ride actually errs on the side of too stiff, thanks likely to the 40-series (!) rubber that comes with the optional eighteen-inch wheels.
I'm not a big believer in these hardtop convertibles. You lose the romance and the better looks of a ragtop, not to mention you lose a lot of cargo space that is eaten up by the metal roof once it's folded away.
Unlike my colleagues named Joe, I actually prefer the look of some hardtop convertibles to cars with soft folding convertible tops. Consider, for instance, the smooth lines of the Volvo C70 or the Infiniti G37 droptop. To my eye, those cars' hard roofs help improve their top-up appearance. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about this Lexus, although there are more poorly executed examples in my opinion, such as the Pontiac G6 or the BMW 3-series. The "matador red mica" is quite sharp, though.
Considering how successful the SC has been for Lexus (there's seemingly one at every stoplight in South Florida), the cheaper IS convertible is a no brainer. Like its more expensive lineup-mate, the IS wears very attractive, if decidedly feminine sheet metal, which is especially impressive since the aging IS sedan hardly stands out visually. The cabin design is dark and dull, but at least everything fits well, emitting not a squeak nor rattle at any point during my ride. As others have noted, the 2.5-liter V-6 is perfectly sufficient for a comfortable, good-looking cruiser. My only real disappointment dynamically was with the automatic transmission, which behaves rather strangely in manual mode. Unlike just about every other car with shifter paddles, the IS does not automatically return you to first at a stop. If you're in second, it seems to stay in second. If you're in fourth or fifth, it will downshift, but then fails to indicate as such on the instrument panel, meaning you don't know what gear you're in until it reaches the one you've last selected. Odd.