I drove the IS-F and, its chief rival, the BMW M3 within days of each other, making it easy to compare the two. In many respects, the Lexus comes close to matching the BMW's excellence; in others, it falls short. The IS-F's steering and brakes are superb and the powerful V-8 sounds great and mates well with the super-smooth automatic transmission. Where the IS-F falters is in its suspension tuning. On broken pavement, where the BMW M3 is a bit harsh, the IS-F is downright brutal. The BMW also does a better job of minimizing undulations.
As Joe mentioned, the cabin of the Lexus feels smaller than its competitors. Its more compact dimensions are especially noticeable in the rear where the wraparound rear buckets constrict hip and shoulder space and limit the maximum number of passengers to four. Trunk space is adequate but is also less than that of its competition.
Regardless, the IS-F is a seriously capable car that is a refreshingly unique offering in the German-dominated luxury-sports car category.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor