The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Lexus says it was used as a demo vehicle for a window tinting business. It’s loaded and in great shape, but will its price make you believe it has no business asking so much?
There are certain truths to which we almost all adhere. I think many of us can agree to the following assertions: water is wet, Fangio is the greatest racing driver of all time, and salvage title cars are bad mojo in general. That final truth was particularly pertinent last Friday as the 2002 Subaru WRX we considered was saddled with a salvage title. It also had a damaged front end that would require some new parts and a good bit of pounding to fix. When held up against those two strikes, few of you could rationalize the Subie’s $3,000 asking price and the car fell in a 67 percent No Dice loss.
One additional truth that many car nuts believe is that Lexus cars are, on the whole, not all that exciting. That’s not necessarily a criticism. It’s a plus that Toyota’s upscale brand is free of the kind of thrills that say, Alfa Romeo possesses, where every trip is a roll of the dice as to whether you’ll make it home in the car or on foot.
Despite having cultured a reputation for offering stoic service and luxury over performance, every once in a while Lexus likes to let its corporate hair down and take off its sensible glasses.
Today’s 2014 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport is one of those times. You can tell just by the name. The 350 denotes the model’s 3.5-liter V6 engine. That brings a healthy 306 horsepower to the party, along with 276 lb-ft of torque. That’s nearly 100 more ponies than you get with the smaller displacement and far less exciting IS 250. Another part of the name is F-Sport. That’s Lexus’ performance-parts badge, similar to BMW’s M-sport or Mercedes’ AMG group.
In the IS 350, that badge goes along with special gunmetal wheels, some suspension and braking tweaks, and more aggressive bolstering on the sport buckets in the cabin. That’s all kind of exciting. The car’s styling is a little less so.
Much has been written about Toyota’s push over the past half-decade to give the Lexus brand an iconic face. The odd, and oddly oversized grille that the company settled on has been the primary point of contention with some critics describing it as looking like the alien in Predator and others classifying it as looking like some sort of spindle. It’s pretty polarizing but at least on this car, it’s clean and unmarred.
That’s an impressive feat for a car that the seller says was used as a business ride for making client calls, and has amassed 134,000 miles over the course of its life. The rest of the car holds up too, with paint that doesn’t seem to have any issues and there’s only some curb rash on the wheels to detract overall. The cabin too seems to be in perfectly serviceable shape, although the seller notes some wear on the driver’s door card but then doesn’t show us the extent.
Other plusses here include a new battery and both tires and brakes. The car is fully loaded and features the Mark Levingston sound system which is pretty good on these. Also, unlike Friday’s Subaru, there’s no problem with this Lexus’ title.
So, what might this all be worth? The seller is asking $17,500 and claims that is a reduced price from some prior attempt at marketing the car. The ad has been up for nearly two weeks which indicates that demand for these models may be weak, or that the price may still be too high. What’s your take on both of those theories? Based on its specs and presentation, should this IS 350 sell at that $17,500 price? Or, is that a price that puts this former sales car out of business?
H/T to Donald R. for the hookup!
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