I’ve been waiting for a magazine to compare the Lexus IS-F and the Nissan GTR for a while now, and Autoweek has done just that, though it’s a much friendlier affair than the usual head-to-head:
The GT-R is the faster car, but it is not necessarily better to drive. With the cars hot-shoed back-to-back, the character of the Lexus makes up for its power and overall speed deficit. When you tickle the throttle in mid-corner, the rear end is in your hands, controlled easily as it helps you steer. The V8 begs to be revved and loves to be machine-gunned through the eight-speed ‘box.
The suspension is really the only thing that disappoints in the IS-F. Certainly, it performs wonderfully on a daily basis and around town, but it lacks the composure and feedback desired for roads that enthusiasts seek out. Ideally, Lexus would offer the active suspension, as Nissan does, giving drivers a firmer setup for spirited drives…
In comparison, the GT-R takes things a step further, with far more brake feel and power. And still, although the GT-R is flat-out faster, the IS-F manages to be more satisfying to drive.
Ok, definitely not the verdict I was expecting. At all.
I suppose it’s to be expected, but I’m always surprised at how much subjectivity there is in car reviews. When the initial reviews of the IS-F came in last year, it was a common complaint that the ride was too harsh, yet this review calls for something even stiffer.