I think the reason why I spend that much is mainly for the luxury. I've never own a luxury class vehicle before and since I don't want to go way overboard by financing a $40,000+ car, the IS250 was the best I can do. I just want to see how it performs and the comfort involved. It's a quick little car and does take time to get use to because I'm coming from little 4cyl compact cars.
Yes, it is an automatic. The gear shift is all wierd with it's zig zag pattern design. NOT use to it.....I keep getting the "N" confused for "D", lol. I would rev to drive forward and then notice that it doesn't move being in Neutral and all. Since I've been so use to driving automatics, I forget to upshift at times--but luckily for me the transmission downshifts by itself. There's like a dummy tone that chimes when you over rev the engine or not shifting right. But it's still a lot of fun to drive.
As for the house, I don't own it. I have a bunch of roommates and we're all contributing to paying the mortgage. There would no way I could afford a $3,000 house payment and the car payment at the same time.
As for modding it, not yet. I'm just breaking it in right now. Haven't really gone over 4,000 RPM that much yet. I believe only a few times for the sport shift. That was fun. If I do, there may be an exhaust upgrade--but that's about all I feel that is necessary. The performance is fine and I'm loving it. Even for a 204HP motor, it has pretty nice acceleration. Very gutsy.
I get free car rental anytime when my car is in maintenance, free hotel when I'm 100 miles away from home (while the car is in maintenance or have problems), mobile service where they come to your home for oil changes-programming-or roadside assistance. Nice customer package, but perhaps that's why everyone pays a premium for these cars, hmmmm.
For that Scion, he just got the pedestal spoiler put on. OMG, it is freaking sweet looking. So sporty. It's a fast little car too and he's always driving it around in low gears, gradually shifting up to "D". He was revving that thing to death.
Visibility wise, I have to say the Corolla was better in this department. I can see out fine in the IS, but backing up needs care since it sits so high in the rear. The guages and instrument cluster is neat to look at. I love the information display. The moonroof can tilt and slide back and forth. It has a 6-disc CD changer that I didn't even know about, lol. Speakers sound great and I love the LED's it comes with. They're all over the car, wherever it needs to be lit up.
The trunk space is small compared to the Corolla. I swear the Corolla was bigger. Rear seats are very, very cramped. My friends complain about it. Front is spacious, lol--hehe so I don't mind