SANTA BARBARA — Every region has its favorite vehicle. New York City: the yellow cab. Texas: the great American pickup truck. For Southern California, it's the BMW 3-series. More than just popular, the ubiquitous “affordable” Beemer model comprises the bulk of every California traffic jam. So what better place to look the Bavarians square in the eye and issue a challenge? Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus div. flung down the gauntlet in the form of its new IS 300. The IS 300's soul resides in ...

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