"I first fell for this car when it came out and it was the first to have those round rear lights! I thought it had a handsome profile and clean sharp details like the drive Shift ball being silver and cool pedals!
My first car was a '89 CRX new-it lasted me 13 years(bought it in "88)! I decided I should update and thought this car would be equally worthy! It has met my expectations. When a car is mostly built in Japan I notice a LONG life, just like my first car.
Last SMOG check the people couldn't believe it "passed as if it was a brand new car!"
Car seats are kinda tricky in this car but not really that difficult. It's been an awesome car for the last 10-11 years now! Wow! Totally recommend it. Tight steering. Easy to park in the city. "Zippy" is the best description for this car!
Great car for Day to Day and Long Trips down I-5!"
"I bought my IS new in 2002. 128,000 miles later, get this. I still have my original brake pads, original battery, original clutch (5 speed). I stopped taking the car to the dealer a while ago ($50 oil changes, c'mon). I still admire this vehicle when I'm walking towards it and especially after I had just washed/waxed it. Only drawback that I have to baby it to get 25mpg. premium fuel also."
"Over ten years and I'm getting tired of it and want a new car.
The Sportcross fits everything I need to carry, it handles like nothing else I've test driven and, with the exception of one oxygen sensor, has been fault free.
I can't find a replacement that's not a downgrade and I'm getting really fed up."
"I bought my IS-300 9 years ago as a certified pre-owned Lexus, with 45K miles on it. I had only 3 notable service issues with the car over 9 years. Two of these repairs were covered by the extended warranty and the third was a 120K mile shape-up (brakes, timing belt, a sensor, struts/shocks).
I bought a new car - as I needed something bigger - but miss driving the IS-300 every day. When I sold it - the engine still ran like the day I got it and it loved to purr, accelerate, and corner."
"i bought this car at 95,xxx for 10k$ in great condition. i have driven it year round summer and winter,and taken it all over the united states. 40,000 miles later the only money i have had to put into the car was for oil changes/reg maintenance and tires. my only concern with the vehicle is the RWD. the is300 is not very good in snow."
"Great car owned it for 11 years and will never give it up. It's a great car to modify. It's looks like a Japanese anime car. Drive is jittery and restless which fits the cars driving personality. Never had any serious issues in 11 years and still have the same brakes on it! Very reliable and styling is better than the obtuse current model. I never liked the new IS."
"I love my 2002 IS300. I bought it used in 05 with about 42k miles on it. Nearly 130k now and it really runs great! I've had no MAJOR issues with this vehicle! Just small things like the hood latch, etc.
A couple complaints:
Minor: the cup holder is tiny and actually comes out (which always wedges on to the cup).
Moderate: The low profile tires look kinda cool but are big candidates for flats. I've had a few.
Major: I'm from Chicago and this is NOT a very good winter car. Light + Rear Wheel Drive = control issues. I try everything: snow setting, huge bags of gravel, etc and it's still quite bad in the snow.
Overall, very pleased. NOT ONE ISSUE with engine, starter, exhaust, transmission, fuel system, cooling system, etc. Just minor wear and tear.
Try to avoid the Lexus dealer. A simple one axle break job (rotors and pads) is a staggerign $600. I told them no thanks and got it done for less but best avoid them altogether unless its a very specific part you need."
"I bought my 2005 is300 in '08(used with only 21k miles) after searching for over a year for the right one. They are hard to find but it was the only car that I ever test drove that felt just right and I am very, very, very picky about how a car drives and this one passed this test for me everytime I test drove it (5 times). I owned the car and truly enjoyed it for a year and a half before a job loss forced me to sell it at 33k miles. I planned on keeping this car for 10 years and regret that the plan changed. I am driving my old 94Celica that I kept just in case I lost my job, which ended up being a blessing (it stayed parked in the garage when I owned the IS300 of course) One thing, I do not miss the high insurance of the is300, its rated as one of the most expensive sedans cost-wise to insure and my driving record and credit is flawless. I paid $95/month full coverage and other cars would have been $45/mo. I hope to own another well cared for is300 well cared in the future if I need a spare car for commuting. I need a crossover type car to tote yard supplies, bicycles, etc.
The car is the best driving vehicle I've ever owned.I wished the gas mileage was a little better at times and the lack of a folding rear seat was missed when I occasionally needed it. The engine, transmission and suspension were superb. The radio was also suprisingly distortion free and powerful sounding for a 6speaker system. Tires can be expensive for this vehicle and with a Z rating will usually last only 25k miles with moderate driving habits, and it's hard to be just moderately drive it as it always begs to have some fun. I miss you my charcoal is300"
"The IS300 is without a doubt a unique car that will keep looking good and performing great for a long time to come.
It's proven to be way more reliable than the german competitors and probably performs at 95% of a bmw. Reliability means a lot. The car handles like nothing I've ever driven. It's very smooth and scary fast when you want it to be. Braking is awesome too, stops really quick and securely. Since day one I've said this car needs a 6th gear with the manual because on the highway at 75-80 mph the car is revving at about 3500 rpm in 5th gear. I guess in a way it's cool though because at that rpm you have power on reserve instantly if you need to pass anyone. The back seat is tiny at best, so don't plan on this 4-door being a 4 passenger tranport often. The front seats are comfy and std stereo system is great. As far as winter in CT goes, I bought some blizzaks and made it through everything, just need to know how to drive a bit and not freak out when the tail slides out.
Lexus service is getting WAY too expensive for the routine stuff, so BMW's free maintenance is looking pretty attractive. With the new IS250 and 350 here, the IS300 loses out in styling, but you just can't go wrong picking up a certified pre-owned one. I hope to keep mine for a long time."