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2003 Lexus IS

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
9.5
Out of 10

Based on 249 Ratings for the 2001 - 2005 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.6/10
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Lexus = Quality

By on Saturday, March 20, 2010

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"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."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

worth the wait

By on Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"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"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car - '05 5-speed Manual

By on Wednesday, August 29, 2007

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"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."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best Car I have owned

By on Thursday, November 15, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 190,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quality, Reliability, Fun"

Cons: "Smaller cabin, expensive routine maintenance"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"By far the most reliable luxusry car I have had (comparing with BMW, Jaguar, Volvo, Audi). Regular maintenance is expensive if you take it to the dealership, but I have not had anything start to wear out until I hit the 180k mile mark @ 10 years old. Materials used in the IS300 are much more luxurious and of higher quality than the current IS 250/350 models offer. It feels just as fast and fun to drive as a BMW, although if you look at the specs it is actually a slower 0-60 time. It is very nimble and small enough to make driving in heavy traffic easy. Does well in the snow, I have taken it all over the colorado mountains in winter and have never had any problems. Only downside is if your over 6'2" tall. I am 5'10" and my head is only an inch from the ceiling."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best car that I have owned!!!!

By on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive!"

Cons: "child car seats don't fit well."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car new and have had it 6 years now and I have not had any problems with it! It is very compfy and no blind spots! I love my car! I don't know why they changed the body style."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love this Car

By on Friday, January 20, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun performance sleeper"

Cons: "The back seat is a little on the small side."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I began checking this car out the second year they were sold in the US (2002) and I loved it, but at the time I was a college student making 0 dollars and couldn't afford one. A few years later I ran across a pristine model that had been owned (for some reason) since new by a little old couple that really only used the car to travel to see their relatives in NV during the summer. The car had extremely low miles and was in perfect shape except for a couple rock chips on the hood. The car is bullet proof Toyota reliability and is just so much more fun to drive than most anything I've owned in the past. Plus some simple mods and the motor is now doing well over 250HP before even thinking of adding a turbo or really breaking open the motor. The I6 used to be the Supra motor and was built tough. This car is a sporty sleeper thanks to the Lexus badge on it. No one out of the know would ever even look at this car twice until it blows by them. The shine of this car is in the drive. Take it to your favorite twistys and you'll never want to leave. It comfortably seats 4 if not over 6 feet in back and still returns 28 MGP on the highway if you keep your foot out of it."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Well built car, little maintance required

By on Thursday, April 4, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Looks, build quality, driving experience, comfort"

Cons: "fuel GPM could be better for light small engine 26"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love this car because even with the miles on it, it is still just so solid in feel. Its a well built car with quality put into every part in it, except the radio but everyone of these cars has had it replaced by now. Even the factory shocks are original and only now are they STARTING to show that there getting a little lose."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

12 Years... Still makes me happy...EVERYDAY

By on Friday, October 26, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the perfect drivers car for balance between power, braking, handling, and all around feel. I have beaten on this car since day one and it never complains or breaks, it just happily does everything you ask of it. Best car for any money, period!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Awesome Car

By on Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this car for 12 years and have had no major problems. Usual maintenance was done every 20,000 miles and am very pleased with it."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I love this car. It has never broke down.

By on Thursday, February 2, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Handles great."

Cons: "Sucks in the snow."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had this car since it had 50k. The only thing I have had to do to it was routine maintenance. I did the timing belt, water pump, etc job myself to save money. The only thing I don't like about it is that parts are expensive and to have a shop work on the car is expensive. Other know problems i have heard of are the rear main seals leak and the power steering pumps go out. Overall great car!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Awesome Car....I just purchased my fourth one!!!

By on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Amazing Wagon....LOVE the SportCross!"

Cons: "Heavy braking from high speeds can wrap rotors."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I put a lot of miles on my car and since 2002, this has been the car of choice! I've had three and just purchased my last one....the following are the versions/mileage: A. 2002 Sedan - 35k, sold since I wanted Sportcross version B. 2002 Sportcross - 175k miles with no problems! C. 2005 Sportcross - 125k miles with no problems! D. 2003 Sportcross - 45k miles (just purchased!!)"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

FUN LITTLE CAR

By on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, quick, very light, rwd, mt, LSD"

Cons: "Tires not wide enough, nothing else (:"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Its quick (mt), light weighted, handles very good, and it looks amazing, no problems at all, just added air to the tires and gas, very sporty and fun to drive. Best car I've owned period."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

reliable & stylish

By on Wednesday, March 4, 2009

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"overall good vehicle. Only complaint are: price (duh, then why did I buy a lexus?). The center console is really small. And the rear seats don't fold down so it's hard to fit larger items. I have a 2004 (its 2009 as I write this) and I haven't taken the best care of it (not every sched. maint.) but I've NEVER had a problem with it. Only now am I starting to want to take it to the shop (nothing major - just feel like she deserves it). VERY reliable. Not very big though - hard to move an infant carseat in & out easily if you're 5'7" +. I was also a little dissapointed when I found out other 04 models (non luxury brands) had a few extra luxuries I would have expected Lexus to have first (namely: bluetooth & MP3 player). Also, not too great in Snow/slippery weather. The feature that cuts the power to the rear wheels makes it impossible to get out of a slushy parking/driving job. VERY bad. Snow button doesn't help that much either... maybe winter tires would help? (I use high performance all weather)."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Is300 sport cross

By on Thursday, March 20, 2008

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"I've had this car for four years. I chose it because of the unique wagon styling - so sexy but functional. My dog prefers it when I put the back seats down - that's pretty easy to do so we do that a lot. I love all of the amenities - CD, sunroof, rear view mirror with the green light so people's lights don't glare on you, front window goes down in touch of a button, radio has a readout, seats are super ergonmic, everything is so gorgeous. i have the faux suede seats and they are pretty good looking so i don't know why people say the interior is cheap - it's just as nice as the bmws I've owned. drawbacks are the tires, which people seem to agree need changing every 20k miles - that's insanely expensive and time consuming. second drawback is the mileage - i can't figure out why i only get 20 mpg when it's such a skinny car. and third, because it's skinny, while the seats are really comfortable, they are not wide. they kind of fit right to your body, which i guess is sporty, but they are by no means spacious. the number one best thing about this car is the way it looks and teh second is the smooth way it drives and handles. highly recommend."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Cute sexy car

By on Thursday, October 11, 2007

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"This is a fun sporty little car. A little loud inside but very fun to drive. Holds it value very well. Very responsive."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

fun car but not the best

By on Tuesday, September 18, 2007

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"The main reason I purchased the is300 is for it's sleak sporty look. it defitnetly caught my eye because of that big "L" on the hood, but I guess it's just a status. It's and entry level lexus that provides some sort of afforability. The resale valu is very good, or isn't as good as it should be. I would take this vehicle over any 3 series bmw all day. Other than the expensive maitnance and average resale value this vehicle is nice."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great used car Value//Fun to drive

By on Thursday, April 4, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "performance, value, reliability"

Cons: "gas mileage, limited cargo space"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have owned 2 Lexus IS300s. The first was a 2005 and then a 2002 I currently drive. I feel safe and confident driving this car. It is not very big on the inside but still comfortable. It does not have folding rear seats so you are limited in what you can do at the home improvement store. The inline 6 cylinder is powerful and very smooth, the automatic transmission shifts wonderfully. The gas mileage is only fair for a fairly light weight car, at best 16-17city and 23-26 hwy w/ premium fuel. I enjoy the confidence of this car"s performance enough to make the gas mileage a minor gripe. I only put 7,000 miles per year on the vehicle. Everything has held up wonderfully on this car, cosmetically and mechanically. No issues found in this 11 year old car, other than a blown rear speaker (ps. I have really enjoyed the factory 6cd sound system) These make wonderful great used car values for someone that is neither particalar on gas mileage or needing a lot of cargo space. I bought mine for $10,000 2 year ago with 121,000miles and plan on selling in about a year from now for $7000. They keep their value, and toyota can take care of most maintenance and repairs. Great Value!! Very enjoyable to drive!!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best car so far

By on Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, quiet, lots of fun to drive, reliabl"

Cons: "too few cup holders, no longer made."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I really like this car. So far besides routine maintenance all I have had to fix is the stereo and the solenoid operating the door lock on the driver's door. The power to weight ratio is surprisingly good for a four door sedan. It is a bit too tightly sprung for my wife's taste but the cornering is superb. After 11 years I can not detect any deterioration in performance. The seats are grippy which causes them to wear faster than slick leather but tires are like that too. It is a trade off. I will have to get new upholstery on the driver's side in another five years or so."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car, very reliable!!

By on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, handles well"

Cons: "Drinks spill because of the shape of cup holders."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned my IS300 for almost 8 years now and absolutely love it! It has about 175,000 miles on it, but still drives like it is brand new. The only thing I would ahve changed on mine is the suede seats with leather trim, after a while the suede kind of gets worn. I love this car, but am ready for a newer one, so I am going to get the IS250...hopefully it will be just as dependable as this one has been for me."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Sick!

By on Friday, October 14, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "retains value! interior comfortable for 4!"

Cons: "slightly high suspension and quiet stock exhaust"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is sick nasty. My favorite part of Lexus is their attention to details. Every button and knob is quality. The engine is superior and the E-shift transmission can handle 450hp easily. My only wish is that the stock suspension sat the car about 2" lower... but that's nothing Tein's can't do for around $1,000. I have owned a BMW, VW, and now Lexus... I will never get anything but Lexus! I love them... They drove to perfection, and I think they have arrived there! ;)"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Car!

By on Monday, December 28, 2009

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"I bought my 2001 IS300 in 2001 with 9000 miles on it. I do a lot of driving and now have 187,000 miles on my car! Winters in Ohio can be tough and this car doesnt make them any easier, but a good set of all-weather tires or snows make life a lot simpler. For the most part I have never really had any problems, only minor and relatively inexpensive issues. I gave up the dealer maintenance years ago because of the cost. I just got my third set of brakes and second set of front rotors. The car does not do well with tires, either. Overall, it has been a very low-maintenance car. I think the dealership goes out of their way to find problems. Easy fix--don't bring it to the dealership for maintenance!!Every time I think I want to sell this car I change my mind. I love the way it looks and drives and I still get TONS of compliments! It still looks brand new!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

2001 and still runs like a champ

By on Friday, August 14, 2009

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"I purchased my 2001 IS300 in 2004 with only 32K miles on it. Some O2 sensors and the fan motor went bad a few years ago but it was covered under warranty. Other than that, I've just had tires, oil changes and brakes done. Basic maintenance stuff. It now has 85K and still runs like a dream. I know that this car will run another 100K miles or more. The styling is very nice and never looks outdated. Fun to drive everyday. Like others said, it is not that comfortable for long trips. Still love my IS though. It truly is a great car."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

By on Saturday, October 18, 2008

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"best car I ever owned"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

can't kill it

By on Thursday, May 1, 2008

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"i have always been of the opinion that you drive a car the way it's made to be driven. you take suv's offroad. you floor sports cars. this is the first vehicle that's ever survived me. it's the first vehicle that i've been able to put over 40k miles on. i've put 50k, and had no problems. an absolute first for me, and believe me, i try to kill the thing."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

a touch of class

By on Wednesday, February 27, 2008

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"i love my is 300, its extremely quick and performs great. i hate buying premium gas for $3.60 a gallon, but its worth it. this car has spoiled me, i will never stray from luxury performance ever again."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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