"I bought an 02 IS300 (automatic) used about 2 years ago with 70k miles on it. Now at 98k miles it's still runs like new. The only thing i have changed is oil, battery, and a set of winter tires - a must if you live in places that get winter weather. The car handles great even in the snow/ice with a good set of tires ! i put premium fuel in it and it drives smooth, quiet, and comfy as long as the trip is no longer than 2 hours. The only complaint that I have is Lexus paint- it scratches /chips pretty easily. If you can find one for the right price get it !"
"This car is a great car overall in style, performance, and comfort. The only thing that i would change is that it needs a better center console. The one that is in it is a little low. They needed to make it higher so you can use it as a arm rest. Other than that, buy it!!"
"But as I pass through my sixties find that it is just a little too low to the ground for easy in/out, so need to step up the size of my ride.
Has expected Lexus mechancial perfection as well as really lovely styling."
"I bought this car brand new in 2001 and never had a problem in 6.5 years. The only thing I had to do besides regular maintenance was replace the tires every other year. It is the most reliable, quality car that I've ever driven. Now that I have a family, I have to upgrade to the GS 350. I will miss this car and wish that I didn't have to sell it."
"I got a 2002 IS used when I was 19 and kept it for about 3 years. It handled very well in the right conditions, but at the end of my ownership the car was nearly totaled on very thin ice. That's probably the only downfall to the IS, but now Lexus offers all wheel drive on the later models. I just traded it for an RX and am very happy with both Lexuses. The IS was an awesome car overall, but now I'm a new mom and it just isn't realistic, especially if you live in climates with snow/ice."
"Lets's put it this way, I had a 2002 IS, drove it for 4 years, enjoyed everything about it, ordered a 2005. I've had it for another 3 years, so far...have test drove the C-Class and 3 series. going to keep my IS."
"Had the car 3 months so far and have driven 7,000 miles. Had to get the lights stabilization and cd player fixed but it was covered under warranty. Car handles excellent in most conditions. Rear wheel drive in the snow has been somewhat aweful but I guess it was somewhat expected and probably not much different than other luxury rear wheel drive sports vehicles in its class. The breaks and traction control are exellent and have saved me from a number of accidents. Definitely recommend the car as it handles very well and is quite enjoyable to drive. Service is excellent from Lexus. Car does need high end snow/all wheather tires to perform well in all conditions, especially in the winter. I also keep 150 lbs of salt over rear tires in the winter as you need more weight over the tires in the snow and ice. Also keep a shovel in your car so you don't get stuck places. The seats are sporty and for longer drives are good, not excellent in comfort. Reliability in the winter is good but not excellent. Other than that I wouldn't get any other car in it's class. I recommend upgrading to the sports design as you get upgraded wheels and more chrome and a unique color. I haven't seen the same color car on the road yet. The upgrades make a big difference. For the price and options and the Lexus name, it's a bargain. The car using tiptronics is fast and probably quick enough for most. Taking turns on a dime is probably the best thing about this car. Being fairly light and low to the ground taking turns at 30 is no problem."
"I love this car, and extremely happy with its performance and stlying. I would recomend this car to anyone interested in purchasing a new "used" car. More reliable than the BMW and handles much better."
"I bought this car for my wife 4 years ago and she loves it. Just the right size for her and very reliable. She absolutely refuses to talk of replacing this car with anything. Now that is customer loyalty!!!"
"this is a great car. reliable, very responsive, quick, smooth and forgiving. it's easy to drive. fell in love with it the first time i drove it. it something i can see myself keeping for a very long time."
"I love this car. I have the manual transmission. It is an easy car to drive, my wife can even handle the manual(thats saying a lot!). Interior design is great. Can fit 5.
Have 70k miles and just now thinking about my second set of tires.
Has been very reliable, no issues. Would highly recommend the vehicle."
"I agree with an earlier post as far as the premature wear on the inner side of front tires, the oxygen sensor, and the radio errors which require replacements. It is a great car overall though. I whip around in it through traffic. It's quick at the draw and when you want to pass. I dont have any major problems with this car. I want to upgrade to the 07 IS AWD..hopefully it will handle better in the snow..since my 02 IS300 usually remains PARKED during those times!!"
"By far the best vehicle I have ever been in or owned. Its sporty, hip, and beautifully designed inside and out. The ride quality is second to none. The 5 speed is so much fun to drive. Engine is super smooth, responsive and sounds great! Look no further when looking for a mid sized luxury sedan....AWESOME!!"
"This car is an OUTSTANDING daily driver.
Average person- With that said I will talk about its drivability in the snow. Every IS300 came equipped with summer tires, so this means that most IS300s probably have a summer performance tire on it. This handles bad in the snow. Same goes for every other RWD car. If you put all-season tires or winter tires coupled with "snow-mode" on, you are golden. You also have to see if the car came equipped with "LSD". Limited-slip differential. Some IS300s came with it. This will help tremendously in the snow and in the rain.
There are no other questions about this car if it is your daily driver. Nothing is wrong with this car. It is peppy, has great brakes, handles very well, and looks good as well. Trust me I know everything about this car, I could talk about it for days. Ive ripped the car apart and put it back together. Ive driven it VERY hard and know its capabilities and weaknesses. For daily driving and for an entry level luxury car there are know weaknesses.
Boost-addicts- This car/2JZ engine responds tremendously to modifications. Specifically to boost. Buy a simple bolt-on turbo/supercharge kit for about $3000-$6000 and you will be around 300rwhp give or take at about 8psi. Of course you have to help it breath. The only problem is the wimpy tires. 215s give you no traction with 300rwhp so you will have to upgrade to wider tires and wheels. When you start to get near 350rwhp and above you will need to upgrade transmissions. As the w55 is weak. You have three to choose from w58, r154, and v160 (look them up). Also remember if you are not into forced induction there are a variety of bolt-ons you can do. I recommend the first thing to do is to look up some gearing. Chand the ratio of the rear-end. The MT IS300 comes stock with a 3.7 final drive and the AT IS300 comes with a 3.9 final drive. Ive seen people go up to 4.56 from TRD, but the best final drive for this car and the w55 transmission is 4.11 from most of the V8 Toyota trucks. You can buy the 4.11 from a Toyota dealer.
Like I said I could talk about this car for days. I know almost every detail about this car. The only thing I dont have experience with is the AT (automatic transmission) on this car. I just gave you some rough details on this car so I hope this helps. Make sure when you are buying this car that the person took care of it before you. That goes for any care. But with a Toyota (Lexus IS300) if you take care of it, the car will last longer than you.
"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 ($50 oil changes, c'mon). I still admire this vehicle when I'm walking towards it and especially after I had just washed/waxed it. Only drawback that I have to baby it to get 25mpg. premium fuel also."
"I first fell for this car when it came out and it was the first to have those round rear lights! I thought it had a handsome profile and clean sharp details like the drive Shift ball being silver and cool pedals!
My first car was a '89 CRX new-it lasted me 13 years(bought it in "88)! I decided I should update and thought this car would be equally worthy! It has met my expectations. When a car is mostly built in Japan I notice a LONG life, just like my first car.
Last SMOG check the people couldn't believe it "passed as if it was a brand new car!"
Car seats are kinda tricky in this car but not really that difficult. It's been an awesome car for the last 10-11 years now! Wow! Totally recommend it. Tight steering. Easy to park in the city. "Zippy" is the best description for this car!
Great car for Day to Day and Long Trips down I-5!"
"Over ten years and I'm getting tired of it and want a new car.
The Sportcross fits everything I need to carry, it handles like nothing else I've test driven and, with the exception of one oxygen sensor, has been fault free.
I can't find a replacement that's not a downgrade and I'm getting really fed up."
"i bought this car at 95,xxx for 10k$ 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."