Can't believe it's been 11+ years w/my car. I still remember the rush of the test drive. I took an on-ramp aggressively w/the salesman next to me & we both smiled. I couldn't believe I was in a sedan, let alone a Lexus. It was better handling than my old Eclipse Turbo. Better road feel, more grip, similar body roll & much faster turn-in. After a little negotiating, she was mine. I've been a Toyota guy since '88, but even I can't believe how reliable this car's been. Oh, there've been the usual tires, brakes & oil changes along w/one timing belt & one clutch. My odo is @ 248K mi & the only unscheduled maintainence I've done is a set of o2 sensors, ball joints & a fuel pump.
Engine. It may not be the fastest car in the world, but it offers strong, usable power at any rpm and sounds silky smooth all the time. If you've ever driven an old Jaguar inline six, you'll remember the sound again.
Balance. I remember reading that the engineers mass-centralized the vehicle to reduce the moment of inertia. It worked, the car lane changes instantaneously. A great point & shoot city vehicle.
Clutch. I've had several Hondas and their clutches may be smooth, but they lack the mechanical feedback of this clutch. Was a little balky at first but after about 20K miles and a changeover to synthetic trans oil, just about perfect.
Unfortunately, the suggested improvements of the masses have already ruined the IS series for me. I've driven both the '06 and '13 redesigns. The IS no longer has the steering feel the gen1 model did, it no longer has the wonderful I6 melody, it's overloaded with tech glitz instead of the simple interior of the original, it's longer, it's heavier, it has much worse sight lines, and most unforgivable of all - no manual transmission. Thank goodness mine still runs like new as i have no idea what I'd get next, probably a BMW w/a very expensive extended warranty.
I've had mine since 2012, after I bought it I changed ALL fluids and did the timing belt... haven't looked back.
This site doesn't allow you to choose a model that has navigation for 2002 which mine has.. also has full blk leather interior, sunroof, 5 speed manual, LSD rear end, heated seats, power everything.
Whoever bought this car initially ordered it from the dealer with all those options b/c I haven't seen one like it in person or online.. I love it.
5 speed is the way to go in this car, but finding one is getting hard, nice city power to get thorough traffic, not the best MPG, but i'm heavy footed and you get the trusty Toyota build quality.
Have to agree on the fun-to-drive factor!! Whew!
this car is a
blast to drive!
Love the orange interior lights at night!
Guage package likened to a wrist watch face is an original touch. Shifting is solid quality feel.
Love the sound of the engine.
Handles like she's' on rails.
Just bought a set of 18" rims (all black) with potenza s-04 pole positions, so the ride should be on fire soon. Im' driving a Subaru GT wagon in the winter but my life is changing so I'm selling Suby after 13 yrs of ownership. :( But Looking forward to buying a set of micheling Xi3, dedicated winters, to be mounted on the stock rims.
Should handle the snow just fine and be a lot of fun in the drift too!
Looks /engine sound/interior lights/dash/reliability
sound system is fantastic
1.TELESCOPING STEERING WHEEL OR LACK THEREOF.
Shorter people prolly np at all with the same.
2.GAS mileage is horrible.
But on the hwy it's decent so whatever
3. requires premium fuel. Ouch.
4. Smallish front seats, and narrow
btw the pillars in the front
Original owner here with over 200,000 very enthusiastically driven miles on my IS300.
Still runs and looks great.
Only unscheduled maintainence was swapping out all of the O2 sensors at about 120K.
Bought Denso universals for about $60 ea and soldered them in myself.
Did clutch at 100K with aftermarket parts and saved $$$ vs. OEM parts.
Aftermarket clutch and flywheel holding up much longer than original, which started to slip a bit at 90K miles.
Lots of great aftermarket support for this popular car due to its great driving dynamics, good looks, and wonderful inline 6 motor.
Highly, highly recommended.
Great driver's car, especially with the manual trans.
Steering feel is not overboosted and handling is sublime.
Motor sounds great and makes smooth tractable power everywhere.
Chrome shift ball looks great, but gets super hot in summer and ice cold in winter.
Give me a nice leather knob instead.
Bought as a demo w/9k miles on it. Now has 188K and haven't had any unscheduled maintenance on it yet. Runs like new. Unbelievable reliability. Can't recommend enough. All the fun of a sports car in a sedan. 5-speed manual is a must for driving enthusiasts. My gas mileage is nearly identical to the window sticker rating, so I don't know why people gripe about the mileage. Besides, even though I might save $500/year in gas with a BMW 3-series, it would be offset by the several thousand per year extra I would have to spend on repairs. I'm willing to pay a tad extra for peace of mind.
#1 - Fun to drive factor #2 - Handling #3 - Engine sound & flat torque curve #4 - Awesome reliability #4 - Surprisingly good OEM stereo
Would love it even more if the car was about 2" wider and 1" lower.