For 2002, Lexus offers a 5-speed manual option to the IS300 model. I jumped at the opportunity to drive one, and I was sold in a heartbeat. The firmer suspension tuning on this model as well as the crisp shifting action of the manual truly make this the enthusiast's choice for a great sport sedan.
I opted for the leather/ecsaine interior trim package, which really helps keep you in place while making turns. The seats themselves are top-notch to begin with, even for tall drivers (I'm 6'02"). The acceleration is just as smooth as the braking and cornering. The auto-leveling standard xenon headlamps are a nice touch too.
Smooth and refined powertrain. Balanced weight distribution makes this car fun to throw into a turn. Interior accessories are decent quality. Stock radio is excellent, with good button positioning. Climate control is amazing.
Not so touchy traction control, although it can easily be turned off. A little more high end power would be appreciated to pull ahead in the horsepower race against its competitors; However, I have not noticed the engine's powerband to have any weak spots.