Note: I am a car guy, I'm not even 30 and this is my seventh car (not an idiot, just an enthusiast with a few extra nickels to burn on car payments), this is not a worthless review where I talk about how I don't like the cupholders or the color..... Aside from a few minor issues, this vehicle is a great choice, especially now that the prices have dropped dramatically.
This is not your grandfather's lexus, it does not ride like its on rails and a lot of the 'luxury' options are simply not included with this model.
Previous vehicle: 2005 Audi A4 with every option imaginable, the two are not comparable on any level beyond purchase price. Overall a fantastic car, just understand what ur buying
This vehicle moves- I bought the 5 speed man trans, 1st is sluggish but you'll get to 80 by the time you're near the end of 3rd gear. One of my friends runs his own shop and another is a master mechanic at a lexus dealership and I have mechanical knowledge myself, anyone who knows cars will tell you Toyotas are bulletproof if maintained, especially this I-6 engine.
Again, the term is 'bulletproof.'
If the car has been maintained, you will get sick of it long before it dies.
Keep with the maintainence schedule and you'll get 175k-200k easy out of it.
That is not an exageration; if you don't beat it to death, it will literally run forever.
I saw one online for sale w 224k mi.
Things to mindful of: 1) this is not a family car, the back seat is very tight and really only seats 2. 2)there is CONSIDERABLE oversteer, especially at highway speeds.
It will take time to get used to, trust me. You move the wheel an inch and you'll be in a guard rail.
No joke. 3) road noise is nearly comparable to a jeep wrangler.
This vehicle was lexus's attempt to appeal to the younger masses, I'm 26 and I wish it was quieter. 4) if you're in a cold climate (im in the northeast), be ready to deal with a less-than-agreeable gearbox when she's warming up (manual trans).
Shifting is notchy and somewhat difficult for the first few minutes, but once its warm, you're good to go.
I bought my 2003 black on black Lexus sport design in 2009 with 86k miles on it. The car drove and performed awesome the whole time i owned it. The interior is classy/sporty and stylish. Every girl I've taken on a drive loved the car. The car's chrome shift ball is F1 inspired i love the look. The door stiles have silver step plates. Car never fail me but the previous owner never changed the factory battery and it died on me twice. That's the only problem i had but the battery was 6 years old so go figure. Love the car had to sell it because i need money. The sport design is 300 is a great car. Get you one!
Exterior, Wheels, Interior, 2jz engine. Great for tuning.
More Power, IS300 would be insane with twin turbo supra engine if it came like that from factory.
Bought this car with 29,000 miles on it. Love the styling inside and out. Seats are very comfortable with high quality leather. Dash and instruments have a great design and cool orange color at night. Also love the 6-disc in-dash CD changer. Low profile tires look awesome, but the stock tires rode rough, so I switched to similar tires with lower speed rating which ride much smoother. I get compliments on this car all the time. Other than oil, tires, and brakes have had absolutely no issues. I did get a disc stuck in the changer - think I jammed it in there, my fault - but the dealer replaced the whole unit under warranty in 2 days. Engine rocks, especially around 3-4k RPM.
Styling, great engine, 6-disc changer, wheels, integrated tool kit, comfy seats, full size spare.
None - love this car!! 86,000 miles and going strong!
Love the car. Bought it with 15K on it and it's got just over 80K now. Sporty, handles great, looks great but most of all it's reliable. In 65K miles of driving, I have had to do squat to the car other than oil and change the tires. Obvious normal maintenance but still haven't needed brakes, belts are getting ready but no mechanical problems at all. Especially the A/C - works like a champ and still freezes me out.
Love the turning radius.
Change the camber on the tires. Stock angle wears the inside of all 4 quickly. Obviously it helps with handling but I don't race it, so no need.
I buy cars for their performance and moddability (and this car is very moddable having the Supra's 2jz and all), but I'll rate this car from a consumers point of view, since you are probably interested in buying this car. This is not your average type of Lexus. Lexus' are usually known for their comfort and amenities, but this car is different. The IS 300 was designed to compete with the 3 series, and that it does. This is a SPORT sedan, so it drives like one, do not buy this car expecting the usual laid back handling of the other cars in the Lexus fleet. This is definitely the car to buy, if you are looking for a RELIABLE car that will add some excitement to your daily commute to work.
Moddability. The 6 disc in-dash CD changer is nice. But my favorite feature of the car is definitely the handling. It drives like a true sports car should... fun. And of course there is the fact that is a Lexus, the definition of reliability.
Being a "sport" sedan the car could have had more power, but it's decent enough. The dash is made of some extremely cheap plastic, that not only scratches very easily, but has a talent for showing dust unlike any other material.