I know this sound generic but "I love my car!" this was my first new car and it is still my daily driver. I currently have 88,090 miles and I am still running on the original front brakes, clutch, belts & shocks! Driving stick really extends the life of your car. Only had to replace 1 bad shock, the battery, rear brakes and everything else is from 2004. About to change the timing belt, water pump, etc. but I'm almost at 90,000 miles so my is 300 has done me proud. You expect quality and reliability from Lexus/Toyota and they delivered. Mine is is so much fun to drive, it's quick around corners and the ride is very smooth. The transmission is the smoothest I have ever driven.
I love the smooth 5 speed transmission. The quick response between gears and the reaction time. I can easily down shift and overtake any car when needed.The durability & reliability are also great piece of mind. There are times i get behind the wheel and it's like the first time i drove her home.
Trunk space could be bigger and the rear seat is good for your back pack or a Child, not an adult. The gas mileage is not the best. My Land Rover LR3 is a gas hog and my IS is not far behind. My Mercedes C300 can go 240 miles and use less than half a tank. Rear folding seats would be nice too.
Bought new in 04, hated it so traded my mom for her Audi, she's got 49K on it now and likes it. The car doesn't have the driver/road connection like my Audi or Saab and doesn't feel expensive like other Lexus cars. Around town speed is good but above 60 mph has no power. Original suspension had so-so handling & comfort. Suspension was replaced 3X by dealer bc it kept squeaking, now has K&N suspension & handles & rides better. Other then that no problems, not even brakes. Interior materials & design are cheap. MPG is pathetic. Auto trans is overeager to upshift into 2nd gear which dulls acceleration unless you stay heavy on the throttle- which eats more gas. Manual mode is worthless.
leather quality, seat comfort (other then no lumbar support), powerful Xenon lights, reliable (other then original suspension), no squeaks/rattles
Better MPG, lumbar support, cheap interior plastics, cup holders, poor sound system. Could use some added features. But new IS addresses most of these issues very well.
Drove BMW 3 series, G35, Volvo S60 and IS 300 just to be complete. Expected to buy the G35 but after driving the Lexus, I just loved driving it. It was by far the most engaging, quietest, and tightest ride. The G35 was faster in a straight line but I felt "one-with-the-car" driving the IS 300. Feels much faster than it really is. And it is not slow. Beautiful styling in and out and great build quality. Was also sold on the reliability record. Consumer Reports listed it as one of the top 3 most reliable cars for 2004. I hope that holds true with mine.
Beautiful in and out, push-button manual shift (however, don't use much), chrome alloys, quiet
Small trunk, needs audio controls on steering wheel, more power
I test drove the 2004 IS300 against a beautiful 2004 BMW 328ci (that I really wanted to love and buy). After driving both cars, I realized the IS300 was the much better car across the boards. Mechanically, the Lexus ran smooth and sound, with a lot more get-up and go. The BMW was sluggish and seemed to hesitate a lot more, with some choppy shifting between gears. I had been told by many people that the BMW would have more problems than the Lexus and in test-driving both, I had to concede that they were right. I bought the Lexus.
Interior is like a racecar and a fighter jet. It's very quick and maneuvers well. Very fun to "pilot" this car.
I wish it had a telescoping steering column adjustment.
I was looking to buy a new car and was thinking Nissan Maximas, BMW 325i, Infiniti G35. I actually stopped at a dealership looking to see if they had any of the above models. They didn't, however I saw a silver Lexus IS 300. I knew this was the car for me! I am in Real Estate so I needed a 4 door sedan. I had a 2001 Toyota Celica. This was the best of both worlds. Luxurious sedan as well as high performance sports car. The steering wheel shift buttons are awesome! 0-60 in 6.7 seconds which is on par with a Porsche Boxster! It handles like a dream! The ONLY complaint is that the gas mileage is poor for the size car it is. Overall, it is a great car and I highly recommend it!!