By Gray Gita on
2004 Lexus IS 300 SportCross 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
The SportCross is a small wagon with a
Supra engine. It moves like a cat and
stops on a dime. Add a turbo and run
with M3 BMWs but for thousands less.
The car has an aggressive, naughty
stance. Interior is sporty not
luxurious. With the seats down, I have
loaded five kitchen cabinets with room
to spare. The rear floor lowers for
added flexibility; there are several
stealth storage areas and hooks for tie-
down straps. Called the Altezza Gita in
Japan, accessories, such as a roof
rack, are available via importers.
The SportCross is both practical and
fun. If you want soft luxury get a
different Lexus. If you want to ride a
unicorn while everyone else is on a
horse, get a SportCross.
I love the sporty drive and the auto-
manual shift buttons are a blast on
winding mountain roads. I like the way
the navigation system’s screen folds
away gizmo-geek style. I also love the
chronographic instrument cluster; the
silly MPG gauge is actually useful for
optimizing fuel consumption.
The rear windshield wiper control is
not intuitive -SPRAY shouldn’t be next
to OFF. Front cup holders are silly but
work, rear are great. Gas mileage is
poor -press SNOW button to trade
driving excitement for better mileage.
Control over the stereo’s fade and
equalizer settings needs refinement.