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Lexus IS 300 SportCross



  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Lexus provides the 1K inspection and 5K oil/filter change for free. After that, it is all your coin.

    The expensive maintenance comes at 30K and 60K.

    Unfortunately, unlike BMW, Mini, etc., Lexus does not provide any free maintenance after the 5K service.
  • Disappointed that there are no apparent changes in 05, except black fabric is not available for bluestone metallic.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Reading all the car magazines the past two months is driving me nuts. All the pictures and discussions about wagons. Wagons like Audi's A3 5-door wagon. Or their A4. Mazdas, including the new 6 hatchbck. Even Kia's.

    Just check out the November 2004 issue of Sports Car International. Page 22 is their review of the Audi A4 Avant 3.0 Ultra Sport. MSRP of $44,335. 0-60 mph in7.9 seconds. The article talks about the BMW 3 Series wagon and the Subaru Legacy GT wagon. No mention of SportCross.

    Or page 12. Jay Lamm's "backfire" column. All about hot wagons. He talks about everything from old Volvo 850R and even P1800ES to MB to BMW 5 Series , not to mention Taurus, Peugeot, Audi, and VW. BUT NOT A SINGLE WORD ABOUT THE SPORTCROSS!

    Just look at all the press Audi is getting with the A3 5-door wagon? Bet they won't even consider doing a test comparison using a SportCross.

    Can't Lexus put some ads out? Give some journalists free rides in one? Do anything to remind the world that the great SportCross is here and has been since MY2002?!?!

    So now wagons are hot? But nary a mention, even when they run down the list of competitors, of the SportCross.

    If Lexus can't figure out how to get the word out about the SportCross today, makes me wonder how they will do it in future.

    Everyone who see's my wife's bright red '04 SportCross loves it. They usually say the same thing:

    "Cool car. What is it?"

    And once told it is a Lexus SportCross, they say:

    "I didn't know Lexus made this."

    Too bad Lexus dealers are fixated on selling ES330s and RX330s, and the other behemouth SUVs.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Today I'm reading the latest issue of European Car and I come across this sentence in their "First Look" at the 2005 Audi A3 5-door SportBack:

    "Never before has such a high-quality compact hatch been offered in America, and it's aimed at the most dynamic sector of the market, at young, active consumers looking for distinctive vehicles to fit their lifestyles."

    What a crock! Notice how what they said has applied to the SportCross which has been here for 3 model years!

    EC makes a big deal about the A3's FWD, 200 HP and 207 lb-ft of torque. Oh Boy! And they rave about the A3 having ABS, EBD, TC, VSC, etc. The SportCross has all of this plus LSD!

    All EC can do is compare the A3 to Saab 9-2X, Volvo V50 and Subaru WRX.
  • Mr Reiz, your posts about the Lexus SC intrigue me. As an SC owner you can provide insite I could use to help me with my decision.
      I want the following features; High MPG (30+), Performance when I want it, Quiet ride, Manual trans, High safety rating (bags, curtains & ABS) sporty good looks & fun to drive.
      I am about to purchase a new car with this body type. My choices are:
    Mini- S Works
    Lexus Sport Cross
    Saab 9-2X
     To date the Saab 9-2X is a serious contender and I'm about ready to take the plunge. Convince me why I shouldn't.
    I look forward to your reply.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Why not buy a WRX and save some money or take the same money and buy a Legacy GT wagon with a 5 speed automatic vs the 4 speed in the WRX/Saab. I found the ride of the WRX is hampered by the shorter wheel base and the turbo lag can be annoying in day to day driving. I haven't driven a Legacy turbo but it should be an improvement.

    The Cross has a super smooth in line 6 and equipped with good winter tires will get you where you need to go. I am going on 3 years with mind and I still enjoy it. You also seldom see a Cross anywhere.

    Forget the 30 MPG with the Cross though, you will get 22-26 on the highway and 17-20 in town depending on how hard you press the pedal.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    35moparman... The IS300 SportCross gets you:

    - Outstanding reliability
    - Excellent safety
    - Great value
    - Magnificent performance, esp. steering, handling, and braking
    - Practical utility
    - Durable, smooth I6 engine
    - Available LSD and stability control
    - Great b-to-b and powertrain warranties (plus the option to buy a full extended warranty from Lexus, something you can't do with marques like BMW)
    - Something your friends and neighbors won't have!

    I much prefer RWD to either FWD or AWD.

    The 9-2 is just a modified Subaru. I'd get the WRX. (The reviews of the 9-2 haven't been too kind.)

    jmess is right. You'll only get about 24-26 mpg on highway.
  • Thank you Gentlemen for your input. One thing I did not see in your responses; am I correct in assuming that SC does not come with a six speed manual? I am very aware that the Saab is an upscale WRX. The Saab has more sound insulation and is quieter. It also has a little more refinment on the interior. I have driven an IS for a day and liked it a lot. I've seen (one) SC in a doctor's parking spot and its styling really caught my eye. It sparked my interest enough to send me into a Lexus dealer to find out more about it.(Lexus web site did not offer much info on it)
      I know that Lexus reliability is legendary, but I really must insist on 30+ MPG in order to justify a purchase. I am happy to see it has RWD w/ LSD optional... any performance car worth its salt should be RWD (or AWD) and should also have a manual transmission. Mr. Riez what reviews are you refering to? So far I've seen positive reviews from the Edmunds editors.
      I haven't researched Car & Driver or Motor Trend etc. for additional reviews. I will tonight, however. Thanks again for feedback.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    35moparman... The IS300 SportCross comes only with the 5-speed E-shift automatic transmissions. And you'll only get about 24-26 mpg on highway.

    I'll I can say is take a SportCross for a serious test drive. You might love it.

    Sounds like you should also look at a 325i wagon, with 5-speed manual.

    Only you know what is important to you, what you can pay, and what you are looking for.

    I subscribe to C&D, R&T, MT, AW, Bimmer, Roundel (BMW CCA), Forza, Porsche Excellence, CR, HMC, HCC, SCC, EuropeanCar, and CA.
  • The local dealer here in southern NJ didn't have any at the time I went. I'll keep looking in PA & DE.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    35moparman... The fact they are so rare and hard to find is both a blessing (since it is likely yours would be the only SportCross for a zillion mile radius) and a curse (how can you test drive what no dealer has).

    Think the SportCross my wife bought earlier this year is the only one my local dealer had for the entire MY2004. In the past year, believe I've seen one other SportCross and I drive about 25,000 miles a year.

    The SportCross has some interesting characteristics compared to the IS300 sedan. It actually has a slightly better weight distribution. Believe the sedan is 54/46 and the SportCross is 53/47. Plus the SportCross uses a slightly wider rear tire (a staggered tire set up). (My wife's car came with the summer high performance tires.) So it is a most competent handler!
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    If you find one on a local lot, I'll be surprised. I looked around for five months or so (casually) stopping at various Lex shops from time to time to see one. No luck.

    When my dealer went to locate one for me, he found 11 of them in a 100-mile radius.

    If I had to to it over again, I'd order one. I'd order one exactly to my spec and wait the darned ten weeks for delivery. I didn't have that option on the last one. :(
  • saz1861saz1861 Posts: 26
    I don't think you are going to find a new SportCross on the lot. When I bought my '04 in January, I special ordered it. It was worth the wait. I am in SE PA and NONE of the dealers in the area had one when I was shopping. A couple told me they did not make them anymore. I drove to Baltimore to test drive a used one. However, if you like the IS sedan, you will love the Sport X. A couple of NJ dealers will special order one for you. I bought mine at Lexus of Cherry Hill. Lawrenceville also would order. I had to put $1000 down at the time of ordering. Good Luck.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Just put on a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 tires on the SportCross. 205/55R16 91Q. Bought 'em thru the Tire Rack. Part of the IS300 package: $800 for tires ($105/t) & alloy wheels ($95/w) plus $77.40 for freight and then a final $20 at installation. Grand total of $899.40.

    Had the four tires/wheels shipped directly to one of the participating Tire Rack installers (used TO Haas). Very easy to order. No problems with installation. Worked like a charm.
  • Bought a 2002 SX to replace a 93 Regal. I'm 65, wife 66, so what is all this stuff about the car being designed for the 30-40 year olds? She complained about no airbags in Buick, too much bulk for parking, bad visibility around outside rear view mirrors; and I was fed up with American reliability (although they've become better). Saw this distinctive car on a dealer's used lot, checked all the big red dots in every category for Lexus' in Consumer's Reports, and went for it. Well everything is really cool now, except we traded lots of rear end glass in Regal for a poorer rear view in SX, but that's only minus so far. Had to give it 60k service at $1,000+ from local dealer,(ouch) and paid $1,400 for 3 year/30k extended warranty ("Vehicle One"), but $18.5K "low dealer price" seems to balance it out. Ex. warranty moves mileage coverage out to 2007 and/or almost 100,000 mi. in this case. Considering the cost of genuine Lexus parts and repair charges, does anyone out there think it is fair? or unfair? I've had extensive "racing experience", all with my wife at my side, telling me constantly to stay on my side of the yellow line. Well, this car begs me to choose a turn in point, hit the apex, and track out on the far shoullder. Can it get any better than this? She's getting hoarse reprimanding me. Guess I'll have to settle down a bit. We live near Laguna Seca, but she hits me upside the head whenever we pass the entrance to the track. That's OK, when the IS300 Sportcross becomes a classic, (I hope) then I'll slap a number on the side, but some racing decals on it, and BS the race people with a story about winning my class at Le Mans, Sebring, or someplace.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    polenta... Sounds like you are enjoying your great car. The IS300 SportCross is a joy to drive and drive hard. Just be prepared for tire wear.

    Does yours have LSD? The summer higher performance tires? My wife's has both. Blast to drive.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Since I am kidfree I removed the rear headrests the first week I had the car. It helps with the rear vis.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Somebody on the OdyClub mentioned that Lexus is going to do up a Sienna mini van for 06 and will call it the SportCross? That should make it pretty interesting in the future when you tell people what kind of car you drive?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    We were hit with about 12 inches of snow this week. My wife raved about how her IS300 SportCross performed with snow tires (Blizzak WS50s). She said it handled better than any other car she'd had, which included other RWD and FWD cars. (We've never had an AWD or 4WD vehicle.)


    Snow tires, VSC, ABS/TC, and winter AT mode all help make the IS300 decent in the white stuff.


    I'm still amazed at how beautiful her car is. Love the look and color, bright red. And you never ever see another one so people ask about it. Great car with exclusivity.
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