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Lexus IS 300

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Comments

  • dnoecker - I too was very frustrated in my attempts to get a car with VSC. Are you in California? I was trying to find out the real story when I was shopping a few months ago and got a different story from everyone with whom I spoke, which included many different dealer internet sales managers and the customer service rep at Lexus headquarters.

    No one knew what the "Build Your Own" option packaging on lexus.com was based upon. It didn't seem to have any basis in how the cars are actually equipped. The Lexus guy assured me that everything listed as an option under the options section of the site is in fact an available option. The dealers all told me that they just have to take what Lexus gives them and they don't send any VSC cars to California. But the Lexus guy told me that the dealers specify how they want the cars equipped. He said they can get the cars however they want them but they will tell you they can't so that they can move what they have on the lot. Most dealers didn't want to have anything to do with a special order car and the few who would told me it would take 3-4 months and they'd only do it if I was willing to pay full sticker.
    In short, getting a VSC car in California is difficult. The only way I could have done it would have been to special order it at a substantially higher price than a car on the lot. I finally gave up, though I did get one with LSD. In retrospect, I'm actually glad I don't have VSC. The damn TRAC is overly intrusive as it is but at least I can turn that off. I don't think you can turn VSC off.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I haven't done it but there is fuse you can pull that disables VSC and I think the ABS along with it.

    Both the VSC and the ABS are too sensitive when you start pushing the car really hard. The time I had my car on the track, I would be going above 100 into a heavy braking zone and the brake assist would bring in the ABS every time I got on the brakes messing up my turn in points. The computer logic would assume anyone going that fast and applying the brakes moderately hard must be in an emergency situation and needs full stopping power. Once I got back on the gas and got a little throttle induced oversteer the VSC would cut in and try and straighten out the car. Not really a great setup for turning a good lap at anywhere near the cars potential.

    Swapping out the sway bars on my car took out some of the push and seems to have raised the break away point for the rear end. The net is I don't provoke the VSC as much as I did before. I really notice the improvement in the rain. (BTW the GoodYear GS-D3 tires work well in the rain for a street tire). I would still like the VSC to let the rearend rotate a little more before it cuts in but now I have much better sense of where the threshold is for my setup.

    At one point in 02 the rumor was Lexus was trying to make the VSC mandatory with e-shift and LSD. So even though they were separate options you couldn't get them any other way, at least here in the Pacific NW.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    My '04 IS300 manual has LSD. VSC is not available with manual transmission.

    My wife's '03 IS300 automatic has LSD and VSC.

    All the automatics I've seen at my two nearest Lexus dealers have had VSC.

    In midwest, dealers appear to be ordering their cars with LSD and VSC. Also, all the ones on lots appear to have all-season tires.
  • fredmcmurray- I live in Houston,Tx.

    Maybe that's why I can't get VSC/LSD. Because the
    terrain down here is flat and it does not snow so
    the dealers think there is not a big demand.

    I'm going to ask a service adviser when I get my 30 day check up.

    Thanks for the info.

    Dan
  • I think they have dumped VSC in Canada too. My 2002 SportCross has it, but a friend's 2003 IS (auto) does not. It was part of the top package (which he has) yet it is not on his car. Neither are headlamp washers.

    I couldn't live without it. I agree the TCS is a little sensitive, in fact driving in snowy Toronto I worry that the TCS light may burn out (HAHA). VSC has saved me several times.
  • I am waiting for my ordered SportCross with both LSD and VSC. I also got the all leather package, wood switch plates, value package and black pearl emblems. I faxed about 26 dealers from CT to VA, listed the options I wanted and stated that I knew the car would need to be ordered. The LSD and VSC and the all leather is not always readily available. I only received about seven responses. Some dealers were close to sticker and wanted a large deposit but two did come through with reasonable offers less than 5% over invoice, which I consider a fair profit for them to make. SportCrosses are even more rare than the sedan. One dealer said they get one for every 15 Sedans. Anyway, it is a 3-4 month wait and the sales manager ordered the car with me sitting right there and all of these options were available. I ordered mine in October. Orders submitted by the 24th of October were scheduled for December production. The web site said to allow thirty days for production and 30 days for shipping which brings it to February. Some dealers are reluctant to order because they are afraid you might change your mind before the wait is over and they would be left with a car they would have difficulty selling. Hope this clears up some misconceptions. Waiting for an ordered car really sucks.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,591
    but the wait is well worth it! You get exactly what you want.

    I saw a Silver SportCross tonight. I like it!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • webby1webby1 Posts: 209
    2005 Lexus IS 300 Coupe,Early 2004
    Lexus is readying a coupe and possible convertible version of its sporty IS 300, with release dates probably sometime next year. and
    2005 Lexus IS 430 late 2004 ??
    4.3L V8 IS 430 may debut concurrently with the facelifted IS range. appears to be a beefed-up IS 300.It is also rumored that Lexus may replace the IS 300's in-line 6 with the ES 330's V6, making it the IS 330. The V6 version is said to be tuned to produce more than 230 hp.
    It appears that the IS 300 is designed strong enough for a V8 therefore I think it will be my next car this spring instead of the new TL
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Latest issue of AutoWeek (12/22/03) has a 2-page story with a couple of nice pictures of Rod Millen's IS430 concept. No confirmation of any production. No information on any price info. Quotes former head of Lexus as saying "If there isn't a strong business case, we probably won't do it." Article does point out that "Lexus will sell about 14,00 IS 300s this year, down from 20,000 in 2002." As they point out, Lexus has to do something to spark excitement and sales in IS. IS430 might make sense, even if it doesn't make money. But the safe money is likely not on it.
  • Do not go to Lexus of Richmond in Virginia.

    I am quite disappointed with everything they have done so far. The sales rep from Lexus of Richmond had the audacity to call me today and compalin to me about the survey I filled out for the Lexus Headquarter.

    I gave Lexus of Richmond an average rating on the survey. I said the Sales Reps did not know about the SportCross model and was ill informed about its product line. They were pushy in negotiation and etc. But I did enjoy other parts of the dealship. The overall rating was not great, just so-so.

    Lexus of Richmond dared to call and complain AFTER they have taken my money?? Very unprofessional. The sales reps actually said "I am going to give you a spanking!" to me. hmm...

    That's how Lexus of Richmond treat its paying customers.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    dardenkoa... Welcome to the wonderful world of CSI data. Dealers take it very seriously, esp. in marques like Lexus. I always chuckle every time I see the signs or forms in dealerships that show pre-filled out surveys with every answer getting the highest rating and a comment that if you can't fill it out this way to let the dealership know.

    Be careful, though, about CSI data. Dealerships can and do fight back against people who won't give them good ratings, no matter how poor their service or how justified the negative comments. Had one dealer (Chrysler) once, not the selling dealer, refuse to service my car any more. Under my state's franchise law, he has the right to do that. I had to take it to another dealer. Have had other dealers call to complain or to say something the next time I was at the dealership.

    I've learned that it is usually better to not answer a question than to give the dealer a bad mark. I just tell the surveyor I'd rather not answer the question or if it is a paper survey, I just leave it blank. And if you want, write the dealership a letter stating your issues. At least this way you get their attention (sometimes) without getting a 3rd party involved.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There has been a lot of discussion about this through the years on the Smart Shopper board. The consensus seems to be that there really are only two grades: pass=excellent across the board, fail=anything less. And getting the "pass" grade is crucial to dealerships for various reasons.

    Check out that link for more info and conversation about this.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    My wife and 2 pre-teens (12 & 11) just came back from their 2-week vacation. They put 3,307 miles on her '03 IS300 automatic. She drove from around Omaha, NE, to around Utica, NY, and back. No problems getting around this time of year. (Her car has LSD and VSC.)

    Over the 3,307 miles she used 134.715 gallons for 24.55 mpg. Cost of fuel was $234.30 or $1.74 per gallon (using only premium). [Cheapest gas was in Ohio; most expensive in NY.] So the window sticker estimate for highway fuel economy is pretty accurate.

    They did have the car crammed to the rafters with luggage and gifts going out and coming back. There wasn't a cubic inch of free space. But they did it!
  • my 01 is300 parking tail light went out today and i was wondering is that gonna be under warranty? i have 34k on it... i didnt drive it to work becuase i get off late evening and it is gonna look cheesy with one tail light and so can i do it at toyota too? or only lexus? the closest dealership is 1hr 15 mins away ... well they toyota is like 3 mins away ...well that was where i got mines from there's no lexus dealers anywhere here...
    kyle
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I would think you should be able to find the bulb at a Toyota dealer. The owners manuals for "most" use to have a listing for the light bulb part numbers/types. If you can't replace it yourself, I would imagine any competent mechanic could replace a tail light.

    I have a 95 Civic with all the original bulbs/lights (knock on wood).
  • tee hee i bought the bulb i looked in the manual for the bulb number and all but the problem was i didnt know how to change it... i took the thingy that covered it off and found a wire covered by one of those thing you would find under a piggy bank i took that off too found nothing but some wires goin in it ... where is the bulb???? ps the nuts and the screws are welded intogether.. gee just a light bulb ^_^
  • OK, how many IS300 owners does it take to change a light bulb?
    LOL
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    Compared to other vehicles that you guys have driven with automatic transmissions, how would you rate the feel of your IS300's automatic transmission shifting behavior? Excellent, above average, decent or poor?

    I would just like to see how other IS300 owners view their automatic tranny's feel/behavior.

    Ron M.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    ron_m... Way too subjective a question and criteria. Only way you'll know if it works for you is by thoroughly test driving it. Ask you dealer if they'll let you do an overnight or over weekend test. My Lexus dealer will.

    But... the AT in the '03 IS300 appears to work just fine. Just like the one in the '00 323ia. Or for most AT cars I've had.

    Not sure there is such a thing as a "good" slushbox. Just less bad.

    You should try the IS300 with manual transmission.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Had to take the '03 in for her 5K service (actually 7K). So I walked the dealer's lot. Lexus of Omaha has 5 '04 IS300 sedans and no '04 SportCross. Of the 5, 1 is a manual transmission (dark grey ext/blk int, with full leather value pkg). Other 4 are automatics (2 with full leather value pkg and 2 with leather/Alcantra value pkg; 2 silver and 2 brown/gold).

    All 5 have all-season tires, heated seats, and LSD. All the ATs have VSC. That is the way they come in midwest, snowbelt areas. The loaded ATs have MSRPs of $34,189--and his ad will lease you one of these for $379/mo (48m/48K, $2,950 down plus 1st month payment and $500 sec. deposit).

    Noticed the used lot had 3 '01s. Orange, yellow, and dark grey. Two had snow tires, other had summer tires. Go figure.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    riez,

    I would think that I have thoroughly test driven an IS300 already--since I've owned one for 16 months now that I purchased brand new! The question was legit. All I'm looking for is other drivers' opinions. While the question may seem subjective to you, it's not to me. Because I'm soliciting other drivers' opinions plain and simple. It's not to say who's wrong or who's right. Just general discussion which is what these boards are all about.

    But thanks anyway for your response.

    Ron M.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    ron_m... You wrote, "How would you rate the feel of your IS300's automatic transmission shifting behavior? Excellent, above average, decent or poor? ... view their automatic tranny's feel/behavior."

    Not sure what any of the above ratings would mean. My "above average" might be your "decent". Another's "excellent" might be your "above average". Not sure what "feel" is or how that differs from "behavior".

    Do you mean things like... How long does it take to kick down a gear when you floor it? Or how smooth or jerky are the individual shifts? Or how hard is it to engage or hold a gear? Or what happens when you slow doing going into a corner and then try to accelerate out of the corner? Or how does it operate in winter? Or how it operates when you go for maximum acceleration launch?

    Are you having troubles with your AT? How would you rate it using your own criteria?

    CR publishes data on transmission reliability. IS300 consistently gets high marks.

    Automotive press reviews, esp. when it first came out only with the automatic, are a great source of info on their perceptions of the IS300 AT.
  • I discovered a problem w/my IS 300.

    When the steering wheel is locked and then try to start it-the ignition will not turn.
    Had to call a service adviser and they said you
    have to turn the steering wheel back and forth until the key in the ignition turns.
    It worked.
     
    Does anybody else have this problem?

    Dan
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Think this is pretty common across cars. Doesn't happen all the time, or even most of the time. But occassionally when you turn the steering wheel hard to one side or the other. Usually has happened to me in past when I was parking on a hill and turned the steering wheel all the way to one side to ensure car doesn't roll down hill into oncoming traffic. When it does, you twist the wheel back and forth and tinker with the key in the ignition until it undoes itself.

    So far I haven't had this happen yet in either of my IS300s. But I've pretty much had it happen at least once in about every car I've ever had. Usually on a hill when parking.
  • mica88mica88 Posts: 25
    I have an 02 Sportcross, which replaced a 91 Maxima with 3-speed AT. The Maxima had no hesitation when moving from a standing start in normal city traffic. I need to use a heavier foot to get the Sportcross moving, otherwise the start is sometimes a bit jerky. (I use my left foot to brake, and my right foot for the gas.)The Lexus dealer in Hawaii where I test drove an 03 Sportcross said it's due to the drive-by-wire system.
    Although some contributors have described this problem on the IS300.net forum, it doesn't appear to be of concern to most drivers.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I think around the Summer or fall of 02 Lexus came out with a program update for automatic ECU which pretty much fixed the shifting issues I was having with my car (early 02 SportCross). In some cases it felt like the car tried to start out in 2nd gear then jump down to 1st. Other times is would appear to abruptly shift from 2nd to 3rd at low speeds.

    One thing that took me a while to get use to, was the ECU is programmed to short shift from 1st to 2nd at lighter throttle openings or accelerations rates to save fuel. So in some cases you need to gas the car a little more from a dead stop to keep it from short shifting into 2nd gear.

    You could also try re setting ECU by disconnecting the negative battery cable for a few minutes followed by stepping on the brake for a few minutes (don't remember why they said you need to step on the brake). Reconnect the cable then go out and drive the car hard for a while doing some full throttle starts and running it through the gears. It has been reported that the ECU re learns your driving style and will tend to upshift at higher RPMs and shift a little harder. I have done this a couple of times and I have noticed that my cars feels a little different for a while.
  • i got a 03 IS300 5spd, and i used to put he shift on the neutral in the garage. my wife went out last night in my car and put the shift in the 1st gear. I did not notice it when i started the car this morning. when i started the car, and released the clutch, the car jumped out and hit the shoe rack in the front ..:-(. got multiple scratch and dings in the front bumper. damn! cound not really say anything to her, and have to use some touch-up for some deep cuts.

    i got the first scratch 2 monthes ago, after my friend test-drove it, and he parked the car a little behind in the garage. when i opened the garage door next morning, the door scratched the rear bumper and stopped in the middle.

    sigh ..... when u see the new car gets scratch by such accident, it takes days to heal...

    good luck to all the new car owners here...
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Latest issue of AutoWeek (1/19/04),pages 3-4 has a small article titled "SportDesign, part IV". Talks about Lexus offering a $1,715 IS300 SportDesign Edition:

    "gets appearance parts that includes 17-inch alloy wheels and a black metallic front grille. Models equipped with a manual transmission also get Euro-tuned suspension." Only 2,000 to be offered. Goes on sale "later this month".

    Reminds me of the failed appearance package from a couple years ago. But that one cost thousands of dollars more.

    Too bad, way too, bad still no TRD supercharger!!! And a 6-speed manual!!
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I think they had the sport design package for 03 also.

    This is supposed to be one of the better SC kits on the market right now.

    http://www.prolexperformance.com/nav/fproducts.html
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Finally received our first issue of Lexus magazine, their quarterly. Wife bought her IS300 in August and I bought mine in September. Can't believe they didn't send us a copy of the most recent one or two issues. Justed seemed most odd to wait almost 3 1/2 months before getting a single issue. (BMW has Lexus beat here. Remember receiving an issue of their fine magazine within a very short time. They sent the most recent issue and didn't wait till the next one came out.)
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