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Lexus IS 300



  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    If a dealer had drilled holes in the front of my GS400, I wouldn't have taken delivery. Fortunately they didn't. Front license plate holders look terrible on most modern cars.

    They're also pretty useless since most police (and the public) will only look for a number when seeing the rear of the car.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    Not sure what is really lacking from a base IS300 over a base BMW 3-series (except the often mentioned center armrest).

    Yes, you made your point (numerous times) about the lack of a manual transmission. I know this is important to many BMW drivers like yourself, and you're right, this will limit Lexus' ability to compete with BMW. However, I've seen this routine before too - this is the first year of the model here in the U.S., and Lexus seems to like to not quite hit it out of the park on the first model year, to see how it goes, take lots of notes, and THEN hit it out of the park. The stick shift and some other things will probably happen next year, but I also expect a mid-model refresh (perhaps 2003) to add more power, and perhaps an even more aggressive sport package.

    But I also think the aftermarket (and owners) will have some fun with the IS300. I expect to see some lowered and otherwise tweaked ones soon.
  • scongroscongro Posts: 80
    This is really a question of supply and demand. Right now, you will save some money off of MSRP.

    If you negotiate well, you should be able to hit that 1,500 number you mentioned
  • scongroscongro Posts: 80
    Amen. With the exception of the LS, SC, and RX, the first generation of each car was good (really good), but not great. The LX was underpowered, the GS was a little bland and underpowered, the ES wasn't bad, but not great, and the IS is really pretty good. Yes, a stick and a center armrest (I personally don't care, but many out there do) will help immensly.
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Posts: 128

    Some states require front license plates. Actually in most states it is a law that you have to have front license plates. Hence, here in NJ, all cars get the holes drilled before leaving the dealer unless the car is being registered in PA.
  • Hello Again Everyone,

    Whew what a couple of month's, I think the Edmund's boards are a better source of interested buyers than my lead services of which most have hefty $$$ premiums!!

    11 deals here last month; four of which were iS's due to this site, and it only get's better I have forty new iS's allocated to me this month with 10 or so currently on the ground. Proud of them definitely, attached to them, NOT!! ;-)

    I hope to hear form anyone who might be considering a great car and straight forward "Internet Pricing"!!

    Shane Palmer
    e-Business Development Mgr.
    "Lexus of Palm Beach"
  • lhn5lhn5 Posts: 37
    How can the car be lowered with those huge tires--I dont see much room there. What other 'tweaks' do you think will be likely/possible for the IS300? I don't mind waiting a while for one, but if lumbar supports and a center armrest is all that will be changed next year, may not be worth waiting that long. I dont' think I care if the rear seats fold down. Anyone carrying a lot of cargo would definitely choose a differnt kind of car than this.
  • The IS is built on a racecar theme. Either you dig that or you don't. The pedals, seats (escaine), shifter, gun-metal plastic molding, etc. are all there to give the feel of a racecar. I haven't checked lately, but I doubt if any racecars have an armrest.

    I personally like the look and feel, but I'm sure there are those that hate it. To them I say, don't ask them to change the IS--instead ask them to build you a racy car with more luxurious trim. I prefer this package in it's entiriety (but I would like memory seats).

  • lhn5lhn5 Posts: 37
    I have been shamed into completely giving up my dream of an armrest. If I ever buy another car with an armrest I will rip it out with my bare hands.
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Posts: 128

    The IS300 has plenty of room for lowering. I would say you could lower a IS300 about 1 3/4" to 2" before you would have any problems with tire rubbing.

    There already are a plethora of aftermarket parts available for the IS300 including air intake, exhaust, sport springs, adjustable shocks, adjustable coil over suspension units, strut braces, turbo or supercharger kit from Rod Millen, not to mention brake upgrades(not that it needs any), body kits.

    For 2002, the addition of a manual transmission is a definate, and power will probably be bumped up either through the use of VVTLi or a heavily revised 3.0L inline-6 motor. For 2002 changes are also supposed to be a real center armrest, auto dimming rear view mirror, power lumbar for the driver seat, power passenger seat, auto up and down windows, most probably curtain airbags will come.
  • lhn5lhn5 Posts: 37
    Any good site on line to see the body kits?
  • It's been a month since I signed the lease on the IS 300 and so far there are very few disappointments.
    The major one of all is the jerk that I feel when rolling in traffic and pushing the accelerator pedal a tad just to keep on rolling. The RPMs go up from 800 to 1100 and transmission catches up in a little short while. The two dealers I brought the car to had told me that the cause of this is the low ratio in the first gear. That may be the case, but I don't accept this answer as a satisfactory one. For the amount of money I am paying, I would like very much to have a smooth ride. Just past Saturday I drove two more IS 300s, and they all have the same jerky response. Tomorrow I will address this problem (and to me it is a problem) to the Lexus Quality Dept. I will keep you posted on the developments.
    There is no right arm rest which causes the muscles in the shoulder and neck to stiffen up in a short while to carry the weight.
    Being brought up with cars that have manual transmission, I find my hand constantly on the gear shift handle and during any kind of hard turn I pull on the handle which causes the shift to switch to a manual position. NOT good.
    The front seats lack the lombar support. After several hours of driving, my back is killing me.
    For some strange reason Lexus decided to save money and installed the cloth, not leather on the front support bars and the ceiling.
    And even though I love the suede seats, any kind of dirt or cigarette ash will stare at you like a sore thumb. Yes I know, I should not smoke in the car.:-)
    Stereo is great. Steering is snug and feels like you are driving a real racing car. Breaking is awesome. I went from doing 120 to 40 while beginning a turn with such great precision that it made me smile.
    Overall a great sports car, though needs a little tuning.
    And please don't talk about the gas consumption. This car is not meant to be an economy car.
    Will be more than happy to answer any questions that my fellow IS 300 lovers may have.
  • lhn5lhn5 Posts: 37
    You sound like you hate the car. For your back, at least, there is a store called Relax! The Back Store, they have lots of products to make driving more comportable,
  • minh1minh1 Posts: 1
    Anyone have experience with this yet? (maybe w/ the international version?)
  • lexusfanlexusfan Posts: 22
    Hi all,

    Just wanted to share my impressions of the tour I experienced yesterday. The IS is very impressive from a performance standpoint, as the professional drivers demonstrated. (They went through a set of tires every 6 or 7 laps!) The acceleration is instant. No lag as I experienced during a similar event for the Infiniti I30. The throttle even seemed more responsive from rest than the GS400 that I test drove a few weeks ago. (But once the GS gets going, WOW!)

    However, when driving the BMW 328i directly after the IS on the "learning track" (tight hairpin curves, panic stops, and emergency maneuvers), I felt much more positive ("heavier"?) steering feedback with the 328. It was the most I had ever driven a BMW. (I ride frequently with my friends in theirs, though.) The IS steering by contrast seemed lighter, and did not give me a sense of the road as strongly. The IS ride was also noticeably choppier than the BMW, although I think the 328 had the standard 16" wheels/higher profile tires.

    The lack of equivalent features notwithstanding, I think that the IS is a great bargain compared to the 328. However, I like the more "elegant, mature" interior and think the steering/handling/ride balance of the BMW really shines.

    As an current ES300 driver, and previous Camry and Supra owner, I am very happy to have Toyota products. Toyota seems to be getting more aggresive in closing the performance/luxury gap between Lexus and BMW/Mercedes/Audi.

    P.S. The event folks rolled out the new SC430 for close up viewing during the IS presentation. Beautiful car! I think it's a worthy successor to the outgoing SC, which I thought was the nicest exterior design out of the original Lexus models.
  • observations as I am reading this forum on the great new IS. I am a Lexus lover, and can't wait to get one for my girlfriend. She now has a terrific Accord, but misses the handling of her Integra.

    1) Please ignore Conundrum when she posts Anti-Lexus hate mail. SHE pops up in all the Lexus forums occaisionally, like bad news, and posts some "Lexus copies Mercedes" bulls**t. I can't imagine what her problem is, but the best thing is just to ignore it so it will go away. Since this is very unproductive and continuous, perhaps our hosts will ban her? (hint hint)

    2) Front Plates - I cannot understand why virtually ALL carmakers just tack the plates on the front, like some afterthought! They are SO ugly, I have not had my front plates on for 10-15 years. Sometimes you can find little plastic plugs in electronics stores to plug the holes. I got my current car before the dealer drilled 'em, and it looks really great. The problem is that the police here in L.A are starting to crack down on this, since they are now using the cameras to catch the jerks that run red lights, and need the front plates. Keep a low profile, don't drive like a maniac, and you amy get away with it.

    3) I believe that the reason the IS does not have fold-down rear seats is that that space is used for rear cross-members to stiffen the body, hence the great handling!
  • scongroscongro Posts: 80
    Explain what you mean by the front plate thing. My car just came with the pre-drilled holes, which aren't noticible unless you are looking for them.
  • I remember reading in one of the car mags that the IS wasn't offered with a manual tranny because the tranny used in the Altezza/IS200 wouldn't be able to handle the power the I6 puts out.
  • touretoure Posts: 2
    TRD has a new line of products called L-Tuned for the Lexus cars and trucks. The web site is still under construction, but I would wait for TRD to developed parts for the IS than any other after market tuner, because if the dealer installs the parts it will be covered under warranty.
  • scongroscongro Posts: 80
    Yes, these L-Tuned cars should be available mid-2001.
  • My car was NOT pre-drilled - they had just gotten it, and didn't install the front plate before delivery - lucky for me!
    For my previous cars with holes, I found small plastic hole plugs in electronics parts stores (usually in white or black) to plug the existing holes.

    Is this what you meant?
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    My impressions were similar to yours. I liked the BMW steering/handling feel better. The IS was more fun though - felt more like a light go-kart.

    I think one reason though that the IS seemed more twitchy/light to handle than the BMW is that I found the IS faster through the course so typically I'd be entering corners faster.

    I can't imagine what the new M3 coming soon will be like. While it won't be cheap, I think it will blow everything remotely similar away.

    I did want to comment on your thought that the IS accelerates better off the line than the GS400 - er, I don't think so. I own a GS400 and I think it's much quicker, even right off the line. Puts a grin on my face every time. :-)
  • but seriously, how does your GS4 compare to the BMW5's handling. Does the GS4 stick like the BMR.

    Just curious!


  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    I freely admit the GS4 (even with the 17" wheels option, which I have) does not handle as well as a 5 series (certainly not one with the sport package). But my GS4 certainly isn't bad. It will hold pretty flat through curves and the RWD helps going through turns by being able to induce a bit of oversteer to get around (what a joy compared to my previous front wheel drive cars).

    But BMW has unique combinations of suspension, steering, and engine that produce a 'driving machine' just like they claim. They of course have been pursuing perfection (he he) of the driving machine for decades.

    I chose the GS4 over a 540i because it was about 5K less, had a CD changer inside the car, and I liked the ergonomics and quiet ride more. Another thing is I wanted an automatic and so many BMW owners are 'purists' and have to have a stick I didn't want to bother having to defend owning an automatic. I'd had stick shifts for 12 years and that was the main reason I wanted to get another car. My GS4 trip computer shows my average speed is 34 mph in Atlanta, so how much handling did I need!? But boy can I do 0-34 quick :-)
  • rabon1rabon1 Posts: 2
    the lease on my 98 328 will be up in two weeks. I've tried hard to lease another BMW, but the lease rates are incredibly high. Much more than I am paying now. I love the car, but just could not justify the big increase in payments. I never thought of an IS 300, but my wife suggested that we stop in at a Lexus dealer. we did and the rest is history. We both fell in love with the sexy looks of the IS. It was fully optioned and still $5,000 to $7,000 less than the 3 series. the dealer really didn't discount it although he did throw in a set of snow tires and will let me purchase 16 inch rims at his cost. Even with this the lease payment was about $125 per month less than a 330. I thought it was a good deal, comparably speaking and I love the car. BMW needs a rude awakening. I have had two and they haven't done me any favors this time around. You would think that BMW would extend some deals to repeat customers. Well, my wife finally got me into a Lexus dealer and I have to say that it has been a pleasurable experience so far. I pick up the car in two days. I let her decide since she drives the BMW more than me. She absolutely is crazy about the IS 300 and says it is every bit as good as the BMW. We'll see.
  • What color are you getting? Options?
  • I always wondered if the GS4 was a handler. I noticed that they are actually on the racing circuit. They never win, but they do ok.

    After hearing your response, I wonder why people would pay sticker for an IS300 and not just jump up to a GS3. After dealing the GS3 can be had for about 36-37k and can be leased for about the same monthly payment as the IS, maybe less.


    Why didn't/don't you bump up to the GS300 for about 1-2k more and get mommy and not the little baby.

    Just curious!

    Thank guys

  • mike_dmike_d Posts: 2
    I haven't noticed any references to this in previous posts, but I thought I read in Road & Track that the manual in the IS300 for 2002 will be a 6-speed? We took a look at a white one (cloth unfortunately!) over the weekend, and I mentioned I was interested in the "6-speed", and the salesman said that it will be available next summer, but he didn't correct me and say it was only a 5-speed manual. Anyone know the details?
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Posts: 128
    mike d,

    Its going to be a 5-speed. Original speculation about a year ago was that the IS300 would get a 6-speed, but Lexus has confirmed that it will be a 5-speed manual transmission.
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