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Lexus IS 300 SportCross



  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Now, now!

    I have an eight year-old son and a ten year-old daughter and a clean driving record, and the kids love the summer tires almost as much as I do! On the back road we take to get to the stables for her classes, they think the car is another E-ticket (for those who remember)! "Make it fly, Daddy..." ;)

    Don't sell yourself short Robert. Even if you feel great about the all seasons for your daily driving right now, you're going to want dedicated winters if you've got snow to contend with.

    And trust me, as you get attuned to the handling dynamics of this little go-cart, it won't be long before you start to hankerin' for some more aggressive rubber. It won't be your fault either. It's the car, man, it's the car! :)
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    rObertbr1an... Concur with wale_bate1. I'm married and have two pre-teens (son and daughter). Wife and I both have IS300s (auto and manual). Isn't the whole point of driving enjoying the drive? That is why the IS300 exists. If you tried summer and winter tires, you'd understand the performance issues.

    But why not consider safety. The summer tires should outperform the all-seasons in both dry and wet conditions. The winters will definitely outperform the all-seasons. How much is it worth stopping or handling better on wet or snow-covered roads when your kids are aboard???
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Nobody is really trying to beat you up about your tire choice. If you understand the trade offs and are cool with them, then so it goes. The only point anyone is trying to make is there are trade offs and it could matter given the right situation/conditions.

    We have all driven cars in conditions where we had the wrong tires or worn out tires. We survived by being extra careful and knowing that we had to be thinking ahead. There is far less stress/risk when you have the right tires or good tires. It has nothing to do with age, driving style, or marital status. It is simple physics. Life is a full of choices. Sometimes you win sometimes you loose.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    jmess... Great post. Completely concur.

    Check out the CR test results, done within the past year or so, that looked at tire performance new and after about half treadwear. Interesting results.

    Is too bad Americans are too lazy to use summer and winter tires. I've seen some data indicating upwards of 75% of Europeans use summer and winter tires. Marques like MB, BMW, etc. encourage that in Europe. But Americans want the lesser performing "all seasons". So in USA most MB, BMW, etc. come with lower performing "all seasons". Go figure.
  • Thanks for all your advice everyone. I'll be the first to admit that maybe I overextended myself by buying this car, so maybe I don't have the expendable income that you gents have. We are a single-income family, so I have two car payments (my IS and the wife's Accord Coupe), a mortgage (that doesn't include a garage), and many, many, many other things to dig into my snow tire fund. I should've known when some of you mentioned how well your golf clubs fit in the back, and how some of you have owned three or four BMWs in the past, that maybe I was in the wrong forum. Oh well, I guess that's what I get for buying a Lexus. I really do love my car just the way it is. I'm sure I'll feel differently the first time I have to drive in the snow. Maybe when my wife goes back to work in three or four years, we can get a house with a garage and I can get myself some 16s with snow tread. Until then...
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Income rises to meet expenses...;)

    We're not really busting your chops over tires, my friend, we're just totally freakin' nuts about the car!

    Besides, due to Toyota's rather inept marketing, you've joined a very exclusive club of SportCross owners: a car so rare, they don't even list its sales numbers on Autosite!!! We're not about to turn on one of our own... :) :)
  • Thanks wale_bate1. I guess I get a little defensive. I'm sure we've all bought things that were a little extravagant, and then felt like we had to justify it in some way. I searched for over a year for a wagon to replace my SUV and the SportCross not only fit the bill (except for it being a little smaller inside than I hoped), but I'd also rather have it than most sports cars (350Z, RX-8, Z4). I'm glad that Toyota has dropped the ball on marketing it, though. I've had mine for almost two months and still haven't seen another one on the road. I frequently get curious looks and comments about what a sharp ride it is. It's all good.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    the SportCross is not available. The whole thing is kinda weird. I suspect if you follow the money there's gotta be some logic here. Available or not, Lexus dealers and/or Lexus North America is way uninterested in selling these cars. According to my old friend who runs the local dealership, the cars just didn't sell and the little wagon was too close to the price of an RX to work. Too bad.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Latest sales data. Wonder if sales are so low they list with sedan? Sedan sales struggling.
    Make Model September 2003 August 2003 YTD 2003 YTD 2002

    Volkswagen Passat 1,264 1,753 13,851 15,290
    Volvo V70 720 1,060 8,928 7,893
    Audi A6 433 698 5,689 7,674
    Audi allroad quattro 430 555 4,147 4,454
    Saab 9-5 354 311 2,813 3,564
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class 312 205 2,950 2,490
    Audi A4 298 278 2,778 2,402
    Volvo V40 240 262 2,392 2,123
    BMW 3 Series 214 269 3,078 2,273
    Mercedes-Benz E-Class 124 284 408 2,480
    BMW 5 Series 117 127 1,382 1,396
    Audi S4 14 8 41 181
    Audi S6 13 74 143 557
    Lexus IS 300 - - - -

    Rest of Lexus sedan line struggling, including IS300.

    Make Model September 2003 August 2003 YTD 2003 YTD 2002

    Lexus ES 300 5,128 4,983 47,453 54,149
    Lexus LS 430 1,739 2,168 15,583 19,909
    Lexus GS 300 858 1,096 8,614 11,113
    Lexus IS 300 848 1,420 10,954 16,341
    Lexus GS 430 158 141 1,602 1,815
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I assume the BMW numbers are for the 325 sportwagon?

    BMW 3 Series 214 269 3,078 2,273

    I would guess that SportCross sales are less than a 1000 for the 2003? Lexus has not made any attempt at marketing the cars since 2002. If I remember correctly they produced about 4000 SportCross in 02. So I would bet there are probably less than 7000 cars in the whole USA.
  • is there anyway you can find out the numbers for brands like Infiniti and Acura. it will be interesting to see a comparison of how well the "new" luxury brands are doing against each other.

    imho, lexus, infiniti, and acura still need a few more years to catch up (in terms of branding only) with the more well established names such as BMW and Mercedes.

    don't get me wrong, i love the "lexus" brand. it has come a long way in the past 10 years in establishing a strong presence in the luxury market place. i just think the general public still prefers to give more "respect" to BMW and Benz. personally, i see Lexus just as good as a BMW or better. yeah, bimmers are the "ultimate driving machines" that tend to break down more than the Lexus. :P
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    dardenkoa... Toyota and Lexus web sites have press releases and other info talking about their sales fortunes. Lexus had one of its best months ever this year in August. But Lexus sales are being fuelled by high SUV growth. Thinking they make up about half of Lexus sales.

    I clipped out an article from USA Today, dated 10/9/03. Total sales list in CY03 thru end of Sept:

    Lexus 186,009
    BMW 178,463
    MB 159,447
    Cadillac 153,680
    Acura 126,227
    Lincoln 119.736
    Infiniti 89,856

    It even compared CY 1990 sales to CY 2002 sales:

    Acura: 1990-138,384 ... 2002-165,552
    Lexus: 1990-63,534 ... 2002-234,109
    Infiniti: 1990-23,960 ... 2002-87,911

    Here is some recent sales data just for sedans.
    Make Model September 2003 August 2003 YTD 2003 YTD 2002

    Lexus ES 300 5,128 4,983 47,453 54,149
    Acura 3.2 TL 3,657 4,624 39,278 48,494
    Infiniti G35 3,494 2,612 27,724 21,466
    Acura TSX 2,094 - 13,578 -
    Lexus LS 430 1,739 2,168 15,583 19,909
    Infiniti I35 1,162 1,716 11,194 20,022
    Lexus GS 300 858 1,096 8,614 11,113
    Lexus IS 300 848 1,420 10,954 16,341
    Acura 3.5 RL 590 769 5,457 7,557
    Infiniti M45 468 - 3,508 -
    Infiniti Q45 202 263 1,834 3,049
    Lexus GS 430 158 141 1,602 1,815
    Infiniti G20 - 31 10 5,738
  • i was simply saying that the general public's perception of Lexus is still not as high as BMWs or Benzs. that's all. it is just a weird thing that people tend to have more "respect" when you say BMW. Lexus, to me, deserves the respect even though the Marque is relatively new in comparison to other brands such as bimmers, benzs, range rovers, cadillacs, and porsches. you know what i mean?

    it is great to see that Lexus are doing well. i think it's a great company with quality products.
  • Guess what?

    i ordered a black sportcross on September 25th, 2003. it was not a custom order. i simply picked one out of the 8 they were allocating to the Northeastern Region. the dealership told me that it will take 2-3 months till delivery...

    well, i got a call from the dealership TODAY, October 23, 2003. The black sportcross 2004 model arrived and is sitting in the lot as i am typing this.

    it took less than a month!!

    i bet the car was already at the end of the production cycle when i "ordered" it.

    anyway, i will be going up monday to check it out and then take it home.

    you guys have all been great. i will let you guys know more details after i pick up the car.

    btw, i might be able to negotiate some more with the dealership since they want to meet their end of the month quota. i am not in a big hurry to pick up the car. beginning of november actually works out better for me.

    well, i guess we will see what the dealership and i can work out.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986

    Go lasso that filly and bring 'er on home!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    dardenkoa... Lexus gets all the respect it needs. Good sales. A leading luxury marque. Great reliability. Just check out Consumer Reports results. Great customer satisfaction. Just check out JD Powers results. Pace to BMW and MB, they would love to have all this "respect".
  • i guess i might be wrong about the Lexus marque especially in the recent years. Lexus has certainly earned its own place in the luxury place more so in the past 5 years.

    Toyota and other Japanese car makers had to invent new luxury names because the Americans cannot equate Toyota to Luxury. i remember when acura, lexus, and infiniti first came to the U.S., they were pretty much nothing more than expensive hondas, toyotas, and nissans with different emblems.

    well, that certainly has changed. as a bmw owner for over 10 years, i have finally jumped ship and joined the lexus elites. for the longest time, i have always told myself that i will not abandon BMW. well, that is about to change in the next few days.

    i am...i mean i was...a very loyal bmw driver. Lexus must have been doing someting right to entice me and others like me over.
  • saz1861saz1861 Posts: 26
    I am extremely jealous that you have received your car already!! Unfortunately, I KNOW my wait will be three solid months. The only question is whether I get it at the beginning or end of February. Please keep posting about details of the purchase experience, first driving impressions, break in, etc. I am interested in clear bras or window tinting especially. Stoneguard is very expense, $500.00 for full kit. I checked out the website of another one, Invinca-shield and it seems like a decent compromise between x-pel and S/G. One can install it themselves and buy the individual pieces they want. Does anyone think it makes sense to but the bra on the bumper? The pieces are expensive because of their size. Anyway, GOOD LUCK AND GOOD DRIVING!!
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I have X-PEL on the front bumper, hood, headlights, side mirrors, and rear bumper top. The installer also put some on the door edges. The whole package cost me $575 installed.

    I think I could live without the front bumper cover since it is plastic. It would probably get beat up over time but would be far less noticeable than the painted surfaces.

    I am going to just have the hood done on the wife's accord.
  • i am very excited to see my car as well. i am going up to the dealership this coming monday. since the car is here, i am not in a big hurry to pick up the car. i wanted to set up tinting appintments and such the same day of my pick up. plus, i need to strip my stereo stuff from my old car as well.

    talked to the dealership today. they are PUSHING me to pick it up before the end of this month so they can meet their quota. i am getting a little pissed off about their attitude.

    i have already agreed to buy the sportcross at the price we agreed when i ordered. they should be happy with that. NOW, they want me to get it asap when it is rather inconvenient for me until november 3rd.

    not to mention, the dealership is NOT willing to provide me any sort of incentives for me to HELP them out early. in fact, they are trying to screw me over big time on my trade-in.

    i am not asking anything from them, i just want a fair value for my trade-in. i am not even trying to cut down the original price by doing them this FAVOR!

    their behavior is very disturbing.

    i am not sure what i want to do yet. i will see what happens on monday. anyone has any suggestions?
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Just be polite and firm. Tell them unless they can get closer to what you want for you trade-in you aren't any closer to picking up the car before Nov 3rd. As Oct 31st draws closer, they might get a lot more friendly. You could always run and ad in the local paper and see if you can sell the car yourself while you are waiting.

    Another approach could be to ask something like additional free maintenance. It doesn't really cost them much but saves you some money over time.
  • thanks jmess, great suggestions.

    the only problem of selling my car on my own is the following:

    1. i live in a very small town, not big enough of a market. it always takes weeks to sell cars between private parties here. unlike my girlfriend who lives in san diego, she sold her car in like 3 days without even putting an ad in the paper. she only had to put a couple of flyers at grocery stores and etc.

    2. i had to replace my instrument cluster (done by the dealership) in my bmw about 1.5 years ago. in the process, the odometer milege got reset due to some computer glitch. so this issue makes it even harder for me to sell the car to a private party since no one likes to see a 10 year old car with only 15,000 miles on it. there's a sticker on the door panel put on by the dealer of the original mile before the replacement. but who's gonna want to believe that huh? hehe. well, i guess i was screwed on that one.

    with that said, i prefer to trade the car in, less hassel.

    yeah, i like the free maintenance or/and maybe the extended warranty (probably too costly for them to give out?).

    i just feel that the dealership should treat me nicer since i am already buying the car. now, they feel that playing hardball to get me to pick up the car before Oct. 31st is a good strategy to get customers to help them meet the end-of-month quota? i don't think so.

    this is what i see happening in the next week.

    Oct 27th: i will see the car in the lot. talk to the sales person, tell the sales person about my "conditions" for early pick up, sales person needs to talk to her manager, sales person comes back and says "no can do". i go out to the lot. take lots of photos of my future car. drive home in my old car.

    Nov 3rd: i will go and pick up my car and pay it in full. hell, i might even pick it up late evening Oct. 31st if they really get on my nerves from the monday meeting.

    Nov 3rd forward: i will never go back to that dealership ever again for anything else if they pull some crap on me. with that said, i will also be sure to pass my experience on all lexus message boards out there so that others will be aware of this dealerhip's audacity. there are other dealerships who deserve my money.
  • saz1861saz1861 Posts: 26
    As far as I see it, you are in the position to demand a favorable deal or wait until November 3rd. It is exactly like a customer who waits until the end of the month to buy so he can get the best deal. Try to use his desired sales quota as a bargaining chip and see what happens. Print out Edmunds, kelly blue book etc. used car prices for your BMW and come in armed with that information and hopefully they will come up to a decent price. As you know, it is usually better to sell your car privately anyway but, as you said, you are in a unique situation. How about financing? Lexus has 3.5%, 60 months, through December 1st on the IS. I would go to one of the sites such as Capital One and get the no obligation blank check. Rates are 3.59% for up to 36 months and 4.09% for 60 months. I know it is a weekend so I don't know if they process applications but try to get a check Fed-Ex'd as soon as you can. If you have AAA and access the site through them, you may be able to get free Fed-EX service. I believe other sites may even let you print a certificate through your computer as soon as you are approved. Do a little digging and see what you can get fast. Definitely use the extend warranty option too if you want one. Say you will buy through them if they give you reasonable terms but if not, you will use warranty direct or another 3rd party provider. In this way, they have alot to lose, financing, extended warranty and the profit on your resale. They make more money on used cars than new. I would also try the local BMW dealership or one near your Lexus dealership and see what they will give you. Many times, the dealerships that sell your model car new can give you a better price than a different makes dealer. Anyway, Good Luck!!
    P.S. Glad I don't have to bother with the trade-in/sell option. I have a 1990 Honda Civic LX Sedan with 170,000 miles. Been driving it exactly 14 years now. That is why I am buying new, and Lexus, figured I deserved it. My decision will be easy, see if dealership will give me more than my charitable deduction for donating the car will save me on taxes.
  • yeah, ok, i will do lots of print outs and arm myself before going to the dealership. i called my local bmw dealership. they actually did want to buy my car about 3 weeks ago. i could not sell it to them at the time because i was unable to borrow a car from a friend for 2-3 months (waiting for the sportcross).

    so when i called the bmw people back, the general manager said that he already bought all the cars he needed for the month. but he *might* be able to work with me in 2-3 weeks. no promises though. even though i did not buy a car from them, the general manager at this bmw is one of the nicest/best car person i have came across.

    anyway, thanks for the great advice.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    dardenkoa... Remember, in the car business there is no deal until ALL the papers are signed by both parties. Did you sign a binding contract with the dealer or not? If you did, then both you and the dealer have to abide by its terms. Just point them to the details. If you didn't, then you haven't agreed to anything with the dealer.

    If you don't have a contract, not sure why you'd be mad at the dealer. You haven't agreed to anything. You are still negotiating. He wants to make the most money just like you want to save the most. You still need to negotiate the details. That includes the critical value of your trade. Might also include financing.

    You have me thoroughly confused. Seems like you don't have a contract, but you seem to believe you do. If you do, the details (like your trade and financing) would be in writing, clearly spelled out. You wrote:

    "i have already agreed to buy the sportcross at the price we agreed when i ordered...the dealership is NOT willing to provide me any sort of incentives for me to HELP them out early... they are trying to screw me over big time on my trade-in...i just want a fair value for my trade-in. i am not even trying to cut down the original price by doing them this FAVOR!"
  • sorry about the confusion.

    these are the details:

    i ordered the car 09/25/03.

    the sales rep. filled out a "Buyer's Order" sheet with the MSRP pricing and options: $33,089. (this price matches KBB's pricing exctly with the options and specs!)

    then the sales rep. subtracted the amount they are willing to take off from the MSRP: $33,089 - $1,5089 = $31,500.

    i gave them my credit card to put down the $1,000 deposit to order the car.

    the sales rep and i did not work out a deal for the trade-in nor the financing sections. left blank on the same "Buyer's Order" form.

    and i actually did not even sign the order form! an error made by me and the sales rep.

    however, VERBALLY, the sales rep. says that the deposit is not refundable. but i did not get anything in writing regarding this nor did i sign anything about this.

    the sales rep. and i verbally agreed to WORK OUT a deal on trade-in and financing when the car arrives. thus, we or rather she did not fill out the sections for trade-in nor financing.


    okay, according to KBB, the invoice price for the car is $29,115. This means that i am paying $2385 over invoice ($31,500 - $29,115). since i think the average for over invoice appears to be $1,500, they are already making good money off me than average. i am planning to go back in with my printed out sheets from KBB, Edmunds, and other sites and show them what i know now.

    so again, according to KBB, my trade-in for my 1994 BMW 325i, i should get $4,495.


    the only condition i want is getting $5,000 for my trade-in. i don't mind paying $2385 over invoice as long as they give me $5,000. i think i am being more than fair to them asking this while at the same time helping them meet the quotas for end-of-month. am i being irrational?


    so it appears to me like you (reiz) said that i do not have a contract with them.

    they probably won't want to give back my deposit if i backed out the deal. i can fight it. if it does not work, i can dispute it with american express since it has only been less than 30 days since the transaction went through. so most likely i can get my deposit back.

    depending on what happens on monday, i have plans to call another dealership and tell them about my situation. i want to see if another dealership can grab "MY" car. a friend of mine suggested this to me. he said that the other dealership might be even willing to cut a better deal for me.

    i guess the bottom line is i do not mind waiting. even if i do have to re-order and do everything from scratch. i am almost at the point of wanting to spend my hard earned money to more deserving dealerships than this one.

    they are about to get a steak from me. all i want is for them to throw me back a piece of bone. is that asking too much?

    thanks again all for reading my looong posts and responding tot them. greatly apprecited. please do offer more suggestions or comments if you have any. i think i was being too haste and excited when i first agreed to buy the car from this dealership.
  • saz1861saz1861 Posts: 26
    I am not a lawyer but you MAY be able to get out of it. I'm sure it will be a hassle either way. There was consideration given in the form of $1000.00 but if I'm not mistaken a contract for over a certain amount of $'s must be in writing.
    I don't think the average over the invoice price is $1500. Although I had two offers at $1400 over invoice the majority were quite a bit higher, maybe 1000-1500 off of sticker. A lot of dealers seemed stunned when I told them what I made the deal for. Don't discount the idea of going to a local BMW dealership near the Lexus dealership. If they make you a fair offer, you can bounce it off your dealership and if not just drop of the car at the BMW dealership then pick up your lexus. They probably would give you a ride over.
    My buyers order was done in a similar fashion. We didn't know about finance etc. so we just said it would be brought up when the car came in although they did circle dealer financing. I signed it but when I got home I noticed that the sales guy did not. I called and he said, "Well we will sign a new one when your car comes in and we work out financing and trade." I replied OK but he has to understand my perspective because of the business I am in. He said fine and faxed me over the signed invoice, all without an attitude I might ad. I was more concerned with him increasing the price of the car. As far as you can trust a dealership, I trust this sales manager. The salesman at the dealership I test drove the used Sportcross at, in MD, said they had traded cars with this dealership and they had always been on the up and up. If you reconsider the current deal, I would be glad to give you the name of the salesman at Len Stoler Lexus outside of Baltimore that I dealt with and look up the quote I received from him. It was higher than the 1400 over but I don't think it was as high as another thousand over, maybe another 700? Baltimore is not that much further than DC.
    I can't believe that the dealership would let the deal go bad over a trade in. Isn't it true that these cars are hard to sell? Then again, how much did they offer in trade? You said that the KBB was 4500. It may be tough to get 500 over that. I think the most important bargaining tool you have is the fact that you would walk. If you are going to walk, ask for your deposit back right then. When they tell you "no" write a letter to your salesman and their sales/fleet manager also describing the situation and then dispute in writing with AMEX with a copy of letter and story of asking for deposit back. Card companies always want you to try to settle with the merchant first so you are speeding the process along by already giving AMEX a record of your efforts. You have 60 days from the date the first statement is received that has the disputed charge on it. Also, verify with credit card company that if the dispute is not settled in your favor, you will not pay finance charges on the original charge amount. They should adjust any finance charges but I have heard stories of people disputing and getting charged them if not resolved in their favor. ( I did a credit card customer service call center stint when I was working my way through school.)
    If you ordered a Sportcross now and they made it, you would not get it until March. As I mentioned in another post, the deadline was Oct 24th for December production. So, yours would go in with the November 24 deadline.
    Good Luck!!! Keep all of us posted.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    dardenkoa... You might ask a lawyer. Each state's contract law can be different.

    But based on what you wrote, doesn't appear you have a binding contract, unless (1) you are willing to buy the car from them at that price, (2) handle your trade yourself, and (3) skip financing thru them. If not, shouldn't be too hard to get you deposit refunded. (Lots of salespeople BS potential buyers about the refund. They'll say or do anything to keep you in the sales game.)

    Sounds like you are really still negotiating over the critical deals. Negotiate firmly. Don't give away too many details. Don't seem too enthusiastic. Let them know they can and will lose a sale if you can't agree on things important to you.

    I don't like the sound of this salesperson or dealership. The trade and financing parts of a deal can be the most important of all. They are usually the areas where the dealers make the most money. Dealers normally make more off used cars than new ones. But to do that, they buy low and sell high. That is likely why the haggle from this dealer.

    Never attempt to buy a car without reducing everything to writing and having both parties sign. That way you know you have a contract and you know exactly what its terms are.
  • i am planning to meet the salesperson this coming monday at 1pm to negotiate on my trade-in. before i meet her, i will go to the bmw dealership of that location to see if they are interested in my vehicle. it won't hurt asking. thanks saz for the idea.

    the lexus dealership said over the phone that my bmw trade-in is worth $3,000. this is $1,500 below KBB's quote for my trade-in. i thought that was just too big of a difference for me to even consider. maybe the pre-owned manager will give me a better offer after seeing and test driving my car.

    wow, with the next batch being in november, that's a long wait. i really hope to work out something favorable for both me and the dealship tomorrow. in addition, armed with your advices and ideas, i feel much more comfortable now going through this final stage.

    if my deal does not work out, there will one black onyx sportcross up for grabs. :P

    well, we'll soon find out the fate of this particular 2004 Black Onyx SportCross beauty...
  • it certainly seems that the salesperson is scared of losing this sale over the dispute of the trade-in.

    she asked me several time if i will still deal the sportcross without the trade-in.

    i never gave her a straight answer.
This discussion has been closed.