2000 Lexus IS 300 215 HP Staight 6 from North America


A high performance bargain, except for Lexus Mission Viejo Dealership


Generally, I really like the car.

The biggest problem has been with Lexus Mission Viejo, CA dealership. They took a highly tested car, and added inadequately tested custom wheels. The result was an intermittent vibration.

It's my opinion that the dealership has dragged their feet in addressing the wheel problem. At this point they've finally put on wheels that stopped the vibration and put on new tires. I let them try the wheels with the agreement that I didn't like the wheels, but was willing to try them to make sure the vibration was gone, and to see if the wheels "grew on me." I did not ask for the new tires. I was told that if I decided that I still disliked the new wheels they would be replaced on my say so, with zero cost.

The vibration is gone, but I don't like the appearance of the new wheels and I strongly dislike the different tires that they decided to mount. I didn't ask for the new tires.

At this point I've now have custom wheels mounted that I dislike which originally cost me well over $2500. I also have relatively new tires that are both noisy and get flat spots when they sit for over 10 minutes. I would have much preferred that the originals had been left on in retrospect.

Lexus Mission Viejo "implied" that they would mount factory wheels and fully refund my money at one point. Now, for the past 3 weeks they have been "working on the wording" for an offer to mount factory wheels and refund only $850. I've already told them that the offer is totally unacceptable to me at this point. I've invested 7 to 9 trips to Lexus Mission Viejo and over 25 phone calls while they tried to figure out the problem. They have admitted in writing that the custom wheels caused the problem.

On March 21, 2001, I called the 800 number that Lexus publishes for these types of disputes, and so far haven't heard anything back. If I haven't heard anything within a week, then I'll move on to the Lexus arbitration process.

General Comments:

I would consider recommending the Lexus IS300 to others (and I have), but I would state my opinion that Lexus Mission Viejo, CA dealership has been unfair, unresponsive and probably unethical as well.

I'm waiting to see whether Lexus will jump in, or whethet we have to go to arbitration. I have a witness to what was said during the sale, and documentation of what happened on various trips to the dealership. I also have in writing the head of Customer Satisfaction - Service admitting that the Mas/Italy wheels that the dealership mounted before I ever saw the car were the source of the vibration problem.

Meanwhile, I have potentially unsafe problems that are not being addressed, including the wrong sized wheel key and tire wrench, and a major hesitation problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th March, 2001

4th Aug 2001, 21:58

I drive a 93 SC400 with aftermarket rims and engine/exhaust tweaks. Due to the weight of these cars I have to say that tire choice is extremely important. Having messed with Toyo, Nitto, Michelin and Bridgestone I'll say that Michelin makes a competent high performance tire, but they're vastly overpriced. THE tire that makes my car handle and accelerate like the Porsche killer that it is is the Bridgestone Potenza RE730. You can go with the SO-2 Pole Positions but they're too flat feeling and they're really expensive (250 dollars a tire!!) The RE730's are AWESOME, and at 150 dollars are the best buy. What makes them work is Bridgestone's nylon sidewall linings that stiffen the tire up so there's little or no flex (and hence tread rollover) in heavy cornering. The same effect as putting thick 20 inch truck rims on the car with tires that are like 235/5/20 but they don't ride as hard. Good luck!

23rd Jan 2006, 22:37

Big deal complaining about custom wheels, everyone knows that putting custom wheels on a car will make the ride ruff. It sounds to me like Lexus has done more than enough to try a please you!

30th May 2007, 00:03

I had a bad experience as well with Lexus of Mission Viejo when I purchased my Lexus IS300. The problem was that they where not going to honor the deal we contracted and signed to. They kept calling me at work to change the contract until I went to extreme measures, returning the car back to the dealer and demanding a refund of my down payment. At that point they took into consideration that they would lose the sale and possibly more if this matter was not resolved in a timely manner. They finally honored the deal we signed to.

2000 Lexus IS 200 SE 2.0 inline six from UK and Ireland


An overall fantastic car


Persistent rattle from the engine bay.

Stained alloy wheels.

Corroded rear wheel hubs.

Possible oil leak.

General Comments:

Since I picked the car up, there has been a persistent rattle from the engine bay when under load at about 2500rpm. The car has now been back to the dealer four times. They now suspect that the problem is caused by rattling pipes that run along the bulkhead. However, no sign as yet of them actually fixing it.

Wax was left on the alloy wheels after delivery. Sorted out under warranty.

Corroded rear wheel hubs sorted under warranty.

Dealer unable to find the oil leak.

Overall, I still love my Lexus. It really is a great car, it's just a shame that the ownership experience has been ruined so far by the persistent rattle! The dealer has been as helpful as possible. They even got a Lexus GB technician down to drive the car. He said that he has never heard the noise before, so I am beginning to lose faith that they'll fix it. They are now going to insulate a load of pipes that run along the bulkhead.

If Lexus cars are SO reliable, and have so few problems, Lexus should just replace my car now as a goodwill gesture, rather than me continue to have all this hassle. That would redeem them in my estimations and would ensure that I buy my next car from them when this one is three years old. The loan IS200 I have is lovely! No rattle!

If Lexus want to push themselves as a premium car manufacturer, they should act like one. My car is not up to standard and should be FIXED or REPLACED. Promptly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2001

4th Nov 2005, 09:00

Overpriced toyota altezza. 0-60 in 10.5sec. shameful.