2001 Lexus IS 300 from North America


The IS300 is a sporty, attractive, reliable, low cost car to drive. Lexus did it right!


I am the 3rd owner of this IS300. The 2nd owner bought it as CPO and had a great service record. He sold it right before it needed a timing belt change. I paid $9,200 for the car and replaced the timing belt and water pump 10,000 miles later. Very few items have worn out.

The transmission was shifting poorly in 2nd & 3rd gears and it turned out to be the MAF sensor.

I have had to replace the battery twice.

Had inner tire wear, which came from from a lower control arm #2, which I replaced with a FIGs poly bushing.

The shocks failed before 150,000 miles and were replaced with Bilstein shocks (best mod so far).

Changed brake calipers and rotors twice.

Swapped out the open differential for a used limited slip differential, which made a huge difference in performance and safety.

Replace all fuel injectors as 1 or 2 were leaky and causing hydrolock if shut down quickly after cold start up. Beyond that, only usual maintenance items. The car is bulletproof.

General Comments:

I have owned over 25 cars in my adult life, and albeit a 17 year old car, it still drives like new, handles great, very nimble, super easy to work on and do maintenance on. I just can't see selling it for something more current but potentially less reliable.

The body still looks great. No rust on any body panel. Even stone chips on the hood have no rust.

I wish this car was still in production and I would buy it again. Hands down the most reliable car I have owned. It's not a super car, but a stylish and very fun car to drive every day.

If you can wrench yourself, you will find this a cheap car to own. If you need to visit the dealership, you will find it expensive. Lexus charges more for the same part that can be bought at Toyota with the same part number. Great service, but pricey.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2018

2001 Lexus IS 300 from North America


BUY IT... hold on... and smile!



General Comments:

This may be the perfect car.

The is300 is a Kanto (very important) engineered Toyota Lexus. All Kanto engineered Toyotas in the past have been the best Toyotas built.

This car is really the new version of the Toyota Cressida, another fast sleeper that does not look it, now sought out by the "drifting/performance" crowd.

Same basic specs as the Cressida; straight 6 engine, limited slip rear end etc in a 4 door.

It's a rocket that handles, does not break and has cheap insurance because it has 4 doors!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2011

2001 Lexus IS 200 SE 2.0 Straight 6 from UK and Ireland


So close to the BMW, but miles apart


I have owned this Lexus is200 for over a year now. It's been very reliable for me. No major faults in my ownership.

Service and tyres were needed, but these are needed on every car.

CD player could be a bit temperamental when ejecting and inserting CDs into the slot. But still works fine, just need a light hand when changing the CDs.

General Comments:

I came across this Lexus is200 in my local paper, while looking for a newer 3 series to replace my old one.

The Lexus was priced well, looked stylish and was filled with toys, more than you would get in your average 320.

A deal was made and the Lexus pulled me away from my beloved BMW badge, had I made the right choice!

Well, the Lexus for a start looked like it could hold its own in the business end of the car park, with its 17" 5 star alloy wheels as standard, aggressive looking front end and those legendary "Lexus Clear lights" (now showing on a Corsa near you.)

Inside Lexus went for the wow factor, they never just put loads of buttons on a big black plastic dash.

Nice switches were used, and give a reassuring clunk when they slot into place. Well positioned and plenty of toys will keep you entertained, and if they don't, the speedo most definitely will. It has to of been styled on a expensive watch, with its big face and three smaller tachos inside, reading engine temp, MPG and volts. Very cool.

Seats are half leather and suede. Very comfy and easy to find a nice position in them. Driving position is designed with the driver in mind.

Steering has nice feel to it, and car feels planted to the road.

On pushing the car into bends, the RWD car should be a hoot, but traction control cuts power to the wheels as soon as you start racing about.

Even on turning the traction control off, you can still feel the system working away, and it cuts power away from the back wheels.

The engine in the Lexus is a 2.0ltr straight six, with a sensible 153 Bhp. The engine is connected in a very smooth six speed gearbox which work well together.

0-60 comes in 9.2 seconds and pulls all the way to a top speed of 135 MHP.

The power comes in at 4000rpm and is a but lifeless until then, it's the VVti engine that makes this happen, with variable valve timing on higher revs.

The Lexus suffers from a low MPG sadly, it struggles around town and on motorway where it should be fine, it also fails to deliver.

The Lexus has a practical sized boot, and would easy carry four adults in comfort.

Overall, would I turn back the clock and get my 3 Series back? The BMW just feels more or a drivers car, and come on, it's a 3 Series! The 3 series hold its price better, has a wide range of engines and spec, and its MPG is a whole lot better.

OK the Lexus engine sounds better and you get a few more toys and that reliability. But I think it comes down to that X factor, and the BM just has that bit more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th October, 2009

14th Oct 2009, 06:35

You sound a bit conflicted as to whether your prefer the Lexus or the BMW.

You say that you made the right choice, but later say that the BMW has a "bit more" of the "X" factor.

Well, which do you prefer on a day to day basis?

14th Oct 2009, 12:17

I would have to say the BMW. Just the way it drives and feels, and it will hold its price better. Lexus is a great car and enjoyed my time with it. But I missed my BMW.

MPG is a lot better as well, which helps.

20th Sep 2011, 18:08

The 3 definitely feels more sophisticated, and is better on fuel. Also, I found the interior of the IS to be fussy and a little tight for space, while the 2 litre is weedy, though no more so than a 320i prior to it, being upsized to a 2.2.