This car handles very very well! One of the better handling cars I have had a pleasure to drive. A real driver's car; awesome steering feel and response. Best appreciated on twisty roads!
Performance is very good for what the car is. It is not that fast in straight line, but will match and beat most average cars on the road. My previous car was a twin turbo Soarer, so it is a bit of a step down in performance, however the average person won't be disappointed.
The 2JZ-GE engine is the atmo version of the Supra 2JZ-GTE engine. Essentially the same engine, but without turbos strapped on the side. It is possible to turbocharge this engine for only a few thousand dollars, which will make it a very fast car! Not only in straight line, but also on corners!
Comfort level is quite good. The seats are very supportive, and a bit firm, although they lack adjustable lumbar support. Surprising given the seats are electric (forward, back, up, down, bottom tilt, and back tilt). That is perhaps an oversight by Lexus, and it bothered me for a little while, but am used to it now. The lumbar support in the seats is quite good mind you, but you cannot adjust it.
Rear leg room is quite small, however this is a baby Lexus, so don't expect a limo.
The interior is styled in a way which suggests performance, rather than comfort. It is not a plush ride, but it is comfortable over bumps and uneven roads.
At 100K kays, the alcantara leather shows hardly any wear, which is good. Steering wheel and gear knob leather also show hardly any wear. The dash looks like brand new. No gaps between panels; everything sits in place.
Something that I noticed very quickly was that there is very minimal noise in the cabin. Not only from the outside, but also the interior trim is very well put together, and makes no rattles or any other noises at all, even over heavy bumps. The build quality of this car is just outstanding!
The Sports Luxury version of the IS300 is very well equipped. It comes standard with:
- Heated leather electric seats
- Powered sunroof
- GPS satellite navigation, that pops up from the top of the dash when needed, different to other manufacturers, but very cool
- Auto climate control, operated by dials however
- Auto HID headlights
- Electric windows/mirrors (with woodgrain in doors, made of REAL wood)
- Cruise control
- All safety features (ABS, TRC, EBC, VSC, 6 air bags)
- In dash 6 disc CD player, with 8 speakers, quite good
Plus few other goodies, bells and whistles...
Boot space is not too big; one big suit case and few smaller bags will fit alright. I had trouble fitting a bigger box once; I had to resort to putting it on the back seats. The actual boot lid is quite short.
Fuel economy is reasonable for a 6 cyl 3 litre engine. In the city I can cover about 550 kilometres on a 65 litre tank. That is 50% driving in heavy peak hour traffic too. The little economy gauge on the dash shows consumption at about 7-8 litres per 100 kays on the freeway at 100 km/h. I use the premium 98 octane fuel (BP Ultimate).
The IS300 is very classy, reliable, and comfortable. I am very happy with this car, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone (who doesn't need space for 3 kids and a dog of course) who appreciates attention to detail.
P.S. Over time I will update this review in the comments section.