Digestible Collectible: 2002 Lexus IS300

digestible collectible 2002 lexus is300

Car enthusiasts, to outsiders, are an odd bunch. We refer to cars by their model codes or platform names. We take photos of random, interesting cars just because. We argue on forums about the relative merits of various brands of oil. However, we are useful to those outsiders when it comes to advice. Family, friends and co-workers all come to us for recommendations on cars, tires and service. At times, the volume of requests can be overwhelming, but otherwise we appreciate being appreciated.

For example years ago, a good friend once asked me to help him choose between two late-model used cars, a Lexus IS and a BMW 3-series (E46, I think). He’s a car guy, so the advice differed than that I’d give to a non-enthusiast. Simply because he was a BMW fanatic, I told him to get the 3 over the Lexus, because he’d regret not having the roundel years down the road.

Had it been my money, I’d have picked up the Lexus without thinking twice. Late-model BMWs seem to have so many funky and pricey maintenance needs that even paying Lexus dealer prices might be preferable to DIYing a 3er.

This 2002 Lexus IS300 looks to be a fine example, and a somewhat unusual one with a manual transmission and limited-slip differential. The Carfax is clean, though careful inspection is warranted due to the Wisconsin location. The photo may be decieving, too, as the front right fender looks a bit discolored compared to the rest of the car. Its 112,000 miles on the odometer isn’t too bad, considering the reliability record of the wonderfully smooth Toyota 2JZ straight-six.

An oddity I’ve seen while shopping for the IS is the tendency to call the automatic transmission a manual — or occasionally, an manuel. The gated shifter for the slushbox may be throwing some dealership personnel for a loop. Its asking price of $12,000 might be a bit high for this, as the market seems to be in the $8,000-$11,000 range, but there should be room to negotiate.

Funny enough, my BMW-nut friend messaged me tonight as I was writing this. We are now headed to Indiana this weekend to buy a Lexus.

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  • ANTItoyota ANTItoyota on Nov 22, 2015

    This is an example of an ugly piece of TRASH toyota

    • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Nov 27, 2015

      Oh look, we have a mentally handicapped visitor here. Welcome to the site.

  • Rjammy Rjammy on Feb 24, 2018

    I bought a 2001 bmw 325. My wife bought a 2002 IS300. For many years, I was smug about my bmw, it was vastly better than the Lexus although I must say the Lexus had a sweet engine. But the bmw became a maintenance nightmare and it’s long gone. We still have the Lexus and I now admit it is the better car. It’s simply bulletproof and very cheap to run. Thinking about restoring it and continuing to keep it as a summer car.

  • Teddyc73 The Bronco just doesn't have enough editions and models.
  • ToolGuy @Matt, let me throw this at you:Let's say I drive a typical ICE vehicle 15,000 miles/year at a typical 18 mpg (observed). Let's say fuel is $4.50/gallon and electricity cost for my EV will be one-third of my gasoline cost - so replacing the ICE with an EV would save me $2,500 per year. Let's say I keep my vehicles 8 years. That's $20,000 in fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.If the vehicles have equal capabilities and are otherwise comparable, a rational typical consumer should be willing to pay up to a $20,000 premium for the EV over the ICE. (More if they drive more.)TL;DR: Why do they cost more? Because they are worth it (potentially).
  • Inside Looking Out Why EBFlex dominates this EV discussion? Just because he is a Ford expert?
  • Marky S. Very nice article and photos. I am a HUGE Edsel fan. I have always been fascinated with the "Charlie Brown of Cars." Allow me to make a minor correction to add here: the Pacer line was the second-from-bottom rung Edsel, not the entry-level trim. That would be the Edsel Ranger for 1958. It had the widest array of body styles. The Ranger 2-door sedan (with a "B-pillar", not a pillarless hardtop), was priced at $2,484. So, the Ranger and Pacer both used the smaller Ford body. The next two upscale Edsel's were based on the Mercury body, are were: Corsair, and, top-line Citation. Although the 1959 style is my fav. I would love a '58 Edsel Pacer 4-door hardtop sedan!
  • Lou_BC Stupid to kill the 6ft box in the crewcab. That's the most common Canyon/Colorado trim I see. That kills the utility of a small truck. The extended cab was a poor seller so that makes sense. GM should have kept the diesel. It's a decent engine that mates well with the 6 speed. Fuel economy is impressive.