Shizukesa

Move from IS200 to IS300?

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Hi guys,

So... I bought a 2004 IS200 SE manual back in Feb. It has 84k miles. So far I've done:

  • Japspeed cat back
  • Japspeed sports cat
  • Japspeed decat manifold
  • timing and all 3 aux belts
  • plugs
  • oil
  • K&N panel filter
  • rear o2 sensor
  • White LED dash kit
  • A bunch of bodywork stuff (which was and still is a nightmare with a black car)

I was planning on adding:

  • Tein Street Advance Z coilovers
  • Jr29 rims
  • Tinted windows
  • LSD
  • Stereo
  • Rank One SC kit

Since I don't have a sport model I was thinking of maaaaybe just going for an IS300 before they rocket in price.

This means:

  • I won't have to add a SC, because 2JZ.
  • I won't have to pay someone for tinting.
  • 2JZ.
  • I won't have to buy and swap out the diff.
  • The Japspeed system is SO loud that I'd probably go with the HKS silent power if I went with a 300.
  • Cruise control.
  • Did I mention the 2JZ?

The downsides? Auto box.

My question is - Has anyone gone from an IS200 to either an IS300 or a GS300? How did you feel after the change?

Sorry for the long post. I just want to be sure before I start throwing money at the 200.

Thanks!

Paul

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Not sure an IS 300h would suit you young man!

 

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I didn't say IS300h. Maybe I should have clarified, I mean the Mk1 IS300 🙂

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Just now, Shizukesa said:

I didn't say IS300h. Maybe I should have clarified, I mean the Mk1 IS300 🙂

I do apologise dear boy! The IS300 must be getting quite rare now?

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2 minutes ago, Spacewagon52 said:

Yeah it's very nice! I turned 30 this year. Since I only started driving in my mid 20s, I didn't get to do all the loud exhaust modifications etc. Now that I've done these mods, I actually dislike it somewhat, since this is my only car. My neighbours hate me and the drone on the motorway is horrible. Even if I don't upgrade to the IS300, I will probably still swap out the exhaust for the HKS silent power.

Cruise control would be nice on a 200 mile journey seeing my family up north. If I bought an IS300 now, I think in the long run, I'd save around £1000 on mods. I'm just weary of disliking the auto box, since I've never had one.

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2 minutes ago, Shizukesa said:

Yeah it's very nice! I turned 30 this year. Since I only started driving in my mid 20s, I didn't get to do all the loud exhaust modifications etc. Now that I've done these mods, I actually dislike it somewhat, since this is my only car. My neighbours hate me and the drone on the motorway is horrible. Even if I don't upgrade to the IS300, I will probably still swap out the exhaust for the HKS silent power.

Cruise control would be nice on a 200 mile journey seeing my family up north. If I bought an IS300 now, I think in the long run, I'd save around £1000 on mods. I'm just weary of disliking the auto box, since I've never had one.

I have always hated autos BUT a large engined car, with an auto box, is wonderful! A small 1.6 Golf in auto is no fun. You are now maturing young man! You will begin to enjoy luxury and silence as you grow wiser!

Take care Grasshopper!

 

Master!

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I think as ever, the best advice is to try one yourself, although I know with their rarity it is not that easy nowadays. 

It's not a 'sporty' box by any means, don't think you going to have the seamless flicking-up and flicking down you get with modern DCTs. It's a decidedly old school but lovely smooth slushbox, if you leave it alone. Using the buttons to change down can be clunky and the kickdown can be infuriating (slowly going down to second gear only to change-up to third almost at once). But you learn to drive round these things. Like David said, a big engine with a lazy automatic is wonderful, ideal for slouching up the motorway or crawling in stop-start traffic. But it's not F1. 

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, Shizukesa said:

My question is - Has anyone gone from an IS200 to either an IS300 or a GS300? How did you feel after the change?

I've owned an IS200, a GS300 and GS430 plus driven the IS300 a number of times.

The series I IS has a much better handling chassis compared to the GS300 - in terms of refinement and ethos the best way to describe it is the IS200 is a Toyota, the GS is a Lexus.

The IS300 bridges the gap, and the IS chassis needs the extra power the 2JZ provides. The auto box was good at the time, but like all Lexus' boxes it is designed more for refinement rather than sporty performance.

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3 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

I have always hated autos BUT a large engined car, with an auto box, is wonderful! A small 1.6 Golf in auto is no fun. You are now maturing young man! You will begin to enjoy luxury and silence as you grow wiser!

Take care Grasshopper!

 

Master!

Can you please explain why you think this? 🙂 

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3 hours ago, gdh300 said:

I think as ever, the best advice is to try one yourself, although I know with their rarity it is not that easy nowadays. 

It's not a 'sporty' box by any means, don't think you going to have the seamless flicking-up and flicking down you get with modern DCTs. It's a decidedly old school but lovely smooth slushbox, if you leave it alone. Using the buttons to change down can be clunky and the kickdown can be infuriating (slowly going down to second gear only to change-up to third almost at once). But you learn to drive round these things. Like David said, a big engine with a lazy automatic is wonderful, ideal for slouching up the motorway or crawling in stop-start traffic. But it's not F1. 

Good luck!

Yeah I think it's probably best to drive one. No idea how I'll be able to do that, but hopefully I'll find a way!

One of the things that makes me think it won't matter, is that if I get bored of an auto, I can eventually throw in a W58/R154 or even a J160 with an bell housing adaptor.

Thanks for your input!

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3 hours ago, ColinBarber said:

I've owned an IS200, a GS300 and GS430 plus driven the IS300 a number of times.

The series I IS has a much better handling chassis compared to the GS300 - in terms of refinement and ethos the best way to describe it is the IS200 is a Toyota, the GS is a Lexus.

The IS300 bridges the gap, and the IS chassis needs the extra power the 2JZ provides. The auto box was good at the time, but like all Lexus' boxes it is designed more for refinement rather than sporty performance.

I really love the style of the GS300 but I'd probably enjoy an IS300 more.. I actually bought the IS200 to drift it once it was modified a little - SC and coilovers. But, since it's my only car that's quite unlikely. Now that I think about it, I kind of regret not waiting for the right IS300 to come along. Perhaps a SC on the 200 will completely sway me.

Thanks for the input!

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7 hours ago, Shizukesa said:

Can you please explain why you think this? 🙂 

I have driven small engined autos and owned an automatic 1.6 Golf. They are a completely different experience to a large 3 litre or more engine mated to an auto box. 

 

In the past I would NEVER consider an automatic. After purchasing my first LS 400 I realised how good they could be.

Grasshopper / Master is from an old TV series that you are probably too young to remember, called Kung Fu. It was said, tongue in cheek, for the benefit of older members on here. No offence intended, honestly. You admitted you are fairly new to driving, and are going through a youthful phase with your choice of cars. In a way you are very lucky, as new drivers tend to be so young that insurance on sporty cars is so expensive or impossible to get. Enjoy your enthusiasm for fast and loud but you may eventually find that quietness, smoothness and luxury will be more appealing in the future.

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When I test drove what would become my IS250 after having had two IS200s, I didn't think I was ready for an "Old Man Auto". By the time I'd covered the distance from the dealer to the main road though, I was convinced. I wouldn't go back to a manual. Those memories of being stuck in jams around the M25 and all that stop start 1st gear clutch up clutch down stuff are best, for me anyway, left in the past :-)

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54 minutes ago, Mincey said:

When I test drove what would become my IS250 after having had two IS200s, I didn't think I was ready for an "Old Man Auto". By the time I'd covered the distance from the dealer to the main road though, I was convinced. I wouldn't go back to a manual. Those memories of being stuck in jams around the M25 and all that stop start 1st gear clutch up clutch down stuff are best, for me anyway, left in the past 🙂

Interesting to look at your Lexus car history. I presume, James, that the 1999 IS200 died/written off?

My very short experience with the hybrid shows they are ideal for stop/start traffic. Many cars with purely ICE engines that have Stop/Start, I just wonder how long the starter motors will last if they are heavily used? My hybrid just stops and goes silent when I am stopped in a line of traffic. Using a clutch all the time in heavy traffic is not enjoyable.

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1 hour ago, Spacewagon52 said:

Interesting to look at your Lexus car history. I presume, James, that the 1999 IS200 died/written off?

My very short experience with the hybrid shows they are ideal for stop/start traffic. Many cars with purely ICE engines that have Stop/Start, I just wonder how long the starter motors will last if they are heavily used? My hybrid just stops and goes silent when I am stopped in a line of traffic. Using a clutch all the time in heavy traffic is not enjoyable.

Yes I think it passed away - it had had a good innings though judging by the final MOT mileage reading. Someone may have bought it and put a new reg on it but that's asking a bit much! Its successor hasn't done much recently, it was still SORN'd last time I looked.

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6 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

I have driven small engined autos and owned an automatic 1.6 Golf. They are a completely different experience to a large 3 litre or more engine mated to an auto box. 

 

In the past I would NEVER consider an automatic. After purchasing my first LS 400 I realised how good they could be.

Grasshopper / Master is from an old TV series that you are probably too young to remember, called Kung Fu. It was said, tongue in cheek, for the benefit of older members on here. No offence intended, honestly. You admitted you are fairly new to driving, and are going through a youthful phase with your choice of cars. In a way you are very lucky, as new drivers tend to be so young that insurance on sporty cars is so expensive or impossible to get. Enjoy your enthusiasm for fast and loud but you may eventually find that quietness, smoothness and luxury will be more appealing in the future.

I see, I see! I wish I could afford to run 2 cars. I'd have a SC IS200 for fun and a stock IS300 as a daily driver. Right now, as a student, I just can't afford to do that. I don't really want an auto as my only car. I think I would really miss a manual. I only thought it wouldn't matter with an IS300 because I could always drop in a supra manual box later on.

Also, I know you didn't mean any offence, don't worry!

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6 hours ago, Mincey said:

When I test drove what would become my IS250 after having had two IS200s, I didn't think I was ready for an "Old Man Auto". By the time I'd covered the distance from the dealer to the main road though, I was convinced. I wouldn't go back to a manual. Those memories of being stuck in jams around the M25 and all that stop start 1st gear clutch up clutch down stuff are best, for me anyway, left in the past 🙂

I'm not sure if I'd enjoy having an auto as my only car. I guess the only way is to test drive an IS300! Then I'll know for sure whether or not I could live with it. Since it has the 2JZ over the 1G-FE, perhaps that would make an auto easier to live with! haha

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IS300 with the auto is lush. Trust me. Even with the auto box I think the IS300 is quite sprightly, quite un-Lexuslike really.

DSCN0453.JPG

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Unless one has a GS 450h that is, Sir.

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15 minutes ago, rich1068 said:

DSCN0453.JPG

Sorry off-topic but that is mint! 😍😍

Is that a recent photo? Finding a 1st gen IS in that condition (especially with the headlamp lens so clear) is incredibly rare.

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It probably belongs to one of his many "friends" Ganesh.

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1 hour ago, rich1068 said:

IS300 with the auto is lush. Trust me. Even with the auto box I think the IS300 is quite sprightly, quite un-Lexuslike really.

DSCN0453.JPG

What is that COLOUR?! I wish my paint looked like that! 

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1 hour ago, LexIS200Sport said:

Sorry off-topic but that is mint! 😍😍

Is that a recent photo? Finding a 1st gen IS in that condition (especially with the headlamp lens so clear) is incredibly rare.

Going on the plate it will have been not long after I bought it. It's now on 68k and still mint. My father runs it now because I couldn't part with it.

Here you go 

 

36 minutes ago, Shizukesa said:

What is that COLOUR?! I wish my paint looked like that! 

Granite Sky if I recall.

1 hour ago, royoftherovers said:

It probably belongs to one of his many "friends" Ganesh.

Yes. Sorry. A friend. Because having five cars would be silly.

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My is300, absolutely love it!

IMG_20200507_181115.jpg

IMG_20200507_181055.jpg

IMG_20200507_181035.jpg

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