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hi all , currently own a sc430 and rx 300 ( wifes ) considering buying an is 250 third generation for winter use, early 2013 or 14. not many around and seemingly not a great choice of colours ( picky me ) any advice on the 250, also not keen on a hybrid aka 300h although by comparison they seem so much cheaper, is there a problem, not convinced on electric cars as yet, your views would be very welcome, thanks jr.

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IS250 mk3 is not a great choice, because it is basically same car as IS250 mk2... so effectively you would be paying 3 times more for fundamentally the same car. There is nothing wrong with them, same solid car as mk2, just more modern i.e. you have phone integration via Bluetooth which was rare and only available for late mk2 models. However, whereas in 2006 the engine was quite competitive, by 2013 it was really kind of obsolete - for that reason they are very rare (mk3 IS250s).

There is nothing wrong with IS300h, the reason why they are cheaper is because they are simply far more common (I believe they outsold IS200t and IS250 something like 5:1). As such there is far more choice and you can find the car in right spec for you for less money. IS250 on the other hand are very rare, so the choice is limited.

I personally tried 300h many times and I don't like it, not because it is hybrid, but because it is just slow and has no character, sounds rather bad as well - I just can enjoy driving it. I would not get mk3 IS250 either as apart of looks it is still fundamentally the same car as mk2, just little bit heavier and slower. 

If I were in your position I would definitely go for nicer example of mk2 as for half the price you could get low miles, well equipped example in great condition and it will be 95% same car. Sure if you want better phone integration mk3 is better at that and looks more modern, but that is the only two benefits I can think of. Mk2 actually came better equipped standard, than early mk3s.

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hi linas, many thanks appreciate comments, must admit i,m torn between mk2 & 3 and as you say there are some good low milage late year models around at very good prices. i was just concerned that the mk2 shape looked dated, the mk3 more modern, might look at the 250c again hard to find, cheers jr.

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Having owned it for many years and covered 200k miles I see where you coming from, but you will be surprised how many people don't know these cars and think that they are far newer than they are. And as I said - yes when it comes to looks mk3 looks more modern, especially if you get F-Sport with digital dash it feels more modern inside as well... yet it is fundamentally same car as mk2... so as far as engine and all mechanical part is concerned you getting same car. 

Other thing to note - in my opinion mk2 is far better built quality. Yes mk3 looks more modern and Lexus made it so all the areas you touch feels nice and padded, mk2 was little bit more patchy, but where it matter the quality was far better. Leather on the steering wheel - holds 200k miles like nothing, leather on seats - still looks pristine. In mk3 I have seats torn in 30 k miles and overall it just doesn't feel as solid as mk2.

In the end I am not saying that mk3 is bad car, is just that after experiencing both I just can't justify spending 3 times more for mk3, it just isn't worth it... especially IS250. You see at least in IS350 (which we don't have in UK) Lexus modernised the car, the gave it Atkinson-cycle engine, new 8-Speed auto (similar to IS-F) and LSD, so it got more power and became more fuel efficient for 3rd gen... well that justifies extra cost! IS250 engine and drivetrain basically has not changed a single bit between 2003 and 2016, they made no revisions and did nothing at all with that engine, making it borderline obsolete in 2013.

As well , just noted you need car for winter - why specifically IS250 for winter? Not exactly the car I would considered "best suited". Or is it just timeframe by when you want to acquire the car?

Finally, my advise would be - just try them. Try a many as you can, try IS300h and see what works for you. Everyone will have their own opinion and tell you what they think, but it is you who will have to live with that car so you will have to decide. 

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4 hours ago, Linas.P said:

Finally, my advise would be - just try them. Try a many as you can, try IS300h and see what works for you. Everyone will have their own opinion and tell you what they think, but it is you who will have to live with that car so you will have to decide. 

Wise words indeed!

As you can see, I have a mk3 and I’m delighted with it.  Personally I prefer the sharper lines of the mk3 to the earlier versions- but that’s totally subjective.  As for driving comparisons, I can’t comment as this is the only Lexus I’ve ever driven!  But it suits me fine.

Mine came with the 18” wheels and low profile tyres, which is a combination that’s supposed to give better handling  at the expense of a firmer ride.  In retrospect I might have preferred the 17” wheels with either Michelin CrossClimates or Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5s for a marginally more comfortable ride.  Also a tyre combination well suited to all-season use.and good wet road performance.

As you’re obviously aware, there’s quite a range of trim levels so that might also influence your choice.  Mine happened to be a Premier version and I have no complaints about the cabin materials or finish.  I believe it also has a better Mark Levinson audio system than the mk2 - if such things are important to you. However, the sat nav is the weak point of the car in terms of features.  It’s clunky to use, only updateable by dealers and possibly not supported any more now anyway.  I use my Garmin.

I also ensured that mine had a SpacerSaver spare tyre, in case I ever found myself stuck with just the liquid glop solution.  I also appreciate the presence of a sunroof.  I don’t have it open (no point) but it does make the cabin area feel a lot airier and more spacious.

As a Lexus owner this must all be familiar to you anyway.  I’m sure we’ll be interested to know what you finally end up with.

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15 hours ago, LenT said:

As you’re obviously aware, there’s quite a range of trim levels so that might also influence your choice.  Mine happened to be a Premier version and I have no complaints about the cabin materials or finish.  I believe it also has a better Mark Levinson audio system than the mk2 - if such things are important to you. However, the sat nav is the weak point of the car in terms of features.  It’s clunky to use, only updateable by dealers and possibly not supported any more now anyway.  I use my Garmin.

I also ensured that mine had a SpacerSaver spare tyre, in case I ever found myself stuck with just the liquid glop solution.  I also appreciate the presence of a sunroof.  I don’t have it open (no point) but it does make the cabin area feel a lot airier and more spacious.

Premier obviously being the top trim, but sadly without digital dash which is kind of party piece of the car. I am not convinced ML is better on mk3 - it is good on both cars, what is important however is that mk2 came standard with 13 speakers and ML added only 1 speakers + better amplifier, so in mk2 it isn't really important if you get car with ML or without. In mk3 you must get at least Premium navigation (with 10 speakers) or ML (with 15 if I remember right)... because standard (6 speaker) system is absolutely unacceptable trash. 

Actually, same can be said about lower trims overall mk2 had better standard equipment in low and intermediate trims, whereas if you get mk3 SE or "non-trim" is is absolutely basic without anything at all, no electric seats, no memory, no auto-dimming mirrors, no cooled/heated seats, no keyless entry etc.

Sat-nav was terrible in both mk2 and mk3, always used my phone for navigation as that could drive circles around built in stuff. Slow, clunky, inaccurate, outdated and difficult to use.

Both IS250 and IS200t had spare wheels, whereas IS300h comes with bottle of glue. This is very good point, trust me - you don't want to end-up using it! Never had this issue in Lexus, but once happened to me in BMW which as well had run-tyre. With spare wheel it would have been minor issue, with glue I ended-up on flat bed truck... 

Sunroof indeed makes cabin much brighter, but for some reason it as well robs quite a bit headroom despite opening out... something to consider if you are taller. 

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33 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Both IS250 and IS200t had spare wheels, whereas IS300h comes with bottle of glue. This is very good point, trust me - you don't want to end-up using it! Never had this issue in Lexus, but once happened to me in BMW which as well had run-tyre. With spare wheel it would have been minor issue, with glue I ended-up on flat bed truck..

I have a similar experience.  A passing stranger at a BP station offered to remove a stuck Lexus dust cap with which I was struggling.  He successfully removed the cap - but unfortunately took the valve stem with it!  But I simply popped on the SpaceSaver and drove to a tyre centre where they replaced the TPMS valve.

No amount of 'glue' would have solved that problem.

Which reminds me, check that all the dust caps are plastic and not metal.  Unless regularly greased (eg Vaseline) and checked, metal caps tend to corrode on to the valve.

38 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Sunroof indeed makes cabin much brighter, but for some reason it as well robs quite a bit headroom despite opening out... something to consider if you are taller. 

I can confirm this too.  Sometimes there are benefits to having your head closer to your feet.

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guys i really appreciate your comments. agreed lexus sat navs are crap, both in my sc430 and the rx, i use a nav pal that also has Bluetooth. my 430 is mint but is now eighteen years old with only 80k on it and is fine for the summer and shows but would like to put it back in its box for winter, hence my interest in a 250. i have always been a jaguar man but then changed to a gs 300 and was hooked both by quality and ride. always wanted a 430 , took me a year to find what i wanted and in my opinion the best car ive ever had. just completed an 1100  mile trip to scotland two weeks ago in absolute comfort and effortless drive, in the three years ive had it never seen another one on the road only at shows. my next step will be to see and drive 250/300 and get a feel for them. are sunroofs an extra on these models. many thanks for your help, jr.

IMG_0691 (1).JPG

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50 minutes ago, john.riminton said:

….are sunroofs an extra on these models. 

Well that looks a bit of a show stopper that you have there, John.  And I guess that’s a rather unusual colour too.

The sun roof on my IS250 was indeed an optional extra.  I was told that the original owner (I’m the second) paid an additional £1000 for it - and had to wait 3 months extra for delivery as a result. 

I’m delighted that he did.  Mind you, It’s usually claimed that while you pay extra for such extras on a new car, that’s often not reflected in its value as a used car.  Still, that’s what negotiations are for.

 

50 minutes ago, john.riminton said:

IMG_0691 (1).JPG

 

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On 7/30/2021 at 2:48 PM, john.riminton said:

hi all , currently own a sc430 and rx 300 ( wifes ) considering buying an is 250 third generation for winter use, early 2013 or 14. not many around and seemingly not a great choice of colours ( picky me ) any advice on the 250, also not keen on a hybrid aka 300h although by comparison they seem so much cheaper, is there a problem, not convinced on electric cars as yet, your views would be very welcome, thanks jr.

I purchased a brand new IS300h Executive in August 2014. Initially I loved it but the more I drove it the more I felt it wasn’t as nice a drive as a previous generation IS250 SE-L I’d had. Performance was a bit one dimensional, ie a bit all or nothing and the relationship between accelerator and forward motion was very non-linear. The sound was awful too, at least in comparison with the V6.

I decided to swap the IS300H for a same generation IS250 F-Sport with premium nav and ML audio. The car was much nicer to drive in terms of enjoyment but I was disappointed with the performance and realised over the course of six months that the IS300H had more performance than a same generation IS250. I also found the F-Sport to be a little too firm on the road for me. In my younger days I’m sure I’d have loved it mind.

I swapped to a Jaguar XF 3.0 D S Portfolio and all was well with the world. I then suffered some reliability issues and visited the dealership too much for my liking. I missed Lexus reliability and the ownership experience.

Since then I’ve had a 2015 IS200T Sport, a 2014 NX300H, a 2019 IS300H Sport and now a 2016 NX300H.

There are still times when I miss a bit of performance but my driving has changed and I definitely get hybrids now much more than I did back in 2014. For refinement they can’t be beaten.

I agree that it is essential to drive as many different versions as you can and make your own own mind up based on your own wants and needs.

If I was in the market for an IS now I would hunt down the best 2nd generation late model IS I could find, say a 2012 model, and go for this. I would however test this back to back with a 3rd generation IS250 Executive or Luxury. I’d likely steer clear of an F-Sport but I’d be intrigued to try a Premier although this does have 18” wheels. The sweet spot for a 3rd generation IS is 17” wheels I think, if you want some level of comfort.

I do believe the 3rd generation IS handles considerably better than a 2nd generation IS. The former is more ‘sport’ oriented, the latter more ‘comfort’ oriented.

just my own opinions though. Good luck with your search 👍

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hi paul, your points taken, i,m not worried a so much about performance, too old for that now, but comfort and ride is paramount, to be able to climb out of my 430 after a 460 mile ride with no aches or stiffness was remarkable , same on the way home, a big V8 turning 29 mpg for the whole trip and a very quiet ride. only had the roof down once as it was so hot between perth and inverness and got thoroughly sunburnt, air con on the way home. i am tending towards a late  mk2  top of the range as the most likely one but i really do like the shape of the Mk 3, have to try both options. on a dvla search mine is one of only eight registered in this country and yes cant stop admiring it and get a lot of attention when ever i stop, car that is, many thanks , jr.

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You will struggle to find 2012 IS250s... really rare unicorns, but if you look at 2010-2011 cars (still exactly the same face-lift models) you will have more choice. For Mk2 I prefer the looks of 2011+ F-sport, but on F-sport you don't get cooled seats which in my opinion is big deal when you have car with leather. SE-Ls are very rare, but you can find few 2010-2011 SE-Ls. If I were you I would definitely try to track down SE-L and I wouldn't worry about mileage too much. As you know Lexus are reliable and I sold my old IS250 SE-L with 192k miles without any major issues in it's lifetime. The only reason I sold it because it was written-off in the accident. 

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thanks linas, ive been looking and i find them as your comments, no hurry ill keep looking untill i find the one that clicks, took me a year to find my 430. any comments on the 250c ???   cheers john r.

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Hi John 

How soon are you looking into getting into an is250? The reason I ask is because I have a 2015 is200t f sport which I am currently deciding whether to sell, I believe these are an even rarer car than the is250

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42 minutes ago, john.riminton said:

thanks linas, ive been looking and i find them as your comments, no hurry ill keep looking untill i find the one that clicks, took me a year to find my 430. any comments on the 250c ???   cheers john r.

IS250C - everything that applies to normal IS250 applies to them as well. They are less practical thought, with non-existent rear seats and roof can and go wrong (although not too often)... as you would expect for convertible really. But you probably are experienced with that and you know the risks coming from SC. In short IS250C is more modern car than SC430, with much better gearbox, handling and fuel economy, but much worse engine sound and performance.

The only issue I see with IS250C is the price - you can get mk3 IS for similar price as mk2 convertible and at this point value for money really doesn't work out.  + you already have convertible... so...

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hi steve , thanks for the offer, not in any rush as i want to get the right one, exterior and interior colour is most important to me, got to be cream or light grey leather, and NOT silver, black or white exterior, i,m rather picky, cheers jr.

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On 8/1/2021 at 3:47 PM, john.riminton said:

hi paul, your points taken, i,m not worried a so much about performance, too old for that now, but comfort and ride is paramount, to be able to climb out of my 430 after a 460 mile ride with no aches or stiffness was remarkable , same on the way home, a big V8 turning 29 mpg for the whole trip and a very quiet ride. only had the roof down once as it was so hot between perth and inverness and got thoroughly sunburnt, air con on the way home. i am tending towards a late  mk2  top of the range as the most likely one but i really do like the shape of the Mk 3, have to try both options. on a dvla search mine is one of only eight registered in this country and yes cant stop admiring it and get a lot of attention when ever i stop, car that is, many thanks , jr.

Good luck with your search 👍

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