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Need unbias is200 opinion!


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Hey all,

Currently i drive a 2009 honda accord idtec 2.2l.

Im looking to get a lexus is200 instead as my work place is only 4 miles away, and apart from shopping i dont drive much, but i like to be able to have fun when i can fit it in, and my accord just doesnt have that excitement.

 

Ive read and researched a ton about the is200, ive heard problems with rust, the obvious mpg, etc. Even after that i still would really like one, any advice folks?

 

Thanks!

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I've owned one.

Idk whether you're looking at a manual, but I'd say the only thing missing from it for me was cruise control. The autos have it so not a problem if you're going for one of those.

Power steering on mine was starting to become a problem, especially when cold. Squeaky belt and juddery at low speeds, but otherwise OK. I'm sure a new pump and belt would have fixed it straightaway.

The rear subframe mounting brackets made me fail an otherwise advisory free MOT which was annoying. Luckily, not too difficult to source and replace.

It is a fantastic "drivers" car. Especially good if you can find one with an LSD (mine was open diff boooo). Slightly underpowered but honestly, no problems getting up to speed limits. Stick some decent tyres on it, attack a B road and you'll love every second. Every time I went out to it, it made me smile. Driving it did too!

As with anything, service history is all important. And because of its age and materials used, corrosion is a biggy. Look out for those two and I think otherwise, you're golden!

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I think you might find it hard to get an unbiased opinion regarding an is200 on a Lexus forum, I will give it a shot and try dodge the bullets later on.

As you mentioned, Rust. I wouldn't touch one of these unless I had a decent poke around underneath or at the very least some pictures of specific areas. They rust both inner and outer sill, onto the floor pans, arches, bonnet and around the rear subframe, possibly other area's too and don't forget the brake lines as with any old car. Toyota Lacquer peel is also a common optional extra on these. That aside they are pretty solid mechanically. Try find a manual if you can, a Sport all the better. The Sport LSD makes a bit of difference for low speed fun. Not much else different with a non Sport car. I see the Sport LSD itself is going for imo obscene money nowadays. 

If you are looking for daily ''fun'' the first thing I would dump is the suspension as I found the setup somewhat soft and wallowy. Some targeted bush replacement, perhaps even poly bushes and Bilstein B6/B8 with a small drop would be the way to go in my opinion. Used stiffer ARB's from an import or similar? If you buy a non sport, there should be plenty used aftermarket clutch diffs out there from various Toyotas to fit these, or factory torsens.

I have no idea what the accord is like for pace, but I am not sure if the is200 will "feel" that much faster????

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7 hours ago, samplify said:

I've owned one.

Idk whether you're looking at a manual, but I'd say the only thing missing from it for me was cruise control. The autos have it so not a problem if you're going for one of those.

Power steering on mine was starting to become a problem, especially when cold. Squeaky belt and juddery at low speeds, but otherwise OK. I'm sure a new pump and belt would have fixed it straightaway.

The rear subframe mounting brackets made me fail an otherwise advisory free MOT which was annoying. Luckily, not too difficult to source and replace.

It is a fantastic "drivers" car. Especially good if you can find one with an LSD (mine was open diff boooo). Slightly underpowered but honestly, no problems getting up to speed limits. Stick some decent tyres on it, attack a B road and you'll love every second. Every time I went out to it, it made me smile. Driving it did too!

As with anything, service history is all important. And because of its age and materials used, corrosion is a biggy. Look out for those two and I think otherwise, you're golden!

Thankyou for taking the time to write up! 

Ive found one thats only had one failure previously but it was due to an easily replaceable part. To combat corrosion issues would i be able to get it proofed? 

I live in wales so theres rather a lot of twisty turny b road!

 

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7 hours ago, EP80 said:

I think you might find it hard to get an unbiased opinion regarding an is200 on a Lexus forum, I will give it a shot and try dodge the bullets later on.

As you mentioned, Rust. I wouldn't touch one of these unless I had a decent poke around underneath or at the very least some pictures of specific areas. They rust both inner and outer sill, onto the floor pans, arches, bonnet and around the rear subframe, possibly other area's too and don't forget the brake lines as with any old car. Toyota Lacquer peel is also a common optional extra on these. That aside they are pretty solid mechanically. Try find a manual if you can, a Sport all the better. The Sport LSD makes a bit of difference for low speed fun. Not much else different with a non Sport car. I see the Sport LSD itself is going for imo obscene money nowadays. 

If you are looking for daily ''fun'' the first thing I would dump is the suspension as I found the setup somewhat soft and wallowy. Some targeted bush replacement, perhaps even poly bushes and Bilstein B6/B8 with a small drop would be the way to go in my opinion. Used stiffer ARB's from an import or similar? If you buy a non sport, there should be plenty used aftermarket clutch diffs out there from various Toyotas to fit these, or factory torsens.

I have no idea what the accord is like for pace, but I am not sure if the is200 will "feel" that much faster????

The one ive found on ebay has a good mot history with only one failure for a replaceable part, its an auto with 140k on the clock. My accord "can" be somewhat fast but the suspension is so soft and its such a big car that it doesn't feel exciting to drive.

Im not looking for a bullet but more something that i can shove down some b roads, ill possibly save to have it modified down the road

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Best of luck finding the right car, I myself am on the car hunt, it does take time. BTW, if you do decide you want an LSD, the Kaaz 1.5 way doesn't cost much more than the standard Sport LSD and should be a much more fun proposition.

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Why don't you keep the Honda and keep using it. Get that is200 and look at treating any rust issues and any other issues that car may have.

It's an unfortunate fact that buying an old car is a lottery no matter what car it is. You pays your mo ey and takes your chances as the saying goes. 

Take a mechanic friend with you to see that car on ebay for a 2nd pair of eyes and his k knowledge. 

Is this car a private sale or from a dealer?

All the best in your search for an is200. Oh have you considered the is250?

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I had an IS200 LE for 4 years before moving up to a 2nd-Gen model, and had also owned a few BMWs previously, and for me an IS200 can indeed be fun to hoon around in.

Despite being fairly slow, the car's fundamentals - very nice steering feel, decent 6-speed gearbox and RWD chassis make it fun to drive on country roads. 

My own car had a lowered & widened stance that made it feel even better in the corners, otherwise it was standard.

So yes, even with a modest 153BHP, an IS200 can be a fun car to drive. 

 

One thing I will say though, is that the auto should be avoided. I eventually sold my IS200 on to a friend, who also later picked up an auto one.

He told me that the auto box kills off a lot of driver appeal. They're also incredibly thirsty compared to a manual one.

 

If possible, I would follow Colin's advice and go for an IS300. These are also automatics, but have a lot more grunt and an extra gear to play with. And also, some semblance of manual control via the steering wheel buttons.

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On 1/13/2022 at 10:12 PM, Infexiouslexus said:

Hey all,

Currently i drive a 2009 honda accord idtec 2.2l.

Im looking to get a lexus is200 instead as my work place is only 4 miles away, and apart from shopping i dont drive much, but i like to be able to have fun when i can fit it in, and my accord just doesnt have that excitement.

 

Ive read and researched a ton about the is200, ive heard problems with rust, the obvious mpg, etc. Even after that i still would really like one, any advice folks?

 

Thanks!

I know where there's a good one not a million miles from you. Metallic green with the beige interior, 1999, auto, 90k miles and the sills have been done.

Give me a shout if you want more info. The current owner is thinning his fleet but isn't on here. I think he wants £2k.

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