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Wheels Replaced & Is300 Drive

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I had the new wheels fitted on my IS200 SE at the weekend at Lexus Swindon. Received excellent service, as ever. They had the car for a couple of hours and it was returned to me with the replacement alloys. I think the rounded-off corners and the extra layer(s) of lacquer spoil the look compared to the originals, but only slightly and it's a small price to pay to keep them in one piece.

While I was waiting I was asked if I wanted to take a car out for a play. Since the SC430 they had there was being prepped for customer delivery ( :sad: ), and because they didn't have an IS300 SportCross available, I had to settle for their IS300 saloon.

Unfortunately they had added the styling kit to the car, which I don't like at all. My opinion is the car loses its 'classy' appearance and looks like a boy racer has taken it for a run around Halfords or somewhere like that. It also had the 18" wheels.

The wheels made a big difference. The road noise is, IMO, significantly louder than the 17" wheels on my SE. The steering also loaded up very quicker when cornering. The ride was less 'jittery' than my SE though and slightly firmer. Does the 300 have the suspension mods similar to the IS200 Sport? I found the steering quite a bit heavier, which I didn't like - it would suddenly load up when cornering, it wasn't gradual. I had a feeling that the extra width of the 18" tyres also had something to do with this (235 width).

I loved the engine and gearbox combination. Sooo smooth through either gentle or more aggresive driving. Kick down works well, being willing to go down more than one gear if you need to. Very quick car too. I didn't like the Eshift system. The buttons just never seemed to be in the right place compared to the position of my hands. Perhaps a sequential shift pattern on the drive selection lever as well would have been a good idea? I don't have particularly long fingers, but the position of the up buttons on the back of the wheel seemed to require stubbies and felt quite hidden away. Probably to avoid accidental selection.

According to the sales people, driving the 300 SportCross is almost identical to the saloon. Based on this, I think I might look to the 300 SportCross when I come to replace mine but that's not likely to be for another couple of years yet so there's still time for things to change.

All in all .... me likes B)


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