Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content

IS 200 VS IS 300 2002

Recommended Posts

Hi guys I have driven the IS 300 for test drive today, and well here are my impressions:


1) The engine is much smoother

2) Xenon Lights are cool

3) the power steering is harder and giving more giving better feel at high speeds

4) better brakes....


1) automatic gearbox, it is smooth but the car is not much more quicker than my standard IS200 without supercharge....I mean if I shift quick and have the right rev I may not beat the is 300 but the is 300 will also not loose me in the mirror

2) the suspension does not seem to fit the car, I think I can drive on more extremes withthe is 200 , maybe it also has something to do with the autmatic transmission

3) The sound system is lousy....not the as good as the superlive sound system I have in my is 200 sport

4) very loud noise while breaking and while cornering, maybe choice of tyres are bad..

5) above 190km h the IS 200 seems to be quicker..since the automatic gear box and rev slows down the power, so that it takes time to go over 200 kmh, of course the is 200 has to be squeezed in its 5 gear up to 180 kmh and then shift into six......:))))))


I rather go for the supercharge or leave the IS 200 as it is...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you think you'd have found it if you had driven an IS300 manual? (Not available in europe I know). Do you think you'd have been more positive?

Also for the sound system, I have noticed that even the later model IS200's don't sound anywhere near as good as my early 2000 IS200. From early 2001 they have a different stereo and speakers which in my opinion don't sound as good (although they don't chew up CD's!). Similarly for the brakes, I imagine these are common with the 2002 IS200.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, good review !

Hope to see more of those personal impressions of Lexus test drives. They feel more genuine than the journalistic kind.

I wouldn't either expect the IS300 to be lightyears faster than the IS200. The IS200 will do 0-62 mph in 9.2 sec and the IS300 0-62 mph in 8.2 sec. So it's not a big difference.

The IS200 has the advantage of the close-geared 6-speed manual and the IS300 the disadvantage of the bhp and torque stealing automatic.

But with the 5 speed manual for the IS300 in the US (if it ever comes to Europe?) its 0-62 in 7.1 sec and the the IS200 will be at a greater loss.

Of course the IS200 has to be thrashed to keep up with the IS300 whose bigger engine can perform more relaxed, even at higher speed.

But the difference is too small and does not motivate a price gap of 10000 EURO (or 9000 pounds).

I would rather buy the compressor. The IS300 also makes the car heavier over the front and less perfectly balanced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does the IS300 have the lag the 200 has at low revs? My business partners have a new 330CI from Racetech and a Jag S-Type. Both hav excellent acceleration and great auto boxes. I'm not changing allegiance but I'd expect more from Lexus given 6cyls and 3ltrs along with their asking price.

As for the sound system not being as good, well there's no excuse for that. Aren't standard parts supposed to get better with time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No problem,

just put in your website, I am fine with that and I think that more people should know, try and have their own opinion. Another good thing would be if someone from TTE could read our impressions, so they could take appropriate measures if those impressions are proven to be right, or even give feedback to japan....I think it is really the best way to improve products, as listen to nmagzines, cause mostly the testers are biased and favouring certain brands, maybe their own car brand they are driving :) anyway thanks for acknowledging my remarks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I have not driven the manual is 300 but for sure that would be a cracker and gives different light on the spot, however, I would say that they should still adjust all components, suspension, brakes, gear box ratio, to the different spec of the engine. As you said the car is heavier and of course the balance of the car is different. If the car is perfectly adjusted to the is 300 engine and the

manual gearbox I would have been more positve about it as the torque of the is 200 is

not satisfying at low revs... but I guess that is the way how it should be, encouriging the driver to use each of the six gears :)

As for the soundsystem:

The speakers are less bassy...and they do not sound that clear, further they are not that resistent as it comes to high volumes. However the radio display is better and the receiver for radio programmes is much better than 2000 model. I did not check the cd player, however the cd player of the 2000 model is good in its sounds,but if it comes down to drive over bad roads with lots of wholes sometimes the cds are jumping and the the player has difficulties to correct

[Edited on 24-3-2002 by weltmeister]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi george


That is exactly the point however I don't know how to reach that 8.2 seconds, I guess you got to shift yourself in the manual modus of the automatic gear box. YOu got the up gear shift pannels in the back of the steering wheel and hthe down shift pannels in the front. It is very difficult to get use to. I rather would have wished to have pannels like the Ferrari 360 modena :))))) in the back of the steering wheel right shift for up and left for down shifting... :)

At least I would have expected the two buttons for shifting up and down at one side. Let's say right button for up gearing and left for down gearing...however it works well, and the kick down is very sensitive and responsive. However, this complicated shifting system descourage you to shift manually and you rather go for the automatic modus, but then the car is slower.

You ar e right about the manual gearbox, then the is 200 will loose more. But still I would not rather go for the 2002 model, I don't like the wodden interrior, besides there is no sport version anymore, it is more a mix of the standard and the sport, which I found a pitty I like the ball on my gear shift....anyway, that is replaced now by a leather knob, which makes the car look like Daddy's spec :))))

The reason why they would offer a is 300 manual is that it is in direct competition with the is 200 compressor. They told me that at the Essen Motor show last year.

So we got to be waiting and see. But I still think that the is 200 compressor is the more aggressive it with the Merc C 280 and the C 230 compressor...I think at top speed they won't do much , but the way they reach the top speed makes the difference.

Maybe the is 300 last longer as you don't force and overpower the engine like you do in the is 200.

The price, well the compressor is around 7500 EURO it is worth thinking. but well I have my own impression, i decided to leave my lovely is 200 like it is and rather invest in a sports car, maybe a HOnda s2000 at least for the first installmen 7500 EURO will do :))))) but still least the idea of having two cars is better than having just one...for sure I will keep the is 200 2000 :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The automatic gearbox won't let you in the low rev so you have always the right one....but well still I don't think you are quicker than the 330 ci and the racetech of the Jag, you might arrive earlier at your destination, cause the JAg breaks down and for the 330 you got to wait longer as you ahve difficulties to pay the 20% difference in price :) it is a question of price. Does the price still justify the few seconds you gain. It is not the same class I got to adimit. However, if you go for understatement and value for money and fun, still go for the lexus.

I agree with you I would have expected more from Lexus too, I guess they were just thinking:

Well take the GS engine and well the IS 200 spec and body and well let s call it is 300. Since the gs is not coming with manual gearbox, you offer the is 3o0 also only with automatic...:)))

As for the parts well it is maybe cost cutting...strategy which is wrong, since the goodies are also one point why we bought the lex...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi weltmeister,

Thanks for the reply. Have a look at these prices for on the road.

RaceTech 330CI - £29,800 - no sat nav

RaceTech Jag S-Type - £28,495 - no sat nav

Lexus IS300 - £31,110 - body kit, sat nav

The reason why the cars are cheaper is because they're imported and they make them match UK dealer price by adding lots of extras. I appreciate there's a lot more of these on the road and this is why I put them in a league below. I just think its hard to justify the price as stock performance is what i want above my IS200. I'm still going to test drive the IS300, but I'll probably go down the same route as you and go for an Elise for my thrashing around car. After all, I use my Lexus for work and I'm sure economy goes out the window when you start adding superchargers and everything.

Please don't take all the above that I'm disheartened with Lexus cars, they've just not done enough to make me want their new model. Now if someone imported the IS300 to the UK and modified it, then that would make me think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Hi well there is one thing you missed out. People will look at you more and be more jealous on you if you drive a jag or a bmw...I mean I am software consultant and I deal with a lot of clients. My colleague drives a Merc SLK 200 Kompressor and in fact people look at him with different eyes. People think of me that guy with his japenese car...cause they don't know lexus too much, especially here in Germany :) Exactly, like you said, the Lotus Elise is a cracker, however, I tried to test drive that car too yesterday but it took only one minute to find out that I do not fit in that car and there goes the testdrive..I mean I could hav eopened the roof but it was raining so got to wait till the sun is shining again....

I am thinking like you I do not alter my is 200. RAther go for another second fun car

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well I have just said goodbye to my IS200 that I had for 2 years with not one problem.

Then last week came the IS300 WITH PROBLEMS the car does not start first time, the paintwork was marked and the wheels loose grip when pulling off giving a juddering feeling through the car without the traction light coming on ? But I have been told that it is the power that I am not used to, I have driven another and it is the same.

So what is good, well the power is the best and I must say that was what the 200 never had.

The sound system is better quality and will still need to be changed. I had a £8000 system in before so its not as good as that.

The interior extras like the armrest, pass elec seat, review mirror and full leather if you like that do make it feel better.

As for the drive being sad and waiting for the 1000 mile mark will let you know.

Had both the 200 and 300 side by side and it looks like an offroader car when not lowered.

Amazing what an inch or so will do (wife does not think so).

Have put HKS Sup Drager back box on and this does make the back look very nice.

So with springs on the way and 19 inch wheels comming from Spain, things can only get better.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

Like all of you I expect...I love my Is200 but have always been bit dissapointed by its lack of power, so I decided that as soon as the Is300 was out I was going to chop in my 200 & get a 300. So recently test drove the Is300 expecting it to be my car with extra power. Took it out & to be really honest was totally dissapointed! I have to admit it handled better round bends, but that is easily rectified on mine with ani roll bars etc.. but what really dissapointed me was that although it is meant to be quicker.. I couldnt feel it + it doesnt seem to rev as freely & you dont have the control that you do with the sport!! I had an Is200se (auto) prior to my sport & it just felt like that but with a few extra bits like dimming rear view & curtain airbags! In fact my car had special full soft leather put into it which is loads better than the full leather that comes in the 300! So Im keeping my sport & Going to supercharge it...that is if I can find anybody in the uk that can actually get hold of it for me! :( I know tte make it but it says get it from your dealer & nobody wants to know!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Join The Club

    Join the Lexus Owners Club and be part of the Community. It's FREE!

  • Topics

  • Our picks

    • 10 years of Lexus design: from spindle grille to spindle body
      After 10 years as a defining style feature of every new Lexus model, the famous spindle grille is undergoing a transformation. In tune with a new era of electrified vehicles, the distinctive shape is evolving into a new “spindle body,” as seen on the upcoming new generation Lexus RX SUV and the all-electric RZ.

      The spindle grille has been an unmistakeable Lexus feature since it was first revealed on the LF-Gh concept model of 2011, the basis for the fourth generation GS executive saloon that was launched the following year. Since then, it has been constantly adapted to suit the character of each successive Lexus model, with different mesh patterns, dimensions and finishes.

      Speaking at the time of the grille’s debut, the then Head of Lexus Kiyotake Ise said: “You should be able to identify a car as a Lexus immediately… Instant visual recognition, for example, is the reason behind our spindle grille. It may look aggressive at first glance, that’s intentional, but it also conveys its boldness with sophistication and elegance.”

      It has progressed to become a hallmark expression of Lexus’s L-finesse design, adopted not only for road-going cars, but also incorporated in the futuristic Skyjet spacecraft created for the Lexus-supported movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and adopted as a design motif in the Loft, the award-winning Lexus and Brussels Airlines lounge at Brussels Airport.

      Today, the original grille concept is the starting point for a more radical application of the spindle shape in which it becomes an integral part of the vehicle’s overall design. This “spindle body” approach is part of the Lexus Next Chapter design for the all-new RX, where the grille is reinterpreted as a seamless unit that flows into the bodywork. The lower section retains a mesh pattern, while the upper section takes in the lower edge of the bonnet; the Lexus emblems sits at the centre of the spindle’s high pinch-point.

      The same concept has been applied to the RZ 450e. As a battery electric vehicle, this requires less cooling than a car with a conventional engine, so the grille has been dispensed with, giving the designers greater freedom. Nonetheless, the spindle shape remains prominent in a central front panel, finished in the car’s body colour. Its impact is heightened by the adjacent frontal areas being contrast-finished in black, the low bonnet line and more boldly shaped front wings.

      On both models, the spindle generates lines that flow back from the front of the car through the bonnet and headlamp units to create a strong and distinctive frontal appearance, reinforcing the brand-defining ambitions of the original concept.
      • 0 replies
    • Lexus joins the UK’s Motability Scheme with the new UX 250h F Sport Design
      From this week, people with mobility needs will be able to access a Lexus vehicle through the UK’s Motability Scheme
      • 0 replies
    • All-New Lexus RX to star at the Venice International Film Festival
      Festival to attract world-renowned actors, celebrities and creatives to the Lido di Venezia from 31 August to 10 September 2022
      • 0 replies
    • The all-new Lexus RZ: powerful design rooted in electrified performance
      Lexus maintains its status as a design innovator in creating a radical look for its all-new, all-electric RZ that directly interprets the SUV’s power and performance
      • 0 replies
    • Lexus guide to interesting EV charging locations off the motorway
      With the Great British holiday getaway on the horizon, drivers of BEVs (battery electric vehicles) will be considering where to recharge on their journey.  While motorway service stations are an obvious choice, Lexus has researched some more interesting alternative locations
      • 0 replies

  • Create New...