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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I've just created an account on this website meaning to talk about the first gen IS300. For over a year now (since April 2019) the looks and somewhat of the smooth and buttery performance had really caught my eye on these cars. I am currently 17 years old, and have my Junior License. For my upcoming senior year in high school, I need my own transportation from to school and back. My father who works as a mechanic I feel like is not willing to hear me out, on this car. We're not a fancy car family, my dad drives a 2004 Corolla, and my mom drives a 2010 Corolla. So I'd think at fist introducing the IS300 to my dad would be some what be responsible for him and me to put our money on it and purchase one. However, me being where I am located 50 miles north of NYC, all of these cars are so driven to death in NY I am thinking partly due to the way New Yorkers work a lot and beat on their cars. I searched these car listing, and of course most of them are listed to be bought in the city. Most of them have 150,000 miles plus, are modded, and have been in a lot of fender benders. Of course the shear amount of curb rash on the wheels does not help on first appearance for my dad to even look at. Is their any strong points I can tell my father? Or should I just back off and let him figure out what my first car should be. Thanks! I am willing to hear from numerous amount of people on the forum.
 

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Mr. Roo
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I would avoid this car for a first car, especially with the points you've already mentioned. It takes premium gas and only gets 20 mpg at best. I've had mine almost 10 years, and I can't say there's anything really good about it other than it being relatively reliable. But any Lexus or Toyota can do that. And with how old these cars are now (20 years), it's not like they are the cutting edge of technology anymore. Of course, if you do find one in good shape for a good price, you can go with it. But those NYC winters and salt don't do well for cars lasting very long. Keep looking though, and reading around.
 

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2002 Lexus IS300
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I think we should address how much your REALISTIC budget will be. I think the is300 is a fantastic car and can be reliable. The gas mileage is atrocious and needing premium fuel doesn’t help. Rust is probably going to be a major factor with any car in your area so I suppose find one with less rust lol? Idk since I live in California. Is300 around here where I’m at are pretty scare but they are out there. From the clapped out crap to very nice elderly driven ones. Around here they hold their value extremely well. $2000 is300 here will most likely have well over 200k miles on it. 3-4K will have around 180-200k and 5k plus will be 150k and below. Corollas aren’t bad either. If they try and steer you down the straight and narrow lol.
 

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Like the others said, i would probably avoid for a 1st car unless you have an awesome job and can afford to pay the gas bill. No idea what your insurance companies are like over there, but here they would be on the higher cost to insure for drivers under 25. They are fairly heavy and are a little on the thirsty side.

On the flip side they drive great and if you find a mint one and dont thrash the crap out of it all the time then they are pretty damn reliable. Ive had mine for about 6-7 years and apart from normal servicing it hasnt missed a beat, it was pretty straight when i got it and previous owners looked after it as have I.

Personally i would start off in the Corolla class till you have some experiance in driving behind you and a decent job, then start moving up to larger cars if you still have the need. Thats what ive tried to do with both my kids, 1st one was fine, 2nd put his small car into a ditch so not sure how he would have faired with something larger and more powerful, i know im glad i didnt get him one or lend him mine lol ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think we should address how much your REALISTIC budget will be. I think the is300 is a fantastic car and can be reliable. The gas mileage is atrocious and needing premium fuel doesn’t help. Rust is probably going to be a major factor with any car in your area so I suppose find one with less rust lol? Idk since I live in California. Is300 around here where I’m at are pretty scare but they are out there. From the clapped out crap to very nice elderly driven ones. Around here they hold their value extremely well. $2000 is300 here will most likely have well over 200k miles on it. 3-4K will have around 180-200k and 5k plus will be 150k and below. Corollas aren’t bad either. If they try and steer you down the straight and narrow lol.
Yes, you are making a good point. The period where I was practicing to get my hours up for my road test I’d drive the Corrolla. They’re quite zippy for what they are, I mean granted their 10+ years old. The Civic has really caught my attention as well, anyways thanks for the advice! Will definitely be useful in my later findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Like the others said, i would probably avoid for a 1st car unless you have an awesome job and can afford to pay the gas bill. No idea what your insurance companies are like over there, but here they would be on the higher cost to insure for drivers under 25. They are fairly heavy and are a little on the thirsty side.

On the flip side they drive great and if you find a mint one and dont thrash the crap out of it all the time then they are pretty damn reliable. Ive had mine for about 6-7 years and apart from normal servicing it hasnt missed a beat, it was pretty straight when i got it and previous owners looked after it as have I.

Personally i would start off in the Corolla class till you have some experiance in driving behind you and a decent job, then start moving up to larger cars if you still have the need. Thats what ive tried to do with both my kids, 1st one was fine, 2nd put his small car into a ditch so not sure how he would have faired with something larger and more powerful, i know im glad i didnt get him one or lend him mine lol ;)
Yes! You’re right, it’s crazy the insurance premiums are quite high here as well specially if you’re are under 25. Will definitely look in the market for a corolla. Hmmm, maybe a 9th gen manual, I heard the clutch is quite light and floaty, and god-forbid if I burn the clutch it won’t cost a arm and a leg for my father to replace. Anyways thanks, this will help for my further findings!
 

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Please don’t think that we are trying to deter you from the is300, I’m sure you could have gotten that out of what we all said. We are just trying to make you aware of it’s shortcomings. However all cars have some type of flaws here and there. Basically there are plenty of beginner cars out there. If I had one rule to stick by, it would be something from Toyota/Lexus or Honda. If you can drive a stick shift I think you will get an even more reliable car as manual transmissions rarely fail as an automatic could.
 

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Mr. Roo
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My first/previous car was an even older Corolla, and it was about the same as the IS really. The corolla was quick and light, the IS is bogged down and heavy. It really is not much of a sports car at all. It was still made for comfort, not fun. But, I've had my IS for 10 years now, so that says something about it even if you learn all the shortfalls in that time. And of course, it's only getting older. Mine is at 200k now, but it's pretty much done. Despite my efforts to keep it up, it really isn't doing great. And I have dumped a fortune into this car lol.

Plus, it's rear-wheel drive, which isn't going to be good for those NYC winters with all the snow and ice. If you get this car, winter snow tires are needed and make all the difference.

Like ill_mannered said, we're not trying to scare you away, but we're not gonna fanboy about it either. We're just being realistic and helpful. It can be really exciting to get a new car, but that excitement can wear off really fast if you're not prepared for the bumps. But if you are, having the right expectations will ensure you enjoy the car forever.
 
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