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<B><I>Consumer Reports</I></B> has just released its much-awaited Annual Auto Issue. The mass media usually reports only the most superficial facts and results of the CR surveys. Further, the different criteria that Consumer Reports uses to evaluate and rank cars & trucks can be confusing. IS300.NET, however, is cutting through the clutter and providing, in a clear and concise manner, all the information that pertains to the Lexus IS300.<BR>
<P><B>Overall Ratings:</B> This is comparable to a typical car-magazine road test. To quote CR, it's an evaluation of a vehicle's performance, safety, comfort, convenience, interior quality, fuel economy, cargo capacity, and more. In the Upscale Sedans category, the rankings are:<BR>
1) Acura TL<BR>
2) BMW 330i<BR>
<B>3) Lexus IS300</B><BR>
All 3 were considered excellent. The 4th-ranked car (Lexus ES330) was on the borderline between Very Good and Excellent.<BR>
<P><B>Reliability:</B> This is probably the single most compelling reason people look to the Consumer Reports ratings. In the Upscale Cars category, the rankings are:<BR>
<B>1)</B> (Tie) <B>Lexus IS300</B><BR>
1) Infiniti I35 (a plusher version of the previous-generation Nissan Maxima.)<BR>
Both are 60% Better than Average in reliability.<BR>
<P><B>Safety:</B> This was surely the biggest surprise in the magazine. According to CR, <B>the Lexus IS300 is the safest car sold in the U.S.! It was the only vehicle with a perfect score of 100!</B> None of the German and Swedish cars with their vaunted safety reputations were able to accomplish this. Consumer Reports says that the IS300 has "Excellent Brakes and handling, quick acceleration, good offset-crash results."<BR>
<P><B>Best Cars for Kids:</B> A new and, IMHO, lame and muddled category. CR's write-up is subdivided into "When Kids are Passengers" (birth to age 15, presumably) and "When Kids are Drivers" (ages 16-20). In the Luxury & Upscale Sedans category, the rankings are:<BR>
1) Lexus LS430<BR>
2) Saab 9-5 Arc<BR>
3) Infiniti I35<BR>
4) Lexus ES330<BR>
5) BMW 330i<BR>
<B>6) Lexus IS300</B><BR>
The IS300 has only one of what Consumer Reports considers to be good family-friendly features: Safety power-window switches. Also, CR does not recommend for teenagers vehicles that go 0-60 in less than 8 seconds or more than 11 seconds(!)<BR>
<P><B>Most Satisfying/Would you buy it again?:</B> This mainstay of years of Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issues has been removed from the print version and posted only on their website. The IS300, with 70% of owners surveyed saying they would buy another one, is right at the median of the survey. Yet, that is only good for a 9th-place ranking out of 15 Upscale Sedans. Here are the rankings:<BR>
1) BMW 3-series<BR>
2) Lexus ES330<BR>
3) Infiniti G35<BR>
4) Saab 9-5<BR>
5) Saab 9-3<BR>
6) Audi A4<BR>
7) Cadillac CTS<BR>
8) Infiniti I35<BR>
<B>9) Lexus IS300</B><BR>
<P><B>Reliable Used Cars:</B> The 2001 & 2002 Lexus IS300 is one of the recommended used cars in the $22,000-$26,000 price range, and the 2003 Lexus IS300 is one of the recommended used cars in the $26,000-$30,000 price range. Take these price ranges with a grain of salt, though. It is my understanding that Consumer Reports' published used car prices tend to be higher than what you can actually get a used car for.<BR>
<P><B>Ratings for the Lexus IS300:</B> Now we come to the actual "meat and potatoes" of Consumer Reports' information, the Detailed Reliability Ratings. Only 2001 and 2002 models were surveyed, as there was insufficient data for 2003 models (Have sales declined THAT much?), and 2004 models are too new. Here are the results, which apply to both model years unless otherwise specified:<BR>
<P><B><I>Engine</I></B><BR>
Much Better than Average<BR>
<P><B><I>Cooling</I></B><BR>
Much Better than Average<BR>
<P><B><I>Fuel system</I></B><BR>
Better than Average for 2001<BR>
Much Better than Average for 2002<BR>
<P><B><I>Ignition</I></B><BR>
Much Better than Average<BR>
<P><B><I>Transmission</I></B><BR>
Better than Average for 2001<BR>
Much Better than Average for 2002<BR>
<P><B><I>Electrical</I></B><BR>
Better than Average<BR>
<P><B><I>Air Conditioning</I></B><BR>
Much Better than Average<BR>
<P><B><I>Suspension</I></B><BR>
Better than Average<BR>
<P><B><I>Brakes</I></B><BR>
Much Better than Average<BR>
<P><B><I>Exhaust</I></B><BR>
Much Better than Average<BR>
<P><B><I>Paint/Trim/Rust</I></B><BR>
Better than Average for 2001<BR>
Much Better than Average for 2002<BR>
<P><B><I>Body Integrity</I></B><BR>
Better than Average for 2001<BR>
Average for 2002<BR>
<P><B><I>Power Equipment</I></B><BR>
Better than Average for 2001<BR>
Much Better than Average for 2002<BR>
<P><B><I>Body Hardware</I></B><BR>
Better than Average
 

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Is300

Good to see the IS300 as number one in safety, but I really don't understand why they would publish "would I buy one again?" That question seems kind of odd, considering most people do not buy the same car again because needs change as do preferences. Oh well just my .02
 

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"Would I buy one again?" seems dumb, most people don't buy the exact same car again, they need a change or what not. I woulnd't buy the exact same car twice, there would have to be improvement / differences between the two cars. Too boring.
 
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