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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I know this topic's been discussed already but I can't simply make up my mind and need some help. My wife's birthday is coming and I was thinking about getting her a new car towards the end of June. I was going back and forth: Acura CL, IS 300, CL, IS 300… After checking both cars out my heart is set on IS 300 (I know my wife likes how IS 300 looks too).

I though it was all easy until I've learned that 2002 will have few things addresses that some of you consider an oversight in 2001 model. I personally would love to have some of them too. That's what I have collected on new 2002 model so far:

(1) center arm rest
(2) driver side seats and mirrors memory
(3) Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) system
(4) side curtain airbags
(5) and auto-dimming rearview mirror
(6) full leather option
(7) five-speed manual transmission
(8) DVDROM based GPS/NAV system

I'd really, really love to get #1, and #2 would be nice too. The rest of them I don't care much about (well, may be #3).

So, there is my dilemma – get 2001 soon and have a real nice present for my wife, or wait until 2002 price comes down and get that. Considering all expected 2002 changes, would you go for 2001 or 2002 and why? What do you all think? Thanks for any for feedback.

58 Posts
Well, I recently leased an IS and for me it came down to two major points: price (value) and necessity/desire of a car now. Since you are not interested in a manual, you have the choice of paying probably close to sticker to get the 2002 when it comes out, or getting the 2001 now at close to invoice prices ($3,000-$4,000 off). In addition, I am assuming you are purchasing, but if you are leasing they are still offering a competitive money factor rate of 0.00228, or 5.47%.

At the end of the day, are you willing to pay the extra couple grand for those amenities? Do you not mind waiting a couple of months? (If your situation changes a couple months down the road, you could probably even get a slightly price too, when the 2002's come out.)

--Just read your last sentence about waiting 'til the price drops. I guess it comes to a matter of patience. The question that then arises is, around this time next year, do you wait for the 2003 to come out?

I realise that I maybe didn't answer your question the way you wanted, but it really is a matter of personal preference and utility--how much do you value those amenities, and how much will they add to your life, minus the aggravation of waiting?

Another thing to consider is the first-year production flaws, such as:

1. The plastic undercarriage that breaks and drops out suddenly.

2. The ECU/TRAC problem with acceleration hesitation.

3. The really thin paint that is easily damaged (?).

4. Problems with the CD-changer eating CDs,
among others.

My decision was to fix what could be fixed, such as the ECU/TRAC and the undercarriage, and accept and deal with the rest. Knowing all this, I am still content to join the ranks of 2001 IS owners.

ANYONE, I read somewhere that Lexus decided to change stock stereo systems/CD-changer on IS300's being manufactured recently. I tried the search function, but it is reallly slow/not working. Could anyone confirm or deny this? Thanks.

71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
GSXR600, thanks for your comments. Few extra grand do not justify those new 2002 features to me. I have almost talked myself into waiting few months past 2002 release for the price to come down and get it then (hate to pay MSRP) though. Reason being is that you brought up a good point about IS being 1st year model.

Have #1 and #4 problems been addressed in later production vehicles? I though #2 was fixed, and I have never heard of people having #3 problem (that is one of the things that stopped me from getting CL-S in the first place). If most of the problems listed have been fixed, then 2001 is actually a not bad deal compared with 2002.

Actually, come to think of it, when I tested IS 300 last weekend it had #2 problem. I floored the gas pedal but car was barely moving. It felt like my Altima going uphill with A/C on.
Hmmm, may be I *should* wait for 2002 after all.

Any guesses as to when we should expect prices for 2002 to start go down? Also any ideas what kind of shape usually the new car market is in the Sep-Dec time frame?

In the end, despite all of the logic, I may opt to buy 2001 model if I get desperate. Thanks again.

Parasyte, I talked to Lexus sales rep., he confirmed most of the options listed for 2002 and said that new model will be hitting market in August (I didn't ask if that was for auto or manual).
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