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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I don't shop for cars often; so, consider me a newbie.

I've always been a sports car enthusiast. My first car was a Mustang and I've been driving my '97 Mitsubishi Eclipse AWD Turbo for the past few years.

As the cost of repairing my almost dead turbo is becomming a waste, I'm on the look for a new car. I was quick to buy the new '01 Mitsu Eclipse after a relatively short test-drive and a pushy sales-person. But, I am very disappointed to say the least. It has all of the characteristics of a sports-car (i.e. tight room, excessive noise) without actually being one (vague steering, too big, 40ft. turning radius, slow).

Fortunately, I realized that this was not the car for me and managed to get the dealer to take it back with only a trivial loss of money on my part. So, I'm on the look again. I've refined my search some and I'm looking for a comfortable and practical car with a sporty feeling.

I had the priviledge of test-driving an IS300 the other day. Purely out of chance though (dealer said that it matches my description perfectly). I was very impressed; it was like I'd found what I've been looking for, exactly. But, this is an expensive car. I can afford it with room to spare; but, I'm really not the kind of person who would pop 30k on a car unless it was really worth it.

My main question is: is it worth it?

When I asked the dealer "is there anything wrong with this car?" His response was a quick no. Can anyone honestly agree with that?

Is this an expensive car to maintain? I'm guessing insurance costs are relatively high (anyone have numbers?). I've also noticed that premium fuel is recommended; considering the low gas-mileage, it seems like gas alone would cost a small fortune. Any comments?

Also, I've read a lot on this forum about the new 2002 Manual that is worth the wait. Unfortunately, my lady is asking I buy an auto; so, that isn't an option for me really. Are there any planned improvements for the 2002 IS300 Auto? Would it be worth the wait, or the price? I haven't heard any info at all on the 2002 automatic (the attention seems to be focused on the manual). Interesting facts would be helpful.

Any constructive opinions on why this car is "worth it" would be appreciated. Additionally, anyone who has positive or negative experiences with the IS, please share.

Lastly, what kind of cars (models & makes) does the IS compete with (excluding the BMW)? Any comments on any of the IS's competitors? No BMW stories plz.

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