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Discussion Starter #1
There is no other car that I have half the interest in but...

My commute is long 90 miles per day. I live in Boston so winters are an issue. So specifically my concerns are as follows:

1. Winter driving what is the real deal (I'll be leaving a Subaru Legacy GT, a winter animal), can it be done? What do snow tires do? Would the 16"ers be a better fit?

2. Tread wear, I've heard 15,000 miles a set, this seems ridiculous, I put 25 per year commuting alone. Is this for real? Again would the 16"ers be better?

3. Everyone says it is reliable, does that mean it doesn't break down or it doesn't need service other than routine stuff? This car is a stretch for me financially and I like the idea that I am buying a Toyota underneath it all. But I won't have thousands of dollars to throw away on "check engine" lights and transmission issues. Or tires every year for that matter.

4. Obviously I am looking for performance but I think I'd gladly sacrifice a bit for longer tread wear and better winter traction...16"ers??

I'd be grateful for any long term owners to provide feedback. It will be hard to sway me away from this car because I've already fallen for it, but in trying to be realistic I need to address the above concerns. I'ma 30yo responsible driver looking for something pre-kids when the wagons and SUV's are the norm. Thanks very much.

-Ben
 

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If you get the standard Dunlops 17", with all that highway driving you will get 30k+ out of them easily.

You will need winter tires, and while it wont handle as good as the Subaru in the snow, I dont think you will have any issues getting to work and back, especially since it sounds like you do A LOT of highway driving.

The car is reliable as hell.
 

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1) Winter driving is for real. My IS is everyday driver. 3 winters and counting. What do snow tires do? Well, it keeps your car away from slamming into stationary or even moving objects while driving in snow conditions. In other words, it is a must-have if you want to drive in snow. Word of advice, never ever ever drive in snow on summer tires. It is also recommended to get 16" winter set and 17" summer one.

2) Thread wear depends on your driving style. I would expect 25K+ on summer tires. It seems that factory alignment is set for performance, so you get more wear on the inside of the front tires. I'd stick with 17s - they handle way better.

3) I put 56K on my 2001 IS before I traded it in. We had an IS here pushing it over 90K no major problems. Dealer maintenace is expensive, but I skip it. I do oil changes and tire rotation myself, so it keeps the maintenance cost down.

4) Not sure if 16s will outlast 17s. I think it comes down to your driving style.
 

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Ive had mine for over a year. I drive it pretty hard. Got bout 18 on my stock tires (17"s). But you have to account for it beeing my first semi fast rear wheel car and i got a bit squirrely the first few months.

No major probs at all. Just keep up on regular mantinence and you should be fine. Only engine associated mod i have is exhaust so far, got it before the car even had 1k miles on it. Have 20k now. No check engine lights (thats associated with intakes usually).

Only issue so far is the stock cd player. It had to be replaced because it crapped out on me.

Other than that, no worries. If its a big issue, dont mod the hell out of it, and you will be fine.

I have had many highly modded cars. This is the first one i have kept basically stock. All the ones that i did alot of stuff too eventually had problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
great response!

Thanks all for the response so far. Very helpful you all have essentially sealed the deal. I think I am over the winter driving phobia, I'll just HIGHLY suggest that my fiance replace her Jeep with an Outback so we're covered for winter.

I'm still a little leary of the 17" tires. I've been looking at tirerack.com and the replacement cost isn't as bad as I expected, but still 25M miles per set of tires scares me. This car is preceding the purchase of a house.

Can some 30+ drivers (I don't mean to assume that those who have responded so far aren't) confirm that this commuter mobile will be a relatively smart purchase? I love this car.

Thanks again to all who have responded.

Ben
 

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Re: great response!

Aja1 said:
Thanks all for the response so far. Very helpful you all have essentially sealed the deal. I think I am over the winter driving phobia, I'll just HIGHLY suggest that my fiance replace her Jeep with an Outback so we're covered for winter.

I'm still a little leary of the 17" tires. I've been looking at tirerack.com and the replacement cost isn't as bad as I expected, but still 25M miles per set of tires scares me. This car is preceding the purchase of a house.

Can some 30+ drivers (I don't mean to assume that those who have responded so far aren't) confirm that this commuter mobile will be a relatively smart purchase? I love this car.

Thanks again to all who have responded.

just a shameless plug for a black (almost) brand new IS300 for sale: follow the link in my sig...

as you were...

Ben
 

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Re: great response!

Aja1 said:
Can some 30+ drivers (I don't mean to assume that those who have responded so far aren't) confirm that this commuter mobile will be a relatively smart purchase? I love this car.

Ben,

I'm 38 and mine is a daily driver. I live near Boston, so I have dealt with NE winters with the IS.

The only advice I can give you is to use your head when it comes to driving here in the winter. I would recommend highly to purchase 16" wheels with snow tires. At least this way, the stock wheels and tires will last much longer.

Don't worry about any "check engine" light as long as you don't modify you intake with an aftermarket one. If you do, then the best bet would be SRT's if you are looking for open air element combined with a piggyback ECU. Another choice would be PLP's enclosed intake, which uses the stock airbox.

So far, both of these haven't set off any CE lights.

I hope this helps in your decision. :D




All I can say is that I love my car! :D



 
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