I’ve bought my (53 Reg) IS200 SE in Feb 2004. It’s now done 66,000 miles, and I can honestly say that it has been reliability personified.
The only issues have been the premature wear on the front tyres (tyres going bald on the inside treads at approx 9,500 miles), this was resolved by having the tracking reset, although this meant a very small loss in road handling it improved the front tyre longevity to approx 14,000 miles. The only other issue was the alloy wheels which were showing signs of “pitting” after approx 18months. These were all replaced under warranty by the Lexus dealer whilst it was in for a service; they even replaced the spare wheel which had not been used.
The negative points are that when driving in snowy conditions it’s like Bambi on ice, the annoying warning bleep when in reverse gear, and it could do with cruise control.
I’ve had the car over four years now, I had originally planned to change the car after three years; but I’m finding it very difficult to find a car in this category that offers similar levels of equipment and reliability as the IS200.
I bought my pre-registered 2004 IS 200 S Auto in April 2005, with 6 miles on the clock. It has now done 20250 with a mixture of commuting in city traffic and motorway driving. It has been extremely reliable. Whilst Lexus dealers are very helpful, I would not rate them any better than some other brand agents I have known. In terms of costs, servicing is not particularly cheap. At it's first MOT, the car required two new front tyres, due to damage rather than wear. All four alloy wheels rusted and were replaced under warranty, just prior to it's third birthday. I expereinced a blown cigar lighter fuse, which was probably my fault, due to using a not very sophisticated mobile 'phone charger. The fault was repaired at the next service, free of charge. As an automatic, I get around 28 MPG overall. The best things about the car are the secure feeling gained from driving it, both in terms of handling and overall reliability and the comfortable interior. I have been in the habit of changing my cars every two years. As I look round the showrooms, I cannot think of a good reason to change it. It still feels very well put together and apart from the odd stone chip, the paintwork is perfect. It is the first Japanese car that I have had, having previously been rather sniffy about them. Having had mid-range Mercedes and Saab models in the past, I shall probably drive past these showrooms when I eventually do change it, some years hence, for another Lexus IS.
This is my second IS, the first being the 200 auto, I drove the manual and found it to be a little hard to get going. I opted for the auto and loved it so much that I bought my IS 300 without driving it. There is no compare between the two, the 300 is fantastic to drive, reliability is fantastic too, the big down side is the fuel, round town returns a best of 21, usually more like 19, on a run it can be as much as 33, but safer to budget on 29, check gear box oils in auto as both of mine had not been changed despite, BOTH HAD MAIN DEALER HISTORY, I now opt for Lexus specialist, 1/2 the price and every bit as good!
I've had my first (new & manual) IS for one year, then traded it in for another, as I fancied both an auto and cruise control. The first was fantastic (the exhaust note had to be heard to be believed when under hard acceleration) and it cruised superbly at 135 on an autobahn, until the speed governor (aka the wife) cut in. However, such was the stability of it, that she would tolerate a "reasonable" 125 without any murmurs.
The auto version was more of a "sedate" cruiser, but in both vehicles, the performance, luxury, build-quality and reliability are brilliant. The Lexus Dealer was unparalleled and Lexus themselves, treat one as a VERY valued and important customer. I only traded in this car, to move to a RX, again sheer perfection.
New or secondhand, the epitome of reliable and luxury motoring.
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