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Lexus IS200

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epoxi
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#1

Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:30 PM Edited by epoxi, 08 July 2013 - 02:42 PM.

Disclaimer: This is an exercise in counting my chickens before they are hatched, but it is still a very real proposition.

Now I am becoming a proper grown up and will be commuting to work, in due course I would like to swap my riced out Citroen C2 for something more serious and a bit more practical for an 'adult'.

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One car I have always liked both for its appearance and quality is the Lexus IS200. My interest was particularly raised when I realised, at my current age, insurance on it is in fact cheaper than my 1.4 econobox. I understand the BMW 3-series is a better driver's car but I would prefer to drive something more unusual, and the early 2000s C-Class...well, that's just a joke lol.gif .

Pros:

Cheap insurance
Super reliability
RWD with I6 engine
Lexus build quality
High spec
More unique choice

Cons:
Expensive compared to German marque used cars
Poor fuel economy (25-30mpg average)
High tax (245 or so)
Old shape
RWD in snow = probably going to need Winter tyres
Relatively slow (but still a good step up from what I have now, and it will make me appreciate when I get my more powerful next next car)

What experience do you guys have with the car? What else can you suggest with the same running costs, reliability and luxury? (I am open to all shapes of cars, whether hatchback or wagon...just no French cars please)

Would it be best to buy a cheap, dated one (i.e. <2002 with 100k+ miles for ~1,000) or a better-specified later model one (~2004 60k miles for ~3,000)? Also, opinions on buying a Sportcross (wagon/estate) version?

sivispacem
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#2

Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:15 PM

I like them, but they're very thirsty. I'm also a bit bemused by your comments on insurance as they're significantly more expensive for me to insure than much more powerful BMWs. I can insure a 330i for less than an IS200.

Not the last word in driver involvement but quick, comfy, well equipped and a good enough steer.

If you don't have much experience with saloon cars, you will find the estate infinitely easier to reverse park.

epoxi
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#3

Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:36 PM Edited by epoxi, 08 July 2013 - 04:57 PM.

Thanks for the advice. The quote may have expired but while I was getting 650 fully comp on my C2, the Lexus was returning 530 (also comprehensive). Post from a while ago.

I think it may be the 5 year NCB that drives it down (though then again you have quite a lot too right?) and I think it was a smaller insurer on a comparison site, it could have just been a complete actuarial accident lol.gif . I will have to check again...

Edit: I tried just now and I get 650 for the IS200, 750 for the IS300 (ewww automatic though) and 1,100 for the 330i.

Also, is 100 extra worth it for protected NCB? I think I paid 70 for it last year on the C2, but I really like having the peace of mind.

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#4

Posted 08 July 2013 - 05:53 PM

I've got 7 or 8 years NCD at the moment. It could be down to differences in age brackets- for me, a 330i is about 620, and strangely the IS200 about 650; I imagine some of that might be the penchant late-20s-early-30s rudebois seem to have for IS200s. As for protected NCD, it does make sense but 100 is very steep- I'd expect somewhere in the region of 30- that's about what it costs me to protect my NCD.

epoxi
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#5

Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:41 PM

Wow, sounds like my premiums have hit a plateau for the next few years, considering we both have software-related jobs (if I remember right).

sivispacem
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#6

Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:03 PM

QUOTE (epoxi @ Monday, Jul 8 2013, 19:41)
Wow, sounds like my premiums have hit a plateau for the next few years, considering we both have software-related jobs (if I remember right).

I'm a "security consultant" according to my current insurance. Was "company director" on the last one. As for hitting a plateau, very much dependent on the car in question. I'm paying a grand total of 347 on my SEAT.

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#7

Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:23 PM

How hard would it be to drop the 4.3 in there...

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#8

Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:17 PM

QUOTE (visionist @ Thursday, Jul 11 2013, 20:23)
How hard would it be to drop the 4.3 in there...

Probably much harder than the tried and tested LSx route. Much less rewarding too.

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#9

Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:15 PM

On forums I have seen people suggesting buying the supercharger Toyota designed for the IS200 (was going to be included in the car, but didn't fit with brand image so was dropped and sold separately by another company), but the damn thing costs more than the car, and would bump premiums sky high.

Were I to find the car too slow, I would simply sell it and buy another car.

I would love to have an LS being the legend it is, but parking would be too annoying.

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#10

Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:14 AM

Holy.... You young guys in the UK get ripped pretty bad insurance wise. I paid the equivalent of 960 pounds a year to insure my 300c V8 worth $30,000 at aged 20.
You guys seam to be paying almost that price to insure cars worth less than half that price.
But our occupation is not listed on our insurance. They do care what you do as long as you pay them.

On the topic of the Lexus, never been much of a fan. Probably because most people here who own one rice them out. I'm very anit rice. If those red circle lights were not on the boot they would look pretty cool stock.

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#11

Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:39 AM

QUOTE (Ben73 @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 01:14)
You guys seam to be paying almost that price to insure cars worth less than half that price.

It's worse than that, at 20 I was paying 1,200 for a 1.4 litre car worth 3,000.

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#12

Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:32 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Thursday, Jul 11 2013, 16:17)
QUOTE (visionist @ Thursday, Jul 11 2013, 20:23)
How hard would it be to drop the 4.3 in there...

Probably much harder than the tried and tested LSx route. Much less rewarding too.

I know a few people running 2JZ-GTE swapped (which is basically bolt-in) IS300's and they are plain wicked. 600 whp DD's.

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#13

Posted 12 July 2013 - 11:48 AM

QUOTE (Lurch @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 02:32)
I know a few people running 2JZ-GTE swapped (which is basically bolt-in) IS300's and they are plain wicked. 600 whp DD's.

Sounds pretty cool, do they keep the IS300's auto transmission?

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#14

Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:34 PM

QUOTE (epoxi @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 07:48)
QUOTE (Lurch @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 02:32)
I know a few people running 2JZ-GTE swapped (which is basically bolt-in) IS300's and they are plain wicked. 600 whp DD's.

Sounds pretty cool, do they keep the IS300's auto transmission?

Some do. Other keep the stock 5 speed. Others opt for the Supra's 6 speed. One that has an auto says he plans to swap a 350z 6 speed because they're so much cheaper than Supra units (cheap enough to buy an adapter and still come out ahead). The ones that are pushing 600 hp are usually using the Supra's 6 speed as the stock auto and 5 speed don't seem to really like anything north of 400-450 hp.

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#15

Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:00 PM

QUOTE (Lurch @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 11:34)
QUOTE (epoxi @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 07:48)
QUOTE (Lurch @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 02:32)
I know a few people running 2JZ-GTE swapped (which is basically bolt-in) IS300's and they are plain wicked. 600 whp DD's.

Sounds pretty cool, do they keep the IS300's auto transmission?

Some do. Other keep the stock 5 speed. Others opt for the Supra's 6 speed. One that has an auto says he plans to swap a 350z 6 speed because they're so much cheaper than Supra units (cheap enough to buy an adapter and still come out ahead). The ones that are pushing 600 hp are usually using the Supra's 6 speed as the stock auto and 5 speed don't seem to really like anything north of 400-450 hp.

You got any pics of these cars Lurch?

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#16

Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:44 PM

QUOTE (The General @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 16:00)
QUOTE (Lurch @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 11:34)
QUOTE (epoxi @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 07:48)
QUOTE (Lurch @ Friday, Jul 12 2013, 02:32)
I know a few people running 2JZ-GTE swapped (which is basically bolt-in) IS300's and they are plain wicked. 600 whp DD's.

Sounds pretty cool, do they keep the IS300's auto transmission?

Some do. Other keep the stock 5 speed. Others opt for the Supra's 6 speed. One that has an auto says he plans to swap a 350z 6 speed because they're so much cheaper than Supra units (cheap enough to buy an adapter and still come out ahead). The ones that are pushing 600 hp are usually using the Supra's 6 speed as the stock auto and 5 speed don't seem to really like anything north of 400-450 hp.

You got any pics of these cars Lurch?

They're nothing all that special to behold. Looks like any IS with a front mount strapped on. And a snail added to the 2J. Other than that, they look pretty low-key.

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#17

Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:17 AM

@epoxi: I can't help you with anything you've asked, but for what it's worth I think the IS is a damn handsome car.

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#18

Posted 13 July 2013 - 08:47 PM Edited by LCstuntman, 14 July 2013 - 12:06 AM.

I guess America only got the IS300? Not sure what the differences are besides probably the displacement just going off the name, but they look exactly the same. We get to choose between a 5speed manual and a 5speed automatic (ew). A 2JZGTE IS300 would be absolutely wicked, and I've seen some turbo the stock 2JZGE to get upwards of 400 and 500. Not sure how much internals work is needed, but could be a route. I think it has a lot of potential, just depends how you do it up smile.gif

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When I was interested in buying one, this was my inspiration for the mod direction. I'd get those taillight overlays ASAP.

EDIT: Epoxi, are you saying that you can buy the IS300 there, but they only make it in automatic? A manual 300 would be perfection, so it's a shame if thats the case confused.gif 215hp vs. the IS200's 160 (going off wiki, might be a little off)

And I'd be ecstatic if I got 25-30 MPG wow.gif

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#19

Posted 14 July 2013 - 06:09 AM

QUOTE (LCstuntman @ Saturday, Jul 13 2013, 16:47)
Not sure how much internals work is needed, but could be a route.

Only real difference is the head, pistons, and oil squirters for said pistons. Other than that, they're more or less identical. The lack of squirters isn't really that big of a deal until north of 500 whp. Other than that, you can mix and match parts and come out a bit cheaper building an NA 2J. A lot of people like the GTE's just because they're more or less good to go from the beginning (though everyone converts them to single turbo anyway as the stock twins aren't all that great). If you're willing to put a motor together from scratch, you can come out a lot cheaper building a GE.

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#20

Posted 14 July 2013 - 04:05 PM Edited by epoxi, 14 July 2013 - 04:09 PM.

@LCstuntman: Yes, in the UK they only sold the IS300 as an automatic, though I believe some manual IS300s were sold to the police. But I've never even seen a Lexus police car on the road to be honest.

Also, because of differing gallon sizes, our MPG is more generous than yours. The IS200's 25-30mpg (UK) translates to 20-25mpg (US).

@Outcast: Haha, I guess I'll start saving for it then...

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#21

Posted 03 August 2013 - 08:42 PM Edited by epoxi, 03 August 2013 - 08:51 PM.

Not to turn this into one of those "wich car shud i buy" speculative shenanigans topics, but...

1999-2006 Toyota Celica

Cheap to buy, cheap insurance, good fuel economy, good reliability (chain driven, but also drinks oil). I know it's FWD but I assume it'd be a good start for me considering I have never driven anything other than my slow 'super'mini.

What do you all think? Also, in terms of luggage space, would it be less convenient than my Citroen C2?

(And yes, this post was prompted by the Pistonheads SOTW post)

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#22

Posted 03 August 2013 - 09:21 PM

QUOTE (epoxi @ Saturday, Aug 3 2013, 21:42)
(And yes, this post was prompted by the Pistonheads SOTW post)

I thought as much!

I quite like them I must say. They're a decent enough steer, represent very good value for money and look good too. As an everyday daily one might be a good laugh though it's worth noting that even the fastest 190bhp versions are glacially slow. We're talking high seven seconds to 60 for the faster models and up to ten for the slower ones. Nothing that looks that sporty should be so gutless imo.

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#23

Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:33 PM Edited by epoxi, 04 August 2013 - 12:08 AM.

I am not too interested in speed, I feel I would be happy in any car that doesn't make me feel inadequate in on the motorway. I find my car (like many others in its class) gets exhausting on long drives. One of the situations I mainly hate is when you are in the fast lane at full throttle slowly overtaking traffic: your lack of grunt means you end up being an obstruction to the especially fast drivers behind you, but you can't drop your speed to let them past either because you are already beside the overtake-ee with someone right on your tail.

I also want to stop driving Fischer-Price cars that struggle to even keep doing 60mph when going uphill on a dual carriageway or main road...it's just embarassing.

Basically, something that can maintain any legal speed on any road without ever feeling out of power or struggling.

Edit: Actually, before I saw the SOTW article, I saw this mysterious Scion tC for sale in the UK. Despite its girly reputation in the USA I realised it would be quite an interesting and practical car to have...but then I saw its accident damage and the fact it's LHD, hence my mind was primed for the Celica alternative. I'm still left scratching my head as to why someone would shell out the money to import such a moderately priced car though.

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#24

Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:17 PM

Sultan front end! wink.gif

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#25

Posted 01 October 2013 - 05:34 PM

Went with the Celica in the end. I look forward to picking it up at the weekend. :D


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#26

Posted 01 October 2013 - 07:22 PM

High tax (£245 or so)
 

 

Hahahahahaha! HIGH TAX. It's €710 to tax this car in Ireland!


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#27

Posted 01 October 2013 - 09:58 PM

Ah Ireland, do you do much border hopping for your furniture and electronics?


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#28

Posted 02 October 2013 - 08:07 AM

Ah Ireland, do you do much border hopping for your furniture and electronics?

 

I used to until IKEA opened here. As for electronics, I never buy new - only 2nd hand, either from the US or here, locally.





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