Well… there is a whole swarm of people buying IS300’s, and now I’m in the party. Shame that some of the guys who started the party have moved on. I wanted one of these when they came out in 2001, I considered buying one when I bought my WRX… and now, it seems like a fun way to upgrade the wife’s Impreza.
I’m happy to finally pull the trigger. I still think this car might have the sexiest gauge cluster of any car ever… even if the tachometer is in the wrong spot. Given that it has a heated seats, automatic climate control and a whole bunch of other features that the Impreza didn’t have, I hope it will be forgiven (as a family car) for not having a hatchback, AWD, or a fuel sipping 4 cylinder engine. Not that the Impreza really sipped fuel… but it’s the idea that counts.
Yes I said I had to buy another Subaru… but Toyota build quality is so incredibly superior. Even with 130k km, this car feels much more solid than my FRS… or even some of the brand new German cars that I spend time with on the job. I also… looked at the regular econo car options from Toyota: Corolla… too freaking boring, Yaris… no power windows? Matrix… AWD, but too ugly. Rav4… maybe, but the truth is I despise the three circle gauges clusters that all most early 2000 Toyota’s have. A LOT. Sometimes when Toyota tries to be interesting it fails horribly.
My reservations with the IS300 is that it has become the clapped out project of hacks and wannabe enthusiasts everywhere. Most that I see are lowered, sporting stickers on the back window, plenty of rust and scrapes, and Domo-kun hanging from the rear bumper. This one is 100% stock with a full service record from the dealership. It was however, owned by a guy who told me it had a Supra engine. It must… because it goes at least as nice as my FRS does.
Family road trips are going to be much more enjoyable now… even if we can’t pack 2 coolers and four big bags… and even if I’m yelling at the kids to keep their chocolate hands off the cloth, leather and wood door cards.