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Talk me out of it - Used IS

 
Old 04-10-19, 01:44 PM
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Default Talk me out of it - Used IS

Alright, long time lurker and finally decided to see if I can get some feedback from forum members. I'll share my current situation in hopes of getting some outside perspective.

Current situation:
I drive a 2000 Toyota Celica. First car purchased back in 2000, lots of good memories, straight up my daily driver since purchase. It has about 140,000 miles on it and IMO it's in great condition, lol. I commute about 40 miles a day in it. We recently purchased a new to us RX350 CPO for the wife to drive as she always wanted one for the longest time. In turn, I'll get the hand me down 2014 Mazda 6 Touring. We purchased that back in 2013 right when it first came out and it has about 90,000 miles.

The Celica has not given me any problem and can probably service me for years to come. The Mazda has also been good to us and can likely serve me for years to come. Going from the Celica to the Mazda will be an upgrade as it has a lot of the creature comfort that the Celica never did. It'll make my commute better IMO. Technically it should end here but...

I can probably get $9K for the Mazda and $3K for the Celica. That'll take me to around $12-$13K depending on luck. I see used IS200T with low miles or even CPO for slightly below $25K. Used is likely $25K OTD whereas CPO is going to be more $27K OTD. They will be F Sport.

I'm not going for speed so I'm not interested in moving up to an IS350 F Sport for the price difference.

The question is, should I even entertain this or should I just wait it out for 2-3 years and see what's out in the market come 2022. I'll definitely have to pay more down since the current car/s will depreciate some more but there will technically be more car choices to choose from. Looking to toss some ideas around and get some feedback.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by 2ndName; 04-10-19 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 04-10-19, 02:02 PM
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arentz07
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The IS versus RC debate is an interesting one (see this thread). As an owner of an IS for 2.5 years, here's how I see it (since my lease will be through in less than a year)
  • The IS is simply more practical than the RC. If you need to make frequent runs to Costco and expect to have more than one passenger on occasion, it would be the better choice. It has a slightly larger interior overall, though the trunk space seems to be nearly identical if the measurements are to be believed.
    • Personally, I've always thought the IS's trunk seemed larger - perhaps it's just the shape or the opening.
  • The RC is heavier than the IS, but it's also slightly lower and wider, with a shorter wheelbase. This means that the handling will be different between the two.
  • The IS is almost always going to be cheaper on the used market, since its new MSRP was lower.
  • The RC has some nicer interior materials in a few places, such as the door panels, and has a different infotainment controller. The RC uses a trackpad-like controller, and the IS uses a joystick/mouse-like controller.
For me, it'd honestly be down to availability. If I could find an RC 350 F Sport with the right options, mileage, and price, I'd take it. I mostly just drive myself and my wife around in mine, and I think we could fit all our groceries in the back no problem - but there's always the wife's car if that turns out to be difficult. That said, if I found both and IS and RC with similar equipment, mileage, and price, I think the test drive would be the deciding factor. I haven't driven an RC yet, but I do expect it to feel pretty similar to the IS.

If you don't care so much about straight-line speed, that's fine - but with the 350, you also have the V6 engine, which is more refined than the four cylinder. Something to think about... I have the 300 AWD, which still has the V6. It's been detuned to 255 horsepower (supposedly), but I find the power is still more than enough. The car never really feels underpowered, and it is definitely fun to rev it out.

Yeah... the IS versus RC conundrum is a tough one.
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Old 04-10-19, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by arentz07 View Post
The IS versus RC debate is an interesting one (see this thread). As an owner of an IS for 2.5 years, here's how I see it (since my lease will be through in less than a year)
  • The IS is simply more practical than the RC. If you need to make frequent runs to Costco and expect to have more than one passenger on occasion, it would be the better choice. It has a slightly larger interior overall, though the trunk space seems to be nearly identical if the measurements are to be believed.
    • Personally, I've always thought the IS's trunk seemed larger - perhaps it's just the shape or the opening.
  • The RC is heavier than the IS, but it's also slightly lower and wider, with a shorter wheelbase. This means that the handling will be different between the two.
  • The IS is almost always going to be cheaper on the used market, since its new MSRP was lower.
  • The RC has some nicer interior materials in a few places, such as the door panels, and has a different infotainment controller. The RC uses a trackpad-like controller, and the IS uses a joystick/mouse-like controller.
For me, it'd honestly be down to availability. If I could find an RC 350 F Sport with the right options, mileage, and price, I'd take it. I mostly just drive myself and my wife around in mine, and I think we could fit all our groceries in the back no problem - but there's always the wife's car if that turns out to be difficult. That said, if I found both and IS and RC with similar equipment, mileage, and price, I think the test drive would be the deciding factor. I haven't driven an RC yet, but I do expect it to feel pretty similar to the IS.

If you don't care so much about straight-line speed, that's fine - but with the 350, you also have the V6 engine, which is more refined than the four cylinder. Something to think about... I have the 300 AWD, which still has the V6. It's been detuned to 255 horsepower (supposedly), but I find the power is still more than enough. The car never really feels underpowered, and it is definitely fun to rev it out.

Yeah... the IS versus RC conundrum is a tough one.
Thanks for the feedback. I just took out the little mention of the RC on my original post. I'm pretty sure it'll be an IS if I do move forward but the question is, should I even more forward or just sit on what I have and wait it out for 2-3 years. Really the only thing going for me if I do go with the IS are the following;
  • Luxury - Although the Mazda interior is not too bad
  • Lexus reliability
  • Lower mileage compared to both of my cars (90K and 140K respectively)
  • The looks. Love the F sport grill
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Old 04-10-19, 03:01 PM
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From my perspective, it looks like you are in the market for a used car instead of new. So waiting for a used next gen lexus probably wouldn't be until 2022 or even 2023. In that case(and if speed isn't a concern) you could look into an 2014,2015 is250 which could be even cheaper then a 200t. I have a 200t and its been reliable-ish, i don't want to start a reliability thread on the turbo engine because there's already one, but most issues have not been major. If you do opt for a 200t check out the 2017, they have the updated grill, navigation screen, rear end (refreshed items).
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Old 04-10-19, 03:34 PM
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If it were me... I'd say it really would depend on how happy I was with the Mazda as well as my financial situation. You're right - it should be fine for several years to come. If you are happy with it and unsure of the budget for the IS, maybe it'd be safer to just revisit this idea in a year or two.

I have a lease, but I am definitely going to be trying to find a car, preferably certified, that I can finance and hold onto for longer next time, so I can sorta identify.
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Old 04-10-19, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Will31894 View Post
From my perspective, it looks like you are in the market for a used car instead of new. So waiting for a used next gen lexus probably wouldn't be until 2022 or even 2023. In that case(and if speed isn't a concern) you could look into an 2014,2015 is250 which could be even cheaper then a 200t. I have a 200t and its been reliable-ish, i don't want to start a reliability thread on the turbo engine because there's already one, but most issues have not been major. If you do opt for a 200t check out the 2017, they have the updated grill, navigation screen, rear end (refreshed items).
Thanks. I'll check out the 2017. So far, most CPO being advertised around here are only the 2016.

Originally Posted by arentz07 View Post
If it were me... I'd say it really would depend on how happy I was with the Mazda as well as my financial situation. You're right - it should be fine for several years to come. If you are happy with it and unsure of the budget for the IS, maybe it'd be safer to just revisit this idea in a year or two.

I have a lease, but I am definitely going to be trying to find a car, preferably certified, that I can finance and hold onto for longer next time, so I can sorta identify.
You're right. Financially, we're okay but thinking about it some more. I think by sitting it out for a year or two, it'll give me a chance to stagger the purchase between the RX350 and whatever car I get. Yeah, I was thinking about leasing but I'm so spontaneous at times that I want to be able to hold my cards/car in this case, haha.
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Old 04-11-19, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 2ndName View Post
You're right. Financially, we're okay but thinking about it some more. I think by sitting it out for a year or two, it'll give me a chance to stagger the purchase between the RX350 and whatever car I get. Yeah, I was thinking about leasing but I'm so spontaneous at times that I want to be able to hold my cards/car in this case, haha.
Yeah my IS 300 was an emotional purchase, not a rational one! However, I don't regret it at all. I learned a lot from that "mistake", but I also enjoy this car a lot.
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Old 04-11-19, 09:37 AM
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I'll sum it up

IS will eat tires, brakes, and gas like no tomorrow. Particularly 200t on the gas. I get around 17mpg. (I drive a lot of city) Otherwise competent car with so-so interior room with good handling.

Long term reliability on accessories/electronics a bit iffy, not as solid as other lexuses. On the 200t, the turbo boost regulator have gone out multiple times on members. a $400 job each time if you take it to dealer, particularly out of warranty.

As far as CPO, doesn't mean much. Just some teens at a dealer looking at air filters and refilling the washer tank. And being charged for that. So if the car you want happens to have it, great. But i wouldn't let lack of CPO shy you away from the car you want, providing you can independently verify the car has service records. Which for a 20k mile car, that literally just means two oil changes and one air filter change.

Just check the history yourself, inquire about it, or ask for records.
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Old 04-11-19, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by E46CT View Post
I'll sum it up

IS will eat tires, brakes, and gas like no tomorrow. Particularly 200t on the gas. I get around 17mpg. (I drive a lot of city) Otherwise competent car with so-so interior room with good handling.

Long term reliability on accessories/electronics a bit iffy, not as solid as other lexuses. On the 200t, the turbo boost regulator have gone out multiple times on members. a $400 job each time if you take it to dealer, particularly out of warranty.

As far as CPO, doesn't mean much. Just some teens at a dealer looking at air filters and refilling the washer tank. And being charged for that. So if the car you want happens to have it, great. But i wouldn't let lack of CPO shy you away from the car you want, providing you can independently verify the car has service records. Which for a 20k mile car, that literally just means two oil changes and one air filter change.

Just check the history yourself, inquire about it, or ask for records.
Whoa, really? 17mpg on the IS200t? I didn't know about the turbo boost going out, thanks for the heads up. Assuming the 350 engine is more reliable?

Thanks for the sum/tips!
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Old 04-11-19, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 2ndName View Post
Whoa, really? 17mpg on the IS200t? I didn't know about the turbo boost going out, thanks for the heads up. Assuming the 350 engine is more reliable?

Thanks for the sum/tips!
I get between 19-22 city. Highway cruising I will get up to 35. Combined is about 25 rn.

Just had my regulator replaced after 8k miles of ownership and inner tire wear is visible. I am also having other issues with knock but that needs to be investigated further.

If I had to do it over again, I would get a V6 engine and an F-Sport.
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Old 04-11-19, 12:12 PM
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Car eats tires like no tomorrow.
F-sport brake pads deplete faster than normal, although I got about 45k KM from mine.
Sealed tranny
gas mileage is average

Otherwise, I love my 350.
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Old 04-11-19, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 2ndName View Post
Whoa, really? 17mpg on the IS200t? I didn't know about the turbo boost going out, thanks for the heads up. Assuming the 350 engine is more reliable?

Thanks for the sum/tips!
I drive a 300 AWD, mostly city, and I get 19 MPG on average. The EPA rates it worse than the 200t. I think the phrase "you mileage may vary" can be taken literally here.

But yeah the engine in the 350 is better. As always, be on the lookout for oil consumption after it gets above 100k miles, but I assume that's in the not-so-near future for most 3ISs on the market.
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Old 04-11-19, 12:51 PM
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I drive my IS350 daily 40+ to and 50+ miles from work. I get 25-29mpg just depends on what decides to try their luck. LOL
as for ownership up to you bro, 60K service if you take it to the dealer is going to cost you $1200-$1300, As for all the comments of tire eating I don't see it with my car, same with the brake pads while dusty 20K miles later after buying a use car both tires and brake pads are picture perfect condition and I don't exactly drive like a sane person. the rest of the car has been pretty solid.

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Old 04-11-19, 02:29 PM
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If you plan on keeping the car a long time, i'd get the 350. especially if you are buying used. the delta between 200t and 350 used is a lot smaller vs. buying new.

My particular 200t engine has been great, no regulator issues. But the power it makes doesn't justify the thirst. I am getting worse MPG than a BMW M2 would.

yes on a long highway trip, i can do 32-35 mpg. but i rarely do that. mostly city for me.
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Old 04-11-19, 08:51 PM
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Only thing I have against the 200T is that I believe the engine is relatively new? I don't trust anything with a turbo on it tbh, but then again, it is Toyota.. 250 or 350.. but if you had a choice, 350 100%
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