Lexus IS SportCross (2001 – 2005) Review

Lexus IS SportCross (2001 – 2005) At A Glance


+Stacked full of luxury kit. Proving very reliable. Rated very highly in 2005 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey.

-Not that fuel-efficient by today's standards. No manual gearbox version in the UK.

I remember the launch of the Lexus IS200 at the 1998 Motor Show. There was a lot to feast your eyes on because the same show also saw UK launches of the Jaguar S Type, the Rover 75 and the E46 BMW 3-Series.

The Rover 75 and the Jaguar S Type seemed satisfyingly retro (the Rover more so than the Jag) and, while the E46 3-Series was a pre-Bangled evolution of the E36, the one car that stood out as clean, fresh and new was the exquisite IS200.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with it from any angle. And, thankfully, after this year's enhancements, there is still nothing to offend the purist. The Audi A4 B6 and the new Volvo S40 get very close. But neither quite match the neatness of the IS200.

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Ask Honest John

Which tyres should I fit to my Lexus?

"I am buying a Lexus IS 300h: I have a choice to fit 205/55/R16 or 225/45/R17 as opposed to the standard 18-inch wheels. Which do you recommend?"
The 205/55 R16s should give the best ride but might make the steering a bit wooly.
Answered by Honest John

Lexus IS300 Sportcross - Tyre and wheel sizes

"I plan to replace the wheels and tyres on my 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross, because the rims are corroded and the 45-profile tyres give a slightly harsh ride. The existing standard wheels are are 17in x 7 alloys fitted with 215/45 R17 tyres at the front and 225/45 R17 at the rear (unlike the saloon, which has 215s all round, the Sportcross has slightly wider tyres at the rear). I have a set of OEM Lexus 16in x 6.5 alloys. What tyres should I fit? 205/55 R16 all round, 215/55 R16 all round, or 205s at the front and 215s at the rear?"
The 205s will be slightly deeper profile than the 215s but either should be okay.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Lexus IS SportCross (2001 – 2005) cost?