The Lexus IS 300 model line offers customers three distinctive choices for experiencing the brand's sporty side, and for 2004 features interior enhancements and new exterior highlights. The IS 300 model range includes the sport sedan with five-speed automatic transmission, sport sedan with five-speed manual transmission and specially tuned suspension, and the unique IS 300 SportCross with its versatile 4+1-door body style.
For 2004, the IS 300 sedans offer an optional new-design 17-inch 11-spoke aluminum alloy wheel with a choice of summer or all-season 215/45R17 tires. The IS SportCross offers the optional new-design 17-inch 11-spoke aluminum alloy wheel with 215/45R17 front and 225/45R17 rear summer tires. In addition, a 16-inch all-season tire package is available on the SportCross model. New smoked gray surrounds for the headlights, foglights and taillights give IS 300 models a distinctive design highlight for 2004.
All IS 300 models get a new two-position memory for the driver's seat to enhance convenience. A security upgrade for 2004 is the new speed-sensitive and shift-linked automatic door lock/unlock feature. Lexus has added three new exterior colors for 2004 - Bluestone Metallic, Indigo Ink Pearl and Savannah Metallic - and changed some interior trim from dark silver to bright silver for a high-tech appearance.
"The IS 300 and the ES 330 make up the company's unique two-model strategy for the entry-luxury market," said Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Denny Clements. "Each model appeals to different types of customers without forcing anyone to compromise on what they value in a car. Of course, both models share the same competitive advantage of proven Lexus quality."
The IS 300 challenges Europe's best sport sedans with its in-line six-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive layout and sports car-inspired interior.
The IS 300's 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine, shared with the larger GS 300 sedan, produces 215 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 218 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,800 rpm. The engine delivers both high-revving power and strong low-end and mid-range torque, due in large part to Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), a two-stage acoustic-control induction system and an exhaust system with a two-way bypass muffler. The IS 300 sedan and SportCross feature the racing-inspired E-Shift steering wheel shifting controls. E-Shift allows the driver to let the transmission shift automatically, or for a more engaging driving experience, control gear shifting with the buttons.
The IS 300 SportCross has the same sporty performance as the sedan and combines a unique, European-influenced design with the bonus of greater utility from a 4+1-door body style. The rear tailgate, split fold-down rear seatback and fold-down front passenger seatback allow the SportCross to carry long or oddly shaped items that might not fit easily in conventional sedans. Because it is based closely on the IS 300 sedan, the IS 300 SportCross avoids some of the typical styling cues that define conventional wagons.
The IS 300 SportCross includes several features that help owners get the most from its expanded utility, including a tonneau cover to keep valuables out of site, a luggage box, a cargo area "false floor" to keep small items hidden, plus a folding passenger seat with a seatback table and rear power outlet for "tailgating."
Distinct Styling and Generous Equipment The grille and headlight detailing make the IS 300 immediately identifiable as a Lexus. A rear spoiler is optional for the sedans, while the SportCross gets its own unique spoiler as standard equipment. The interior blends modern and classic sports car touches, including drilled aluminum pedals with rubber pads and stainless steel doorsill scuff plates. Supportive height-adjustable sport seats are standard equipment. A chronograph-style combination gauge cluster sits within the speedometer and gives the IS 300 a unique interior appearance. A maintenance indicator light has been added for 2004.
Standard features that are usually extra-cost options on competitive vehicles include 17-inch wheels, low-profile performance-tread tires, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and a premium, high-power audio system with a cassette player and a six-disc single-feed in-dash CD changer.
The IS 300 four-wheel double-wishbone independent suspension design is similar to that on the GS models. The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system is available as an option on the SportCross and automatic sedan. VSC helps control traction while cornering on slippery or dry road surfaces by using throttle intervention and/or applying individual wheel braking to help control any discrepancy between where the driver is steering and where the vehicle is heading.
VSC supplements the standard full-range traction control (TRAC). A Torsen torque-sensing limited-slip differential, that helps put the power down in curves, is available as an option.
The four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) features both Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. EBD optimizes front-to-rear brake balance for added control under hard braking and left-to-right under hard braking when cornering. The Brake Assist safety feature determines if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped hard enough on the brake pedal to engage the ABS, the system supplements the braking power applied until pedal pressure is released.
The front seatbelts incorporate pretensioners and height-adjustable anchors, along with force limiters that help manage the forces to the upper torso in a serious collision. The Supplemental Restraint Systems include dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags for the driver and front passenger. Mounting the side airbags in the seats keeps them consistently placed relative to seat occupants regardless of a front seat's position.
Comfort and convenience features for all IS 300 models include an auto-dimming inside electrochromic rearview mirror with compass, a driver's side electrochromic rearview mirror and a front center armrest. The IS 300 interior can be outfitted with an optional leather/Alcantara trim package or a full leather-trimmed interior in ivory or black. Customers can choose to replace the standard chrome shift knob with a leather-wrapped knob (dealer accessory).
The optional Lexus Navigation System uses a DVD for map storage, containing the contiguous United States, plus major cities in Canada, on one disc. Functions include high-speed route calculation (about five seconds), multi-route calculation, route preview, simplified highway junction graphics and a dual-map screen mode. The navigation system screen pops up from the dashboard, allowing the owner to hide it when it is not in use. Simple-to-use remote controls for the system are located between the front seats in the center console. For models not equipped with the navigation system, the 2004 IS 300 models feature a new storage compartment with spring-loaded retractable lid.
Every 2004 Lexus comes with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 month/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage.