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Lexus IS200


IS 200 Sportcross for Sale

Lexus IS200 Review

With the IS series still riding high in the owner satisfaction charts, we decided it was time to take a more detailed look at the brilliant Lexus IS200 to find out just why, year after year, its owners have placed so near the top of polls such as the prestigious JD Power Survey.

Lexus IS200
Lexus IS200 (2004 Model)

Here's just some of the award this car has picked up in recent years:-

2002 - Best Executive and Luxury Car, Second overall

In 2002 when the awards were sponsored by Top Gear, the IS200 picked up second place overall, beaten only by the Toyota Yaris.  In the executive and luxury class it was a clear winner beating other top runners such as the Jaguar XJ series, BMW's 3 and 5 series and the Mercedes E Class by a narrow margin.

2003 - Best Executive and Luxury Car, Second overall

This year, with Whatcar? sponsoring the survey, the IS200 held its number one place in the executive and luxury class though overall it slipped down to number as another city car, the Honda Logo, leapt into the number one spot above the Yaris and the IS200.  But still not a bad result.  The only comparable car anywhere near the Lexus in the rankings was the Jaguar XJ Series in 4th place, with BMW's 3 and 5 Series down at 9 and 10 respectively in the overall chart.

2004 - Best Executive Car, Second overall

By 2004 the IS200's big brother the IS300 was included in the survey and together the IS200 IS300 combination picked up second place overall after being narrowly beaten by the Honda Jazz (The Honda picked up 88.4% in the survey compared to the Lexus's 88.3%, and to give an indication of the superiority of these two over the rest, the third placed car (The Mazda 323) was almost 3% behind them with 85.5%.    Of course the Lexus IS was once again top in the Executive class, with BMW's 5 series second (84.7%) and this year the Volvo S80 edging out the 3 series to take 3rd place in the class.

Making sense of these results

Even in the first year that the Lexus appeared in the survey (2001), the IS200 was placed in the top 5 overall (sharing that position with the Rover 75 that year) and throughout all 4 years that the company has been included in the results Lexus picked up the Gold Award as the best manufacturer in the survey.   

Lexus - 4 times winner of JD Power Gold Award
Lexus - 4 times winner of JD Power Gold Award

Before 2001 the number of Lexus owners responding to the survey was too small for them to be included in the results.  At that time the company didn't have sufficient sales figures to make this possible.  But even then, in the USA where Lexus has been an established brand for so much longer, Lexus had been picking up similar awards on a regular basis.

Analysing the results over the four years that Lexus has been included in the survey, it's clear that one car stands out as the best car for Owner Satisfaction as rated by the people who know - the owners.  And that car is:-

Toyota 2003 Yaris T Sport rear
The Toyota Yaris.

But the Yaris only just shades it over the Lexus IS200 / 300 series and after that, nothing else comes close - no other vehicles have sustained positions at the top of the charts over a number of years.  Exactly how Toyota feel about the fact that the only car that can beat their premium brand is their own Supermini we don't know, though perhaps they're happy with that as they no doubt sell a great deal more of the Yaris than they do of any Lexus.  And Lexus buyers aren't really interested as what matters to them is that their car is such a great deal better than the other 'prestige' marques such as BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes.

Some will question whether these awards are meaningful; we've seen arguments that owners of BMWs and Mercedes may be too busy to vote for example, or suggestions that the owners aren't asked the right questions.  But in our opinion, it's impossible to argue with a system that analyses in so much detail the feelings of so many car owners. 

 Continued...

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