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Rx-8 Or Is300


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It's always hard to find unopininated responses in a specific board, but....

I was very interested in the IS300 when it first came out, I really held back because I didn't want an e-shift. I've never owned anything but manual transmissions in over 10 years.

After the 5 speed was available, I was interested in purchasing an IS.

I've owned 2 toyotas (truck, and corolla), 3 Mazda's (b2200, b4000 trucks, and '93 RX7), one honda (2000 Civic SI), and a Subaru ('99 Legacy GT).

I used to have an RX7 and loved that car.

I ultimately prefer handling prowess over power, but has anyone on this board driven an RX-8 that can provide some feedback?

Here's what I can gather or guess from articles.


RX-8 probably has better handling than an IS300.


RX-8 on paper is faster, but you have to launch the car by dropping the clutch at 6000 plus RPM. Real world, IS300 has more torque and probably easier to live with day to day.

Rear seat room

A wash? I've heard that the IS300 has small rear seats. I've test driven an RX-8. The rear can actually hold a rear facing child seat no problem. Adults fine, for probably short trips.


No question, Lexus has an upper hand here. I didn't have too many problems with my '93 RX-7, and I'm sure a N/A rotary will be better, but Lexus/Toyota quality unmatched.

Road noise

I'm assuming the Lexus wins here.


Have no idea here.


Out of the box, I give thumbs up to the RX-8. Although with aftermarket kits the IS is pretty sharp.


Probably IS wins? RX-8 doesn't even have a spare tire, just an tire kit with fix a flat.

Fun Factor

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After hearing rumors of a restyled IS300 and possibly a 3.3L V6 for it, I would wait and see how the 2005 model comes out if I could.

I have a 2002 IS300 Eshift and I haven't run acrosss anything I think I would like better. I haven't driven the RS8, but I had two RX2's when they were new and they were great little cars. Some IS owners who have driven the RX8 have told me it didn't live up to their expectations, but that may be a matter of opinion.

I understand that Mazda bought back some RX8's early on because they had overstated the horsepower in the intial offering. Some kept their cars and some didn't, but it's an indication that the company was willing to make things right.

If the RX8 had been out when I got my car, it would have been on my top 3 list to look at. I know this doesn't answer your questions, but just a little info I have picked up. ;)

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not having driven the RX-8, its styling is one of those things you either love or hate. for my money the IS300 is better looking, but as you say this is all opinion.

it is hard to beat lexus quality. the inline 6 is pretty bulletproof, and there are lots of mods available. i actually am looking for a higher mileage IS300. was 2002 the 1st year for manual trans?

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well, according to the test drives and all the news by some magz..and Top gear as well...the RX-8 beats the E46 on the track...which obviously means

Better performance

More power then the is300

Better handling

as far as looks..its all everyones personal prefs..i personaly like both but if i had to make a choice for a "sports car" i would def go for the RX-8. as far as rear seats are concerned..the is def has a lil more room then the RX-8. but this is a comparison for stock to stock cars....if u go aftermarket....the RX-8 will def eat dust by the is.

Reliability wise...def the is will win and road noise..has a lot to do with the type and make of tires on the car...but the is prolly has less road noise as to the RX-8. and in the would vote for the IS.

Bottom line RX-8 is def a better over all performance car out of the box but u have to take other factors in consideration as well.

just my 02

Good luck

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Well I had a short test run of the RX-8, and I did like the power. It didn't seem too bad in the low end torque. Not as peppy as my Turbo 7, but it was not bad. The motor was real smooth, but then rotaries are great for that.

I found a 2002 5 speed IS300, that is about $3000 below blue book, that I'm probably going to look at today.

I know the 5 speeds are rare, but do you think that because most buyers who are looking at Lexus do not want the 5 speed, that makes it easier to find them below value?

I've seen a few, that appeared to be at or below what Kelly Blue book recommended they sell at, but I'm not sure.

My co-worker has been harping on me that the G35 is the way to go. But for some reason, the 2Door looks really great, and the 4door, just looks butt ugly to me. I can't really put my finger on it.

I can't get another 2 door, it defeats the purpose of me trading in our current Honda.

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