At CAN$10,500, Does This 2002 Lexus IS300 Bring Home the Canadian Bacon?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe IS300 is manual-equipped and Canadian bred. It also offers super low miles and a great first impression, so let’s see if its price might just make it rate the exchange.

The use of ‘lemon’ as a pejorative seems to have come into fashion about the same time as the automobile, however the two were not initially connected. Initially, the use of lemon as a derogation seems to have been in the description of certain people—those who were considered to be losers, saps, or just your run of the mill dumbasses.


From this beginning its usage evolved to include poor quality products. It entered the common vernacular as an expression of a crap car in the early 1930s, and that’s generally why today we call yellow cars ‘fly yellow’ instead of ‘lemon yellow’ despite the disconnect between color and insect.

Yesterday’s 1998 Mercedes Benz SL600 was fly yellow. It also featured some cool Lorinser body parts and a $24,900 price tag. That last element was what proved most interesting to us. Tidy and seemingly well loved over its life and 116K, that car’s appealing attributes still couldn’t overcome what honestly was an outlier price, and it fell in a 68-percent Crack Pipe loss.

O Canada, Terre de nos aïeux… Oops, sorry. I got carried away with my envy of our neighbors to the north. You have to admit, there’s a lot to love about the Politeness Provences.


For starters, they have a young and energetic Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who also happens to be super hunky. Canada also gave us the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), more colloquially known as the ‘Canadarm.’ That provided NASA’s Space Shuttle with its reach, and when fully deployed acted like a middle finger pointed toward all the other nations on Earth that didn’t have a Space Shuttle or Canadarm. Yeah, eff those guys!

Another potential feather in Canada’s cap is the availability of this 2002 Lexus IS300, which sports a 5-speed stick and a seemingly super-de-duper presentation. Now, you’ll see a lot of first generation IS’s on the market, even quite a few with sticks. The thing of it is, these cars tend to fall into two categories: significantly modded expressions of their individual owners’ unique personality, or on the other hand, clapped out fright pigs. As such, their prices are all over the board.


This one, in Intense Blue Pearl over a black leather interior appears appreciably stock, right down to its factory radio and matching original equipment matching pedals and sill plates. It also looks damn nice.


The IS300 was Toyota’s attempt at building a BMW 3-series competitor, and while they missed that target by a bit, the cars are still really nice to drive and offer levels of durability that BMW owners have fever dreams over.


Under the hood lies Toyota’s legendary 2JZ-GE straight six. That 2997-cc DOHC mill gives it up to the tune of 215 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque. Those horses come into play at a relatively high 5,800 rpm while the torque gets its game on at a more modest 3,800. Matched to the mill here is a W55 5-speed manual that sends the ponies back to the rear wheels. That transmission is about the only thing that’s DIY on the car. Being a Lexus, and needing to live up to the standards that name implies, it offers power seats, windows, locks, etc..

The car comes with a mere 109,000 kilometers on the clock. That’s just 67,000 in U.S. miles. It’s also about 33 in Dog Years.


Other pluses here include a clear title (Oops, my mistake: REBUILT Title) and an overall condition that looks almost as-new. The headlamp covers on these cars tend to go yellow faster than your grandaddy’s beard, but here they’re clear as your granny’s Vodka & Tonic. The leather interior presents equally well, and the car is described in the ad thusly: ‘Drives great, no issues, very well maintained.’ It’s also Canadian so you know that’s all believable since Canadians are incapable of lying.


What does this amazingly low mileage IS cost? The asking is $10,500, which admittedly does seem like a lot of northern exposure. That is, until you look at the current exchange rate and realize that in U.S. dollars that’s about $8,000 and some change.

What’s your take on this Canadian Lexus and that Canadian price? Does that have you wanting to make a run to Timmies for an Ice Cap and then to buy this car? Or, does that price have you spitting out your Poutine?


You decide!


Vancouver, BC Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.