Search Cars for Sale

The Lexus IS 300 SportCross Was an Exciting, Sporty, Rear-Wheel-Drive Wagon

When you’re thinking of automakers that have made cool, sporty station wagons, you probably think of the obvious ones. Audi. BMW. Mercedes. Subaru. But what about … Lexus? It’s true: Lexus made a sporty, rear-wheel-drive station wagon in the early 2000s, although you’ve probably long forgotten about it. See the used Lexus IS 300 models for sale near you

Lexus’ wagon was called the IS 300 SportCross, and it was based on the 2001-2005 Lexus IS sedan — the IS that many enthusiasts consider to be the best one due to its small size, sharp handling and tunable 6-cylinder engine. But the IS 300 SportCross was no sedan. It was unashamedly a station wagon, with slightly unusual yet surprisingly handsome station-wagon lines. Naturally, being a rear-wheel-drive Lexus station wagon, about nine of them were sold.

A few more details: Although the Lexus IS 300 sedan came out in 2001, the IS 300 SportCross didn’t debut until the following year, 2002, which is the same year Lexus started offering the IS 300 with a 5-speed manual transmission. Only one problem: They never mated the manual transmission to the SportCross — but everything else was roughly the same, including the attractive lines, rear-wheel-drive layout and surprisingly potent 215-horsepower 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine. Fuel economy was even fairly reasonable at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Unfortunately, when it came time to redesign the IS, the SportCross didn’t make the transition, and it’s never returned again. But if you have your heart set on the unusual Lexus wagon, there are still a few SportCrosses out there, including nine currently listed on Autotrader with an average price of roughly $8,300Find a used Lexus IS 300 for sale

If You Can’t Sell Honda to the Brits, Try Calling It a Rover
I Drove My Aston Martin as Fast as I Could on the Bonneville Salt Flats
The Mercedes-AMG GT S Is Seriously, Ridiculously, Absurdly Underrated


Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...
  1. I just bought a rough but driveable 2002 Sportcross for $2000 (148k miles). Pounding the internet has proven it difficult to come up with Chilton’s or other repair manual. Can anybody help?

  2. I had a 2003 sedan with the Sport Design package and 5MT. Great car that I traded after short term of ownership due to the needs of a growing family.

    Last year I found myself in the market for a small wagon and desperately searched for a decent Sport Cross. Finding a nice one with reasonable miles proved impossible. Most were just trashed, having been subjected to questionable mods by their second and third owners. 
    They didn’t build that many, and the newest ones are now 11 years old. So pickings are slim. If you’re in the market, prepare to be disappointed.

Leave a Comment

Lexus IS 300 News & Reviews

Most Popular Articles

Best New Cars for 2022

Here is our list of the best new cars for 2022 (presented in alphabetical order by manufacturer).

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Car Deals: November 2022

This month's best new car deals include several attractive offers for qualified shoppers.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This