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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

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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

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7 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

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