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I have been lucky enough to own 4 IS models and i would like to share my experience and thoughts on these particular cars.

IS250 has been around since late 2005

it was a big improvement over the old is200/300 that i replaced

the IS250's came in 3 grades back when it went on sale at 2005

IS250 Gen 1 Late 2005 - 2008

Presteige (Auto/Manual):Leather optional NAV/Moon roof options 16" wheels standard

Sports (Auto/Manual):Non leather Alcantara seats Nav and Moon roof still option, Sports suspension and 18" wheels and Xenon lights Seat memory positions Passenger and Driver side + all the options of the Presteige

Sports Luxury (Auto only):Fully loaded all options of the other models plus Radar cruise control 17" wheels and VDIM (pre collision system)

**X pack Limited edition** Basicly it was a NAV and Sunroof Equipped Presteige model, Came with Sports pedals, Sports suspension and Optional 18" 5 spoke wheels. The X pack did not have any heated or cooled seats and came with normal halogen headlights** Limited run of 2007-2008

IS250 Gen 2 2009-Late 2010

Presteige (Auto/Manual):Same as usual from late 2009 the Presteige came standard with 17" wheels instead of the 16" but options remained the same

F sport (Auto) :F sport now replaced the Spots model **note Alcantara was no more and now came with leather as well though front seats were replaced by the ISF front seats still came with all the gears from the previous sports, sports suspension and 18" wheels

Sports Luxury (Auto):Same gear as the Gen1

**Difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 2**

Subtle change from the older model though Minor tweaks in electronics

TCS and VDIM (VDIM is now standard on all models)

Front and rear bar minor remodel.

Centre Nav controls slightly redesiged (buttons are more sleek)

Different rear tail light design

IS250 Gen 3 Late 2010 - Current

Last minor tweak before the new model arrives

Presteige: Same as the gen 2 specs **note ML system is no longer available with the base models**

F sport: Same as the Gen 2 specs though Seat memory on passenger side is now deleted and addition of DRL's and a small front splitter lip from factory to give it more sport styling

Sports luxury: Same Spec as Gen 2

My personal experience with the is250

This car was my first ever IS250. After owning a number high performance cars such as lancer evo's Skyline GTR's Silvia's etc i always thought of the lexus brand as a ripoff toyota luxury wannabe car maker. Back then i was driving the Lancer evolution and i was getting sick of the unwanted attentions and the lack of comfort.

Decided to look at some luxury car brands (BMW,Audi,Merc etc)

While i was looking at some 1 or 2 year old examples of euro makers i came across an IS250. I knew what they were but i never really payed any attention to it.

this was the first time i saw this car in the flesh up close. More i was looking into this car the more i fell in love with the shape of the car

Sleep Swopping lines, big rear ends sharpe looks. it was something about this car that made me think and stare at it for a while.

Inspecting the interior i was more amazed with the quality of the interior. small things such as heated/cooled seats, heated mirrors, quality of the leather the list can go on and on. i was so impressed that i went for a test drive and bought the car.

here are some pros and cons and brief description about the 2IS that i found that was good and bad

Manual gearbox for the purist (or auto option)

Entry level model pretty much has most of the luxury features that the upper models have

Cheap to buy

2.5L V6 very smooth and has enough power at 153KW

Awsome sound system for a standard car

Very well laid out instrument clusters

Well placed inteior

Quiet cabin (cant even hear the engine on normal driving)

Better equiped than german rivals in the same price range (a same euro car will cost around 75K ish to match the is250 with same gear)

Toyota built quality and reliability

Good fuel consumption (factory claims average 9.1) but on the free way iv had it down to 5.1-5.3L per 100km

Awsome Nav system and reverse parking camera


Lack of rear interior space (hard to fit 5 adults in the car)

Very heavy car for the engine it carries

Manual gearbox is very notchy and flutters and buzzes alot

Interior trims are very fragile and they can be scratched easily

Sunroof and Nav option is another 7K option (in 2005) **note this option was worth it's money though**


Pic of my manual sports with dealer optioned 18" wheels


Pic of a Sports IS250 (sourced off the net)


Is250 Sports luxury


Is250 interior

In general the IS250 was ahead of it's competition for pricing and performance.

Performance figures were

Max Power: 153kW @ 6400rpm

Max Torque: 252Nm @ 4800rpm

0-100km/h: 8.4 seconds

Max Speed: 225km/h

mixed with the packed luxury features and it's bold and sexy styling the IS250 became a popular alternative to the traditional 3 serise and C class buyers

Also heres a full spec list of each car in this link


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IS350 Late 2010-Current

In Late 2010 a new model joined the IS range to fill the gap between the IS250 and the ISF

The IS350 was Lexus's answer to the BMW 335, Infact our counterparts in Japan and USA were enjoying the IS350 since 2006 and Australia is the only country outside of Japan to have the IS350 model (exception of the USA)

Packed with 233kw and 378nm of torque, the IS350 was a cure for the lack of power in the IS250

Priced just $5000 more than the IS250 this was a serious performer for it's value.

The Is350 was a big improvement over the IS250 in performance, 0-100km/h times were slashed to 5.2 (official) 0-400m sprint can be achieved in the 13 second bracket. Just like the go also the stop was improved. Is350 now carries larger disc and 4 pistons calipers up in the front and floating and ventilated rear disc.

Is350 comes in 3 variants just like the IS250

Presteige : Standard with Xenon lights and DRL's Nav is standard across the range, Sunroof is now an option, ML system is no longer avilable in the base models. Comes with 5 spoke 17" wheels

F sport: Identical to the IS250 F sport

Sports luxury:Identical gear to the Sports luxury IS250

Driving the IS350

The difference in power is noticable straight away even whilst driving in a normal commuting fashion. The torque of the 3.5L feels almost like a small capacity V8 engine. it builds up speed quickly you'll be suprised to see the speedo once you get moving.

the 3.5L motor is an awsome piece of gear, It has dual port direct injection and uses alloy pistons.

Fuel consumption is slightly worse than the IS250 but not by much at 9.4L per 100km


Big power from a small naturally aspirated engine

Bigger and better stopping brakes

The Price for all this


would love to have some more engine note (after markets will fix this problem easy)

Needs to be abit more difference than a IS250 in styling (F sport in the IS250 and IS350 looks the same)

other than those 2 reasons i dont think there is much cons with this excellent value car


3.5L on the IS350


Identical to the Gen 3 IS250 rear



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ISF 2008-Current

Lexus never had an answer to europes popular slaoons such as the AMG or BMW M line up. All this was about to change with the release of the all new Lexus ISF. Powered by a massive 5.0L V8 from the LS600 limo, the engine was taken to yamaha who tuned the motor up.

this resulted with a 311KW power output and 505nm of torque at 6600 RPM redline. The 5L V8 is paired to a 8 speed automatic Sports direct shift gearbox. in it's most agressive Sports and Manual mode the gearbox can upshift in 0.1 seconds and down shift in 0.2 seconds. In normal automatic mode the gearbox is smooth and silky like a lexus should be, but once the sports mode is selected it's a different machine.

Brakes are very big at 355mm upfront with massive 6 piston calipers which are made by brembo, and it carries 19" wheels to clear the brakes. The wheels are specificly designed by BBS for the ISF.

Comparing a regualr IS250/350 next to the ISF you will easily see the difference in body styling. The big buldging bonnet, Flard front gurds, big quad tail pipes are just the start. Lowered stance and the bigger 19" BBS sets the ISF aparts from it's siblings. Interior is similar to the regular IS, though new instrument cluster and bigger and much better bolstered front seats are a highlight of the interior. unlike the normal IS the ISF is a 4 seater.

In late 2009 the ISF had a mild upgrade which added a true mechnaical LSD and updated suspension settings, which saw the ISF equal to the M3's awsome cornering abilities. In late 2010 the IS model received a mild update and the ISF was no exception. the addition of DRL lights and darker headlight surrounds now compliment the ISF's already stunning exterior.

The ISF has all the luxury gear from the Sports luxury variants such as auto dimming mirrors/ reverse and forward parking sensors, radar cruise control etc.


very usable power from a big V8


Price compared to it's competition

No options available (all standard)


Very heavy weight

Lack of traction (pre updated models)

The ISF was a first attempt by lexus of making a luxury Sports sedan which was dominated by BMW and Merc. It's not a perfect car and doest not have the balance and excitment of the BMW M3.But its a bloody good attmept by lexus and it's a car worthy of carrying the F badge. And with a price tag difference of 50-60 grand compared to its competitors it's a bargain.





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Great write up, very informative & well laid out.

LEX51S, I think ilv's is too good at buying them to switch to selling them.

I reckon his Lexus write up is better than most of the motoring journalist efforts I've read lately. Maybe that's his calling?

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awww.. thanks guys :D

i did spend 3 hours on each section and editing lol

let me know if there is anything that i need fixing..

Also ill take that offer jake

i would love a job at lexus lol

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I thought the 350 Prestige still had halogens?

Edit: I guess not, just checked the website. Could have sworn the initial specs still showed the Prestige to have halogens.

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  • 1 month later...

News articles released overseas on the MY11 upgrade mentioned a drop in fuel consumption due to a lowering of the final-drive gear ratio. No Australian news articles or press releases refer to this improvement. This may be because (a) Lexus Australia hasn't performed the appropriate test under ADR 81/02 that would allow them to report a different fuel consumption; or ( b ) while there may have been an improvement under other test conditions, there is negligible difference in fuel consumption under ADR 81/02.

Or, it could be ( c ) Lexus Australia didn't bother making any press release about the mid-life IS250 upgrade, so the improved fuel consumption never made it to the local news; or (d) the change to the final-drive gear ratio wasn't applied to vehicles shipped to Australia.

Does anyone know the correct answer?

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To answer your question, it depends on the series you're after

For the second generation IS line up,

The first series was released in November 2005.

The second series (MY09) was released in October 2008.

The third series (MY11) was released in October 2010.

The final model update (MY13) was released in August 2012.

You can expect those build dates as above but the compliance dates might be different. So a 2009 model IS250 may not be a 2009 build.

For example, my previous MY09 IS250, the build date was in November 2008 but the car was complied and registered as a 2009 model. Just have a look at the build plate near the passenger door when you're going to inspect the car to see what the build date is.

Edited by DO IT
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Any model post series I, will have USB. This means MY09 onwards, built and complied only. Any model MY08 and older will not.

Note, as the above posts suggest, some models that are 2008 can be MY09. Just make sure they are built after October 2008.

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Any model post series I, will have USB. This means MY09 onwards, built and complied only. Any model MY08 and older will not.

Note, as the above posts suggest, some models that are 2008 can be MY09. Just make sure they are built after October 2008.

Really? I thought only the 2009 MY10 onwards would have USB, that's what I'm getting from the Carsales ads (like, the list of features section).

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  • 3 years later...

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