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Which Year Is250 Should I Buy Within My Budget ($25k)


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Hey guys, I'm new to the forums so apologies that I haven't introduced myself yet. The reason being is I haven't purchased an is250 yet, but looking to do so within the next few weeks. That being said, I'd like some opinions on what I should do.

I have a budget of around 25k. Realistically, my absolute max is around 26k (excluding expenses such as potential service, rego, insurance etc).

I was pretty adament on purchasing the 2010 is250, and there are a few up for sale with relatively low kms (under 90kms), however there are a few nice 2009s that are sitting at under 50-60kms around the same price range. I understand the 2010 comes with a few minor cosmetic changes and the sat-nav upgrade, however I'd like an opinion on which would be better value for me. I also understand that nearing the 90k mark means the major service with a set back of around 1.3k, so I also keep that in mind while shopping.

Of course, there is 1-2 IS250 F (2010) around the 28k mark which I'm also considering breaking bank to just go for, however I'm not too sure if it's worth going for it.

I'd like some feedback on which route I should take, I'm not 100% fussy with money, but of course I'd rather not break bank if it's not worth doing so.

Thank you!

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I bought my 2010 My11 IS250 FSport under 80k for around $30k last year and having alot of fun with it. I bought private as the price was better than buying from a car dealer.

Look at Buy and Sell on this forum,as there are a few members selling their cars.

Best of luck.

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I recently bought a 2010 prestige EMV, sunroof, 33.000km from a dealer for $31K. I had been looking for over a year for the right car as I was particular about colours. This car is like new, not a scratch and never crashed.

Having been looking for a year it has given me some insight into prices. Most advertised are way over the true market value and seem to linger a long long time on the listings. I have seen 2010 Prestiges with 55,000km for $25,000. At this price the car sold within the week. So they are out there if you are patient. Sports Luxury models do command a premium, but again I saw a lovely 2009 model SL with 70,000 km go for $28K. I did not buy it as the blue was too dark for me - too close to black which is the last colour I wanted.

Your best buy should be a 2009 - 2010 model Prestige with EMV around 50,000 - 70,000km private sale for around the $24K to $26K mark. Do not pay any more!

Not sure if there are any differences 2009 to 2010. I think any changes were made late 2010, and this is the MY 2011.

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Thanks for the input guys. Definitely can see the prices that they are being sold at are pretty inflated unless they are seriously looking to get rid of the car ASAP. Thanks for the tips for the maximum price range, it's a shame that there aren't that many F-Sports being sold, and a lot of them don't have the aggressive look.

Is there a huge difference between the IS250 Sports Prestige compared to the IS250F apart from cosmetically the grille etc? I've been pulling a bit my budget lately and looking at IS350's and IS250F, generally because I love the running lights and the aggressive look.

Unfortunately the ones being sold in the buy/sell area don't have what I'm looking for, but hoping for a solid one to come out soon!

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Having just gone through this very recently (I purchased mine a month ago), my best suggestion is to determine what models you are after, and work out a budget for each.

IS250 models include (GSE20R)

Prestige - Base model, Can be optioned with sunroof and or Satnav (and possibly other stuff)

Sports - can be optioned in manual or auto not sure what these have fitted as standard

F Sport - Have sat nav, sunroof, alloy pedals f sport steering wheel, sports suspension, auto and manual

Sports luxury - auto only, has heated cooled seats, radar cruise and braking, all electronic goodies, standard suspension pedals and wheel.

X - Seemed to be a budget F-Sport cloth seats alloy pedals.

For me, I was only looking at Sport Luxury models as it is usually easier to change wheels, suspension and body kit items, than it is to fit the electronic goodies such as radar cruise.

In Sydney I had the same budget as yourself, and the sport luxury models (around 2008-2009) were definitely in this price range with around 90,000kms on them.

With that many Kay's, condition of these models varied considerably, so you will need to check a few cars out before you get an idea of what's good, and what's nasty.

Also be very careful to make sure the model advertised is advertised correctly.

There are quite a few prestige models being advertised as sports luxury (especially by dealers).

If you are interested in a sport luxury, the quickest way to double check is make sure the radar distance button is on the steering wheel.

(Note my guide above is very rough, so take it with a grain of salt). I still don't know what AU models came fitted with what options, hence I played it safe and stuck with the sports luxury models only)

I hope this helps (and doesn't confuse)

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Just to add, have a read of this guide.

Its from another forum, but it was one of the single most helpful posts I have yet to find on Purchasing a 2nd Generation IS model.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-second-generation/572768-buyer-s-guide-to-used-lexus-2nd-gen-is-models-merged-buying-advise-threads.html

The only problem with this post though is it is based on U.S. Specs, so the packages are different to what is/was available in Australia.

Your best bet is to use this guide to work out what features you are interested in, then try to work backwards to find what models have these features.

It may be best to ask on these forums what options came with with models, and hopefully owners of the different models will let you know if their model came with / without those features.

---

Some things to look out for, check the condition of the seats, especially the drivers seat lower outer cushion, as these tend to wear pretty badly if the previous owner was on the heavy side.

If you are looking at the cream interiors, be aware that these mark pretty easily. (Mines cream, and things like the scuff plates mark very easily with black soled business shoes and such).

The good side is the interior is pretty easy to clean, so if the interior is a little dirty don't be too overly concerned.

To give you some more ideas, I picked up my late 2010 IS350 SL for just under $32K (Excluding transfer of rego and insurance).

The exterior is in excellent condition, but the interior was fairly dirty. (Im still in the process of detailing it, even after 1 month of owning it).

I hope this helps ?

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Hey Zerone, thanks so much for the detailed responses mate. I'm definitely looking into the sports luxury, F-Sports - nothing less.

I've taken a read over the club lexus thread you've linked (GREAT guide by the way, has pretty much everything detailed out), just wanted to quickly ask if the extended warranty for the 2010-2011 IS350 FS was for australian models as well? I've found one that I feel I may be able to haggle down to 32k (which is pretty much the same price as the IS250 FS 2011 models for sale at the moment) and just wanted to make sure it won't come with any further issues down the track (I will definitely have a mechanic look at it but I'm sure even the mechanic wouldn't know about the valve springs)

It's a shame that there are F-Sport is250's that don't have the full body kit, as it really makes it stand out in my opinion. With the available market at the moment, I may have to travel down to VIC and take the car back up to Sydney; unless I pull out another 3-5k on top for an is350.

---

Furthermore, thanks for the details about the interior. I was looking at one and had the owner send me close up photos, and he had a fairly large dog that pretty much scratched the back seats leather. The cream leather looks beautiful, but I know down the track it's going to give me a lot of headaches in terms of cleaning.

It seems at this stage I'm waiting for either a nice IS250 FS with a later build model (for the bodykit), or potentially get a good deal (such as yourself) on a IS350 FS.

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Anth and Zerone,

There is actually a good run-down of the Australian model grades and their features on our very own forums:

http://au.lexusownersclub.com/forums/topic/10109-2is-model-review/

It's probably only missing details of the X Edition that re-appeared in 2012-13.

... just wanted to quickly ask if the extended warranty for the 2010-2011 IS350 FS was for australian models as well?

I'm not aware of any extended warranty deals that were offered by Lexus Australia between 2010 and 2013, although it's possible that individual dealers may have offered something. If you do end up with an IS that's less than four years old, you still have the option to buy an extended warranty before the original four-year warranty runs out. Once getting such a car, do shop around the various dealers in your area for the best price for an extended warranty.
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Having come in late on this thread, have had a chance to read the other replies and concur with the following:

Be patient - the right car will come along at your price - I waited 16 months for mine!

SL ads need checking carefully, whether private or dealer ads - steering wheel buttons are the best guide.

2010 SL is the last one with Active Cornering Headlights and heated-cooled seats.

In addition, these are my findings:

QLD prices are the lowest, followed by SA - NSW/VIC are the highest, if you're up for buying interstate. I bought my 2010 SL in 2013 with 13,700km on the clock for $41K from Southport!

Kms mean nothing - a well-driven and maintained car with 90K km on the clock is a far better buy than a poorly maintained and driven 60K km car.

Extended warranties are rubbish - don't bother with them.

Good luck in your search.

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Subby said

"Extended warranties are rubbish - don't bother with them"

Could not agree more - this is a Lexus we are talking about.

When my dealer of my first Lexus encouraged me to buy an extended warranty, he said, "Sure, the engine is reliable, but consider it for the electricals." Five years later, my old IS 250 hasn't had any problems, but I have seen a number of cases on these forums where the EMV (navigation system unit) has died just after expiry of the original warranty. Perhaps my dealer was right ...

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Having come in late on this thread, have had a chance to read the other replies and concur with the following:

Be patient - the right car will come along at your price - I waited 16 months for mine!

SL ads need checking carefully, whether private or dealer ads - steering wheel buttons are the best guide.

2010 SL is the last one with Active Cornering Headlights and heated-cooled seats.

In addition, these are my findings:

QLD prices are the lowest, followed by SA - NSW/VIC are the highest, if you're up for buying interstate. I bought my 2010 SL in 2013 with 13,700km on the clock for $41K from Southport!

Kms mean nothing - a well-driven and maintained car with 90K km on the clock is a far better buy than a poorly maintained and driven 60K km car.

Extended warranties are rubbish - don't bother with them.

Good luck in your search.

Thanks mate! I do understand patience is a virtue, however I'm in the situation of selling my car and then grabbing a new one as soon as I do (with the funds of my old car as well). There are a number of relatively well priced ones for sale at the moment (although there is a lack of IS250 F Sports) but my car hasn't been sold yet even though it's wayyyy below the market value.

Would you have any insight on how I would approach buying a car interstate especially if I have no friends in the area (i.e. I have friends in VIC, and they are happy to inspect for me if there is something nice, however in QLD - not so much)

Subby said

"Extended warranties are rubbish - don't bother with them"

Could not agree more - this is a Lexus we are talking about.

When my dealer of my first Lexus encouraged me to buy an extended warranty, he said, "Sure, the engine is reliable, but consider it for the electricals." Five years later, my old IS 250 hasn't had any problems, but I have seen a number of cases on these forums where the EMV (navigation system unit) has died just after expiry of the original warranty. Perhaps my dealer was right ...

Interesting, though you've said your old 250 had no problems -- surely it must just mean you've taken great care of your car. Maybe the EMV is an isolated issue with specific years/ways of usage?

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Anth,

Firstly, about a Lexus failing just after the 4 year warranty - a car this expensive is NOT expected to fail after 4 years and typically your dealer will fix things without making a song and dance - Consumer Affairs will back you up if you take the matter further. Having said that, my experience has been that your relationship with the dealer is all important, whether or not the vehicle is in the warranty period.

Re: Interstate purchase - without contacts, a private sale vehicle would be difficult to check out - mine was through a dealer and I flew over after negotiating the basic price over the phone.

Please PM me and we can discuss how I might be able to help you if you have any cars that need checking out in Melbourne. I'm retired so have plenty of time!! :) :) .

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Its definitely a buyers market at the moment.

I was originally looking at LS460s (I have been eyeing 2007-2008 models for a almost a year).

I was very seriously going to purchase a 2008 with 80,000kms, full Lexus service history and in excellent condition for a smidge less than 40k.

In the end the price was seriously stretching the budget. (I'm still trying to sell my previous car too) and I didn't want another large saloon.

The car took 2 weeks to sell at that price. (It had been on the market for 8 months and was originally listed for $58k)

Kinda gives you an idea of how the used car market is going at the moment, and what car you can get foir your dollar.

Personally I think the IS350s are a little over priced right now.

What appears to be inflating the prices is there are not a lot of good models on the market, hence very little competition.

The 350s should really command around 8k premium over a similar spec 250, but I was seeing $14k to $16k premiums on these models.

This may be the case with the F Sport 250s and 350s as well.

(Though I did see a White IS350 FSport 2012 Selling for $28k with around 50k on the clock in good condition).

On purchasing a car interstate, my suggestion is its very possible to get a bargain, but you will really need to do your research.

My previous car was from interstate, and I asked many many questions before actually picking up the car.

Even though I thought I had all my bases covered, I was slightly disappointed when I inspected it the first time.

The problem was I was fairly committed to the purchase and though I got a bargain on the day, there was a tiny part of me that felt like I wanted another day to think things over.

Just my experience. In hindsight I should have irganised an inspection with RAQC/NRMA before committing.

Oh finally, the problem with the touch screen on early models seems to be related to a weak resistive touch film connector.

Guys running coil overs (very firm / lowered suspension) were experiencing the problem.

The solution appears to be resoldering the connector.

I hope this info helps

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Anth,

Firstly, about a Lexus failing just after the 4 year warranty - a car this expensive is NOT expected to fail after 4 years and typically your dealer will fix things without making a song and dance - Consumer Affairs will back you up if you take the matter further. Having said that, my experience has been that your relationship with the dealer is all important, whether or not the vehicle is in the warranty period.

Re: Interstate purchase - without contacts, a private sale vehicle would be difficult to check out - mine was through a dealer and I flew over after negotiating the basic price over the phone.

Please PM me and we can discuss how I might be able to help you if you have any cars that need checking out in Melbourne. I'm retired so have plenty of time!! :) :) .

Completely understandable. Unfortunately I have not worked with any dealers in the past -- so building a fresh relationship would be step one. I will be out for reviews on Lexus dealers around Sydney and see who is reliable/honest. Thank you for the offer Subby, I will keep it in mind however I should have Victoria sorted. It's more QLD that I am a little worried about, as I have no contacts there!

Its definitely a buyers market at the moment.

I was originally looking at LS460s (I have been eyeing 2007-2008 models for a almost a year).

I was very seriously going to purchase a 2008 with 80,000kms, full Lexus service history and in excellent condition for a smidge less than 40k.

In the end the price was seriously stretching the budget. (I'm still trying to sell my previous car too) and I didn't want another large saloon.

The car took 2 weeks to sell at that price. (It had been on the market for 8 months and was originally listed for $58k)

Kinda gives you an idea of how the used car market is going at the moment, and what car you can get foir your dollar.

Personally I think the IS350s are a little over priced right now.

What appears to be inflating the prices is there are not a lot of good models on the market, hence very little competition.

The 350s should really command around 8k premium over a similar spec 250, but I was seeing $14k to $16k premiums on these models.

This may be the case with the F Sport 250s and 350s as well.

(Though I did see a White IS350 FSport 2012 Selling for $28k with around 50k on the clock in good condition).

On purchasing a car interstate, my suggestion is its very possible to get a bargain, but you will really need to do your research.

My previous car was from interstate, and I asked many many questions before actually picking up the car.

Even though I thought I had all my bases covered, I was slightly disappointed when I inspected it the first time.

The problem was I was fairly committed to the purchase and though I got a bargain on the day, there was a tiny part of me that felt like I wanted another day to think things over.

Just my experience. In hindsight I should have irganised an inspection with RAQC/NRMA before committing.

Oh finally, the problem with the touch screen on early models seems to be related to a weak resistive touch film connector.

Guys running coil overs (very firm / lowered suspension) were experiencing the problem.

The solution appears to be resoldering the connector.

I hope this info helps

Yup, I agree that it's a buyers market. My current car (2009 Accord Euro) is currently advertised for a lot less than the market price, with relatively low kms for it's age - and I'm still getting no serious offers.

Where did you see the White IS350?! Damn at that price I would be snatching it straight away - or at least placing a deposit and trying to keep it on hold at the moment. Currently my options (specifically for IS350) Is one 2010 F-Sports with 60ks around 32.5K (Black) and another 2010 F-Sports with 80ks around 33K (White). I was hoping to get one around 32k mark, however reading that you found one for 28k makes me wonder if I should wait it out at the moment. It's such a shame that a lot of the IS250s don't have the DRL.

That's the biggest fear for me, and from past experiences 90% of the time you'd be disappointed upon inspection especially if the price is a good deal. Hopefully within the next 3-4 weeks there may be a few changes in the market with more newer IS250s F-Sports and 350 F-Sports, as it seems the demand is relatively high for them while there isn't much for sale -- therefore the inflated price.

But definitely the info you've given me has made me given some further consideration before rushing into things. I have an issue with not being patient and want something asap hehe.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My car will be up for sale soon.......

08' IS250 with EMV

84,000 km

BC Coilovers

19x9.5 , 19x11 (standard wheels also availible)

Black on Black

Sunroof

LED Headlights

LED foglamps

Full Lexus service history

10948914_1567968633460725_144473170_n.jp

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My car will be up for sale soon.......

08' IS250 with EMV

84,000 km

BC Coilovers

19x9.5 , 19x11 (standard wheels also availible)

Black on Black

Sunroof

LED Headlights

LED foglamps

Full Lexus service history

10948914_1567968633460725_144473170_n.jp

How much are you looking for mate?

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Very nicely done car Rotor, unfortunately my main preference is looking for a white IS250/IS350 at this stage. But I will give you a msg if plans change and you still have the car :)

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Very nicely done car Rotor, unfortunately my main preference is looking for a white IS250/IS350 at this stage. But I will give you a msg if plans change and you still have the car :)

What grade are you looking for mate?

what's the max budget?

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Hey Rak,

At this stage if I were to seperate it into tiers,

25K~30K - Sports Luxury IS250 2008+/Low Kms

30K~34K - F-Sports IS250/IS350 (I understand it's quite rare finding IS350 around that price range under 80,000kms, but they do come and go)

Adamant on white now. I've missed a few opportunities (such as a black IS350 F-Sports at 60,000kms being sold for 32.5k a few weeks ago) because it took me so long to sell my car. But yeah, things are going well now, much more active on my car search.

Unfortunately white + F-Sports + my price range = very low results

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Hey Rak,

At this stage if I were to seperate it into tiers,

25K~30K - Sports Luxury IS250 2008+/Low Kms

30K~34K - F-Sports IS250/IS350 (I understand it's quite rare finding IS350 around that price range under 80,000kms, but they do come and go)

Adamant on white now. I've missed a few opportunities (such as a black IS350 F-Sports at 60,000kms being sold for 32.5k a few weeks ago) because it took me so long to sell my car. But yeah, things are going well now, much more active on my car search.

Unfortunately white + F-Sports + my price range = very low results

If you are willing to spend up to $34K then get the IS350, will be more fun to drive.

Dont limit yourself to to just pearl white, black, grey are also nice as well.

I just purchased an 08 IS250 SL today for very cheap since my 2011 IS350 F Sport was written off (rear ended).

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Unfortunately I've had 3-4 black cars one after each other, I think it's time for me to move on to White. Never really liked grey tbh.

I would definitely be after an is350, however there are none around that price range at the moment. Also I'd probably wouldn't go near a prestige IS350 (as they're closer to my price range). 34K is pushing it, I wouldn't be able to go any further.

Do you feel a large power difference between the IS250 and your past IS350?

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My car will be up for sale soon.......

08' IS250 with EMV

84,000 km

BC Coilovers

19x9.5 , 19x11 (standard wheels also availible)

Black on Black

Sunroof

LED Headlights

LED foglamps

Full Lexus service history

10948914_1567968633460725_144473170_n.jp

How much are you looking for mate?

$25,000 ONO

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