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Hi Members,

As you see I am a 'newbie'. I have left an 'Introduction' in the appropriate Section of the Forum.

I am a lifelong car enthusiast and have been looking for a good Manual gearbox is250 for some time.

Manuals are hard to find (only 7 on Carsales.com 2007 - 12) with sensible prices and reasonable mileage and establishing what a vehicle is worth is difficult with various Models/Updates and years.

My research takes in the two main 'Value Guides' - Redbook & Carguide/Glass - as well as some common-sense about how mileage and other factors impact on correct pricing.

The Buyer Guides list various models in the following way:

"2009 Lexus is250 Prestige GSE20R 09 Upgrade". or with "08 Upgrade" on the end.

Can anyone tell me what this "Upgrade" stuff is, and more to the point how can I tell whether an advertised vehicle is an "Upgrade" or not, because it has an impact on value. Is there something on the Compliance plates or elsewhere?



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Thanks Danny, sorry, but I don't understand.

Are you saying that the term "Update" used on Redbook & Glass Guide is related to the three Series of is250 since 2005?

I notice it only appears with the listings for 2008 and later.

You get: " 2009 - 08 Upgrade" and "2009 - 09 Upgrade". etc.

How can you identify a vehicle that is an "Upgrade" model?

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You can check first upgrade by seeing if it has different tail lights, blinkers on side mirror and different front bar.
3rd update different in same areas again

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To summarise everything you need to know...

Second generation IS are categorised into 3 sections; the MY06-08 (series I), the MY09-10 (series II), and the MY11-13 (series III).

In these series you have the Prestige, Sports (F Sport from MY10 onwards), and Sports Luxury (SL).


All series I models will have this front bar


And these tail lights (unless modified)


They will also have blinkers on side fenders whereas MY09 onward have blinkers on the mirrors

To differentiate between Prestige, Sports, and SL you need to look for key parts of the car. A good first indication is the wheels. Prestige cars will usually come with those really ugly 16" 6 spoke wheels. Sports come with 18" wheels and SL have 17"







But people like changing wheels on their cars so another way to differentiate between these cars is that SL cars will have the PCS badge at front grill which looks something like this


Sports and Prestige will have ones that look like this


However, if someone decided to change their prestige badge to a SL badge then you can also differentiate between the two by identifying the extra button on the right hand side of the steering wheel which looks like this.


An ISF steering wheel is shown but it is more of less the same as ISF's only came in Sports Luxury here in Australia

To differentiate between a Prestige and a Sports model in the MY06-08 is fairly easy as Sports models never came with ventilated seats. Another indication can be the headlights as Sports and Sports Luxury models come standard with HID but Prestige don't.

That should be all you need to differentiate between the models...

There is one more model called the X package but that's easy to identify as it is just a prestige with a little more options and the obvious X badge on the fender.


And those nice 18" 5 spoke wheels.

Difference between MY06-08 and MY09-10 is the front bar shape and taillight design



Also notice how the side mirror indicators are on the mirrors not the fender.

Other than that the difference between Prestige, Sports (F Sport for MY10), and SL should be rather similar to the 06-08 models. Only difference would be the MY10 F Sport models have the Lexus signature Spindle Grill at the front.

I shouldn't need to go into the MY11-13 as the manual IS was discontinued at MY09 or MY10

Hope this helps.

PS. If you need a manual IS I have one for sale =D though mine has a 350 engine and the whole car has been converted to a 2011 IS350 Sports Luxury with the standard manual gearbox.

Feel free to PM me for any questions you may have. I'm sure I can answer most of them for you.

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Thank you Guys, I get it now. It relates to the bodywork changes/variations between the 3 Series 05/08, 09/10, & 11/12.

Because there are so few Manuals on Carsales I had really only been looking at 07/08 years and therefore hadn't noticed any stand-out differences.

There is an '09 on there so I'll compare that with the '07/ '08s.

Barry, thanks for your detailed explanation. Your 'custom' 350 sounds like my kind of car. Unfortunately I am looking for one that will be shared between me and the Missus (I have my MX5) and she would prefer a new Corolla! - so I am already pushing my luck with a basic is250.

It's finding a post- 2007 low-mileage is250 that's the problem. Most are high mileage/high price and located a long way from Nth QLD (so I can't inspect them thoroughly). I am a patient guy however (I've been looking for 2 yrs already) and I will just keep monitoring Carsales.com.

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Barry, my max would be $25K. and I'd prefer sub 80Klms.

Carsales have an '09 build (described as 2010) Prestige with 93K listed for $25K (way too expensive IMHO for that mileage and last 2 services not done)

and an '07 build Prestige with 80K listed for $23K. (again too expensive for an 8 yo Prestige with that mileage)

There is an '06 in S.A. with 35K for $22K but I wouldn't pay more than about $17K for a car that old regardless of mileage, and anyhow S.A. is too far away.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on those prices.

Cheers, Rocky.

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Yep with 25k you should be looking into under 100k kms over 09 and 10 and looking into over 100k kms MY11s especially for a 250 prestige. I'd be more inclined to spend 21-22k max for that 09 my10 with 93k kms.

How about this one?


again 21-22k for this. Maybe even up to 22.5k

My car has just under 65k kms on the engine and 135k on the chasis ;)

It's a good buy =D

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Hi Barry, We are on the same page.

I have spoken with the owner of that one you linked. It is a '09 build MY10 but the mileage has increased since the Ad. and is now 93K.

We spoke about $23500 but on further consideration I feel that was about $1K too much given the need for a major service ($1100. up here) and the fact that I would have to outlay another $100. for a pre-purchase inspection - quite apart from any replacements that might be found at inspection/service (I'm thinking rotors, pads, radiator cores, etc)

It has the beautiful 18 in wheels but they are different widths front to rear which I see as a disadvantage as it prevents tyre rotation and use of a single full size spare (which I carry in all my cars)

The navy-blue Sydney '07 on Carsales looks a better proposition but he wants too much for it. I value it closer to $19000.

I'd love your 350 but the wife would freak at the mention of a 'custom'. She worked in a Dealers so is hard to fool.


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Guessing your wife won't budge...

Guess I could try one last time. Car has been completed reshelled into the 06 chassis and everything is lined up perfectly. Hardware and software and mechanically it is a 350 with the exception of the gearbox and the diff which I replaced with the Torsen LSD from the IS300. Drive it hard and it's a very fun car to drive. Drive it normally and it is smooth. Car also has the flywheel and clutch replaced to a single mass opposed to the dual mass and a performance clutch and also the factory F Sport short shifter and knob.

Car is still very reliable.


Most IS250s are wider on rear with the exception of the Prestige models. I find I like it wider on rears anyway.

Yep 90,000kms involves spark plugs as well. Most likely will need a major for that one.

To be fair the manuals are dying out and they were rare even when I bought my car 3 years ago. It all depends on how much you're willing to pay.

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