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ISF buying advice


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Hi all,

I've been a long time fan of the ISF, and finally find myself find myself in a position to acquire one.

As with anything in life, the devil is in the detail - and as I make the transition from internet admirer, to active buyer, I'm hoping to draw on the knowledge and experience of the forum to help everything go smoothly.

I'm looking for a 2012 model, sub 50k km's, colour/ leather colour combination not hugely important (but I do have a soft spot for the white & blue paint jobs, and the cream interior).

I've seen similar threads in the past, and a lot of the info seems to be exchanged via pm's.

I'm located in Melbourne (10 min away from the Brighton dealer).

Any advice that can be shared would be greatly appreciated.



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Welcome to the club. I guess the best advice is to make sure your isf has full service history . In 2012 there was a model upgrade. The 2012 MY13 had a upgraded audio unit which added Bluetooth audio streaming where as the MY12 doesnt. Beware though that some 2012 ISF'S are being advertised as a MY13 but are in fact MY12's. As far as th car goes, i can say they are extremely reliable, have a quality feel and i love them. Enjoy.

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Good luck. Looks like you have some good options on the market at the moment now. Agree with Peter, be very wary of the MY advertised, as there's a lot of confusion. Especially considering US cars received updates ahead of Australia.


2008-2009 - The cheapest irregardless. 2008 has the best ML sound system of all the ISF's (including the last year models). 2009 saw the dreaded change to the ML system. No DRL's, no LSD, old dash/cluster & not as good handling at the limit (I stress that point). Nicknamed the "kidney breaker" by fussy Americans, for its stiff suspension.

2010 - Same as 09 essentially, but with the addition of LSD, potentially a good value buy

2011 - this is where things get interesting. Somewhat revised suspension (nicer ride than earlier models), but not ZF dampers. DRL's (big fan of those) & generally the bare minimum of what prospective ISF owners want. Prices on these have come down a bit recently, especially compared to when I purchased.

2012 onwards - potentially the newer & highly sought after BBS wheels, ZF dampers & revised suspension geometry. This is the revision that matches the E92 M3's lap times. You also get slightly better BT capabilities, but even then, it's not quite as good as brand new cars BT etc capabilities. Since this is the one you're interested in, be careful to ensure it's got the newer ZF dampers etc & isn't a 2011 production car that was sold in 2012.


There are caveats, in that some late 2010 cars have DRL's etc. I suspect some late 2011 car have ZF dampers too.


General condition aside, pick based on your preferences & judge each car on its own merits (there's still some mint 2008 models out there). There's no real problems with these cars (thankyou Lexus), so just look out for wear & items like brake pads/rotors etc plus accident history. The usual stuff. Having said that, most people would likely find the first iteration's handling to be beyond their capabilities, but there is that mental element to having the "newer & more capable" setup.

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I have just got one last month so it might helpful , mine is 2012 late built - 2013 registered ( MY13 with updated bluetooth streaming music function ) .

i paid a tad over 60K for it ( car is like new condition, 30K on the clock , 1 mature owener with full service history , 1+ year factory warranty )  so it might give you an idea of price wise . 

In my experience , this sort of car takes time to find the right one so dont rush it . Make sure you have it checked at Lexus dealer before making a decision.

After 3 weeks of ownership , i glad that i pulled the trigger as it is totally awesome :) 



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Thanks guys, this is great advice. 

I've kicked off the process today with my employers novated lease provider to get all the details ready if the right vehicle pops up.

Budget is circa $60k so glad to hear im right in the ball park for the year/ condition i'm after.

None of the cars on carsales right now are doing it for me, so my eyes are peeled and hopefully something pops up shortly.




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If you are going to get an ISF, you should get the latest model that's in your budget.  the 2014 model looks good, as the RCF and GSF have been released, ISF prices have dropped.   It has different material on the seats, centre console cover and on the door trims, with an F logo embossed on the front headrests, carbon fibre rear spoiler and LED fog lamps.  it also has the softer suspension, the latest shocks and all the bling of the later models

I also like the early model, they just look cleaner, and the mag wheels look fantastic, with those samurai swords exhaust fan wheels, there only half an inch thinner than the later models, but have the same size tyres.  I have fitted the torsen diff from a later model to my 2009 ISF and it is better, a worthwhile upgrade.

MR2QIK said

"most people would likely find the first iterations handling to be beyond their capabilities" ?????  What a load of rubbish!!  I have a 2009 model ISF which I take to the track twice a year, I have never noticed any such issue.

Any ISF is a good model, you will enjoy it.

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I should clarify on that. I meant the later models ultimately handle better. But, the average driver is unlikely to be able to exploit the difference between the 2. Pretty much backing your comment that any ISF is good. Not implying that the early models are a handful whereas the newer ones aren't. A seasoned driver in an 08/09 can outlap a beginner/novice in a 2014.

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