Premium compact car; Built in
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $22,800 – $51,500*


2012 Lexus IS F


2012 Lexus IS F


2012 Lexus IS F


2014 Lexus IS F

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Quietness

The Lexus IS F blends luxury and high performance into an incredibly refined package. If you’re shopping the BMW M3 or Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG but want something a bit off the beaten path, be sure to add this high-power Lexus to your shopping list.

Overview

The IS F was Lexus’ attempt at producing a high-power version of a more pedestrian model. While Audi, BMW, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz took the “cool” letters (S, M, V, and AMG, respectively), Toyota’s luxury brand selected F as its performance designation.

The IS F was essentially an IS 350 sedan with a sport suspension and a large V8 engine under the hood. Basically, it followed the same formula as competitors like the BMW M3, Cadillac CTS-V, and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

As with the IS 250 and IS 350, the IS F was sold in a single trim level with a fair amount of standard equipment. It included leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver-seat memory, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, sport suspension with uprated brakes, and rain-sensing wipers.

The IS F was rear-wheel drive only. The sole engine was a 416-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 that paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The EPA rated the IS F at 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway. Premium-grade gasoline is required.

The Lexus IS F included a standard complement of expected and federally mandated safety features. Adaptive cruise control with pre-collision braking was optional.

Yearly Updates

2009 IS F
There were no major changes for 2009.
2010 IS F
The 2010 IS F gained a Torsen limited-slip differential, new 19-inch wheel design, and folding rear headrests. It also added standard iPod and USB connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming, an integrated satellite radio receiver, and the Lexus Safety Connect telematics system. The optional navigation system added updated voice-recognition capability and the Lexus Enform telematics system.
2011 IS F
The 2011 IS F received suspension updates with revised front and rear spring rates, shock absorbers, rear bushings, and rear camber angle. The electricly assisted power steering was revised as well. Inside, there were trim changes.
2012 IS F
The 2012 IS F had a new design for its forged 19-inch BBS wheels. Red was a new color choice for the leather interior.
2013 IS F
The 2013 IS F was largely unchanged.
2014 IS F
Changedsfor the 2014 IS F were limited to interior trim tweaks.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

The IS F was rear-wheel drive only. The sole engine was a 416-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 that paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.0/303
Engine HP 416
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 371
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

16/23

18.5

Road Test

IS F accelerates with race-car thrust. Lexus quotes 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which feels accurate to us. At the same time, the F is remarkably docile in around-town driving. Credit its 8-speed automatic for lightning-fast, yet smooth shifts.

In Consumer Guide testing, an IS F averaged 18.5 mpg, a good return for a V8-powered performance car. Premium-grade gas is required.

IS F has a surprisingly comfortable ride on most surfaces despite its performance suspension and wide, track-ready tires.

Clearly the sharpest of any IS, the F corners with a stable, secure, and nimble feel. It easily keeps up with the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG. One test car suffered from squeaking brakes and borderline-severe pedal vibration when stopping. Other examples were fine.

IS F retains its “lesser” siblings’ large, legible gauges and handy minor controls. The steering wheel obscures switches on the lower dashboard, though. The optional navigation system controls absorbs many audio and climate functions, complicating their use.

IS F has additional interior detail touches, including classy visible blue stitching and braided aluminum trim panels that put the ambience a step above the “regular” IS.

Up front, headroom is very limited for six-footers. IS F has sport bucket seats that some testers find too confining. The power tilt and telescopic steering wheel is a nice convenience. The body shape limits the view to the right rear and directly aft.

Rear seat room is very snug. Legroom ranges from skimpy to almost non-existent depending on where the front seats are positioned. The seats aren’t in line with the footwells, forcing passengers to sit slightly sidesaddle. Narrow door openings impede entry and exit.

Packing gets complicated with a small trunk opening and intrusion from the rear wheel arches and trunk lid hinges. The hinges are covered, though, to keep them from damaging any cargo. Cabin storage is mediocre.

Ratings

Model Tested: Lxus IS F with navigation

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 9
90%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 9
90%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 53

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.5 183.5 71.5 55.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.3 16.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.0 36.9 43.9 30.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Not tested 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine fan
Description: The screws used to secure the engine cooling fans could become loose over time and prevent the fan from operating properly. (2008-12)

Recall History

2008-11 Lexus IS F
Description: Certain 2008-2011 Lexus IS F vehicles have insufficiently torqued wiper-arm fasteners that may become inoperative when blocked by snow.
2008-11 Lexus IS F
Description: Certain 2008-2011 Lexus IS vehicles may develop a fuel leak where the fuel pressure sensor attaches to the fuel delivery pipe.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.