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Hi guys,

 

I am new here and I am looking to start my journey as a Lexus owner with the Is 250. But I am unsure of which model to get.

All the pre 2009 models I can find are a decent price around £5k for 60k miles and the post 2009 are around 7 - 8k for around the same mileage. My question is what is the difference problem wise? I am aware that the post 09 model has changes such as wing mirror indicators etc But did they rectify some issues the pre 09 models had?

i am really excited to get my lovely Lexus as I currently have a smart for four and it’ll be a big difference lol

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There aren't really any issues with early cars which don't also affect later ones - not that there are any major issues anyway. Main thing is brake calipers, especially the sliders - but they all have the same maintenance requirements.

Very early cars have solid rear brake discs - they were changed to vented in 2007 but it doesn't make any great difference. Older cars are just...well..older.

Main thing is specs - they changed pretty well every year in some respect or other, even in minor ways such as the trim levels and colours available.

People on here always say to get the top specs - SE-L etc. But consider - then you get a lot more electronic stuff to potentially go wrong. It's a lot more irritating to have some equipment not working than to not have it at all. I've had my 2006 SE for 7 years now. I did have a serious problem with a body ecu - I suspect due to a chafed wiring loom - but apart from that - nothing.

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Thanks so much for the reply John, I think I’ll start looking for some now. I’ve seen plenty of posts suggesting the SE L but the SE L vs F sport which is better? Or is it more personal preference?

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I bought a 2008 SE-L to get a fully loaded model, then have since added the SR body kit and FSport wheels.

IMO best of all worlds (barring an all out ISF of course).

If I was looking now, I would get myself a >2011 fsport.

A bit of added styling, better alloys, sporty suspension, nice seats and from late 2011 (I believe) they upgraded the headlights to include LED DRLs. They are also much nicer styling wise with a black insert vs the older 100% chrome headlights.

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13 hours ago, johnatg said:

But consider - then you get a lot more electronic stuff to potentially go wrong. 

Any example of anything going wrong.. electric wise? It is not french car... 

My SE-L is now 186k miles and nothing ever went wrong with it, certainly not electric parts. On this basis I would still advise to go for SE-L, because price wise there is not much of a difference and Lexus are not exactly known for electric gremlins.

Secondly, I would dismiss low miles cars - when it comes to Lexus it adds no value. Older low miles car could be more of the problem then bit newer car which done more miles on motorway and was better maintained. For Lexus - miles means nothing, service history and overall condition is much more important. Again most lower than average mileage cars (~10k/year) will be driven for short journeys in cities, which is not exactly the best for the car. Thus higher miles "motorway" car might actually be in better shape mechanically.. bar few stone chips.

I personally, do not know any particular reason why would I go for post 2009 cars... (I used to have 2010 and 2012 IS250). Few minor things like indicators in the mirrors, DLRs, different style tail lights, auto-folding mirrors.. but nothing I really care about. Fundamental parts remained the same throughout all the years... I mean engines, transmissions, audio systems, issue... even sat-nav on my 2012 was very dated and although slightly updated it was still fundamentally useless.

This is basically the reason why 3rd time around I just got oldest, highest miles SE-L for sale, which still had all the service history and was in good shape... and I would do it again if I would be in the market for mk2 IS.

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14 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Any example of anything going wrong.. electric wise? It is not french car... 

My SE-L is now 186k miles and nothing ever went wrong with it, certainly not electric parts. On this basis I would still advise to go for SE-L, because price wise there is not much of a difference and Lexus are not exactly known for electric gremlins.

Secondly, I would dismiss low miles cars - when it comes to Lexus it adds no value. Older low miles car could be more of the problem then bit newer car which done more miles on motorway and was better maintained. For Lexus - miles means nothing, service history and overall condition is much more important. Again most lower than average mileage cars (~10k/year) will be driven for short journeys in cities, which is not exactly the best for the car. Thus higher miles "motorway" car might actually be in better shape mechanically.. bar few stone chips.

I personally, do not know any particular reason why would I go for post 2009 cars... (I used to have 2010 and 2012 IS250). Few minor things like indicators in the mirrors, DLRs, different style tail lights, auto-folding mirrors.. but nothing I really care about. Fundamental parts remained the same throughout all the years... I mean engines, transmissions, audio systems, issue... even sat-nav on my 2012 was very dated and although slightly updated it was still fundamentally useless.

This is basically the reason why 3rd time around I just got oldest, highest miles SE-L for sale, which still had all the service history and was in good shape... and I would do it again if I would be in the market for mk2 IS.

Agree with this in principle but if you know the history of a low mileage one then that goes for the car - low miles is not necessarily bad but you need to know what you are looking at regarding the issues an old low miler may present. Probably wont do anything for the value of the car if kept for a few years thinking it will hold its value but it will certainly be more attractive to any buyer that's looking for one when you come to sell it.

Mines a 2006 and I bought it last year at 25k miles after my original one was written off - a good find and having had one before then I knew what I was looing at when giving it the once over when I bought it. Come to think of it, at 13 years old, its the oldest car I have ever owned but at that mileage it runs like new. 10k miles on and it has not skipped a beat. It has one stone chip on the bonnet and a small scuff on the passenger side wheel. Pretty chuffed with the condition of it to be honest.

You can probably want more from a car but this suits what I want from one as while the spec has changed, a lot of the accessories and spec have been reduced in the newer models. The miles I do are mostly motorway miles but now its going to be sat in the drive for long spells as circumstances have just changed so I expect the mileage will increase by 3 to 4k a year from now on so coming to sell maybe in a few years time it will be looked after but not even reached the first Major service at 60k, so even though it will be a low miler, the circumstances of it in this case mean that its had the good runs you would expect from a V6.

Another point is that they do hold their value well if looked after. The previous IS I had was a 2007 250 SE-L. bought for 6K and I owned it for 6 years with mileage approx. 105k miles before it was written off. Insurance paid out just under 6K for it

I guess its a gut feeling you have about a car when buying but it does help a lot if you do your homework and know what to look for.

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Re electric / electronic probs - plenty of examples on here - sat nav, lcd screes, rear window blinds, auto mirror tilt mechanisms, etc - and as a car gets to 14, 15 years and more old you must expect them to potentially get more common.

OK for us with plenty of value from our cars already - but buying now in expectation of a reasonable service life and on a budget?

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Just get one that fits your budget and specification level, there aren't any fundamental issues with any of them. I'd always recommend to get one as young as possible, all other things being equal, as things wear with age as well as mileage.

The 2009 facelift was mainly cosmetic, with minor tweaks to the engine, to improve emissions rather than anything noticeable to the driver, and minor suspension tweaks.

The 2011 revisions were similar too - minor upgrades to the spec levels and tweaks to meet emission standards of the time.

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Thanks so much for the reply John, I think I’ll start looking for some now. I’ve seen plenty of posts suggesting the SE L but the SE L vs F sport which is better? Or is it more personal preference?

I’ve got a 2011 f-sport in ultrasonic blue. It’s great looking car. And lovely to drive.


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On 5/10/2019 at 3:40 PM, Jstar25 said:

I’ve seen plenty of posts suggesting the SE L but the SE L vs F sport which is better? Or is it more personal preference?

Mainly cosmetic, but with lowered suspension making it handle a little better but with firmer ride. Certainly personal preference. It was only available for 2010 onwards so will be at the higher end of the price scale for a series II IS250.

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Will second that and same here in ultrasonic blue 👍😊

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Mine 👍

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On 5/12/2019 at 6:07 PM, ColinBarber said:

Mainly cosmetic, but with lowered suspension making it handle a little better but with firmer ride. Certainly personal preference. It was only available for 2010 onwards so will be at the higher end of the price scale for a series II IS250.

I think we have covered it in the past and UK spec. cars are exactly the same when it comes to suspension. Sport came with 18" wheels which can make ride firmer, but the cars are not lowered, nor have different suspension. I might be wrong, but that is what I remember.

On 5/10/2019 at 10:45 PM, johnatg said:

Re electric / electronic probs - plenty of examples on here - sat nav, lcd screes, rear window blinds, auto mirror tilt mechanisms, etc - and as a car gets to 14, 15 years and more old you must expect them to potentially get more common.

I would not call that "plenty", nor they are related to SE-L specifically - there are like 4 examples of singular issues, which happened probably once for 4 different people. So to begin with Sat-nav (I guess you mean disk issue) applies to all cars fitted with sat-nav, lcd issues will affect all cars with LCDs (mostly physical damage though, but there were examples of digitiser failing, I assume physical as well), auto-tilting mirrors was as well standard feature on all cars and they fail due to dirt accumulation in mechanism (not electrical fault). The only one which is isolated to SE-L is rear windows blind, but I cannot remember anyone reporting it failing... even then I suspect it happened after dirty child pulled it or something.

Maybe that comes down to the definitions of what ones considers to be electrical problem. In my opinion electrical problem is like the ones of french and italian cars, where for example electric windows just stops working one day for no reason and when you turn on wipers suddenly hazards lights comes on as well, or when you turn on A/C and suddenly tachometer stops working. However, when somebody smashes LCD with the elbow, that is not "electric" fault, or when electric seat mechanism wears out for the driver weighting 100 stones - "some fair use should be applied". Talking about that I remember one case where seats stopped working, but again that will affect all cars with electric seats not only SE-L.

In summary every Lexus IS mk2 was well equipped with a lot of options, SE-L added very few things which were unique to SE-L: illuminated sills, rear windows blind, AVS, headlight washers, HIDs (although they were later available on F-sport as well)... and that is pretty much all and none are known to fail by themselves. Then there were option across the board like Sat-Nav, ML, sun-roof and RCC, but those are not SE-L unique.

Anyhow - if ones is worried about theoretical risk of electrical issues they should be worried Lexus cars overall, if you put one in the lake it will certainly going to be one car you don't want to fix, but when choosing between Lexus IS mk2 trims judging by number of electrical problems is not very relevant - neither it goes wrong, not there are much difference between trims anyway. It is certainly not one of those stories where you say - "oh yes... this and this trim was the most comprehensive, but you should rather avoid it for electrical problems" - this is simply not the case for SE-L.

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Standard (rare) and SE don't have sat nav or lcd screen or rear window blind and the mirrors don't tilt every time you select reverse.

And problems with most of these are hardly isolated or one off on here.

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40 minutes ago, johnatg said:

Standard (rare) and SE don't have sat nav or lcd screen or rear window blind and the mirrors don't tilt every time you select reverse.

And problems with most of these are hardly isolated or one off on here.

I think none of mk2's have Sat-Nav/LCD/Reverse camera as standard - I mean my SE-L certainly doesn't have Sat-Nav/LCD/Reverse camera. It was trim independent option like sunroof (with exception with SE-I, which literally meant SE + infotainment aka "I"). Unless you telling you could not even have it as an option on SE - which I doubt, but certainly don't know?!

As for tilting mirrors - wasn't it linked with electric seats? In which case SE could have electric seats option, hence auto-tilting mirrors. 

Again - I could not remember anyone asking about that here, not saying it never happened, but certainly not "common" issue. I think there actually was a list of common issues and almost none of electric problems came on it. There was something related with automatic wipers sensor (which are standard across the range) when it comes to aftermarket windscreen fitting. 

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1 hour ago, Linas.P said:

I think we have covered it in the past and UK spec. cars are exactly the same when it comes to suspension. Sport came with 18" wheels which can make ride firmer, but the cars are not lowered, nor have different suspension. I might be wrong, but that is what I remember.

Lexus GB press release:

Quote
  • Introduction of new F-Sport grade, inspired by the ultra-high-performance IS F
    • Lowered suspension (IS 250 only)
    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Bootlid spoiler
    • Sports seats, steering wheel and aluminium pedals
    • Alcantara and leather upholstery

 

Parts catalog shows different springs and shocks

1400818276_Screenshot2019-05-13at21_23_37.thumb.png.5ca68394e552504c663f9764eaa64216.png

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I just note that parts list if for Malaysia spec car. You probably are right, but all along I was under impression that suspension on all UK models was the same. It was certainly not the same for say US spec. model. As well only in UK F-Sport had half-leather seats, whereas in the rest of EU/US it had normal leather interior.

Let's say you right 🙂 

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21 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

I just note that parts list if for Malaysia spec car.

That is just one of the four options.

More info from Lexus GB:

872102023_ScreenShot2019-05-13at22_01_17.thumb.png.3f0399df98b09be5f48400a815954b77.png

674803070_ScreenShot2019-05-13at22_01_49.thumb.png.0c67a088e8ffea7205be8f363390f638.png

604763505_ScreenShot2019-05-13at22_02_17.thumb.png.b838aeaf17c3b1c4d5bd0482b2165d92.png

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My F-Sport has Tokico dampers. Pretty sure "normal" suspension grades have KYBs.

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