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I'm looking at buying my first Lexus, and I am particularly fond of the IS, mostly because I'm looking for a family car which will still have some oomph. I prefer a manual gearbox with a petrol engine.

Coming from a BMW 5 series, which was excellent in terms of comfort and power; I have a few questions regarding what's available on the IS.

I've seen some with leather seats, and some with suede seats; are any of them better wearing/ more comfortable? Are they both heated/cooled?

Also, with regards to the dash, I've seen the majority of them with LCD, but a few have a screen (possibly satnav); what's the difference please?

I'm looking at purchasing a 2007/2008 model, did the facelift have many differences?

Thank you, and sorry for being such a newbie!

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The best bet if your budget will stretch would be a SE-L model as that has all the gadgets if that's your thing. Look out for Mark Levinson audio as its brilliant. I wouldnt advise a manual as it's not great and the road tax is a small fortune, best get a smooth auto and relax plus lower road tax.

You dont say your budget but there will be a few things to look out for when buying. So what BMW did you come from?

Sent from my SM-A505FN using Tapatalk

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Thanks for your advice.

I'm coming from a BMW 525 E60 which is gorgeous (in style and comfort and power), but has become unreliable and very costly to maintain (which I can't afford). I'm hoping Lexus will be more reliable.

Personally, I prefer a manual gearbox, as I enjoy driving and changing gears, plus I feel it gives me more control of the vehicle.My budget will be up to around £6k, so probably looking for a XE20 from 2007-2008. Any advice on whether leather or suede seats are preferable, and do all the SE-L have the satnav?

Thanks in advance.

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I might be wrong but I think the suede/acantara seats were introduced with the f sport in about 2010.If you are lucky you might find one in manual but  most are autos,good luck in your search 👍

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Family car you say? 
Be aware that the IS is not very roomy ( to say the least) in the rear seats. Prob the only negative I have to say about my 250.

And, as mentioned above, if you do go for the Manual box ( not recommended in a Lexus really )the Road Tax is a lot more!

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Go with SE-L trim. It is much reliable than 525. 

Mark L audio is a must. Once you get a feel of Auto you will never think of manual and start to preach auto.

SE-L has leather seats heated and cooled. Sun blind in rear, HID auto lights on top of standard features.

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Thanks for all the advice. It seems I may be be searching for a while to find the ideal IS with all the requirements!

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I found my IS 220d rear leg room not great and 6 speed box notchy and 6th terrible with the diesel. Auto any day! My grandfather found it tight and hard to get in/out.

I would buy a GS450H as more room if looking for a Lexus. Not sure what faults these have but liked the interiors.

James.

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A few sub 100,000 mile tidy looking two owner SE-L’s on AT for less than 6k right now.

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13 hours ago, JamesIS220 said:

I found my IS 220d rear leg room not great and 6 speed box notchy and 6th terrible with the diesel. Auto any day! My grandfather found it tight and hard to get in/out.

I would buy a GS450H as more room if looking for a Lexus. Not sure what faults these have but liked the interiors.

James.

Any GS is good for internal space.

Some are good, some very good and some are sublime.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder James.

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I had an IS250 SE-L Auto for 8 years and it was a brilliant car and completely reliable  

As mentioned above, I would avoid the manual. It wasn’t very good and comes with road tax implications. If a manual is a must then I would look for another car. 

I have a young family and the IS just wasn’t big enough. Luckily we also have an RX450h so that was used most of the time with the kids. The times that we used the IS as a family car, it was a very cramped experience and I’m only 5ft6. We replaced the IS with a GS last year and find that it has plenty of room for the family.

The Multimedia Package ( as it was named on the early models you are looking at) was available as an option on all grades IIRC, and came standard on none. It included Sat. Nav, the Mark Levinson Audio and reversing Camera. 

The Suede seats were only available on the Sport trim. I would go with the leather. Ours had done 110k miles and the leather still looked good with very little wear even on the drivers bolsters. The Suede seats were only heated.  

 

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Just remembered the only other negative of the 250......the boot space, while quite large, is not very practical for two reasons

1, the rear seat backs do not fold down forward increasing the capacity if no rear passengers are on board. It is a true saloon car after all.

2. Although the space inside the boot is quite large the ‘opening’ you have to put the stuff through is not! I recently struggled to get two ( not massive ) suitcases in there.

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1 hour ago, Texas said:

Just remembered the only other negative of the 250......the boot space, while quite large, is not very practical for two reasons

1, the rear seat backs do not fold down forward increasing the capacity if no rear passengers are on board. It is a true saloon car after all.

2. Although the space inside the boot is quite large the ‘opening’ you have to put the stuff through is not! I recently struggled to get two ( not massive ) suitcases in there.

Whilst I agree with your comments regarding the opening and folding seats,  I wouldn't call the the boot quite large. I found it relatively small and a nightmare with these new age prams / travel systems. At around 380 litres, it is no bigger  (and less accessible) than a family hatch of that era and significantly smaller than its german peers which were around 460-480. 

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I regularly transported one of these in the boot of my IS250 without too much trouble :-)

112971-tmp606A.jpg?w=700&h=700&fit=fill&

...and taken apart, one of these fitted in the car with the passenger seat fully reclined:

tdesignjett730_outputimage_hr_ctcm245212

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On 2/26/2020 at 1:24 PM, Noms said:

... I'm looking at purchasing a 2007/2008 model, did the facelift have many differences?

 

06->07:
Added shark fin
Added X package option
Moved gas/trunk buttons slightly and illuminated them
Enabled TRAC button to disable TRAC/VSC

07->08:
Improved steering feel
Added rear legroom due to new shape of front seatbacks
Illuminated scuff plate color changed from blue to white
OEM 18s color changed to liquid graphite
Coinholder added to dash

08->09:
A bunch of facelift changes (some interior trim and color changes, bumpers and tails changed, the ugly turn-signal mirrors are added, and the hideous lobster claws become the standard 18" wheel)

Paddles enabled to work in D

09->10:
Bluetooth now available without nav
Nav system updated to match what Garmin offered in 2006 (as opposed to the 1999 era one in the 06-09 models)
USB port added for ipod interface, SAT radio now built in as well rather than optional
A2DP streaming now possible

10->11:
Another facelift with bumpers and whatnot
Ugly LED headlamps added (which means AFS no longer offered)
Passenger side memory seat no longer available
PCS option no longer available
X package no longer available
Sport package no longer available
F-sport package added
350 now offered with AWD

Source: https://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-2nd-gen-2006-2013/625596-2nd-gen-is-facelift-refresh-what-when-was-it.html#post7108709

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