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Hi all, a quick question for you all...

I'm looking to buy an IS250 SE-L with the ML sounds system. Now my question is, what should I expect to pay for it? I ask as I've viewed 7 now, and have been unimpressed by almost all of them which leads to to believe I've not grasped how much these should be, or we live in a world of chancers!

Ideally of course, I want a pristine example for as little as possible. But an example with some wear and tear outside would also be fine - though I do like a nice interior and the car to be mechanically sound.

As an example of since I've seen,  I give you:

09 plate, 132k on the clock, honestly advertised for £3.6k but a bit too worn for me.

58 plate, 48k miles, no working aircon, horrible paint and wheel refurb (done for the pictures according to the seller!), £8k.

08 plate, 34k miles, reasonable interior, bad rear bumper respray, front bumper not fitting well, very swirly paint, £8k.

06 plate, 60k miles, nice condition, needed new brakes, developed a loud interior trim rattle on the test drive that the seller couldn't guarantee would be fixed before collection. The best one I've seen £5.6k.

 

Apologies for the long post, but what should I be looking at to get a nice SE-L, without dodgy dealer paint jobs etc and ideally post sep07 build date?

Many thanks

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Hi Jon. Firstly don't be put off a 2006 or 2007 car. Just because of the E10 fuel. Super unleaded is the way to go. I bought my 2007 SE-L with a myriad of scratches on it. That didn't bother me. 200 odd quid later just a few scratches. Bodywork is easy to remedy. High milers aren't a problem so longs as a full service history preferably dealer service. 

The price of is250 are dropping I've seen probably because of the E10 situation. 

Don't just go off photos. Go see the car if you can. What you want is that All electrics work. Check the rear wheels rotate freely ( our cars have a poor design brake caliper in which the slide pins seize due to lack of grease maintenance)

You won't find a mint 12/13 year old car. There isn't one. There are however very good ones. I've not seen those cars for sale recently but have high expectations. 

That 06 car with an interior rattle. Are you sure it's interior? A lot of our cars have suffered with the exhaust heat shield coming adrift and causing a rattle.

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There are several currently on Autotrader that seem good examples and may fit your wish list, check 'em out (unless you've seen them already that is) but to me the prices on there seem a bit high ... but then only you can judge how much you want to pay. 

Interesting that Vlad should make a point about values dropping due to the E10 issue (models 08/05 to 09/07) which I fear may well be the case although I've not yet seen any evidence of this.  And Jon, you've specifically suggested post-Sep '07 so you obviously want a compatible car.

Unlike mine that I bought last November at auction only to recently discover that it is not compatible with E10 petrol (being 03/06).  However, it's very low mileage (31k) and in great condition with good history for a 15 year old car which kind of makes up for it.

I got it for a snip if the Autotrader prices are accurate valuations but not so much if I lose out on it not being E10 compatible. We'll have to see I guess.

Good hunting anyway Jon.

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It is interesting how the prices of these cars have gone up. I got my 2008 IS250 S-EL in 2014 for £4000. It had 122k miles on it which was one the high side for 6 years old car, but I was more than happy to take it knowing it had easy miles on motorways and that was amazing decision as condition of the car was far better than mileage could suggest and after 6 years and 70k miles it never had a single fault. In 2020 I have sold it for £2700 with 192k miles and with N-category (non-structural write-off) after receiving insurance settlement of £3800 (I think they deducted like £700 for resale value). That was surprising because it means my 12 years old car with 192k miles in 2020 was worth same as a paid for 6 years old car with 122k miles in 2014!

Looking at the prices nowadays they are just crazy, it seems people really started appreciating these cars for what they are. 

I can't tell you what to pay for IS250 as I can't influence the market, but I would not pay more than £5.5k myself - even for latest and best example. After all even last model year (2012) are now 9 years old and presumably has ~70-80k miles on the clock. Anything lower than that is not good sign either - car doing low miles locally will always be more tired than car doing many miles on the motorway. ~10k a years is good measure.

As well, I am not sure why 2007 September would be a cut-off date. Between 2005 and 2008 it is the same car, so I regard the all the same. 2009-2011 is first facelift - different rear lights and indicators went on mirrors, there were few more subtle changes inside each years, so for models after 2009 you could add a little bit of money each years, because they got HDD sat-nav at some point, late 2011 got DLRs etc. and obviously final model for 2012 again had DLRs and latest revisions of all equipment. But if I look at the price I basically see them as 3 tiers 2005-2008, 2009-2011 (non-DLR), 2011(DLR)-2012. 

Now when it comes to ML... again it isn't really that important. I had cars with both ML and without ML and although ML is "better" the difference in minimal. The standard car has 13 speakers system, ML has 14 speakers + better amp (basically only adding centre speaker in the front). ML is slightly louder but not much and the main benefit of ML is high-clarity and high-definition sound, BUT only if you have good quality source. If anything ML only highlights imperfections in music if you have poor quality source (say MP3 ripped from youtube). So if you planning to listen to classic music out of original DVD with loserless quality ML is amazing, but if you listening banging tunes from youtube it may be the same if not actually worse.

As for E10... I find this blown out of proportions... I drove thousands of miles on E85 in Europe as well as other ethanol mixes which were far greater than 10% of ethanol with absolutely no problems. Sure I would not recommend leaving E85 in the tank for months, but just using it on long journeys was absolutely fine. 

In short - if I would be in the market I would grab something like this myself:

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202107285549824

if I would need to go with first facelift:

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202107245408889 (althought I would never go for cream interior, they just don't las as well as black). 

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6 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

As well, I am not sure why 2007 September would be a cut-off date.

The list of excluded Lexus engines on Government website (and I quote) ...

"E10 petrol is cleared for use in all Lexus European petrol models made from Jan 1998, excluding:

 IS250 2.5 litre V6 with engine 4GR-FSE made between Aug 2005 and Sep 2007

• GS300 3.0 litre V6 with engine 3GR-FSE made between Jan 2005 and Sep 2007

• LS460 4.6 litre V8 with engine 1UR-FSE made between Aug 2006 and Sep 2007."

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Thanks for the replies.

As a bit of background, I have recently sold a 2001 plate Jaguar XJ that was in very good condition inside and out for £5.5k, so I guess its that car that I'm comparing the IS250s I've seen against (I sold as it was a bit too big and thirsty for a daily car!). Now obviously different models will have different prices for various reasons, hence this thread being started to try and see if I've got totally the wrong idea of the condition I can expect for my money.

I hasten to add, I don't expect a used car to be showroom fresh. But particularly when the asking price is £8k I would expect any paint that has been done to not have dirt in it or tragic lacquer crazing or sanding marks showing through. Or in the case of one I've seen, a wheel refurb that painted over the dirt, corrosion and valve stem (at which the dealer said it was done to look OK in photos)!

The E10 issue is a bit of a strange one - in one sense running a car on super is no sweat, but I wonder if the price will bounce soon. Also, I wondered what would happen come resale time when the E10 compatibility was more in the public consciousness - would it be easier to sell on if it was unaffected?

Originally I didn't want to spend more than £5.5k but hadn't seen one I liked, so wondered what a more expensive one would be like. So I checked out a £8k example and found it was rubbish! So now I'm asking whether I've been unlucky or unrealistic. Mileage doesn't bother me really, more the overall condition.

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2 hours ago, MX5V6 said:

So now I'm asking whether I've been unlucky or unrealistic. Mileage doesn't bother me really, more the overall condition.

As I said, prices simply got stuck for last 5 years on these cars and for good reasons. In 2014 they were just silly good value.

I think you got simply unlucky, because £8k is completely unacceptable price for IS250 mk2, except for very much the best IS250 still in existence, because mk3 starts at ~9k. There may be 1 or two exceptional 2012 SE-Ls with every single option and with 30k miles... and ok I appreciate that it could cost more than cheapest 2013 bottom of the barrel IS300h SE or Exec model. But apart of these few exceptions £8k should provide you the car with pristine condition (i.e. better than expected for year and mileage). £5.5k would be what I would expect to pay for example where conditions reflects the mileage and age, again average 2012 car is 9 years old, 80k miles, so there could be some stone chips and general wear and tear, but no shoddy paint jobs etc. 

Overall I think you are taking more approach - these cars are not afraid of mileage as long as they are maintained properly and has service history 5.5k should definitely be enough to buy you late mk2 IS in decent condition.

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Thanks again for the reply - that was more or less my conclusion, but nice to hear someone else affirm it!

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2 hours ago, Linas.P said:

Overall I think you are taking more right approach 

not sure how right approach, turned into "more"... 😅

But I hope you got my point.

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I got mine for £2600 in January but was worth at least £3500 given the clean MOT history and service history. Its in excellent condition. I did not know about the upcoming E10 issue and now I myself wonder about how much I will get if it sells. I have been on Super unleaded 90% of the time except certain cases when I went to north Wales. Shell 99 did genuinely perform better. I am keeping mine for the forseeable future but I worry about the cost of E5 going forward. Try and get a big bargain on any model between 2005-2008 that does not allow for E5.

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Why do you worry about the cost of E5 when you've stated you've been on super unleaded 90% of the time. All you've got to do is go 100% of the time if your car falls in the narrow bandwidth of our model build.

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18 hours ago, Linas.P said:

It is interesting how the prices of these cars have gone up. I got my 2008 IS250 S-EL in 2014 for £4000. It had 122k miles on it which was one the high side for 6 years old car, but I was more than happy to take it knowing it had easy miles on motorways and that was amazing decision as condition of the car was far better than mileage could suggest and after 6 years and 70k miles it never had a single fault. In 2020 I have sold it for £2700 with 192k miles and with N-category (non-structural write-off) after receiving insurance settlement of £3800 (I think they deducted like £700 for resale value). That was surprising because it means my 12 years old car with 192k miles in 2020 was worth same as a paid for 6 years old car with 122k miles in 2014!

Looking at the prices nowadays they are just crazy, it seems people really started appreciating these cars for what they are. 

I can't tell you what to pay for IS250 as I can't influence the market, but I would not pay more than £5.5k myself - even for latest and best example. After all even last model year (2012) are now 9 years old and presumably has ~70-80k miles on the clock. Anything lower than that is not good sign either - car doing low miles locally will always be more tired than car doing many miles on the motorway. ~10k a years is good measure.

As well, I am not sure why 2007 September would be a cut-off date. Between 2005 and 2008 it is the same car, so I regard the all the same. 2009-2011 is first facelift - different rear lights and indicators went on mirrors, there were few more subtle changes inside each years, so for models after 2009 you could add a little bit of money each years, because they got HDD sat-nav at some point, late 2011 got DLRs etc. and obviously final model for 2012 again had DLRs and latest revisions of all equipment. But if I look at the price I basically see them as 3 tiers 2005-2008, 2009-2011 (non-DLR), 2011(DLR)-2012. 

Now when it comes to ML... again it isn't really that important. I had cars with both ML and without ML and although ML is "better" the difference in minimal. The standard car has 13 speakers system, ML has 14 speakers + better amp (basically only adding centre speaker in the front). ML is slightly louder but not much and the main benefit of ML is high-clarity and high-definition sound, BUT only if you have good quality source. If anything ML only highlights imperfections in music if you have poor quality source (say MP3 ripped from youtube). So if you planning to listen to classic music out of original DVD with loserless quality ML is amazing, but if you listening banging tunes from youtube it may be the same if not actually worse.

As for E10... I find this blown out of proportions... I drove thousands of miles on E85 in Europe as well as other ethanol mixes which were far greater than 10% of ethanol with absolutely no problems. Sure I would not recommend leaving E85 in the tank for months, but just using it on long journeys was absolutely fine. 

In short - if I would be in the market I would grab something like this myself:

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202107285549824

if I would need to go with first facelift:

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202107245408889 (althought I would never go for cream interior, they just don't las as well as black). 

Ok I'm not experienced at buying cars (I try to keep them and run them into the ground consequently I've only ever owned 3 cars) - but advice I've been given is seek a Lexus with FSH and preferably FLSH. Which would strike out the second example there?

The first one needs a shock replacing.. that seems pretty rare for a IS250 ??

I'm currently looking at a 2011 F-Sport (which I prefer to SE-L) with full 12 month Lexus Warranty, no ML or screen and it's £9.5k... it's in my preferred pearl white practically immaculate and has a new OEM exhaust.. is that "mental" ? Please tell me if that's insane because I've been looking for a few months and if it is and anyone fancies helping me find a cheaper example local to cheshire, it may save on psychiatry bills!! 💪 

Tbh if I'd read @is200 Newbie posting history and knew what I was doing, I'd have bought his SE-L a few months ago as he obviously maintained it to an excellent standard.. IIRC he sold it for £5,5k.. I might be slightly off there 

Here's one that's probably got some life left in it.. and I do recommend checking the MOT history on this one :

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234103193059?hash=item3681a33de3:g:bI4AAOSw~sZg~KLu

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26 minutes ago, Mr Vlad said:

Why do you worry about the cost of E5 when you've stated you've been on super unleaded 90% of the time. All you've got to do is go 100% of the time if your car falls in the narrow bandwidth of our model build.

Yeah but I don't want to see it go to something stupid like £1.60+. I am Ok with £1.50 max. What if they increase it to £1.70. I do use Shell and receive those mini discounts a pound off or so and once even £4 off. So far in 10-12 fill ups they probably discounted me up to a tenner.

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17 minutes ago, PJD69 said:

Ok I'm not experienced at buying cars (I try to keep them and run them into the ground consequently I've only ever owned 3 cars) - but advice I've been given is seek a Lexus with FSH and preferably FLSH. Which would strike out the second example there?

The first one needs a shock replacing.. that seems pretty rare for a IS250 ??

 

Yes, sadly I have missed the point of "maintained by local mechanic" as this is certainly not great sign. I personally would want to have car with FSH, it could be Lexus or Toyota, but preferably not generic Halfrauds or other mainstream name. Other generic advise - check invoice what was actually done on car. Having service history means nothing if owner just did standard service for oil etc. but there is list of 10 items which are recommended or critical, but owners chosen not to do. Obviously, this is becoming more of an issue now than when I bought mine.. mine was 6 years old, so expecting service history on 6 years old car is much more feasible than expecting it on 12 years old car. 

Not sure why first one needs shock replacing (is there something I have missed?). Regarding it being rare on IS250... not necessary for 10 years old car shock failing would not be strange. To my surprise my 192k car was still on original shocks and had no issues, maybe just my luck. 

As for 2011-2012 SE-Ls yes they are rare, so you much more likely to find F-sport or SE-i after 2010. Just a simple matter of car being rare. Main issue I have with F-sport is that it doesn't have cooled seats and I consider that important, but if you can live without it then it is not an issue for you and choice will be highly expanded.

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13 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Not sure why first one needs shock replacing (is there something I have missed?). Regarding it being rare on IS250... not necessary for 10 years old car shock failing would not be strange. To my surprise my 192k car was still on original shocks and had no issues, maybe just my luck.

"Offside Front Shock absorbers light misting of oil or has limited damping effect (5.3.2 (b))"

13 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

As for 2011-2012 SE-Ls yes they are rare, so you much more likely to find F-sport or SE-i after 2010. Just a simple matter of car being rare. Main issue I have with F-sport is that it doesn't have cooled seats and I consider that important, but if you can live without it then it is not an issue for you and choice will be highly expanded.

I personally don't understand the preference for leather, I prefer Alcantara and I think it ages better too.

Does shock failure suggest the car has had a hard life and smacked into a few potholes?

I was put off this one below - as it had a replacement shock and a complete new rack.. but it does have FLSH (including two stamps from Poland Lexus) does this look decent? Was on the market a few weeks ago and now relisted same seller same pics:

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202107245399336

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1 minute ago, PJD69 said:

"Offside Front Shock absorbers light misting of oil or has limited damping effect (5.3.2 (b))"

I personally don't understand the preference for leather, I prefer Alcantara and I think it ages better too.

Does shock failure suggest the car has had a hard life and smacked into a few potholes?

I was put off this one below - as it had a replacement shock and a complete new rack.. but it does have FLSH (including two stamps from Poland Lexus) does this look decent? Was on the market a few weeks ago and now relisted same seller same pics:

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202107245399336

That is good find, but it would be something seller has to sort out, so I consider it to be included with the price as it is not mentioned in the advert, otherwise it could be said you have been miss-sold. Other thing to note - MOT centres sometimes makes all sort of BS notes and it may not be true at all. It literally could be as simple as car going over the puddle and some dirty water splashing onto the shock, or there was penetrating oil sprayed when working on brakes for example and they put it down to blown shock absorber. 

For example once I failed mot for "Offside Front Anti-roll bar linkage ball joint dust cover excessively deteriorated so that it no longer prevents the ingress of dirt (2.4.G.2)". In reality there was a pin-hole in rubber and that linkage would have lasted another 200k miles, but MOT centre just wanted to make a quick buck offering to change drop link for £250. Sure enough I replaced both linkages myself for £180 and never used that MOT centre again. 

Certainly something to look at if looking to buy it, but not red-flag in itself.

Lather is leather - natural material, Alcantara is made of polyester (or as I would like to call it - "seats from recycled plastic bags") - I absolutely hate Alcantara simply because it is synthetic, besides I don't really like feel of it, it is porous (meaning harder to clear, easier to make dirty) and it might absorb dirt, promote bacterial growth... and finally it is very cheap, just don't like idea having expensive luxury car which has very very cheap synthetic materials inside. In my mind Alcantara is as fancy as fake wood trim. Perforated leather especially with cooling is certainly superior to Alcantara in my opinion. But that is just my view and the OP may be ok with it.

As for aging. It is kind of strange, but for mk2 black leather was most durable, not only because, light coloured interiors are easier to make it dirty, but because for some reason leather itself failed much more easily. 

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When I bought mine last year and I took it to Lexus for a service and MOT they stated they wouldn't MOT it as they'd fail it. Fail it I asked, why? Because of a weeping rear shocker. The car then was 13 years old with 84k miles one owner from new and Full lexus service history. 

Unlucky me I suppose as it cist me over £650 to replace both rear shocks but I got a free MOT.  And the dealer who sold me the car? Full of BS and wasn't in the least interested. 

Funny, he's got another SE-L  2008 in a light blue for sale at a very reasonable price. And yes I've just posted a semi scathing review of him.

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Why didn't try to use your statutory rights? Surely, dealer had to put it right unless they advertised the car being with faulty shocks... 

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19 hours ago, Mr Vlad said:

When I bought mine last year and I took it to Lexus for a service and MOT they stated they wouldn't MOT it as they'd fail it. Fail it I asked, why? Because of a weeping rear shocker. The car then was 13 years old with 84k miles one owner from new and Full lexus service history. 

Unlucky me I suppose as it cist me over £650 to replace both rear shocks but I got a free MOT.  And the dealer who sold me the car? Full of BS and wasn't in the least interested. 

Funny, he's got another SE-L  2008 in a light blue for sale at a very reasonable price. And yes I've just posted a semi scathing review of him.

name and shame

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Linas, I did try to use my statutory rights. I contacted trading standards but surprisingly they couldn't help. And like I said even though the guy was a pleasant one that hid his underlying side which is full of 'merd' 💩

If you look on auto trader for a SE-L  08 plate or newer and see a blueish one for sale in Oldham that's the dealer Super One Traders.

The plus points tho of the car it's a cracker, love it to bits and I got a ruddy good price on a mondeo diesel I chopped in, £500 more than any other dealer or WBAC.

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1 hour ago, Mr Vlad said:

I contacted trading standards but surprisingly they couldn't help.

Sorry to hear that, but it is not surprising, I remember having issue with insurance and financial ombudsman said the same thing - basically "we agree with you, but it outside of our jurisdiction, take it to court if you want"... and I was like - seriously, you are regulatory body for financial institutions (insurance included) and it is out of your jurisdiction. Same happened with Information commissioner service when I had issue with my person data misuse, they agreed it was misuse, but failed to apply any penalty or compensation. 

These so called industry regulators are sadly often useless.

But on bright side you have yourself cracking car and if the shocks was the only issue, maybe that is not so bad deal overall. 

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Absolutely Linas. These so called regulatory authorities and the like and trade unions for that matter are utter useless compared to 10 and more years ago. That's why dodgy car dealers are dodgy because they know how crap these 'bodies' are.

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1 hour ago, Mr Vlad said:

Linas, I did try to use my statutory rights. I contacted trading standards but surprisingly they couldn't help. And like I said even though the guy was a pleasant one that hid his underlying side which is full of 'merd' 💩

If you look on auto trader for a SE-L  08 plate or newer and see a blueish one for sale in Oldham that's the dealer Super One Traders.

The plus points tho of the car it's a cracker, love it to bits and I got a ruddy good price on a mondeo diesel I chopped in, £500 more than any other dealer or WBAC.

I got mine off the same guy. He seems to specialise in them, had two when I went to look at mine. Cannot much fault the car as it passed MOT which I did shortly after purchase. Was not due but did for my peace of mind. Only thing is that between viewing and delivery the near side mirror cover had got a smack and on delivery it was “purposely” parked against a fence where it was not easily seen. Bit devious! I also did not trust the last service record which I think was performed, or not, by a mate.  Have had her now for 18 months and not a problem apart from replacing mirror cover.

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About 100 foot away from where he parks his cars is a garage who I know he knows. That garage looks dodgy and I suspect they do any quick fixes for him.

Funnily I did a review on him late last week and it isn't showing. So I did another today. Was sick at looking at the myriad of 5* reviews lol.

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