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Used Lexus IS review

2019 will symbol a 30th anniversary of Toyota introducing a Lexus brand. Its initial automobile was a LS 400, a indication that offering a latest tech, and implausible trustworthiness and startling refinement, though tiny motorist appeal.

Since afterwards Lexus has launched a raft of other models, including a IS in a compress executive segment. The initial era came with petrol energy only, though bowing to marketplace army a second chronicle had a diesel engine, too.

As a bill oppulance tiny family automobile there’s copiousness to like about a IS Mk2, generally a penetrating prices. But there’s also copiousness to watch out for, that is unsurprising given that many of these cars are now around a decade old. 

Models covered

  • Lexus IS Mk2 (2005-2013) – Compact exec is a essential pick, though it’s not as discriminating to expostulate as rivals.
  • • Lexus IS Mk3 (2013-date) – Classy looks and clever trustworthiness make Mk3 compress exec a excellent used buy.

Lexus IS Mk2

Used Lexus IS - full front



The IS Mk2 arrived in Nov 2005, in 2.5-litre petrol (IS 250) tavern form with a choice of standard, SE, SE-L or Sport trims. The initial ever diesel-engined Lexus seemed 5 months later; a IS 220d. In Apr 2008 a Japanese code combined a BMW M3 opposition with a 417bhp 5.0-litre V8-powered IS-F.

A facelift in Nov 2008 (for all though a IS-F) brought a revised nose, an overhauled lurch and a new SE-I trim between SE and SE-L specs. The IS 250C coupé-cabriolet strike showrooms in Jul 2009, in 2.5-litre petrol form only.

From Dec 2009 there was a new HDD nav complement and an F-Sport trim. The IS 200d transposed a IS 220d in Aug 2010 and a IS 250 went auto-only.

Leuxs IS Mk2 reviews

Lexus IS 200d review
Lexus IS 250c review
Lexus IS-F review

Which one should we buy?

The IS 250 is parched though nicer to expostulate than a diesels, and it’s some-more refined. And nonetheless it was primarily offering as a manual, substantially all IS 250s are autos.

Used Lexus IS - rear

The diesels came in primer form customarily and while these are frugal, they’re not as discriminating as you’d pattern a Lexus to be and a primer box is poor. All ISs are good equipped; customary opposite a operation are 8 airbags, journey control, a 13-speaker stereo, meridian control and amalgamate wheels. SE models supplement leather trim, exhilarated and ventilated seats, involuntary wipers, xenon lights, front and behind parking sensors and an electrically tractable steering column.

Sport facilities suede-effect chair trim, 18-inch rims and lowered suspension. 

Alternatives to a Lexus IS Mk2

BMW’s 3 Series is a many fascinating IS opposition interjection to a far-reaching array of engines and bodystyles. Build peculiarity is generally glorious and a 3 Series is also eminent for a pointy dynamics.

A somewhat cheaper opposition is Audi’s A4, that is accessible with some shining petrol and diesel engines, along with four-wheel drive, that is since a German indication creates a glorious draw car.

The Mercedes C-Class is another reward family automobile that’s abundant and comes in countless guises, though using costs can be high. Unlike a Lexus, all of these German rivals come in tavern or estate forms. But don’t disremember a Mazda 6 that is good to drive, looks pointy and is good equipped, too. 

What to demeanour for: 


Alloys are disposed to lacquer effervescent and blistering, as good as corrosion, generally if they’re not spotless regularly.


Power steering can be unreliable, so make certain there’s a unchanging feel as we spin a wheel; check for leaks too. 


IS 220ds built before a Nov 2008 facelift can humour from turbo loiter and a miss of energy next 2,000rpm. 


Interior trim isn’t always as good screwed together as you’d hope; listen out for doorway row and lurch rattles. 

Used Lexus IS - dash


Front-seat occupants will be comfortable, though those in a behind don’t get most conduct or legroom. Build peculiarity is generally good with copiousness of reward materials, though a over-fussy pattern can make a lurch tough to use. Boot space also isn’t really good, during only 378 litres; a contemporary 3 Series could accommodate 460 litres of luggage. 

Running costs

All cars need checking each 10,000 miles or 12 months. Services swap between teenager and major. These cost £225 and £345 respectively for diesels, £275 and £445 for a IS 250 and £295 or £495 for a IS-F.

Each derivative has a some-more costly full use when some-more work is needed. For a diesels this comes during 100,000 miles (£545), while it’s each 60,000 miles for a IS 250 (£645) and IS-F (£745).

All engines are chain-driven, so cambelts don’t need replacing. Brake liquid should be altered biannually and a coolant after 100,000 miles or 10 years (then each 60,000 miles). This is enclosed in a costs given.

Used Lexus IS - side


Six recalls isn’t a disaster. The initial came in Jul 2006 and influenced only 11 cars with inadequate airbags. A remember in Apr 2008 focused on probable fuel leaks, with stop liquid leaks call another in Nov 2010.

Fuel leaks were behind an IS 250 debate released in Feb 2011, while inadequate IS 250 wipers were bound in Apr 2013. In Nov 2014 petrol-engined ISs were removed since of intensity fuel leaks.

Driver Power owners satisfaction

The IS Mk2 final seemed in a Driver Power consult in 2016, when it came 85th; a top measure it ever achieved was 18th in 2009. In-car tech, chair comfort and build peculiarity were a stars of a show, while using costs and practicality were a adhering points. Ride peculiarity and palliate of pushing were ranked mid-table.


For many a IS would seem to be a ideal car; ergonomically sound, good equipped, gentle and really good value interjection to some low prices. The IS is also flattering reliable, though a slight indication operation means we have to select between a parched petrol engine or a loud diesel. In a home marketplace a IS was sole as a Toyota, and in some ways a indication is some-more honourable of that badge than a Lexus one. The dynamics aren’t as discriminating as some of a rivals’, though as an tenure knowledge any Lexus is customarily tough to beat; a company’s play network offers peerless levels of service. So while pushing an IS substantially won’t set your beat racing, conjunction will a awaiting of using one.

Click by to page dual for a full buyer’s beam on a Lexus IS Mk3 sole from 2013 to date…

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