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0902 2009 Lexus Is F
four seasons long-term tests

2008 Lexus IS-F - Four Seasons Update - February 2009

WINTER
2009 Lexus IS-F reviews to date

We've crossed the 20,000-mile mark in the Lexus IS-F so it's time to make a list of what has broken on the Japanese sports sedan in eight-months of service. Nothing. OK, now that we've got that not surprising information out of the way, it's time to tell you what we like and don't like about the Lexus up to this point.

First, let's hit on the good parts. In addition to being reliable, this IS-F is wicked fast. The 5.0-liter V-8 gives the Lexus enough power to keep up with its key German competitors, the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Plus, the IS-F beats them both in the top speed arena as Lexus choose to give the IS-F a higher, 170 mph speed limiter. The M3 and C63 shut down at 155 mph. So the car from Japan has some bragging rights in that area. Lexus also claims that while the IS-F carries a bit higher of a base price, it makes up for it with far more standard equipment. This includes items such as nineteen-inch forged BBS wheels, keyless entry with push button start, metallic paint, and heated leather seats. Those items add quite a bit of money to the price of an M3.

The complaints thus far include a question of why the IS-F needs an eight-speed automatic. More than one editor has found this affects the speed at which the tranny downshifts to the optimal gear when aggressive acceleration is asked for. Still, the biggest criticism thus far is in regards to ride quality. If you live anywhere without glass-smooth roads, make sure you test-drive the IS-F before writing the check. We can't remember a car in recent times that rides as badly as the IS-F over rough Michigan roads. The Audi R8 is a WRC rally car over the bumps compared to the Lexus. We also wish the back seat wasn't quite so cramped and some people find the mega-bolstering of the front seats a bit overkill.

Still, Lexus did an excellent job with the IS-F considering this is their first proper sports sedan. We look forward to having the Lexus around until May so tuned to automobilemag.com for more updates in the coming months.

2008 Lexus IS-F

Base Price: $56,765
As Tested: $62,051

Options:

Headlight washers: $100
Navigation/Mark Levinson Package: $3990
-Navigation
-Rear backup camera
-Bluetooth
-Mark Levinson 14-speaker sound system
-DVD/CD changer
Parking assist, front and rear: $500
XM satellite radio: $486
Preferred accessory package: $210
-Trunk mat, cargo net, and wheel locks

EPA Fuel Economy: 16/23/18 mpg (city/highway/combined)

Powertrain:

Engine: DOHC 32-valve V-8
Displacement: 5.0-liters
Power: 416 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque: 371 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm

Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive: Rear

Tires: Bridgestone Potenza RE050A
Tire size: 225/40YR-19, 255/35YR-19

Weight: 3700 lbs

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