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2009 Lexus IS F

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2009 Lexus IS F Review

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Recalibrate your image of Lexus. The 416-horsepower 2009 Lexus IS F, the fastest production Lexus ever, is the first Lexus to wear the brand's new F performance badge designed to compete with the BMW M series, Mercedes-AMG and various aftermarket tuners. Coupled to the Lexus IS F's 5.0-liter V8 is an automatic transmission that upshifts in a race-car-like 0.1 second. Lexus says that many IS F buyers will have owned Japanese performance cars such as the Mitsubishi Evo, Subaru WRX STi and Toyota Supra Turbo.

You'll Like This Car If...

You'll love the IS F if you want to know (kind of) what it feels like to drive a race car and you don't mind spending time in traffic court. A better, safer and definitely wiser option: Explore the IS F's lofty limits at a car-club event at a race track.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you enjoy the comfortable, quiet ride of the ES 350 and think it's plenty powerful, the IS F is not for you. On uneven roads, the ride can be harsh, and its 19-inch-diameter super-low-profile tires and wheels may be susceptible to damage from potholes.

What's New for 2009

The IS-F receives a revised center console, backlit outside mirror controls and a new black on terra cotta two-tone interior treatment.

Driving the IS F
Driving Impressions

When we pressed on the 2009 Lexus IS F's throttle, our first impression was that Lexus' claimed horsepower figures were more than a bit conservative. After...

... two upshifts we were shattering the highest speed limit in the U.S. We didn't disarm the IS F's stability control for the curvy sections, but, unlike similar systems, it allowed very aggressive driving before it kicked in. With wider rear tires and 54 percent of its weight on the front wheels, the IS F can lose front grip first if you get into a corner too fast – but by that time you'll be going way too fast for public roads, anyway. On the other hand, that chassis behavior is ideal for overly aggressive street driving or track-day novices. On the whole, the ride comfort is perfectly acceptable on smooth roads, but – understandably, given the car's capabilities – not so terrific over uneven pavement.

Eight-Speed Transmission
The 2009 Lexus IS F's eight-speed automatic allows anyone to shift almost as fast as a professional racer: Lexus says it's the world's fastest-shifting automatic. Upshifts take 0.1 seconds, while downshifts occur in 0.2 seconds and include an automatic throttle blip to match the speeds of the engine, transmission and drive wheels.

Paddle Shifters
In the transmission's manual mode, shifting is accomplished with Formula 1-style steering-wheel-mounted paddles. So that drivers can focus on the road, the car gives a single beep when it's about time to upshift. A double beep means the driver tried to downshift at too high a speed.

2009 Lexus IS F Details
2009 Lexus IS F photo Interior

Even passengers will notice they're in an IS F: The F symbol is everywhere. There's an F between the speedometer and tachometer, on the headrests, on the steering wheel, on the console, on the side of each seat and several more places. At speed, the IS F leather-trimmed seats provide excellent lateral support.

Exterior

It's not difficult to distinguish the 2009 Lexus IS F from its IS siblings. First, there's the "F" badging on front fenders and trunk. Next are wider fenders to accommodate wider tires, vents behind the front wheels to reduce aerodynamic lift at high speed and a larger rear spoiler to help keep the rear tires planted to the pavement. Also, the IS F gets its own grille with a wider opening to help cool the V8. To accommodate the larger engine, the hood has a raised center section. Brake cooling ducts are located next to the foglamps. In the rear are quad exhaust outlets.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

If you build a car capable of 170 miles per hour (and more without its electronic speed limiter), you'd better be able to get it slowed down in a hurry. Lexus had Brembo build extra-large brakes and BBS produce 19-inch wheels to accept them. The front vented and drilled brake discs are 14.2 inches in diameter and surrounded by six-piston aluminum brake calipers. On the rear are two-piston calipers on 13.6-inch rotors.

Optional Equipment

Among the few options available on the 2009 Lexus IS F is a 300-watt sound system with 14 speakers and a six-disc in-dash DVD/CD changer. Those who park their IS F in tight places will want the backup video camera and the sonar-based system that warns of unseen objects. Other options include a DVD-based navigation system and a Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Under the Hood

For the IS F, Lexus replaced the IS 350's 306-horsepower V6 with an enhanced version of the 4.6-liter V8 used in the LS and GS. To bump horsepower to 416, Lexus engineers added, among other things, electrically (rather than the common hydraulically) controlled variable intake valve timing. This feature is maximized with titanium intake valves, which are lighter and stronger than steel. Also, maximum engine speed was upped from 6500 to 6800 rpm. Torque is down 14 pound-feet and occurs 1200 rpm higher than in the LS 600h L. The eight-speed automatic, based on that in the LS 460, upshifts only about 0.05-second slower than that of a Formula 1 car. Traction and stability control can be adjusted to allow for a more dynamic drive with the touch of the "Sport" mode switch on the dash, or the system can be disarmed completely.

5.0-liter V8
416 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
371 lb.-ft. @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

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2009 Lexus IS F Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 410 Ratings for the 2008 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

A true dream car

By on Monday, May 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "handles great, a smooth ride!"

Cons: "constant AWD, vibration in rearview mirror"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I only have 3 complaints with my Lexus IS350. There is a constant vibration in my rear view mirror. The road noise when my sun-roof is open is louder than it should be for a $45,000 car. They should allow AWD to be turned on/off instead of constant AWD, it would help with increase gas mileage."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best vehicle we own

By on Sunday, May 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Responsive. Great mpg. Comfortable"

Cons: "Cupholders could be better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Iv'e driven many many cars but this one is by far the best one I've ever owned. It's defiantly an eye catcher too."

A WOLF in a conservative platform disguise

By on Monday, January 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Design,technology,quality,reliability,POWER"

Cons: "This car turns head on the road ( not safe)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Don't be fooled by the sedan look of this monster waiting inside of the IS platform from Lexus. This car is NOT an IS Fsport but instead the ISF is in another class of its own. It was built with one purpose and that is to show that Lexus name can mean pure excitement. I owned my ISF for two years and I'm confident that I will keep it for years to come. I bought the car used and only spent money on oil change brakes,and tires so far. With so much power you will go through brakes and tires really quick while you smile from cheek to cheek in the driver seat. The ISF will definitely become those cars that car collectors will be hunting for years from now."

14 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Without question best car I ever owned

By on Monday, December 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Everything is great...gas consumption 33MPG @80MPH"

Cons: "Small trunk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned 4 Mercedes in the past as well as other American, Japan cars...none compare. Only single drawback is the trunk is too small."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Responsive to the max!

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "FUN and exhilarating to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Responsive handling and power to spare - really fun and exhilarating to drive, yet not too flashy or pretentious. Finally, a car MADE for me. Perfect."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

1 previous owner for 2 months,I owned till present

By on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 152,984

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Vehicle never has been in an accident , interior door panel on all 4 doors started chipping away. Front rims have scratch marks . Overall vehicle is in good physical condition."

9 people out of 25 found this review helpful

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