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2011 Lexus IS F

Overview
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2011 Lexus IS F Review

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When Lexus introduced the IS F in 2007 the sports sedan was the fastest product car to ever wear the bent L in its grille. Now that the Japanese automaker has introduced the supercar-fighting LFA to the world, the muscle-bound sedan no longer wears that crown - but that doesn't mean it's lost any of its bite. For 2011, engineers spent time refining the vehicle's already impressive suspension and electronic power steering system and added new aesthetic touches to the cabin. The changes go a long way toward making the four-year-old platform feel young at heart.

You'll Like This Car If...

If the tried-and-true BMW M3 sedan is too common for your tastes, the IS F offers rivaling performance with additional flair. Wild bodywork, massive horsepower and a sports-oriented interior are this vehicle's strong suits.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Fans of conservative styling should look elsewhere for their thrills. Lexus has bestowed some very aggressive bodywork on the IS F in the form of flared fenders with front air outlets, a bulging grille and large 19-inch wheels. Expect to attract attention.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2011, new spring rates and additional camber in the rear suspension of the IS F add to the vehicle's sporting edge, while a recalibrated electronic power steering system now provides more feedback than before. Inside, new color options, Alcantara seat inserts and aluminum trim adorn the cockpit.

Driving the IS F

Driving Impressions At first blush, we felt that Lexus' claimed horsepower figures were more than a bit conservative. We were shattering the highest speed limits in the U.S. in just two upshifts...

and, despite the fact that we didn't disarm the IS F's stability control for the curvy sections, the logic allowed for some very aggressive driving before kicking 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 not so terrific over uneven pavement.

Eight-Speed Transmission
The eight-speed automatic transmission in the 2011 Lexus IS F allows the average civilian to shift faster than a professional racer. Indeed, Lexus says the gearbox is the world's fastest-shifting automatic. Upshifts take 0.1 second, while downshifts occur in 0.2 second 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 steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The car gives a single beep when it's about time to upshift, and a double beep means the driver tried to downshift at too high a speed.

2011 Lexus IS F Details
Interior

For 2011, Lexus has incorporated a few changes inside. Most noticeably, buyers who choose black as an interior color will now enjoy Alcantara seat inserts with leather bolsters. Additionally, Lexus has said goodbye to its old Terra Cotta color scheme in favor of a more wild orange-on-black with contrasting stitching, and designers have incorporated splashes of silver-colored trim along the steering wheel and made use of new instrument-panel gauges.

Exterior

The IS F wears a host of aesthetic additions to differentiate the vehicle from its more tame siblings. A fascia with large trapezoidal air inlets sets the tone up front, along with a bulging hood that accommodates the sedan's high-horsepower V8. Subtle "F" badging adorns the bodywork in various locations and flared fenders make room for wider sports wheels and tires. The front fenders incorporate large air outlets for evacuating heat, while the rear fascia displays a quad stacked exhaust appearance.

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 worked with Brembo to build extra-large brakes and asked BBS to produce 19-inch wheels to accept those big brakes. The front vented-and-drilled brake discs are 14.2 inches in diameter and are grasped by six-piston aluminum brake calipers. On the rear, two-piston calipers squeeze 13.6-inch rotors.

Optional Equipment

Among the few options available on the 2010 Lexus IS F is an excellent 300-watt sound system with 14 speakers and a six-disc in-dash DVD/CD changer. Those who park the IS F in tight places will want the backup video camera and the sonar-based sensor 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 306-horsepower V6 in the IS 350 with an enhanced version of the 4.6-liter V8 used in the LS and GS (5.0 liters in this application). In order to bump horsepower to 416, Lexus engineers added electronically-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 6,500 to 6,800 rpm. Torque is down 14 pound-feet and occurs 1,200 rpm higher than in the LS 600h L. The eight-speed automatic 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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2011 Lexus IS F Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 390 Ratings for the 2006 - 2014 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

Wonderful car

By on Sunday, October 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought car after leasing it for 2 years and only problem was a battery that needed replacement. great looking, fast and pretty good gas mileage. The IS does go thru tires in the 20-25000 mile range."

13 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Love the IS 250!!

By on Friday, September 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Easy to drive and gets great gas mileage!"

Cons: "Minimal leg room in the back seats."

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

"Purchased the 2008 IS 250 new. The car is 6 years old and is still my favorite car!! It gets great gas mileage and maneuvers through traffic like a dream. It feels sporty and sleek. The car has 123k miles on it (I drive a lot!) and this car still runs beautifully. My only complaint is the leg room in the back seat. If you have family or friends with long legs then they will be miserable riding in the back seat. Our 8 yr old Grandson is already complaining about the lack of leg room. Otherwise, this car is perfect!!"

14 people out of 23 found this review helpful

can't think of anything wrong with this vehicle.

By on Friday, August 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

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. cost of ownership is very low."

Cons: "road noise over rough surfaces"

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

"306 hp and 25 mpg avg is a very good combination. quick, great handling, all the goodies Lexus is known for. 130,000 miles and all I've done is oil changes, tires and brakes. still runs like new. the only reason to get a new car is boredom."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

It is by far the best car I have ever owned.

By on Friday, August 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Power, handling, styling, just a great car."

Cons: "No blackberry or navigation system."

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

"Great car for my needs. Drove a V-6 Toyota Camry SE which was a great car but my IS350 is even better. Hope to keep it for another 6 years at least ..."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

fun car great value for entry level lexus

By on Thursday, August 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great price,very stylish,fun to drive,very reliabl"

Cons: "ride is a little too stiff. could use more hp."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"i.ve owned a 1997 lexus es300 . my wife has a 2008 lexus es350. i have the is250 awd. all are very reliable and very stylish. the is250 awd is great for northeast winters. i live in buffalo,ny. i get up to 25 mpg. it has a sport tuned suspension with tight steering.sometimes it makes for a bumpy ride on rough roads compared to the more luxurious ride of the es350. i've driven the new 2014 is250 it comes with a switch that puts you in sport mode or normal which is much smoother than my 2008. that being said that is my only complaint about the car. also it could use a few more hp. it comes with 206 hp vs 282 hp on the es350."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Still loving it

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,500

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
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Head turner, fun to drive-quick!"

Cons: "Rear wheel tough on ice but loved 360 days"

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

"This is a great car. It has every feature/ option the 350 had available. Rear camera, rear shade, great comfy seating, Bluetooth, navigation, 6cd has great sound. This was my first Lexus. I bought it used and love it ."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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