• (5.0) 1 reviews
  • Available Prices: $26,522–$43,670
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 19
  • Engine: 416-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
2012 Lexus IS-F

Our Take on the Latest Model 2012 Lexus IS-F

What We Don't Like

  • No manual transmission
  • Some transmission lag
  • Squirrelly rear end
  • Peculiar domed hood
  • Tight backseat

Notable Features

  • Performance version of IS sedan
  • 416-hp V-8
  • Eight-speed automatic
  • Large Brembo brakes

2012 Lexus IS-F Reviews

Vehicle Overview

It took a long time, but in 2008 Lexus finally threw its noodle into the alphabet soup of automotive performance variants. The rear-drive IS-F is a performance variant of the IS 250 and IS 350, which are covered separately in the Cars.com Research section. The IS-F comes only as a sedan with a 416-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8. The other IS models come as a sedan and convertible with V-6 engines and an all-wheel-drive option for the sedans. Lexus claims the IS-F sprints from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. It competes with the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

New for 2012
For 2012, the IS-F has wider 19-inch forged wheels in a new design. The rear tires are slightly wider, too. Inside, red monotone seats replace the orange and black color scheme.
Cosmetic exterior and interior changes are always part of the high-performance package. Exterior changes compared with the IS 250/IS 350 include:

  • Wider fenders
  • Flared bumper with a larger mouth
  • Vents behind the front wheels
  • High-domed hood
  • Quad tailpipes
  • Small trunk lid spoiler
  • 19-inch alloy wheels with performance tires

A USB/iPod connector is standard, and the IS-F comes with the Lexus Safety Connect telematics system, which is similar to GM's OnStar service. It comes with a year's worth of service free; after that you'll have to pay a subscription fee. IS-F interior changes compared with the IS 250/IS 350 include:

  • Body-hugging sport seats
  • F logos all around
  • Carbon fiber trim
  • Chrome shift paddles

Under the Hood
The 416-hp V-8 cranks out 371 pounds-feet of torque; the redline is 7,000 rpm. The IS-F has one transmission — with enough gears for two. The eight-speed automatic has a manual mode and steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. There is no true manual available. Lexus says the transmission, which it calls Sport Direct Shift, changes gears within one-tenth of a second and executes rev matching for smoother downshifts and decreased wear. Not to be confused with some automated-manual transmissions, this one uses a fluidic torque converter. Mechanical features include:

  • Upgraded brakes with larger, cross-drilled discs and six- and two-piston calipers in the front and rear, respectively
  • Brembo-brand calipers are gloss black and bear the Lexus logo
  • Upgraded springs, shocks, stabilizer bars, bushings and steering tuning are all optimized for performance driving
  • Car sits 1 inch lower than the IS 250/IS 350
  • Stability system's Sport mode allows more wheelspin and sliding before interrupting and keeping you on track

Standard safety features include:

  • Front knee airbags
  • Side-impact torso-protection airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags in both rows
  • Seat belt pretensioners for front seats and outboard rear seats
  • All-disc antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system
  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, which Lexus says is meant to integrate all systems to anticipate skids and react faster than an electronic stability system alone

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 1 reviews

Write a Review

Brand New!

by Spanky from San Clemente, CA on August 26, 2012

Went to test drive the 2012 IS F and ended up trading my 2009 for the new one. Suspension is a great improvement over the '09, it has a true limited slip (Torsen) and the exhaust sounds a bit more agg... Read Full Review

1 Trim Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2012 Lexus IS-F trim comparison will help you decide.

Lexus IS-F Articles

2012 Lexus IS-F Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There is currently 1 recall for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $3,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





Roadside Assistance Coverage


Free Scheduled Maintenance


What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years