2012 Lexus IS-F

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$23,176 — $48,188 USED Shop local deals
(5.0) 3 reviews
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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
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Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Lexus IS‑F. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    19 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    416-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    8-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds
  • Interior trim
  • Tame trunk lid spoiler
  • Quad tailpipe design
  • Eight airbags

The Bad

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

Notable Features of the 2012 Lexus IS-F

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

2012 Lexus IS-F Overview

By Cars.com Editors
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.
Exterior
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


Interior
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 ...
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.
Exterior
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


Interior
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


Safety
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

Latest 2012 IS-F Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(5.0)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Have owned this vehicle 2 x?s

by Itgirl086 from Tacoma, Wa on June 14, 2018

This is a great car. Very fun to drive. Have purchased this car twice and if something were to happen to it I would go on the hunt for another one Read full review

(5.0)

Great Machine

by Michael from TX on February 9, 2018

I’ve owned this car about two years, my first Lexus this car is awesome, I definitely will recommend this car to a friend, it gets a lot of looks and a lot of compliments from the young folks it seems ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Lexus IS-F currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Lexus IS-F has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Lexus
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    6 years/less than 70,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    6 years/unlimited mileage

  • Powertrain warranty

    6 years/unlimited mileage

  • Dealer Certification Required

    161-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The IS-F received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker