Lexus IS-F

Ollie Marriage
11 Aug 2009

Our relationship with Lexus' IS-F gets rocky, but it's hugs all round again after a service

I love the IS-F, I truly do. And I think it likes me, too. Well, in the morning it purrs into life, the seat hugs me tenderly and, through the medium of suspension, it chats to me about the road surface.

But our relationship went through a rough patch recently. It wasn’t that we hadn’t been putting the time in – we’d spent 22,000 miles in each other’s company – and nor was it the old ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ thing because, lucky me, I’m constantly having dalliances with other models, and she regularly flirts with my colleagues. Peter Tomalin is her latest conquest.

Nevertheless, I was sure I detected the IS-F becoming more grouchy and out of sorts. The brakes were moaning, the gearbox was acting a bit sluggish. The sparkle had faded. But hang on… How many miles did I say we’d done together? And what are the service intervals? Every 10,000 miles?

Whoops. Thankfully, Lexus Reading were entirely unfazed by my mistreatment of the IS-F and the whole service experience was as slick as it had been 12,000 miles earlier. The service book even gained the stamp they forgot to insert last time. The £356 bill didn’t trouble me as the IS-F seemed to have been treated to a peppermint bath – it felt fresh, re-invigorated, with improved throttle response at low revs, a more precise gearbox and progressive brakes.

Before I left, the service manager pointed out that the pads will probably only last another 3000-4000 miles. I asked how much replacing them would cost. He looked it up, murmured ‘that can’t be right’ then went off to chat to the parts bloke. When he came back he at least had the decency to look mildly embarrassed before quoting me £283. Four sets of normal IS pads are £83…

And one more thing, Lexus. If you’re going to clean a customer’s car inside (which is a nice touch), please could you do it all? My front mats were clean, the seats had clearly been hoovered and the dash dusted, but the rear cabin, where my children often lurk with predictable results, hadn’t been touched, and the disparity between front and rear looked kinda weird.

And now for something completely different. The IS-F’s range indicator has got my goat because it cries wolf. It’s unable to accurately tell me how much fuel remains. I know the car has a 64-litre tank, so why, even when I play chicken with the ‘0 miles’ warning, do I never get more than 58 litres in?

To find out how far of the mark it was, I popped a can of fuel in the boot and drove until the engine coughed. Guess how far I went after the trip computer insisted the fuel cupboard was bare. 54 miles. Still love it, though.

Running Costs

Date acquired July 2008
Total mileage 23,353
Costs this month £356.04 (20,000-mile service)
Mileage this month 1215
MPG this month 22.0

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