In its fourth year of production the 2011 Lexus IS F starts to make its mark. This year sees a great improvement in performance from the suspension and steering. The old Lexus IS F did not have the smooth ride drivers want from a luxury sedan.
Although the Lexus IS F improves this year, this might not be the right vehicle for everyday use.
Body Styles: luxury sport sedan
Engines: 5.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: eight-speed automatic
Models: Lexus IS F
The 2011 Lexus IS F receives an upgraded steering system, new tuning for the suspension, and a Torsen limited-slip differential for extra traction. LED daytime running lamps have been added as well as new gauges, better interior trim, and an orange and black interior color scheme.
The exterior of the Lexus IS F looks like that of most sedans on the market, but with a sportier feel. The grille and headlamps appear fairly distinctive. Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lamps, and a sunroof. Most other customizations and features have to do with performance and the interior of the 2011 Lexus IS F.
The interior of the Lexus IS F improves this year, having features that seem to fit its price tag. The interior remains very quiet while driving. The controls and new gauges seem well-placed along the dash, making them easy to read and use. Space feels bit limited in the cabin. Headroom remains minimal, and the back seats have limited legroom. Taller drivers might find the interior a bit too cramped to call comfortable. The trunk holds 13 cubic feet of space, which is about the same as other sedans on the market.
The interior of the 2011 Lexus IS F also has some sporty accents such as suede inserts, sport seats in the front, and side bolstering. The rear seats only hold two passengers instead of the normal three.
Standard features on the 2011 Lexus IS F include keyless ignition, keyless entry, auto-dimming mirrors, eight-way power leather seats, memory settings, suede seat inserts for the black leather option, dual-zone climate control, a 13-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth audio, a six-disc CD changer, iPod integration, and an audio jack.
Optional features include a hard-drive-based navigation system, a backup camera, real-time traffic and weather updates, a 14-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control settings.
Performance & Handling
The 2011 Lexus IS F comes equipped with a five-liter, V-8 engine that produces 416 horsepower and 371 lb-ft of torque. The engine weds with an eight-speed automatic transmission that has manual controls with shift paddles on the steering wheel. The Lexus IS F only comes with rear drive. The Lexus IS F tears off the line, going zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.
As you would expect, the Lexus IS F offers a very fun drive. The V-8 is very throaty and rips off the starting line with little effort. The engine lets out a real growl when accelerating and cruising. It makes you want to go faster. The body design leans into corners and keeps you in control. The eight-speed automatic gives you enough control with the manual option to keep you from getting bored.
The new suspension on the 2011 Lexus IS F keeps the car from feeling too stiff, a major problem with the previous model. The steering also improves greatly this year, making the Lexus IS F a little more fun to drive in the city.
The Lexus IS F offers a lot of standard features, including anti-lock brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags, and full-length side-curtain airbags. The IS F includes a one-year subscription to the Safety Connect system, which gives you roadside assistance, a tracking device for your car to prevent theft, and an SOS button for emergencies. A pre-collision system uses the radar cruise control to automatically adjust the seat belts and braking force before a collision.
EPA Fuel Economy
Lexus IS F: 16/23 mpg city/highway
- Powerful engine
- Sporty handling and a great ride
- Great features and cabin
You Won't Like
- No manual transmission
- Issues with shifting
- Cramped rear seating
A great sport sedan, but not for daily use.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW M3
- Cadillac CTS-V
- Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG