Ten Ninety

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About Ten Ninety

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  • Lexus Model
    GS300h Premier
  • Year of Lexus
  • UK/Ireland Location
  1. Indeed. Every day I seem to pass at least one moron hunched down, eyes completely averted from the road, tapping away at what I can only assume is a screen on their lap. The facility to read out received texts (and perhaps dictate replies), hands-free, would surely be a safer option.
  2. Alan, it doesn't matter whether you're a 'bit of a luddite' or whether you're a tech genius. It's a damn car, not a PC. It should just work, and technical knowledge should not be necessary to get it to perform properly. Sadly, car manufacturers still insist on designing their own ridiculous, convoluted systems with abysmally un-ergonomic interfaces running tragically outdated protocols (Bluetooth DUN? Seriously?) instead of providing a dumb terminal that simply provides a screen, speakers and microphone to mirror whatever smartphone is plugged into it. Lexus is by no means the only offender here, although they definitely plumb the deepest depths of unintuitive interfaces!
  3. Evidently my assumption that it was only a feature on the later navigation systems was incorrect! It is definitely not present on my system when connected to an iPhone, but maybe that's the issue seeing as everyone so far who has said it works is using Android. The connected services won't work with an iPhone, so maybe this feature won't work either.
  4. I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere that they changed the hardware as well when they introduced the wi-fi, which meant a software upgrade alone wasn't possible. I have no reference to support that though, so it may still be worth asking the dealer. "Hey Siri, read me my texts" may work if you have an iPhone and it's powered on and connected to Bluetooth in the car. Farqui described an Android alternative which does the same thing automatically when texts arrive. Whatever phone you have, it might be easier (and a whole lot cheaper) to work out an on-phone solution rather than an in-car one.
  5. Mine doesn't have the messages setting either. I am not certain that this feature actually exists on the 'early' version of the navigation system (the one which doesn't have wi-fi and Street View). The navigation manual for the 'early' version (OM30D64E) makes no mention of reading texts, whereas the manual for the 'later' version (OM30E40E) does. Maybe it was a feature added in the 'later' version?
  6. 60+mpg is achievable in the summer on the right kind of journey, but it takes serious effort and the right traffic conditions. In the winter the economy takes a hit, but 50+mpg is still doable most of the time. At current fuel prices, mine is doing around 11p per mile. It was closer to 10p per mile in the summer. However, you do need to be prepared to adopt proper 'eco driving' approaches - if you drive it 'normally' you'll probably get mid 40s and if you thrash it then it will be mid- to high-30s. The CVT is absolutely brilliant if you like relaxed driving - it is incredibly smooth. It's not great if you like to go fast, although it's still perfectly adequate. Electric 'range' is around a mile depending on conditions, but of course it recharges as you drive or brake so on longer journeys you will get far more than that'. The engine also cuts out as soon as it's not needed, which means you spend a lot of time coasting (if you're driving it for economy anyway) using no fuel. Reliability has been absolute over 18 months and 26,000 miles so far. Mine is three years old and has done 36,000 in total. It's still on the original tyres, although they will need replacing soon. Servicing costs at Lexus seem excessive, but then it is a 'luxury' car. I wouldn't trust anywhere else with the hybrid drivetrain. If you're coming from a BMW with its well-received iDrive interface, the Lexus approach to in-car entertainment may be something of a shock. You're basically using a weird mouse thing to control an interface that has been designed for a touch screen. It is neither stylish, ergonomic, nor particularly functional. However, it is at least unlikely to break and it does feel like a quality car inside - it's a shrunken LS rather than an expanded IS. I find ride comfort and tyre noise to be disappointing in the GS. Others don't find them to be a problem, so you may not either. Engine noise and wind noise are negligible, which perhaps emphasises the road roar. Mine has adaptive suspension and 18"wheels, but the Executive spec I drove with 17s and standard suspension was no better. When you test one, I'd be interested to hear how you feel it compares to your 5 series in these respects. I paid over the odds to get a Premier spec car because I wanted the seats (which I found to be far superior to 'lesser' specs), the HUD and the Mark Levinson sound system. It's not a good value proposition however - the 'Luxury' spec offers far better value and you can find them with the ML system fitted as an option anyway. I've never really understood the F-Sport spec for a car of this size with the 300h drivetrain, but plenty of others seem to like them. They do look nicer, I guess. Go try one, is the next step I suppose - if your primary concerns are reliability and economy then you shouldn't be disappointed.
  7. I think I've just got a duff car when it comes to the wipers, as others also seem happy with theirs.
  8. The interior is a nice place to be, but the randomness of the button placement is indeed quite spectacular. I find the division of HVAC controls between physical buttons and on-screen controls to be amusingly arbitrary, if a little frustrating. However, I am unable to see the humour in that ridiculous recirculation button that has an 'Auto' function, but which still insists on deciding for itself to let in filthy diesel-infected air even when Auto mode is not selected. Points 4 and 5 are particularly frustrating, but that's not just a Lexus thing. I was once forced to resort to the user manual after being unable to work out how to set the clock time in my Prius, only to discover the adjustment controls were completely hidden behind the wheel. In a spectacular failure to learn from that experience, I subsequently drove for 3000 miles in a Hyundai Santa Fe with the centre diff locked to 4WD (helpfully displayed in an orange light in the instruments) because the switch to toggle it was, again, completely invisible behind the wheel. Only when I was clearing out the driver's door bin - just before handing the car back to the rental company - did I accidentally spot it. Point 6, I think I might have an answer for - the headlight washers don't operate every time you wash the windscreen. I don't know what the interval is, but mine only seem to operate on the first squirt of every journey. On dirty roads in the dark, I have therefore actually used that button a few times!
  9. It is utter garbage and completely incapable of understanding anything I say. The Toyota system in my Prius was uncannily perfect at understanding me, albeit with a more limited range of commands, so you'd think Lexus could manage to make something that actually worked. Mind you, Toyota also make auto wipers that work very well, which is more than Lexus managed when they built my car!
  10. I am a relative newcomer to these parts, but I have found this particular subforum to be refreshingly-free of posturing and insults. I would like to think that most of us would be able to look past the OP's somewhat provocative choice of words and respond to the issues raised rather than descending into a slanging match. However, you have been here much longer than I have, so perhaps you know better! For what it's worth, I would not be surprised if Lexus did get rid of the 450h. It certainly fulfils a purpose (being quite quick, quite economical, understated and well-built) but I'm not sure if there's much of a market left for that any more. It does seem like people either want ridiculous horsepower and bragging-rights speed (where even the GS-F fails to compete), practicality or posing potential (where the saloon bodystyle fails to compete on either count) or simply fuel efficiency (where 40mpg just doesn't cut it any more). Add in the fact that the the GS-F is such a depreciation disaster that a lightly-used one can be had for the same money as a 450h, and the case for the 450h seems to weaken further. To me, Lexus's RC strategy actually makes more sense - offer an economical but sporty-looking version and a fast-but-thirsty version, with no need for anything in between. I would also add, in response to the OP's comments about the 300h being 'awful' and 'annoying' that for anyone with a serious interest in performance motoring, it might well indeed be both of those things. Whilst the power is just about adequate for overtaking, it could never be described as a quick car. I can imagine it would be very frustrating for someone who enjoys 'spirited' driving as it's a heavy old lump that's just not set up for that kind of thing. Whilst it can go round corners at a decent lick, it makes it clear to all concerned that it's not really enjoying the experience! The 300h is also not even all that great at being a quiet wafter. The road noise is not as well-suppressed as one might expect and the ride is not as relaxing as it really should be. However, it is peerlessly brilliant in three specific areas: a) Delivering strong fuel economy for a car of its size without being a stinking diesel, b) offering a well-built and classy interior and c) not being German. That was enough to seal the deal for me.
  11. I believe it just sets how hot the seats will go in Auto mode (and possibly also how cool they get in ventilation mode, although the manual is unclear on this) i.e. the extremes of temperature range that Auto mode will use. The default is 3, which I found to be more than enough last winter - it was definitely enough to feel a borderline-uncomfortable burn on a cold day. You've cranked yours up to a trouser-igniting 5. Brave man!
  12. As you note, the external ratings have no relationship at all with how loud the tyres will be inside the car. Worse, I have heard that some tyre manufacturers are now allegedly gaming the measuring system by using tread patterns that direct sound into the wheelarches (thus increasing internal noise) to make them quieter in the drive-by test! There is simply no way of knowing whether a given tyre will prove to be quieter in a given car, without actually fitting them! I share your view about the excessive road noise in the GS, although I suspect tinnitus makes me more sensitive than most as it doesn't seem to be a common complaint. I may take a punt on Yokohama BluEarth when I replace the Bridgestones, as I have no interest in handling (the Yokos are rubbish apparently) but some reviews suggest they are supposedly quiet and economical which are the two things that I am after. However, I'm not expecting a dramatic improvement either way.
  13. An interesting read, thanks for posting. Any thoughts on road/tyre noise comparing the two?
  14. I don't know about the ECU reset but if the previous battery was faulty, it might have caused the engine to work harder to continually charge it up, thus using more fuel.
  15. Speak for yourself, sir. I chose the 300h because I wanted a 'luxury' car that wouldn't cost a fortune to run and wasn't a stinking diesel. I don't wish to rattle around in some ****box hatchback, but neither do I wish to haemorrhage cash on unnecessary fuel costs. In fact, if Lexus made a GS-sized car that was slower but more economical than the 300h, I'd buy one. My days of haring around the roads with my arse on fire are long gone. These days I find the challenge of eking out another mile per gallon on my daily commute just as rewarding as knocking another few seconds off my 'personal best' time might once have been. Hypermiling is cheaper and safer, to boot. I know that might not be for everyone but we all get our fun in different ways, right?