Ten Ninety

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  • Lexus Model
    GS300h Premier
  • Year of Lexus
  • UK/Ireland Location
  1. I think the adaptive cruise and pre-crash system package was the only option above Premier spec. I don't think it was commonly chosen but it's no great loss. I've driven a 2016 model with ACC and it slowed me right down on a dual carriageway because a car ahead was braking on a sliproad, which rather destroyed my confidence in it. I don't think night vision and heated steering wheel were ever offered in the UK, despite featuring in the UK user manual. I hate it when manufacturers do that. It's like Jim Bowen on Bullseye doing the 'here's what you could have won' thing. I'd love a heated wheel! Regarding the benefit of the later nav system's more advanced phone connection, I am biased because I think the Nav system is utter garbage anyway, but I'm not sure the later system offers any real benefit. The traffic info is still delivered via radio (RDS-TMC) or DAB (TPEG) even on the more 'connected' system, and the Street View thing is just a weird gimmick. However, given that it is impossible to achieve even the basic internet connectivity offered on the earlier system unless you have the right phone (which apparently doesn't include anything by Apple) then I suppose the later one should at least offer a better chance of getting connected in the first place as it uses a different protocol. As Linas notes, the year of the car doesn't guarantee a particular system or option being in place, as some will not have been registered for a long time after manufacture. Dealers will also likely have no clue about the details so asking them won't help - I've seen cars advertised with ACC/PCS that are not fitted with that option at all. If you're looking at adverts you can sometimes tell by interior photos if the HUD is present (extra buttons on the dash to the right of the wheel), or if the ACC/PCS is fitted (extra buttons on the steering wheel). However, it's not easy to spot the later nav system just from a photo as the interface looks the same. If you're viewing a car, you could access the Info section and see if Street View is shown as an option. Earlier cars will just have traffic and parking. Hope that's helpful. Happy hunting!
  2. As Peter already noted above, this does sound like the pads sticking onto the discs after getting wet. They can get properly stuck on in the GS - mine sometimes takes considerably throttle application to get it moving and then it really does let go with a bang!
  3. The infotainment got a minor upgrade sometime in 2014 /15 - the newer version (of the Premium Nav) has Wi-fi and Street View amongst other things. I don't know the exact date this happened - the manual for the new version was dated July 2014, but my car was registered in November 2014 and it has the old setup. At some point, I think they also got rid of the small screen in lower-spec models and put the 12.3" in as standard - this might not have been until the 2016 facelift. The 450h Premier also gained a HUD - early cars didn't have one as standard, unlike the 300h Premier.
  4. I could also add plenty of anecdotal evidence of poor reliability for VAG products (BMW and Merc too, for that matter). I will happily put up with Toyota's cheap plastics and Lexus's shonky infotainment in return for the absolute confidence they give me in their longevity and reliability. I would also add one more factor, which is likely to be irrelevant to most sensible people who can see past such fatuous concerns, but the fact is that I simply couldn't bear to be seen driving a modern Audi. In my head, the image they project is just awful. Pathetic, I know, but that's still a major part of why I ended up in a left-field Lexus!
  5. My original post could probably have been neatly summarised as: "Idiot buys high-performance summer tyres, drives on them in winter, then complains about things which nobody would expect a high-performance tyre to be good at anyway." Thank you all for politely dancing around this, rather than stating it flatly! It would be a fair thing to say, and I have nobody to blame but myself for my predicament. I also failed to remember that tyre reviewers have completely different priorities from me, although I'm sure the praise heaped on the Eagle F1s was further sweetened by my discovery that they were £50 a corner cheaper than my original preference of the Michelin CrossClimates. Of course, the Goodyears are now going to cost me way more than that £200 difference over their lifetime and if there is one salutory lesson which I shall be taking from this, it will be to avoid getting distracted from my priorities by a cheaper up-front cost. That said, I do think there is one point in my original post which remains a legitimate complaint. The EU 'eco' ratings on tyres completely failed to do their job in this instance. It is worth repeating that the Bridgestone ER33s which were previously on my car - and which are not a high performance tyre - had the same 'E' rating for economy as the Goodyears. Despite this 'low' rating, the Bridgestones delivered 60+mpg on a dry summer day and ~50mpg on cold, wet winter roads. It doesn't seem entirely unreasonable for people to expect two tyres of the same rating to deliver broadly similar fuel economy, regardless of whether either tyre is UHP or summer or winter or whatever. If these ratings can't actually facilitate such comparisons, they should be scrapped.
  6. I am posting this for the information of other GS300h owners who are considering changing their tyres. Please learn from my own stupidity. Do not purchase Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 in size 235/45! When looking at reviews, I found near-universal praise for these tyres (in other sizes) for being quiet, comfortable and low rolling resistance. Despite the fact that I know full well that tyre reviews are second only to food reviews for being utterly pointless subjective tripe, I allowed myself to be persuaded away from spending the extra on Michelin CrossClimates which have been recommended by owners on here. That was foolish, and it is going to prove to be an expensive mistake. These tyres are not quiet. They produce noticeably more cabin noise than the OEM Bridgestone ER33s, which I did not consider to be a quiet tyre in the first place. They are perhaps more 'comfortable' in that they make the car feel as if it's driving through treacle. However, the biggest problem is that the rolling resistance is absolutely, utterly, appallingly terrible. Unbelievably, it has actually made a noticeable impact on performance - significantly more throttle is now required in any given situation, and the distance I can get in milkfloat mode has been considerably reduced. As a result, fuel economy is now catastrophically bad. I'm not talking a slight reduction - I'm talking a minimum 10% worse and on some journeys up to 20%. Where I would have been touching an indicated 50mpg on these cold days, I am now struggling into the low 40s and occasionally dipping down into the 30s. If I needed more proof that those ridiculous EU economy ratings are anything other than fabricated bulls--t then this is it - these tyres have the same rating as the ER33s they replaced, and the associated mumbo jumbo claims a maximum difference of 7.5% between A and G! I hoped they might just need scrubbing in, but there's been no improvement after a few hundred miles. I have tried whacking the pressures up to 2.7bar, but this has had little impact on economy. It just makes the ride unsettled. And yes, I've checked they were fitted the right way around! Clearly, these tyres can't be universally awful. I've actually got the Asymmetric 3s (the updated version) on my wife's Auris HSD and they're absolutely fine. However, on a GS300h they are an unmitigated disaster if you have even a passing interest in fuel economy. I hope this information may save others from making the same mistake as I have made.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. I think I've just got a duff car when it comes to the wipers, as others also seem happy with theirs.
  14. 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!
  15. 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!