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About wharfhouse

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  • Lexus Model
    IS 300h Executive
  • Year of Lexus
  • UK/Ireland Location
  • Interests
    Motorsport & Racing
  1. SatNav

    I have just finished with 8 weeks in a Mercedes C200 Sport hire car whilst my Lexus IS 300h Executive was being repaired (bodywork after hitting a tyre shed off a lorry on the motorway) and so had an interesting comparison. Having read all the doom and gloom about Lexus nav, I was pleasantly surprised with the nav in the IS 300h Executive when I got it (the standard with the dial, not premium with the mouse) and now after having had the Merc for 8 weeks while mine was off the road I can say that the Lexus nav (at least the standard one) is a huge improvement on the one in the Merc. I also used Google maps for some time before I had my Lexus which always worked very well and so again had a benchmark for comparison there. In summary the Lexus nav is much, much faster at coming up with a route, rerouting etc. than the Merc and the routes the Lexus nav suggests correspond pretty much with Google maps (including taking into account traffic). The Merc directions were very different to Google and Lexus for the same route and for the worse. In the end while I had the Merc I used Google maps to check directions before setting off as they were so much better. I had done the same checks against Google maps in my Lexus when I first got it but found that the Lexus and Google directions were pretty much always the same so stopped using Google maps and was happy with the Lexus directions. In general operation I also found the Merc unit very laggy and incredibly slow and frustrating to use in comparison to the Lexus. I felt that after 8 weeks I was still struggling with the Merc system but was basically happy using the Lexus nav and had worked out most of what it did after my one day test drive before I bought the car! I appreciate that these things can be quite subjective, but just wanted to add my thoughts as I was very surprised, given all the negative Lexus nav comments, just how good it is in a straight comparison with the Merc at least. Oh yes, and the Merc sounded like a tractor to drive with hard uncomfortable seats! So, so glad to sink into the comfort of the Lexus seats again and then enjoy the sereneness of my IS 300h.
  2. Had a similar problem on a car (not Lexus) and it was a stone lodged in the brake dust shield - you said Lexusownersclub.co.uk had found gravel already - maybe some got into the other areas too?
  3. Wind Noise

    I don't get any wind noise in the dry but have noticed in the rain that I get a "water" noise from what seems to be the top of the door window - I put it down to the water being caught in a vortex at the top of the window making a sort of bubbling sound - not loud but definitely there - once the rain stops they noise goes away - I tend to quite sensitive to noises in the car and the IS being generally very quiet these little things are more apparent to me than probably another car.
  4. Test drives.

    If I was a dealer I think I too would be cautious as I am sure there are time wasters - as there are in all walks of life, especially when something is "free" - so you would expect them to do their job and ask the right "qualifying" questions to sort out if the person is really in the market to change their car in a reasonable period of time - only fair and I do the same in my business - out of 10 leads there are only ever a few that pass this first test of answering some basic questions! However, if there are no sales people coming back to ask the basic questions then the dealer has some issues!
  5. Test drives.

    I was very specific that I was definitely changing my car - no ifs and buts - and went through the questions the sales person had - I think that is only fair as I hate it when people waste my time when I am looking to sell my services and they aren't serious about buying
  6. Test drives.

    Seems to be rather dealer specific - I can't speak for the current offer but a year ago I completed the form on the Lexus website asking for a 24 hour test drive and was contacted the same day by Lexus Reading. I met the sales person a couple of days later at the showroom, had a chat about what I was looking for (an IS 300h) etc. and he organised a car for a day for me to try for a few days later. I could have had the car for 24 hours but as I was away the day after the test drive day I decided to collect first thing and return it that evening. All that was needed was a check of my driving licence with DVLA for the insurance (didn't cost me anything) and I was on my way and had the car all day. Off the back of that test drive I loved the car and went back a couple of days later and bought one.
  7. IS 300h bumper protector.

    Lexus UK website https://www.lexus.co.uk/car-models/is/accessories/#othermodels Stainless Steel £165 - assume you can get it from a dealer. I have a black plastic one on mine that was fitted by the Lexus dealer but I don't think they do black anymore. Also this popped up in Google: https://www.carnoisseur.com/products/details/rgm-rgm-rearguard-to-fit-lexus-is-series?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkJHCicL11gIVRZ8bCh2aiwGQEAQYASABEgJBkPD_BwE Or clear film: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-Lexus-Rear-Bumper-Protection-Film-04-13-Present-PZ438C138000-/262303659052?hash=item3d1284342c
  8. I thought that changing the volume for the spoken sat nav instructions also changes the beep beep volume for the speed cameras too - if you turn the volume right down (in the settings) then you might not hear the beep beep but would have to turn the volume back up again if using sat nav. By the way the beep beep is definitely for speed cameras (as per those it knows about on the sat nav maps) as I checked with the dealer too when I started hearing it.
  9. Easy to take things for granted

    I can't comment too much on the customer service satisfaction having only had a Lexus for a year but I plan on keeping this one at least another two years and having it looked after through Lexus for servicing etc. and so by the time I may be looking to change should have a good handle on that too. But at the moment very impressed by my IS 300h one year on after purchase - always look forward to getting in and driving it - something that had started to wane with my previous cars.
  10. Easy to take things for granted

    That is certainly what the Merc one I am driving at the moment feels like - not pleasant at all...
  11. Easy to take things for granted

    "The Mercedes I drove was an auto which was very notchy and never seemed to be in the right gear." - that is very much what I have found on the courtesy car I have - it has an auto box with 9 gears and tries to change up as high as it can whilst cruising (for fuel consumption) and so whenever I accelerate it has to drop down a few gears - that invokes quite a delay while it gets the right gear and unless you are very light footed then a lurch forward as you have the throttle open quite a bit by the time it has found the gear. Doesn't make for smooth driving in traffic that is changing speed a lot and is quite tiring despite being an auto box. Also when accelerating, particularly at part throttle, then having the 9 gears it just seems to be constantly cog swopping as the speed rises... It's a stark contrast to the e-cvt of the Lexus which just delivers the power without any associated mechanical kerfuffle... it's interesting how the motoring press find these 9 speed auto boxes more acceptable than the e-cvt - but I suppose if you drive around with your foot flat to the floor all day or around a track maybe it's different. In the past I had 5 and 6 speed auto boxes on my BMWs and I think these worked better as they seemed to change their cogs much less and had much more immediate pick up without the delay!
  12. Whilst my IS 300h is off the road for some bodywork repairs I have the use of a new Mercedes C200 Sport (the petrol version). I have driven a lot of BMWs previously (small and large engined) and my wife had a Merc at one time and I have enjoyed all of them - all have been petrol - no diesel. When I test drove the IS 300h I was sold on it and bought one immediately. Having not driven anything but the IS 300h for a year and now stepping into the Merc it was a big surprise (given the list price is about the same as my IS). The Merc sounds like tractor! I had to do a double take to check it wasn't a diesel! In comparison the IS 300h is just sublime in it's quietness and smoothness. The Merc has the 9 speed auto gearbox which shifts ok when driving smoothly but as soon as I want to accelerate quickly there is a delay and a load of cog swopping as it has to move down a few gears and then rather a lot of noise from the engine as it kicks into the higher revs whereas the IS 300h in comparison just feels like a wave of power (even accounting for the slight hesitation the E-CVT has). With the auto stop-start on the Merc it's again quite a jolt every time I take my foot off the brake and the engine restarts to pull away rather than the smooth electric to engine transition pull away of the 300h. And for all of the bad press over the IS navigation and infotainment system (I have an IS 300h Executive so have the rotary nav not the mouse) the nav in the Merc is definitely worse - really slow to start up, laggy, hard to input addresses etc. and looks worse on the screen. I don't see the rest of the infotainment being anything better than the IS either. I also don't find the seating in the Merc (although it has bigger bolsters and more moving bits) anything like as comfortable as the IS when on a longer journey and the dash has a few bits of black shiny creaky plastic... As I said I have driven and enjoyed BMWs and Mercs before Lexus and I am sure in isolation the Merc is a great car but it was a real surprise how much I have got used to the sereneness of the IS and how agricultural the Merc now feels in comparison. It also amazes me how the motoring press can actually give the Merc C200 more stars than the IS 300h from this experience - I guess real world living with car is a big difference to a thrash around for a day or two. Petrol consumption-wise I get between 48 and 52 mpg all the time in the 300h in a mix of driving (again despite the motoring press slating it for the mpg their lead footedness gives - and I don't hang around either) and driving the Merc in the same way as the 300h it's 2 litre petrol engine is giving me 36mpg - not too bad but way off the IS 300h figures for about the same real world performance. As a private buyer I don't have any company car policy or BIK etc. to worry about so am free to buy what I want and this experience was an eye opener for when I look to replace my current IS 300h..! It's surprising what, after a while, we take for granted and how the little niggles we might have are put into context when trying something different.
  13. Extended warranty is often about what can you afford at any point in time - so could you afford a few thousand pounds for a repair bill tomorrow as that is what something relatively "minor" could cost on cars like a Lexus. Paying for the extended warranty is paying for peace of mind that those bills will be covered more than whether you eventually save money or not. I ran a BMW 528i to over 200,000+ miles from new over 10 years and always had it dealer serviced until the end but with no extended warranty. A few repairs were needed which were also done by the dealer - nothing too serious but each bill was a large one. However over that period I did probably save over buying the extended warranty but it was a close thing. Also had a Honda Accord that went to 160,000 over 10 years - again no extended warranty and serviced and repaired at an independent after the first three years. Had similar reliability to the BMW (some things had to replaced though that I wouldn't have expected to break) but as they were repaired at an independent garage the cost of repairs was probably lower than the extended warranty would have cost though may have cost more had I had the repairs done at a main dealer. In both cases though I was crossing my fingers when something went wrong that it wouldn't be a bank breaker! I bought my first Lexus IS 300h 12 months ago from a Lexus dealer - it was two years old with 40,000 miles when I purchased it I and will put around 12,000 a year on it. My plan is to keep it for at least three years and although they do seem to have a very good reliability reputation I decided that in this case it was worth buying the extended warranty for an extra couple of years to run through to it being 5 years old, especially given the hybrid elements, for total peace of mind. The extended warranty does need it servicing at Lexus dealers, which I had planned to do anyway, and so I have also bought a service plan to see me through the same time frame. It's an on-going payment but small(ish) amounts and I know everything is now taken care of for a couple more years, including full Euro breakdown cover which is quite a bit to do independently for full Euro cover, and will review again when it is 5 years old.
  14. I recently bought an IS 300h Executive 64 plate and also noticed the nav screen didn't dim at night. Reading everything I realised it should and so went on the hunt for the settings but couldn't find the option to have it dim at night - it just stayed in day time mode. Turned the headlights lights on and looked again and still couldn't find the option. Eventually I discovered that the option only becomes available when it is DARK outside - it has nothing to do with switching the headlights on. I covered the light sensor (left hand side of dashboard) and hey presto the elusive setting was in the menu during daylight and I could switch it on and off and all works now. I just post this as it frustrated me for a few days trying to get this to work... I would have assumed the factory default is to dim at night but as my car was purchased 2nd hand maybe it had been changed.