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Hi all

 

Putting this on the RX forum as I think it may have been missed on the Wheels and Tyres site.

Just ordered four Cross Climate 235/55/R19 101V tyres for my RX450h.  £183 per tyre fitted (£732 for all four) from ExtraGrip, Nottingham.  Went in because I couldn't get one of the chrome dust caps off the valve.  This apparently is not uncommon, the chrome plated cap 'welds' itself to the brass valve stem (used to be brass but apparently it's now an alloy hence the problem). 

To cut a long story short when the tyre (standard fit Dunlop)  was off it looked a bit close to the end of its life and it was (only had 2mm).  I'm a bit of a tyre safety nerd, I don't usually like to go below 3mm so two new tyres please. 

I asked if they should go on the front or back but was advised that it's not recommended to mix different climate tyres e.g. summer and winter, all seasons and summer etc. as it can affect handling etc..  So option was stick with Dunlops, go to another brand of summer tyre e.g. Michelin Latitude or have all Cross Climate. Asked them to look at the front ones and they had 4mm in the centre feathering to 3mm at the outer edge.  So as its only a little patch of rubber between the car and total disaster I ordered four new Cross Climates based on the very good reviews on this forum and elsewhere.  I'll let you know how I get on with them (they ordered them today (Saturday)and could have fitted them on Monday but I choose to have them fitted on Tuesday).

In the meantime if you're close to Nottingham and need any brand of new tyres I can thoroughly recommend Extra Grip.  I've used them since the early 80s and although I check around on prices I've yet to find anyone beat them and on top of that and to me even more important they provide a brilliant service (e.g. you don't pay for tyres they order until they're fitted) and great advice.

Hope I haven't broken any forum rules by recommending a company.

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Looking forward to your review as I will be considering the Cross Climate when my Lattitude Tour HPs need replacing.

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Tyres fitted today.  Only driven about 10 miles on them so still running in.

I'll have to wait until the weekend to get a proper drive on some dual carriageway and country lanes, when I'll be able to report back on grip, ride, handling, noise etc. Before I do that I'd like to pick the forum's brains.  I've had them inflated to 38 front and 42 rear, which is the up to 160kmh (100mph) setting.  Eco is 36 front and rear and over 100 is 33 front and rear.  Why is there such a variation and which is better Eco or the up to 160kph for handling, wear and economy?

Dan.  When I first bought the car last May I thought about what tyres I would get when replacing and had plumped for the Latitudes, which got excellent reviews and are OEM in the States but decided to buy the Cross Climate following good reviews on the forum and elsewhere. 

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The Latitude are excellent. I am very pleased with them. I believe the Cross Climate have excellent reviews also but they are still very new... and consequently quite a lot more expensive still.

Are you saying that the recommended is 33 front and rear, but you have had yours inflated to 38 front and 42 rear? Or have I misunderstood? 

Firstly, I believe that in a AWD/4WD vehicle, inflation should be the same for all 4 tyres.

Secondly, I would say that your tyres are way over inflated! - You say yourself that you put a lot of importance on tyres, but by increasing the tyre pressure to such an extent you are effectively reducing the surface of little patch of rubber between the car that you are referring to and the road. It won't hurt economy, but it won't do any good in terms of grip... or indeed comfort! - You should check the recommendations in the car's manual and maybe increase the pressure by 1 or 2 PSI but no more (I think the recommended pressure for the RX450h is 32PSI but I am not 100% sure).

Note that, should you be involved in an accident as a result of a skid, and an investigation shows that your tyres are grossly inflated, your insurance may not cover you.

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Hi Daniel

The plate on the inside of the driver's door (which I followed when they were being fitted) states for 19 inch wheels:

Over 180kph: 33 front and rear

Under 180kph: 38 front and 42 rear

Eco: 36 front and rear

All the settings for 18 inch are the same except that under 180kph the pressure is 36 front and 39 rear

There  is no way I would ignore the manufacturer's recommendations but as I don't go over 160kph (100mph), which of the two recommendations should I go for?  Must admit the majority of vehicles I've had  have had different recommended pressures for front and rear and for different speed and passenger loadings so it's not unusual but I've never seen an Eco setting before.

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Sorry for the confusion for 180 read 160!

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I should have gone to Specsavers!  On closer inspection the higher pressures are for over 160kph, the lower for under 160 i.e. completely the opposite to what I've done.  As I'm unlikely to be traveling at over 160kph (well not for long anyway I'm sure the boys in blue would want a quiet word if I did!) I'm tempted to try the ECO setting but wondered if anyone had any experience of it and whether it saves any fuel and is there a trade off with ride comfort, handling etc.  Any advice greatly appreciated! 

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I'd be interested in this topic, the Lexus agent told me to forget about ECO settings. I must try a tank on each setting. Certainly nicer to drive without ECO...

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I've put them down to 36psi all round now (the ECO setting) but following comments on the forum I have turned off the ECO setting for the engine etc.  Not sure what impact any of it has, I might try full ECO (settings and tyres) next time I fill up then try 33psi all round and normal settings for engine etc. Of course with the ECO engine setting you do lose some responsiveness and the air con/heating isn't as effective, which is a pain at this time of year so belay that idea I may wait until the warmer months to try the experiment!

Maybe somebody else in the forum has already done it for us:-).

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Had my first proper run with the Michelin Cross Climates today. Mix of A roads, B roads, unclassified country lanes and fast dual carriageway.  Horrible weather; wet/damp roads and mud on some of the country roads and lanes (agriculture and tractors don't stop for winter!).  So a good test.  Up to today I'd been doing the majority of my driving round town with a bit of dual carriageway and they certainly seemed quieter and more comfortable.  After today I can confirm that they are significantly quieter than the standard fit Dunlops and appear to have better grip.  I say appear because I'm not a press on type driver but they do inspire more confidence; there wasn't a single time even when I was negotiating some quite sharp bends in the wet that I felt them losing grip.  Also very comfortable. I've been impressed with how smooth and quiet the RX is since my first test drive but the Cross Climates take it to a different level.

So all in all very pleased with them.  Now I need some help from forum members. Is it best to use the Eco (36psi all round) or normal (33psi all round) tyre pressures?  Your experience/views would be greatly apprecated

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I run all mine at 36psi and noticed little difference in fuel economy from running them at 33psi.  The major factor with the RX for economy seems to be what roads you run them on.  Mixed A and B roads, semi-rural and rural seems to give the best economy, until you throw a hill or two in, then it plummets.  Chuck in the cold weather and it drops and other few mpg.  Motorways gave me the worst results irrespective of tyre pressures.  32 to 33 mpg.  However, handling is a little improved at 36psi, so that's where I run them all the time as that will also cope with a reasonable load too.

Eco engine setting has less to do with what tyres are fitted and more to do with turning off all unnecessary fuel consuming features such as AC, and also affecting engine throttle response (compared with "sport" mode).

I find it a complete and utter waste of time and am unsure why Lexus couldn't have just had one mode, ie "sport", which whilst being nothing of the sort, at least allows a near normal relationship between right foot, gas pedal and what happens with an engine unlike the other modes, which if anything, I find more wasteful because you tend to have to press the go pedal harder to wake the car up.  The engine modes, I have concluded, are nothing but a poor gimmick.  As for EV mode...don't get me started on that one!  It works when it wants to an not when you want it to!

 

 

 

 

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I stopped using the Eco engine setting a while ago following a comment on the website but following your and Rayaans comments will continue to use the Eco tyre setting, which is 36psi although I may add that extra 1lb as per Rayaans. 

Fuel consumption is definitely worse in the winter (this is my first winter with the RX); I was getting high 30s low 40s in the summer, when I was using Eco engine setting too.  The only problem with making any changes is that it's impossible to tell if consumption would have been any better if I'd kept it in Eco but at least it's nice and warm!

I've given up on EV mode too.  Fully charged battery, doing 20mph try to switch to EV mode and the not available message comes up!

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Yes, same here.  I did about 80 miles on the motorway yesterday at around 70 to 75 indicated (a true 70 according to gps) and with a few hills, economy returned was a shade over  33mpg with tyres at 36psi.  My car rarely goes into EV mode on the move (I just get the "...not available..." message), only if stopped and starting off again.  It's not bad for a 2.2 tonne lump but no-where near what's claimed which I reckon can only be had driving at 40 to 50mph on the flat without traffic in moderate conditions.

 

 

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Did my first trip in the new car yesterday, Auchterless, just north of Aberdeen from Glasgow, 179 miles. Switched to Eco mode when stuck in tailbacks which were surprisingly common believe it or not. A/C not on and the average for the trip was 35.8mpg. Not bad, would hope for nearere 40 in the summer. A few long hills and a couple of foot down moments overtaking (very impressive) so not bad. 

However was driven MAD by out of date Sat Nav and traffic warnings. Will consider updating maps as we have had lots of road changes since 2010. 

Also, why on earth did they hide the chargers deepo in the glove box!

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That's good mpg in the winter (I think it's good but as this is my first winter with the RX 450h I'm probably not the best judge!).  In the summer I was averaging over 38mpg; now rarely see over 30 but most of my driving since November has been round town with lights, air con, heated seats etc. on. 

Totally agree about the power and usb sockets, really stupid place to put them.

The car is great (and I'm more and more amazed the difference that the Cross Climates have made to what was already a quiet car) but some of the switch gear etc. positions are bizarre e.g. heated seat controls in the centre console box, clock obscured by your arm.  The under gearbox tray is a great idea but spoiled by having a hard surface and unless I've missed a hidden catch the storage? box on the passenger side of the boot is only big enough to fit an emergency credit card!  The one on the driver's side isn't great but at least it's got a bit of depth. And why isn't that storage box or the glove box cooled?  But it's still brilliant.

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Your experiences mirror mine Geoff.  My average has dropped over the two month's I've had mine from around 32 to 31mpg and motorway, around 33mpg at 70.  Annoying having charger stuck where a long fingered Octopus would have trouble getting to it!  

How have you found the cross-climates compared with the OE Dunlops?  I'd be interested in whether they're any better than the Dunlops off road too if anyone's used them on the green stuff?  I think that the Dunlops have a bit of an unfairly bad rep as so far, they've been fine (in the dry anyway....just useless off road....you may as well have some nylon slicks with non-stick coatings for all the grip the Dunlops give but this isn't their natural environment). I've found for me, the switch to 36psi all round has been the best compromise in terms of ride and handling.

The RX seems to be all about detail.  Good or bad (like the position of one of the chargers) everything has been thought about.  It seems like real attention to detail everywhere, except for the silly position of the HUD and display controls where they cannot be readily seen or adjusted on the move, but perhaps that's the whole point.  Adjust when stationary.

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Mpg improved considerably since last fill up yesterday.  I went back to Eco mode, which I know isn't everybody's favourite but it's responsive enough for me.  Difference is about 3-4mpg (25/26 round town has increased to 29 and motorway constant 70 33.4 from 30/31).

No plans to go off terra firma! but the Cross Climates are definitely quieter and seem to be have better grip.  The problem in doing a direct comparison is that when I got the car it had 7mm on the front and 4mm on the rear whereas now I've got 8mm all round and I don't press on through the bends so not sure if they are any better on the limit.

I think you've raised an interesting point; some of the controls might be hard to find/reach to make it difficult to fiddle with them when you're on the move.  And the controls that you use most of the time are on the column or wheel.  If that is the rationale it's very clever!  Mind you that doesn't explain why they made the centre console box so difficult.

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I wouldn't usually come so late to the party but I didn't want to start a new thread when this one already had such good response.

Got my 2015 RX450 last weekend (new owners post coming once I've had the dealer sort a few things out that are currently coloring my review) and it came with cross climate on the front and Dunlop SP270 on the rear.

The cross climates were new and the dunlops had about 5-6mm on them. Set off on our Good Friday away day and the TPMS immediately pinged. When I checked there was a 1" screw straight in the middle of one of the Dunlops.

I knew I'd have to fit in a pair on the rear but thanks for my reading on here prior to getting the car I knew that I'd prefer to have the same tyres all around and the already front fitted cross climates were probably a stellar choice. 

I started phoning around and really struggled to find any one with stock for same day fitting. Fortunately the screw was holding the pressure so I cautiously limped it down to a garage about 40 miles from us in Teeside.

Kwik fit wanted £186 a corner fitted which was pretty competitive for a same day fit and I've always been pleased with their service on tyres. 

The difference from the dunlops is night and day in terms of comfort and noise level. 

I'm particularly sensitive to road noise and although the Lexus was quiet, since picking it up I'd felt the road noise was more than I was expecting in the rear but put it down to my expectations being unrealistic. It was quieter than my girlfriends Audi and she felt it was very quiet so I just turned the radio up :)

Now on the michellins all round, on the right road it's near silent and it's so smooth. I'm not one for fast corners and massive acceleration but these do feel very content on the road.

It was a £400 surprise I didn't want on a Good Friday (especially after buying the car just 7 days earlier) but I'm definitely pleased with the choice.

At the time of the fit I got them to put it on the hunter and they recorded alignment out at the front, no damage but he did comment that it was pretty far out. Another £50 to put right but I'm a bit of a tyre / geom geek so money well spent :)

 

Andrew

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Interesting thread to read so far.

One thing about Kwik Fit - be careful about the alignment

I saw one guy leaning on the machine causing it to give a false reading - challenged him on it and said he was checking it was on properly!

In other words, if you havent noticed any abnormal wear - dont bother with an alignment.

@andrewtayloruk did you get your car from a dealer? If so - highly unlikely to be out

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@rayaans yes it came as an approved used from a Lexus dealer; I didn't think 4 wheel alignment is something that would be checked by the dealer so wasn't surprised it's out. TBF, I had an IS200 and from the factory and even Lexus didn't get the geometry right on that, all of the owners recommend a profile as supplied by Tony from WIM/Blackboots.

I know kwik fit get a bad rep, but, I've honestly always been happy with my local (Sunderland). The guys I went to on Friday down in Middlesborough seemed a decent enough bunch. The tyres on the front were new from the service so no time for them to show wear yet. 

I either had an issue and it cost £50 to put right (hopefully) or I didn't have a one and I wasted £50. At least I have peace of mind, if not a full wallet :)

Andrew

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1 hour ago, andrewtayloruk said:

@rayaans yes it came as an approved used from a Lexus dealer; I didn't think 4 wheel alignment is something that would be checked by the dealer so wasn't surprised it's out. TBF, I had an IS200 and from the factory and even Lexus didn't get the geometry right on that, all of the owners recommend a profile as supplied by Tony from WIM/Blackboots.

I know kwik fit get a bad rep, but, I've honestly always been happy with my local (Sunderland). The guys I went to on Friday down in Middlesborough seemed a decent enough bunch. The tyres on the front were new from the service so no time for them to show wear yet. 

I either had an issue and it cost £50 to put right (hopefully) or I didn't have a one and I wasted £50. At least I have peace of mind, if not a full wallet :)

Andrew

The dealer will have checked everything including the 4 wheel alignment on pre-sale check. Its even checked on each service.

Something worth noting about geometry is that manufacturers have their own specifications which aren't released to most places. For example, the 3rd Gen IS has built in negative camber. If you take it to Kwik Fit (or even some Lexus dealers who aren't keyed up on it), they'll want to align the car every single time which of course gets expensive.

As a result of the negative camber, the IS wears the rears on the inner edges but this is completely normal for the car - some BMWs also do this as a character of the car. Take it anywhere though and they keep wanting to do alignments on them!

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