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wharfhouse

Easy to take things for granted

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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.

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Interesting read. After a couple of breakdowns in my IS 220d I was thinking it's time for a change. Thanks to Lexus extended warranty I ended up with a Jaguar xs and a Mercedes c class. Two cars that I was thinking about as a replacement. I was disappointed with both. The Jag was great to drive but didn't feel 'special'. The Merc was really disappointing quality wise. Ended up with a GS! Although I had a few issues with the IS it was diesel that was the problem, not Lexus. I am surprised about how few are on the road compared to BMW, audi, Mercedes etc. Most people seem to be more concerned about the badge than the quantity of what they're driving. The GS is sublime and a definite step up in quality and driving experience.

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Just out of interest, what issues did you have with your diesel IS? Had it done many miles? Glad you’re enjoying the GS, lovely motors 

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5 hours ago, Ala Larj said:

EGR and DPF!

Ouch the problems you don’t want then. Far better off with a hybrid 

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1 hour ago, Carl1983 said:

Ouch the problems you don’t want then. Far better off with a hybrid 

Exactly! Fortunately I had an extended warranty so didn't cost me anything. Fortunately also it was my wife who had the car on both breakdowns so didn't cost me any time either! She weren't so happy though.........

It's interesting because when the Mk 3 IS came out without a diesel I thought it might make me change from Lexus because then I was well happy with my IS and was not aware of the EGR and DPF problems that would later arise. However, I much prefer the hybrid now. One thing I really liked abut the 220d was the mid range punch from the torque which was great for overtaking and pulling away from tailgating Audis and BMWs. All I need to do now is whack it in S or S+ mode and the jobs done! And I just love the smoothness of the eCVT box. It gets lots of criticism from the motoring press which I just don't understand. The Mercedes I drove was an auto which was very notchy and never seemed to be in the right gear. No problems with the GS on those grounds.

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Before I settled on my 2017 IS I test drove a  335i BM & thought the whole driving experience was far less smooth than my 2013 IS.

Ofcourse it was faster & the brakes were impressive.

The Deal was excellent & ,being a Lexus driver for some 18 years, I went for a few Factory Options 

The cost was + 10k on the base price & the guy informed me that most of my Options would count for little @ trade-in

I test drove the 2017 IS & was impressed with the host of subtle changes & bought one even though I was miffed Lexus had dropped the 19 " wheel option!

Tel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I noticed that with the German manufacturers. The list price looks good until you start adding the options which come standard with Lexus. I like the way they have just four trim levels and you know what you're getting. 

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"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!

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3 hours ago, Tel said:

Before I settled on my 2017 IS I test drove a  335i BM & thought the whole driving experience was far less smooth than my 2013 IS.

Ofcourse it was faster & the brakes were impressive.

The Deal was excellent & ,being a Lexus driver for some 18 years, I went for a few Factory Options 

The cost was + 10k on the base price & the guy informed me that most of my Options would count for little @ trade-in

I test drove the 2017 IS & was impressed with the host of subtle changes & bought one even though I was miffed Lexus had dropped the 19 " wheel option!

Tel

 

Hi Terry, just out of curiosity what were the most noticable changes between the 2017 IS and the 2015 one which i am driving?

i havent driven the facelift model yet but does it feel different? drivetrain? E-power?  comfort springs damping? differences in satnav or programme? steering?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, wharfhouse said:

"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!

I agree entirely. It's also quite funny how the motoring press bang on about how much better the BMW is on the limit. How many of us drive our cars on the limit? I found that both my IS and GS were/are more than adequate in every day driving. Both handle really well and can be fun when pressed. I particularly like the fact that the ecvt has the smoothest drive of any car I've had during normal driving and makes me feel totally relaxed. I had a great time earlier in the year driving around Scotland and the GS handled sublimely whether in normal or S+ mode. Also there's no hesitation when pulling away quickly at roundabouts so I never feel stressed unlike my experience in the Merc!

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I agree entirely. It's also quite funny how the motoring press bang on about how much better the BMW is on the limit. How many of us drive our cars on the limit? I found that both my IS and GS were/are more than adequate in every day driving. Both handle really well and can be fun when pressed. I particularly like the fact that the ecvt has the smoothest drive of any car I've had during normal driving and makes me feel totally relaxed. I had a great time earlier in the year driving around Scotland and the GS handled sublimely whether in normal or S+ mode. Also there's no hesitation when pulling away quickly at roundabouts so I never feel stressed unlike my experience in the Merc!


Welcome to the enlightened minority.
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Merc used to do some decent gearboxes but the current ones are poor IMO. 

The auto box in the W203 C220 CDI was great and never had hesitation. The shifts were also very smooth

The auto box in the W204 C220 CDI seems a bit dimwitted - doesn't want to change gear, always goes into the highest gear possible.

The auto box in the W205 C220 CDI is much of the same although better than in the W204. Still not as good as the W203 one. 

I wonder if its just everything getting complicated etc. The W203 was rather simple and the auto box was programmed to be a good auto box, not an economy increasing slushbox and I think thats where the problems lies - gearboxes are programmed to be efficient nowadays rather than be good at what they do. The ZF is an exception of course but then, its not exactly an economical box.

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Bernard,

My first drive was in the dark.

The car was Black/Rose. A Stealth Fighter .

Felt it was smoother to drive in ride, drive, steering & braking & the larger MM impressed.

The lights were superb.I was impressed & was convinced the dark colour integrates the dark chrome features better.

In use---

Voice Command has improved

Switches to Battery Drive on every occasion traffic dictates.

The Brakes are much smoother in application such that they feel more powerful ----the modulation is spot-on.

The Steering is less wooden.

The Drive is creamy smooth, the suspension thumps more rounded.

Radar Cruise works eerily well given sudden dips can surprise.

2013 car was a sophisticated Priusesque vehicle that averaged 48mpg in Sport-only driving.

2017 is my junior ISF that averages 44mpg in Sport -only  driving

One of the reasons I said goodbye to my ISF  was  my licence was in great danger as the acceleration was stunning. In radar cruise control the return to set speed was electric.

My fall in consumption reflects the 2017's smoothness ----- it really is a joy to drive & my average speed has increased.

"Nice wheels Mate " is common.

Tel

 

 

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9 hours ago, rayaans said:

Merc used to do some decent gearboxes but the current ones are poor IMO. 

The auto box in the W203 C220 CDI was great and never had hesitation. The shifts were also very smooth

The auto box in the W204 C220 CDI seems a bit dimwitted - doesn't want to change gear, always goes into the highest gear possible.

The auto box in the W205 C220 CDI is much of the same although better than in the W204. Still not as good as the W203 one. 

I wonder if its just everything getting complicated etc. The W203 was rather simple and the auto box was programmed to be a good auto box, not an economy increasing slushbox and I think thats where the problems lies - gearboxes are programmed to be efficient nowadays rather than be good at what they do. The ZF is an exception of course but then, its not exactly an economical box.

That is certainly what the Merc one I am driving at the moment feels like - not pleasant at all...

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1 hour ago, Tel said:

Bernard,

My first drive was in the dark.

The car was Black/Rose. A Stealth Fighter .

Felt it was smoother to drive in ride, drive, steering & braking & the larger MM impressed.

The lights were superb.I was impressed & was convinced the dark colour integrates the dark chrome features better.

In use---

Voice Command has improved

Switches to Battery Drive on every occasion traffic dictates.

The Brakes are much smoother in application such that they feel more powerful ----the modulation is spot-on.

The Steering is less wooden.

The Drive is creamy smooth, the suspension thumps more rounded.

Radar Cruise works eerily well given sudden dips can surprise.

2013 car was a sophisticated Priusesque vehicle that averaged 48mpg in Sport-only driving.

2017 is my junior ISF that averages 44mpg in Sport -only  driving

One of the reasons I said goodbye to my ISF  was  my licence was in great danger as the acceleration was stunning. In radar cruise control the return to set speed was electric.

My fall in consumption reflects the 2017's smoothness ----- it really is a joy to drive & my average speed has increased.

"Nice wheels Mate " is common.

Tel

 

 

Thanks Terry much appreciated

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On 10/3/2017 at 7:33 PM, wharfhouse said:

.....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.

Phil:  your post is a summary of the reasons why many owners remain loyal after buying their first Lexus.

 

My current Lexus is the sixth I have owned in seventeen years whereas my previous eleven cars, company ones for the most part but all of them

personally chosen by me over a period of twenty-five years or so, consisted of seven different marques.   Although I admit to having become 

lazier and more set on my ways than I once was, my loyalty to Lexus rests mainly on a continuing tendency to tick customer satisfaction boxes

far more emphatically than I ever did with BMW, Audi, Jaguar and other producers of "executive saloons", my only big regret being that for one 

reason or another I have never owned an MB or had use of one other than as a short-term hire.  Certainly, where I would once never have chosen

a car without first testing several alternatives, I have latterly gone straight to my Lexus dealer armed only with a few on-paper price comparisons

to help negotiations but confident in the knowledge that I will get a good deal for a good car supported by good service.   Maybe I have been

lucky, but I have experienced none of the major reliability- or dealer-related problems occasionally described on this and other LOC Forums.  I am

aware, of course, that quality and reliability gaps between competitors have narrowed over the years, as have prices, and that I may therefore

have missed out on a lot of great alternatives by sticking with Lexus.   On the other hand,  when I continue to see good reviews for competitors

alongside poor or tepid ones for Lexus, and knowing from my own experience that many of the latter are rubbish or, to put it more kindly, based

on performance comparisons that have little or nothing to do with the practicalities of everyday motoring, my degree of loyalty tends to increase

rather than diminish.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Rabbers said:

Phil:  your post is a summary of the reasons why many owners remain loyal after buying their first Lexus.

 

My current Lexus is the sixth I have owned in seventeen years whereas my previous eleven cars, company ones for the most part but all of them

personally chosen by me over a period of twenty-five years or so, consisted of seven different marques.   Although I admit to having become 

lazier and more set on my ways than I once was, my loyalty to Lexus rests mainly on a continuing tendency to tick customer satisfaction boxes

far more emphatically than I ever did with BMW, Audi, Jaguar and other producers of "executive saloons", my only big regret being that for one 

reason or another I have never owned an MB or had use of one other than as a short-term hire.  Certainly, where I would once never have chosen

a car without first testing several alternatives, I have latterly gone straight to my Lexus dealer armed only with a few on-paper price comparisons

to help negotiations but confident in the knowledge that I will get a good deal for a good car supported by good service.   Maybe I have been

lucky, but I have experienced none of the major reliability- or dealer-related problems occasionally described on this and other LOC Forums.  I am

aware, of course, that quality and reliability gaps between competitors have narrowed over the years, as have prices, and that I may therefore

have missed out on a lot of great alternatives by sticking with Lexus.   On the other hand,  when I continue to see good reviews for competitors

alongside poor or tepid ones for Lexus, and knowing from my own experience that many of the latter are rubbish or, to put it more kindly, based

on performance comparisons that have little or nothing to do with the practicalities of everyday motoring, my degree of loyalty tends to increase

rather than diminish.

 

 

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.

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Phil. A brilliant and honest post which sums up the the reasons why most drivers love the IS. I can never understand why the Motoring Press constantly voice there dislike for the E-CVT transmission. Its's one of the best things about the car. In every day driving it beats all other gear boxes hands down.

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I don't think most have any clue about how things work. If they can't press it or simplify things into 'feels goog/bad' 'looks expensive/cheap' they get a bit stuck.

Sent from my STV100-4 using Tapatalk

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I think the problem is that the e-cvt is not at its best at full tilt, and motoring journo's tend to push things hard for the duration of the test.  You only need to look at the comments around poor fuel economy to gauge how they drive.

The reality for most of us is that its a fantastic piece of kit for 99% of the time

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2 hours ago, Mikeyb999 said:

I think the problem is that the e-cvt is not at its best at full tilt, and motoring journo's tend to push things hard for the duration of the test.  You only need to look at the comments around poor fuel economy to gauge how they drive.

The reality for most of us is that its a fantastic piece of kit for 99% of the time

i just think the motoring press are very biased towards the germans end of,

the press say they dont like the noise they hear from a IS300h but if they sit

in any M series and floor it they will say "listen to that noise" in an admiring way.

when test diving a car the car should be driven in the manner it was designed for

and rated accordingly,its like comparing the ariel Atom with a Bentley then

stating you can hear a lot of road noise from the Atom they are both quick cars

but have different markets to compete for.

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The guy in this video review is a prime example of a journalist getting his facts wrong but comes across with authority so some would believe him without question.

Video here.

Jump to 2 minutes 50 seconds to here his description on the E CVT gearbox. Lack of research at worst.

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I felt that was the best review of a Lexus sedan that I have ever seen.

The driver could not be accused of not researching the vehicle and to criticise him for 3 seconds of failing to identify the strengths of the CVT box was I felt a little unfair.

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7 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

I felt that was the best review of a Lexus sedan that I have ever seen.

The driver could not be accused of not researching the vehicle and to criticise him for 3 seconds of failing to identify the strengths of the CVT box was I felt a little unfair.

But the E CVT does not use rubber bands ! or did you not know that either ?

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