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I’m considering making the leap from BMW to Lexus. I’m looking at the GS300h. Any tips or advice when buying one?

 

 

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Hi and welcome to the LOC. We are a friendly bunch so please don’t hold back asking questions big or small should you have any problems with your car. We always welcome ideas on how to overcome problems with our cars but as they are the finest cars in the universe they don’t go wrong that often.

Good luck with your hunt for a Lexus, there are plenty of good genuine cars out there just need to be patient and one will come along.

Happy Lexus Motoring.

 

Mike.

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I bought my new GS300h Exec at the end of September 2016 and was able to get over 20% off the list price.

Since it was the end of the quarter maybe the salesman wanted to make his quota?

The Exec spec had all the options I wanted. I had expressed a preference for a particular colour, so they gave me another £610 off for taking the car they had in the showroom (zero miles). (That colour was Deep Blue, so quite acceptable to me). They also included a 'protection pack' - listed at £250 - at no extra cost.

I used CarWow to get prices that other dealers would offer and simply asked my local Lexus dealer to match the best price - which they did, plus extra off for the colour and the protection pack was included for free.

I was, and continue to be, very satisfied with my purchase.

Tony

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What are running costs really like for them? Are they really as reliable as people say? Do you require specialist servicing for the Hybrid?

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The GS300h - is that the 4 cylinder engine? IS300h has the 6 cylinder engine. Others on here will correect me if I am mistaken - worth checking. Had a ride in a GS300h, so quiet and refined as it was running on electric! They are very economical on fuel and compared to a BMW are far more reliable. If you can afford to run a BMW you will easily run a Lexus!

You need to own one for a few months before you fully appreciate how good they are. A test drive is not really enough. Good luck with your search.

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I get 50 mpg, and have done since buying the car. I generally run the car in Eco mode, since my driving is usually cruising around and Eco mode is better for passengers - they get a much smoother ride which is incredibly smooth and quiet.

I sometimes briefly use Sport mode, say when entering a roundabout, since the throttle response is much sharper, but all other times I use Eco since I'm not into hooning around (I have a Lotus for that at the weekend!)

I've had zero problems in my 12,000 miles of ownership.

The GS300h is a 4 cylinder engine, as is the IS300h. Both the same unit.

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I have a GS300h top version (Luxury here in Italy but Premier in UK) and absolutely love it. The main difference about driving style is in having adaptive suspensions or not and different wheel sizes, you can verify if in version you would choose you have sport+ option or not. Servicing costs are less expensive than BMW's and reliability of hybrid is good also in electric side; compared to usual cars brakes last more and no clutches to change and starter engine, and eCVT is mechanically simpler than a automatic gearbox.

 

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I currently have a 520D and for a full tank approx. £70 I can get a months worth of driving out of it. Which is work commute (A Roads) and occasional Motorways. This last month included a 350 mile round trip. I'm happy to toot along, but want that get up and go if needed.

I'm spending over £15K to get one so I want my monies worth (as we all do). So reliability is also key. I owned a LS400 about 12 years ago and apart from poor traction in the wet it was superb. I have also owned a Toybota Avensis which was a 2 litre petrol automatic. and I struggled to get 300 miles from a full tank.

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Does the eCVT not whine at speed? How far can you get on batteries alone?

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The eCVT does not whine in the slightest at any speed I've experienced. Max was approx 85mph in France for long distanced, and around town it's silent.

The car can only run maybe 1-ish miles on battery alone, when the petrol engine kicks in. When it does it's so quiet you have to listen to notice, or watch the instrument panel.

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47 minutes ago, TonyPoll said:

The eCVT does not whine in the slightest at any speed I've experienced. Max was approx 85mph in France for long distanced, and around town it's silent.

The car can only run maybe 1-ish miles on battery alone, when the petrol engine kicks in. When it does it's so quiet you have to listen to notice, or watch the instrument panel.

I only say about the whining after watching Fifth Gears test of the GS450h - https://youtu.be/_56f-IJpCnU

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Ah I remember that review, it's a feature of eCVT quietly doing the gear work while the engine sits at max rpm when under full throttle.

So you are commenting on the engine at full chat rather than the gearbox whining, right?

5th Gear were on an airfield test as I recall, an airfield with loooooong straights and their right foot planted to the floor.

On the road I am not at full throttle for more than a few seconds, so it's a none issue in 'real' life. 

I'm not sure how this 'feature' applies to other eCVT cars tho, maybe those with lesser power outputs are at full throttle for longer?  Which i can imagine would get annoying.

Mind you the lack of gear changes is a fast way to punch yourself down the road you know :wink3:

Me thinks you need to take the tiller of a car you're interested in and decide for yourself.  It's good to get some info up front tho, so that you're prepared.

The full electric question is one I ask before I'd driven a Hybrid before.  This implementation isn't about looooong EV drives, instead it's there to assist and help under acceleration, around town, in traffic, etc and I find it works pretty well. 

The economy will not be as good as a dirty, complex and potentially unreliable and more expensive to fix diseasel tho. It'll be acceptable and much more refined tho, so take you pick.

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I have no experience of the Lexus CVT boxes but I have driven plenty of others and do know that I've never read or watched a review of a car with CVT that wasn't complete tosh.

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7 hours ago, our728 said:

I currently have a 520D and for a full tank approx. £70 I can get a months worth of driving out of it. Which is work commute (A Roads) and occasional Motorways. This last month included a 350 mile round trip. I'm happy to toot along, but want that get up and go if needed.

I'm spending over £15K to get one so I want my monies worth (as we all do). So reliability is also key. I owned a LS400 about 12 years ago and apart from poor traction in the wet it was superb. I have also owned a Toybota Avensis which was a 2 litre petrol automatic. and I struggled to get 300 miles from a full tank.

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.

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I've got a 2016 Executive Edition and agree with everything Ten Ninety says. It's a great car for a relaxed drive, but I find it has enough power when it's needed. The standard anti-CVT comments are true, but it really is only noticeable when you put your foot to the floor, so it promotes a calmer driving style! :)

When I looked at the trim levels, I couldn't see an extra £4k in equipment for the Luxury version, so it was an easy choice for me. The only thing I would have liked to add to the car is the ML audio system.

The in-car entertainment system is a let-down in the way it works, but the screen is great. The biggest problem I have with it is trying to get the internet-based traffic working reliably, it seems to come and go on most journeys and not just because of signal problems. I haven't yet found a way to tell for definite whether it is using internet traffic or RDS traffic so it can be difficult to work out how reliable the traffic information is.

On the whole, it's one of the best cars I've owned and suits my and my driving style very well.

 

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On 09/11/2017 at 12:23 PM, our728 said:

I currently have a 520D and for a full tank approx. £70 I can get a months worth of driving out of it. Which is work commute (A Roads) and occasional Motorways. This last month included a 350 mile round trip. I'm happy to toot along, but want that get up and go if needed.

I'm spending over £15K to get one so I want my monies worth (as we all do). So reliability is also key. I owned a LS400 about 12 years ago and apart from poor traction in the wet it was superb. I have also owned a Toybota Avensis which was a 2 litre petrol automatic. and I struggled to get 300 miles from a full tank.

Have owned my 2015 luxury model since July and have done 13000 miles. Car is superb on fuel and real world brim to brim has averaged 46mpg. No issues with the car at all. Fuel consumption is actually better than the 2014 is300h I had before. Tyre wear is brilliant. At 20000 miles they were all between 4 and 6mm and evenly worn. At service the only thing that was replaced was a pair of wiper blades costing £25. If you can find the right car you won't be disappointed. 

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On 09/11/2017 at 5:38 PM, rich1068 said:

I have no experience of the Lexus CVT boxes but I have driven plenty of others and do know that I've never read or watched a review of a car with CVT that wasn't complete tosh.

The truth is that the motoring press are extremely biased as they favour certain manufacturers and are rooted in the past. Cars are going to change dramatically in the next few years because legislation will force it.  If like me you drive in excess of 30000 miles a year you would know how good the ecvt is compared to other modern systems which are all set up for economy. Look at dual mass flywheels for instance and how troublesome they can be. Let's not forget all the semi  auto gearboxes and how jerky  most of them are. I have owned a lot of modern cars in the past decade and in that time have driven a third of a million miles. The ecvt in Lexus is brilliant. The lack of jerkiness compared to say a Mercedes auto is sublime especially when overtaking as the response to the throttle is instantaneous and smooth. You need to drive one yourself to make an informed decision. If I followed the advice of journalists I would have missed owning some very enjoyable and reliable cars eg Alfa Romeo Mito.

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Totally agree but I think in many cases it's even more simple than that. The journalists have about an hour with a car and have to come up with pros and cons. If it's anything more complicated than putting on the seatbelt it becomes their headline groan. Look at Subaru, every review moans about their CVT boxes and I think they've used them longer than Lexus. Generally nonsense. I use reviews for facts like seats or safety or whatever. I learned to ignore their opinions a long time ago.

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