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Although I'm generally pleased with my '08 GS 450h SE, I had hoped that the whole experience would have been a larger step forward in comparison to my '96 LS400.

There are two obvious plusses - the acceleration is better and smoother, and the fuel consumption is twice as good!

The steering is oddly imprecise - someone opined that the characteristics of the electric steering system might be to blame? At fewer than 33k miles, the steering components should still be pristine. I suspect a 4-wheel alignment is in order?

12 years more "modern" and I still have a tape deck! Can't transfer my iPhone contacts. Sat Nav only handles partial Post Codes (will a maps update actually update the system as well, allowing full Postcode search?)

Sadly, the comfort isn't as improved as I'd hoped: the seats aren't as good, individual control of headrests and seat belt height unavailable, interior space isn't as good, rear seats aren't heated. Front seats aren't cooled. No sunroof (not that I frequently used the one in the LS).

Interior (LED) lighting is poor - in brightness, coverage and direction.

Boot space is a joke. (I knew this when deciding on a 450h, and we both concluded that it wasn't a deal-breaker - now not so sure). Glove box is tiny - and why the divider? Can I just remove it?Fuel consumption is, frankly, disappointing - and unpredictable. Seems to do a lot better on M'way / longer trips, which is counter to what I expected from a hybrid. On a ~ 10 mile urban trip yesterday, the consumption was averaging < 15 mpg on the first half of the trip, but then approaching 40mpg on the latter half. Driving conditions and terrain were similar, and ancillaries unchanged, though I suppose that the engine was warming up for the first 3-4 minutes and charging the traction battery?

I haven't managed to travel more than 200 yards or > 10 mph on pure electric - even though I've been really well-behaved with my right foot.

I would not complain about sub-18mpg when "enjoying" the drive, but I expected better than 28mpg when being angelic!

Worst of all? No V8 soundtrack!

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Nice honest review that. 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

The steering is oddly imprecise - someone opined that the characteristics of the electric steering system might be to blame? At fewer than 33k miles, the steering components should still be pristine. I suspect a 4-wheel alignment is in order?

Electric power steering does generally rob you of that direct feedback you would normally get. I'm not sure what you mean by "imprecise" I would just say "the feedback is lacking" but in line with whats expected from a electric power steering vehicle. Having said this I only drove the car for a short while. I'll take more notice of this on my next test drive of one. 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

12 years more "modern" and I still have a tape deck!

Haha yes, I don't get that either I bet the heads are still the same pristine conditions as they were when the car left the factory. 

Can you play 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

Can't transfer my iPhone contacts.

Can't comment on this I'm an Android user, hopefully that will work !!?? Maybe you need to fully reset the system to clear out the old stuff from previous owner ??

I'm hoping that you can play media on a phone via Bluetooth to the head unit ? Can someone confirm if you can please.

 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

Sat Nav only handles partial Post Codes

I think that is expected for a decade old system. It wont bother me so much. I'm planning to look to mirror the Android phone screen onto the head unit. 

 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

Sadly, the comfort isn't as improved as I'd hoped

Hmmm that's interesting 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

Interior (LED) lighting is poor

I didn't even take note of this, will do next time :thumbsup:

 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

Boot space is a joke.

Yeah it is for sure. It was smaller than I expected it to be honest.

 I'm not even sure you could get a suitcase in there ?? OK, maybe you could ... just !

 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

Glove box is tiny - and why the divider?

No too worried about this. Good question regarding the divider. 

 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

Fuel consumption is, frankly, disappointing - and unpredictable

I'll actually mostly be doing motorway driving during the week and tottering about town during weekend. For me, from what I've read about actual MPG figures, given that's a big car with a V6, overall the consumption is not all too bad. I've had a 350Z now and the consumption in that is worse. In theory the overall consumption should be on par and if not better than me 2.4 litre Accord. 

Maybe yours needs a Hybrid Health check done ?

 

3 hours ago, WSandME said:

No V8 soundtrack!

Yeah ... thats a kick in the teeth ! :smile:

I will miss the gurgle of my 350Z for sure. 

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Always thought the tape deck thing was weird,they didn't remove it until after 10 plate model.You would have had to have the SE-L to have the cooled seats and the sunroof became an option after 2006.

I suppose it shows how good the LS400 is.

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I changed from an old E39 BMW 525i and my biggest disappointment is the noise. Everyone comments how quiet they are, I can only assume these people have never owned a BMW. The engine clatters like an old diesel but it's been serviced by Lexus Bolton three times and they say everything is normal.

Also, I've had new discs, pads, wheels and tyres but the rolling noise is still awful.

I really like the car but I don't think I'd buy another.

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It's always interesting to read about the comfort of other models not being as good as the LS.  In all honesty I've not driven anything, even very modern that comes close. But then it was always their flagship which had ridiculous amounts of money put into it.  I wonder how the very latest LS would compare in terms of comfort compared to a 20 year old one. I can't see how it could be much better unless a pair of robotic hands massaged your shoulders!

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12 hours ago, WSandME said:

Although I'm generally pleased with my '08 GS 450h SE, I had hoped that the whole experience would have been a larger step forward in comparison to my '96 LS400....

@WSandME / Sandro, that's an interesting comparison between the LS and GS and you'd expect a drop in comfort/etc between this spec of cars of comparable age but maybe not as much as you say from your older LS.  Maybe this goes to prove how much Lexus invested in those early flagship cars.  

Thinking back to when I first got my GS, I thought the steering was somewhat vague when cruising...like it needs constant nudges.  I have meant to get tracking done and maybe dial in a tad more front toe?  I find steering is fine during the turns though.

I gave up trying to get my phone linked or transfer contacts and just punched in a few essential numbers into the speed dial which has been fine for me since.

I upgraded my satnav and postcode searches are still truncated :wallbash: Phone nav's are so good these days that we predominantly use this for 'new' destinations and then pin them into the cars satnav for later use under favourites.

I find that burying the HVAC controls in the touch screen is my biggest annoyance.

Ah the boot, yes this can be annoying however we have easily been able to get a couple of suitcases in the boot for short trips away.  We even managed a couple of larger/collapsible cases for our summer vacation on the continent, although we did over spill onto the back seats...which is fine for just the two of us.  MrsF always over packs too #sigh  Like you we knew the boot was small and I've since purchased a roof rack should we need it but we haven't used it yet.

Running on battery alone can be tricky, especially now that the ambient temps have dropped.  If you keep the heater down to low 20's C with the vehicle warmed up then you should still get to waft along on battery in NORMAL mode.  It should stay on battery downhill and on the level but inclines can often engage the v6.  If you are running around in PWR and/or SPORT modes then the engine will kick in as soon as you touch the throttle, which is fair enough. 

Around town the economy is compromised in stop/start traffic as the car is heavy but keep it rolling/slow traffic and the economy is much better.  On a long run I can easily get into the 40's and overall I'm averaging 35mpg.  To give an idea of your Hybrid set-up, has your car had a Hybrid health check recently?

Haha, the lack of a burble is a draw back but then you knew a v6 wouldn't be able to compete here :wink3:

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I've had my 430 for 5 years and occasionally get the urge to change - Ive had a liking for the GS450h for a long time but the common problems have always put me off and often find myself asking why would i change - what is my 430 lacking - the answer is nothing! - For 5 years all I have done is fuel - drive - fuel  drive with very little major expense. - this weekend a family member who has never driven it borrowed it and he was blown away by how refined it is - he drove from heathrow to sheffield and commented on how relaxed the drive was and how refreshed he arrived.

I would say to the other person is maybe what he really wants is a 430?

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11 hours ago, WSandME said:

Although I'm generally pleased with my '08 GS 450h SE, I had hoped that the whole experience would have been a larger step forward in comparison to my '96 LS400.

There are two obvious plusses - the acceleration is better and smoother, and the fuel consumption is twice as good!

The steering is oddly imprecise - someone opined that the characteristics of the electric steering system might be to blame? At fewer than 33k miles, the steering components should still be pristine. I suspect a 4-wheel alignment is in order?

12 years more "modern" and I still have a tape deck! Can't transfer my iPhone contacts. Sat Nav only handles partial Post Codes (will a maps update actually update the system as well, allowing full Postcode search?)

Sadly, the comfort isn't as improved as I'd hoped: the seats aren't as good, individual control of headrests and seat belt height unavailable, interior space isn't as good, rear seats aren't heated. Front seats aren't cooled. No sunroof (not that I frequently used the one in the LS).

Interior (LED) lighting is poor - in brightness, coverage and direction.

Boot space is a joke. (I knew this when deciding on a 450h, and we both concluded that it wasn't a deal-breaker - now not so sure). Glove box is tiny - and why the divider? Can I just remove it?Fuel consumption is, frankly, disappointing - and unpredictable. Seems to do a lot better on M'way / longer trips, which is counter to what I expected from a hybrid. On a ~ 10 mile urban trip yesterday, the consumption was averaging < 15 mpg on the first half of the trip, but then approaching 40mpg on the latter half. Driving conditions and terrain were similar, and ancillaries unchanged, though I suppose that the engine was warming up for the first 3-4 minutes and charging the traction battery?

I haven't managed to travel more than 200 yards or > 10 mph on pure electric - even though I've been really well-behaved with my right foot.

I would not complain about sub-18mpg when "enjoying" the drive, but I expected better than 28mpg when being angelic!

Worst of all? No V8 soundtrack!

Mine is 2007 SE-L so there may be differences.

The 450h was about performance not economy. (c.f. 0-60 times of pre-V12 Aston Martin DB7 or early Jaguar XK8.) Other hybrids may good around town but in my experience the 450h is not. I get about 30mpg or less with short journey (and cold engine) town driving. On the open road when it can get into "overdrive" (about 55mph) it is very good for a 10 year old 3.5l petrol engine.  I get 35 - 40 with a best of 45mpg (over 80 miles). Pretty good for a performance car and it is about 30% better than my old 2nd gen GS300. (VED less than 2007 GS300 too.)

I have heated and cooled seats which are also more comfortable than the GS I had before. I have never been in an LS so I cannot compare. The driver's headrest moves with seat positions set in memory which is very good. The seatbelt height is also adjustable.

Cassette player: great. I have lots of cassettes which I can now play. Old does not mean of no functionality. I still have a fountain pen too.

The 3rd gen GS was designed probably 8 years before the iPhone but there is some compatibility. I put 10 or so common numbers into the speed dial by hand. I don't want my other 638 contacts transferred. How would I use them unless I stopped in which case I just use the phone.

I have 2012 edition maps but still no full postcode functionality. I have though been able to set every destination I have wanted albeit perhaps slower than a more modern system. I don't know if 2017 maps would upgrade the postcode functionality.

The reversing lights were filament lamps as the car was designed before white LEDs were available They were poor so I replaced mine with LEDs. Much better.

The boot is small and the boot light is akin to a Morris Minor starting handle.

The road noise is very dependent on road surface and I was surprised it was no quieter than my old GS. My hearing is very poor and any road noise masks other sounds like speech from passengers. I would like quieter if possible. Passengers think it is quieter than their cars. I find conversation in their cars impossible.

Worrying about battery level and how far or fast you can go without petrol is pointless. It's not something you can do anything about anyway. The computer will manage it.

John

 

 

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@OldTrout / John, my GS is quiet too although the rubber isn't anything special. 

I wonder if the OP has some noisy make of tyre or maybe they are just worn ?

You also reminded me about the poor boot lighting, which I helped with a brighter LED.  I have a spare boot light coming and plan to wire that to the other side of the boot, as I often have something in the way that blocks the light #duh  Good call about the reversing lights, I may well LED mine as we don't have much street lighting here #inthesticks

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5 hours ago, Farqui said:

Thinking back to when I first got my GS, I thought the steering was somewhat vague when cruising...like it needs constant nudges.  I have meant to get tracking done and maybe dial in a tad more front toe?  I find steering is fine during the turns though.

The symptom I have is slight "tramlining" - a wobble when going along white lines &c.

But!!! I have checked the tyres in detail, and find that though they have good tread, they're quite old - a couple are 2011! I suspect they have hardened up a bit, developed "bad habits" and could do with replacement.

5 hours ago, Farqui said:

I gave up trying to get my phone linked or transfer contacts and just punched in a few essential numbers into the speed dial which has been fine for me since.

I will not be defeated!!! I have an old Android phone, so the plan is to transfer to that, then to the car.

5 hours ago, Farqui said:

I find that burying the HVAC controls in the touch screen is my biggest annoyance.

Yup.

5 hours ago, Farqui said:

Around town the economy is compromised in stop/start traffic as the car is heavy but keep it rolling/slow traffic and the economy is much better.  On a long run I can easily get into the 40's and overall I'm averaging 35mpg.  To give an idea of your Hybrid set-up, has your car had a Hybrid health check recently?

That's good to know - If I can't get near that after a few decent runs, I'll start looking for reasons. I'm considering taking it to Lexus Bolton for the minimum service required in order to get / maintain the Hybrid warranty.

4 hours ago, cruisermark said:

I've had my 430 for 5 years and occasionally get the urge to change - Ive had a liking for the GS450h for a long time but the common problems have always put me off and often find myself asking why would i change - what is my 430 lacking - the answer is nothing! - For 5 years all I have done is fuel - drive - fuel  drive with very little major expense

I bought my LS400 in 2001 with 50k on it and have driven it until a couple of months ago. It now has 245,000 miles on it.

I kept thinking that it was due to have some sort of major breakdown, and so was reluctant to do much in terms of maintenance, expecting to have to scrap it.

I had the timing belt done a while ago, but it now needs quite a lot to bring it back up to desirability - and I wonder whether I have the energy, space, funds (and force of will over SWMBO!) to do it justice. I suppose my ideal would be a 2001 LS400 (VVT, <£500 tax &c..) - that, plus a little runaround, would do me until I can no longer drive :~)

1 hour ago, OldTrout said:

On the open road when it can get into "overdrive" (about 55mph) it is very good for a 10 year old 3.5l petrol engine.  I get 35 - 40 with a best of 45mpg (over 80 miles). Pretty good for a performance car

That'll do me.

1 hour ago, OldTrout said:

Worrying about battery level and how far or fast you can go without petrol is pointless.

I worry because poor ability in that area might be a symptom of hybrid drive problems.

30 minutes ago, Farqui said:

Good call about the reversing lights, I may well LED mine as we don't have much street lighting here #inthesticks

Agree - I'll try LED as well (Worked great on my MHome)

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@WSandME, Lexus will execute a Hybrid health check for around £60 on its own.

Otherwise it's included within a service.

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Wow your LS has clocked up quite a few miles, impressive

Oh and let me know if you get an Android contact transfer to work.

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3 hours ago, Farqui said:

Wow your LS has clocked up quite a few miles, impressive

In 1992, I bought a 250TD Mercedes W124 diesel automatic 7-seater estate. It was fantastic. I went from 50k miles to 250k miles until I sold it in 2001 to buy my LS400.

I don't often buy cars, but when I do, they're good 'uns, and I use them :~)

3 hours ago, OldTrout said:

Thanks for that - I hadn't even thought about the system being CanBus - It is, isn't it?

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Old tyres can go 'out of round' ie not fully circular any more. I've had this on two cars in the past 15 years. One car, an Audi A4, had Avon tyres and the other, a Jaguar XF, had Dunlops. Both exhibited a droning noise almost as if a wheelbearing was on the way out. Both resolved with new tyres and never had any problems with the replacement tyres. Wonder if it's this?

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propably so, its called cupping. Tyres are no longer 100% round thus create vibrations and sounds like a wheelbearing is off. average lyfespan of a tyre is 5 years so even if the profile is still ok it might be past its life so better change it. I have yokohamas on my IS300h and i hate them. The rubber is so soft that if i leave the car for 3 days or more they "sit in "and are no longer round. The vibrations only disappear after some 10 miles. Terrible. 

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