AJChinn

New guy looking to purchase an IS 300h

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Hi... Newbie here posting for the first time.

So I've had a few cars over the years mostly being sporty hatchbacks in my younger years however since having a family I've moved onto saloons. I recently parted with my BMW 320D which I really enjoyed while it lasted however the DPF packed in amongst a plethora of other things going wrong. I then spontaneously purchased a 59 plate IS 220D which I've had now for a few months now however I must admit i'm not really a massive fan of it so I'm already looking at a new car to get. I have really taken in interest in the IS 300h F Sport however I've gotten nothing but mixed signals from reading reviews (and believe me I've read A LOT) so i'm hoping to get some better feed back from those who actually own one. As i mentioned before i owned a few sportier cars in my youth so I was mostly interested to find out if the 330h has a little kick to it and if current/previous owners actually found the car fun to drive and how would it feel in comparison to my current IS 220D? (Performance, economy)

How would the 330h compare to other cars I have looked at such as the Mercedes CLA 180 or the Audi A3 Saloon?!?

 

Any and all opinions would be greatly appreciate

 

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Here are my own newbie thoughts from an earlier thread:

 

 

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3 hours ago, AJChinn said:

Hi... Newbie here posting for the first time.

So I've had a few cars over the years mostly being sporty hatchbacks in my younger years however since having a family I've moved onto saloons. I recently parted with my BMW 320D which I really enjoyed while it lasted however the DPF packed in amongst a plethora of other things going wrong. I then spontaneously purchased a 59 plate IS 220D which I've had now for a few months now however I must admit i'm not really a massive fan of it so I'm already looking at a new car to get. I have really taken in interest in the IS 300h F Sport however I've gotten nothing but mixed signals from reading reviews (and believe me I've read A LOT) so i'm hoping to get some better feed back from those who actually own one. As i mentioned before i owned a few sportier cars in my youth so I was mostly interested to find out if the 330h has a little kick to it and if current/previous owners actually found the car fun to drive and how would it feel in comparison to my current IS 220D? (Performance, economy)

How would the 330h compare to other cars I have looked at such as the Mercedes CLA 180 or the Audi A3 Saloon?!?

 

Any and all opinions would be greatly appreciate

 

If you like reading reviews, don't buy a Lexus for a start as reviewers don't like them for some reason.

Ive driven the CLA and the A3 saloon and we own an IS300h so here goes.

Driving - the IS300h handles better than all of them - main reason being its RWD. 

Interior quality - I would say the Audi wins here but the IS isn't far behind. CLA has shocking interior quality - renault grade plastics not worthy of the price tag

ride quality - depends on spec but overall the IS is very good. CLA is rubbish, it rides like a flintstone car in the AMG sport trims and is still firm on comfort suspension. A3 is firm in S-Line trim but other trims are good.

Reliability - no contest - Lexus wins. Audi second and CLA has very bad reliability - quite a lot of problems with them

Compared to an IS220d its going to be a massive improvement. The IS220d is probably the worst vehicle Lexus has ever made bar the SC

Performance - whilst the IS may have a relatively mild 0-62mph time, the in gear acceleration is very good due to instant torque from the electric motors. Drive one, I doubt you'll be disappointed. Its got faster in-gear acceleration compared to a BMW 320d

 

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8 minutes ago, rayaans said:

If you like reading reviews, don't buy a Lexus for a start as reviewers don't like them for some reason.

Ive driven the CLA and the A3 saloon and we own an IS300h so here goes.

Driving - the IS300h handles better than all of them - main reason being its RWD. 

Interior quality - I would say the Audi wins here but the IS isn't far behind. CLA has shocking interior quality - renault grade plastics not worthy of the price tag

ride quality - depends on spec but overall the IS is very good. CLA is rubbish, it rides like a flintstone car in the AMG sport trims and is still firm on comfort suspension. A3 is firm in S-Line trim but other trims are good.

Reliability - no contest - Lexus wins. Audi second and CLA has very bad reliability - quite a lot of problems with them

Compared to an IS220d its going to be a massive improvement. The IS220d is probably the worst vehicle Lexus has ever made bar the SC

Performance - whilst the IS may have a relatively mild 0-62mph time, the in gear acceleration is very good due to instant torque from the electric motors. Drive one, I doubt you'll be disappointed. Its got faster in-gear acceleration compared to a BMW 320d

 

Thank you very much for response. I've actually booked a test drive for this weekend so I will definitely be looking forward to this a lot more now after reading your reply.

 

Unless I win the lottery I won't be getting a brand new one so I've been looking at some of the 2013/2014 F Sport models on auto trader... Would you say I could still find one at that age that would still be reliable and would last me a good few years? Or would I be better of investing in heavily into a newer model?

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23 minutes ago, AJChinn said:

Thank you very much for response. I've actually booked a test drive for this weekend so I will definitely be looking forward to this a lot more now after reading your reply.

 

Unless I win the lottery I won't be getting a brand new one so I've been looking at some of the 2013/2014 F Sport models on auto trader... Would you say I could still find one at that age that would still be reliable and would last me a good few years? Or would I be better of investing in heavily into a newer model?

Ours is a 2013 model and its had no issues whatsoever.

These things are amazingly reliable and as long as they have full Lexus service history and they're well maintained, they won't go wrong very often, or at all.

You can keep them out of warranty without worrying unlike BMW etc

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Again thank you for your quick reply mate... really appreciate it

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Had my 2015 IS300h for just over a year now, great car.

First, ignore all those reviewers who moan about it CVT box, it's only unpleasant if you drive like a total nutter all the time.

Second, you'll notice the tyre noise, this is because the rest of the car is so damn quiet and smooth.

Third ignore those who tell you this is a pulleys and belt CVT, there's plenty of videos showing you how the eCVT works, and this explains why its so smooth.

Vince

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I think if you ask most Lexus owners, reliability will be one of the major reasons for ownership - the IS220D was a very rare exception to the rule.

There are plenty of members here with cars over 20 years old and some with very high mileages so there's no reason to suppose that a 4 or 5 year old IS300h will give you any trouble.

Bear in mind you can buy a Lexus warranty (which is very comprehensive and includes AA cover) even if you don't buy through Lexus if you really want to have peace of mind.  

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2 hours ago, AJChinn said:

I've actually booked a test drive for this weekend 

Hope you have fun. A couple of suggestions for the test drive. Make sure you have the artificial engine sound turned off for at least part of the drive so that you can hear what the car sounds like without artificial sound effects. The jargon name is Active Sound Control and there's a volume control/off switch low down to the right of the steering wheel. It's fun to turn on sometimes but for a test drive I would want to be able to hear the car itself for some of the time.

The other thing to remember is that the car has no gears, no clutch, no torque converter, no dedicated starter motor. That means that you don't get the up and down revving you would get in a manual gearbox car. The power delivery is more like in a jet plane or a power boat. I expect most people don't sit in a plane thinking, "When is the pilot going to change gear?" But many magazine reviewers miss the familiar up and down revs of the manual gearbox. Even if you're used to an automatic, there are still no jolts between gear ratios in the IS300h as there would be in a conventional automatic. This is disconcerting to many people. Personally, I think the hybrid drive is an impressive bit of engineering and I like how it makes the car pretty silent most of the time. Gearboxes and clutches are essentially 19th century technology. I like the way the hybrid drive is truly 21st century technology, only made possible by the development of the computer.

Incidentally, people say the hybrid drive is noisy when you put your foot down. What this means is that the engine revs at a constant high rate (like a power boat) until you take your foot off the accelerator. But it's the engine that's making the noise at high revs, not the hybrid drive (sometimes called a power-split device or a CVT.)

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I went through the same thinking and read all the reviews and was undecided / confused. Had a number of BMWs in the past (high spec power ones) so had my own benchmark. Got a 300h from Lexus for a day test drive and was bowled over - went back the next day and bought a two year old Executive trim off the forecourt. Make sure you get a few hours in the car on your own and try a few different sorts of roads and once you have a handle on what the Is 300h is all about and how it delivers don't think you will be disappointed. 

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Just some of my thoughts.

 

I have owned my F-Sport since new since March 2015 so it is 3 years now. 

I still like the car even though I’m thinking about the change, but have no enough money to buy anything better.

 

The car feels different, at least for me, this is due to the hybrid system but you have to learn how to enojoy it. It is really great to be able to go on electric only when like me you are spending lots of time in traffic.

 

The car is comfortable. If you can get it with the upgraded audio system then do, the standard one is poor. The menus and the main display feels like from 1980s, it will be probably the same is with the upgraded audio, a bit dissapointing. The standard seats in F-Sport are fine, you dont need leather. 

 

Get it in ultrasonic blue, looks awesome.

 

Tyre noise is bad:/

 

Fuel consumption, if you want to drive normally then the F-Sport will burn by average 7 litres per 100km, it will be changing between 6.5-8 l/100km. Burns more in winter. Just don’t fool yourself you will go lower on fuel consumption.

 

I haven’t got any breakdowns so far.

Did 49k on the factory tyres. Got goodyear eagle asymetrics 3 hoping they will be quieter but they are not. Tyre noise is bad. You dont hear engine unless you press acceleration hard, then you get it for a while until you reach your desire speed. Then just tyre noise.

Acceleration is not as good as you would expect. There is a lag and it does not feel good as you would like it. It is better in Sport mode but still not that would please you. Sometimes you are missing the engine sound and the instant response.

Handling is great. The car could have 2 timest as powerfull drivetrain and would still behave perfectly. Feels extremaly flat in corners or in roundabouts. 

It is impossible to drifft in corners or roundabouts, feels a bit dissapointing. 

It doesn’t meant the car is slow. Flooring acceleration on green light works nice and the car starts up quickly. 

You can travel at speeds like 180km/h and the car feels very stable.

 

The airconditioning stinks on hot days in the summer, this is another dissapointing thing. 

 

If I was changing the car now and have similar amout to spend, I dont know, there is a good chance I would buy a new IS 300h however recently I liked Kia Stinger, but the proper peteol version have so high co2 that I would have to pay fortune for motortax, at least here in Ireland.

 

Can answer your questions if you have any.

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Worth bearing in mind that some of the above issues are easily rectified or prevented. 

Air con shouldn't be stinking unless it's not being used often enough. These AC systems need to be on all the time.

Tyre noise is relative and dependent on tyres. There is some tyre roar but it's not obtrusive and certainly no more than in a BMW 320d or other car in this class. 

Economy is also dependent on driving style and trip distances. Motorway runs can see you around 50-55 mpg sometimes. Short town trips and it'll barely get over 20-30mpg but thats not exclusive to the IS

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9 hours ago, kazmac said:

There is a lag and it does not feel good as you would like it. It is better in Sport mode but still not that would please you. Sometimes you are missing the engine sound and the instant response.

I have to say I've found the acceleration pretty much instantaneous in Sport mode. But then I'm probably comparing it with my experience in recent years with turbo diesel cars, where after pressing the accelerator you had a pleasant restful interlude before the car would suddenly begin to move faster when the turbo kicked in. The IS300h has no turbo but it has electric motors which provide maximum torque from stationary. What you think of the IS300h will probably depend on what you're used to previously.

If you're using Eco or Normal mode the engine will usually not be running when you're stationary. So when you press the accelerator you briefly only have power from the electric motors. These respond instantaneously but they're probably providing less than half the car's total power. A fraction of a second later, the engine starts up and adds to the torque; but the delay might add to the feeling of lag if you're trying to accelerate hard.

But I find that in Sport mode the engine generally keeps running when you come to a stop. This makes full power available from standstill. Added to which the computer makes the accelerator response much sharper in Sport mode. Eco mode is designed for use in traffic where you're repeatedly stopping and starting and you never need maximum acceleration. It also makes the accelerator response much more leisurely.

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21 minutes ago, Thackeray said:

I have to say I've found the acceleration pretty much instantaneous in Sport mode. But then I'm probably comparing it with my experience in recent years with turbo diesel cars, where after pressing the accelerator you had a pleasant restful interlude before the car would suddenly begin to move faster when the turbo kicked in. The IS300h has no turbo but it has electric motors which provide maximum torque from stationary. What you think of the IS300h will probably depend on what you're used to previously.

If you're using Eco or Normal mode the engine will usually not be running when you're stationary. So when you press the accelerator you briefly only have power from the electric motors. These respond instantaneously but they're probably providing less than half the car's total power. A fraction of a second later, the engine starts up and adds to the torque; but the delay might add to the feeling of lag if you're trying to accelerate hard.

But I find that in Sport mode the engine generally keeps running when you come to a stop. This makes full power available from standstill. Added to which the computer makes the accelerator response much sharper in Sport mode. Eco mode is designed for use in traffic where you're repeatedly stopping and starting and you never need maximum acceleration. It also makes the accelerator response much more leisurely.

Totally agree with this - I have had numerous BMW performance petrol models with auto boxes, which are recognised as being among the best auto boxes, and any delay in the IS 300h is certainly no more than a normal auto box when it needs to change down the gears to accelerate. I've also driven numerous other cars with auto boxes - some of those premium brands - where the wait for the auto box to change down seemed to be an eternity. Also, yes in Sport mode it seems to deploys all the Battery energy to accelerate and doesn't shut the engine off as much as the other modes when stopped and so the response to throttle input is quicker. Another thing that I have found with the 300h is that it's much more pleasant to drive when the you sort of squeeze the accelerator pedal, although fairy rapidly, to max rather than flooring it as fast as possible. In the latter case of just flooring it the engine revs will rise very quickly to max and stay there as the speed increases (still probably no worse than an traditional auto box dropping down a few cogs and then the engine going to max revs and all that entails) whereas "squeezing" to max throttle seems to enable the engine revs to rise more in line with the speed increases. The 300h is certainly a car that needs to be driven a little differently to traditional turbo engine auto box engines - that's no bad thing and doesn't mean slower progress is made and so once that is accepted and understood the enjoyment is so much more - but something where it loses those star ratings as I think those generally testing the car have very limited time and try and drive it like the other cars they are used to.

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On 8 March 2018 at 9:06 AM, AJChinn said:

So I've had a few cars over the years mostly being sporty hatchbacks in my younger years however since having a family I've moved onto saloons. I recently parted with my BMW 320D which I really enjoyed while it lasted however the DPF packed in amongst a plethora of other things going wrong. 

 

If your happy with the performance of the 320D your find the IS300H is very similar in performance with better 50-70mph performance, I did a video of our IS300H when it was new.

Just don't expect it perform like a 335i or similar, the drivetrain 100% has lag, and lots of it, ruins the car for me interms of dynamic response/fun. The chassis and suspension damping is fab, but the delay in throttle response makes it almost impossible to have any real fun out of corners as you simply cannot predict when/how much power is going to be delivered. But most of the time it's not an issue, in traffic/normal driving the drive train is fine, if your just looking for acceleration performance on M-ways etc than a bit of lag isn't an issue. 

 

 

 

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