baviaannl

Lexus IS250 SE-L Build Thread

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Hi

 

I've been meaning to start this thread for a while now although progress has been slower than I would of liked (for reasons I'll explain later)

 

In 2015 I bought a Honda CRV Executive, brand new.  It had every option you could possibly imagine from road sign recognition to radar cruise control and I loved it..... for a while 🙂  After a year and a half I started to get bored, it felt a little agricultural at times and motorway performance felt like steering a boat around, I started to get itchy feet around that time although I had spent a huge amount of money of the vehicle and my wife insisted we kept it longer.  The truth of the matter was that she enjoyed driving it so I had to put any thoughts of a replacement to one side.  Fast forward to May 2017 and we'd just moved into a new house, it was further away from my wife's work, therefor we needed a second car in the household, I wasn't quiet ready to get rid of the CRV so I bought my wife a car to use for work etc... Forward again to early 2018, I'd finally become bored to death with the Honda so started looking around at options.

 

I didn't want to go the new car route, I knew that I'd already lost 12k on the CRV through depreciation despite it's low mileage and perfect condition.  I just wanted something fun, something that was a decent motorway cruiser and most importantly had a good record for reliability.  I wanted to use a big wedge of the money I'd get for the CRV for home improvements and realistically wanted to keep any purchase under 6k.  I hit the internet for weeks on end researching various options.... 3 series, 5 series BMW's, Mercs and there was plenty to chose from.  The problem I had related to my budget, most of these cars had numerous and expensive issues to look out for, as a result I didn't feel very confident.  I stumbled upon the IS250 as a potential purchase when I expanded my search terms on Autotrader, I was drawn to the styling and was happy with its performance, the more I researched, the happier I was with the prospect, I then joined this forum with a few questions and was sold at that point.  I got a got idea of what to look out for (typical issues) and armed with this information I stated my search.  I knew it had to be an SE-L as I was coming from the CRV with every toy you could imagine, Sat Nav was also a  must, I was very impressed with the spec on the SE-L, it puts some modern cars to shame!

 

The CRV went on the market the next morning, 24 hours later it was gone so my search picked up a new level of urgency, I went out that day to look at 2, they were both pretty bad examples, used and abused and not much in the way of history, not the best of starts!  I called a London based dealer who gets his stock from Lexus (part exchanges that are 10 years or older) regarding a car listed on Auotrader, as it turned out he had sold it 30 mins prior to my call, I registered with him then gave up for the day.  The following morning he called me back regarding a car he had just received.  10 years old, 70k on the clock, 100% Lexus service history and 1 previous owner, he sent me a whatsapp video of a walk around and 10 minutes later I was on my way.

 

I arrived and found her sitting outside his compound

 

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Looked good although a little dirty in Agento Ice with Oakham Ivory interior.  The dealer had warned me that the alloys were in horrible condition..  He wasn't wrong!  All 4 were similar to this image

 

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There were also 4 different tyres on the car with varying degree's of wear, comparing them with the service history didn't make much sense I feel the dealer had removed a decent set and replaced them before I arrived, didn't have any proof of this although the history showed that the car has had Bridgestones from day 1 including a new tyre in January that was nowhere to be seen.  I didn't mind so much as it gave me some negotiating leg room.  The service history was exceptional, the car had been under Lexus service plans for 10 years so everything had been done, the major spark plug service as well as a recent water pump replacement, it made me feel pretty confident.  Took it out for a test drive and really enjoyed it, smooth as anything, I was amazed how quiet it was in the cabin!  As I turned back to the dealership I knew I'd be taking it home 🙂  Went back to his office for a cuppa, struck a deal and headed back to Kent.  Hadn't been driving long when I spotted a National tyre centre, drove in and paid for a Hunter Alignment, the tracking was already spot on, a very minor adjustment was made and I continued home.

 

Over the next few days I was making plans to get the wheels sorted, they completely spoiled the look of the car and I found it embarrassing showing off the motor and people looking at the ugly things.  Before I got a chance to do anything I had a bit of a disaster, badly broke my collar bone and was instructed by my consultant that it needed proper rest for 6 weeks!  I had to leave it on the drive for this period and was unable to drive or do anything, very depressing that was 😄  Once I had the go ahead from my consultant, I booked it in for a full alloy refurb and dropped it in a few days later with a brand new set of Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymetric 3's.  I decided to go for black gloss alloys and 3 days later she was ready for collection.

 

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I couldn't believe the difference this made to it's handling, it felt like a new car and my enjoyment of the vehicle had just increased ten-fold!

 

The following day we went for a family day out to the beach and although the drive was fantastic (even my wife commented) I was less than impressed with the built in entertainment system!  Although the Mark Levinson sounds brilliant, the system in general is crap!  The Sat Nav was constantly trying to send us off of the motorway then instructing us to rejoin, it reminded me how bad DVD based systems are, I knew I couldn't live with it so that evening I started researching options.   The choices were very few and far between, I could install a double din below the factory system although I didn't consider that safe, it was far too low, it was at that stage I stumbled upon an American company called Grom and marvelled at their VLine V2 product, at £500 it wasn't cheap although it ticked every box for me so I ordered it that evening.  I self installed it the next day then spent a while customising it meet my needs.  I made a short clip showing it's functions, I honestly can't explain just how good it is, it's now better than ANY car's built in system I've seen and most importantly 100% reliable.

 

 

I did have a stoke of bad luck 2 days after the installation, my touch screen died!  It still displays just fine although won't register any touch at all.  A quick Google search showed that this is a known issue.  I was mightily fed up though after dropping half a grand on a system I now couldn't use although I then had a brain wave, what if I could install a track ball style device to control the system such as you get on the newer Lexus and other vehicles, I decided on the Kensington Orbit Mouse which funnily enough had the same colour scheme as the Lexus wood.  I placed it on the cover for the drink holder, its a very natural position coming off of the arm rest so it's comfortable to use, as pictured

 

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The Orbit Mouse features 2 buttons on either side of the device meaning that both driver and front passenger can control it.  Again, its a brilliant solution, feels so natural and also means you can fully concentrate when driving without reaching forward to push the screen.  The mouse also features touch scrolling by moving your finger around the outer ring making it easy to navigate down album lists/web pages etc.  

 

I will get around to replacing the touch screen, although I don't need it... you know how it is, don't like the thought of having a defect on the car 🙂

 

I have a few jobs planned, I want to get the leather cleaned up properly as it's pretty dirty, should be doing that this week, I also want to get a dash cam installed, need to do some research before purchase.

 

I will keep this updated with progress as I continue.

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Thanks for taking the time to post. While I’m not an IS owner, your comments and feedback on the Vline2 are really interesting as I’m considering one for my GS450.

How was the installation process and how did you get on positioning the GPS antenna and microphone? Any tips for the unwary/ham-fisted?

Your car looks great and I hope it gives you many years of satisfaction.

Best wishes.


Sent from my Iphone using Tapatalk

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Congratulations on the IS purchase, identical to what I have just bought only black leather, arn't they wonderful cars! I am delighted with mine.

I'm very interested in the system you have bought as I feel the same with mine, the sat nav very much needs an update, as does other areas, how was the installation? 

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Does anyone know if the rear camera still works with vline 2 system, it looks like a really good piece of kit, might be tempted to purchase one😀

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1 minute ago, Bongo said:

Does anyone know if the rear camera still works with vline 2 system, it looks like a really good piece of kit, might be tempted to purchase one😀

Yes, the Vline is an additional system, all factory functions work as usual.  When you select reverse gear, the camera operates as usual.

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Brilliant, thanks for that, only had the car for one day, already spending or thinking of spending lots of money on it😀

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53 minutes ago, Bongo said:

Brilliant, thanks for that, only had the car for one day, already spending or thinking of spending lots of money on it😀

It's a slippery slope, isn't it 😄

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13 hours ago, Odysseus said:

Thanks for taking the time to post. While I’m not an IS owner, your comments and feedback on the Vline2 are really interesting as I’m considering one for my GS450.

How was the installation process and how did you get on positioning the GPS antenna and microphone? Any tips for the unwary/ham-fisted? emoji846.png

Your car looks great and I hope it gives you many years of satisfaction.

Best wishes.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I'll take a few photos in the morning and include a few tips.  Was raining pretty bad today so didn't get the chance.

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brilliant thread, thanks for sharing

that vline2 upgrade looks really good, sorely tempted

 

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Interesting read/back story.

Will keep an eye on the thread and wish you all the best for the coming months and years with your IS.

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Black wheels look absolutely horrible in my opinion but then again, that's my opinion not yours. They just spoil the look of the car and from a distance look like basic black steel wheels that have lost their plastic wheel trims.

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Just now, bernieeccles said:

Black wheels look absolutely horrible in my opinion but then again, that's my opinion not yours. They just spoil the look of the car and from a distance look like basic black steel wheels that have lost their plastic wheel trims.

Cheers, as you don't like them I'll immediately go out and get them done silver as I couldn't bear the thought that someone doesn't agree with my decisions 😄 : D

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5 hours ago, baviaannl said:

Cheers, as you don't like them I'll immediately go out and get them done silver as I couldn't bear the thought that someone doesn't agree with my decisions 😄 : D

Good chap ! you know it makes sense.

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