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Hi everyone, I thought I should share with you my honest thoughts so far since I bought this car on 24thDecember 2018, after leaving BMW due to a number of issues that BMW failed to fix serious water leak with my former F10 series 5 (520D SE), and also due to the fact that this car was not ULEZ approved, I was determined to buy a more environmental friendly vehicle on my next purchase. I did not want to buy an pure electric car due to many ongoing issues with electric charging stations that are not been serviced in the UK, meaning there would always be a constant range anxiety in my mind and also, I did not want to buy a PHEV or pure electric car, where I would have to plug it for charging as somehow, the plugging is not a step in the right direction – in my honest opinion wireless charging would be a better option or self-charging like Hybrid. So it was no brainer that Lexus was to be my first choice to move away from BMW. 

 

Choosing the car

Well, I had my eyes on an IS300 H (F sport) to start with, as I think, it is a good looking car, looking sporty from the exterior and inside, but having driven mid-size cars in the past few years like E class and 5 series, I thought it might still be too small (I am a big guy). So from browsing further, I then discovered that my local Lexus in Edgware Road was selling a nice white GS 450H (2014), with a fairly low mileage and its price was also reasonable. I then arranged a meeting with the salesman and was impressed with the quality interior and with the settings and options this car has, which were standard compared to BMW and Mercedes, which one would have to pay for extra options. I was very much interested in this vehicle and the sale was concluded, part exchanging my BMW and the service was done very smoothly indeed. They got the car ready for pick up on Christmas eve and I was extremely excited to be driving for the first time (as I did not do a test drive – I had read and viewed so many youtube videos that I was convinced it would be a perfect replacement car).

 

Experience with Lexus – sales and after sales

Staff have been extremely professional and were listening to my needs and have been rather exceptional from start to finish. For example, the car had some scratched alloys (which were minor when I bought the car as is), there was some minor paint work in the rear bumper that needed to be resprayed, the front headlights to be rebuffed as there was some smear marks on the glass and they took the car and gave me a courtesy vehicle for a few days so all the work was completed to full satisfaction. And the car was cleaned inside and outside. 

I had an issue with the Battery running flat in early February 19, so I called Lexus road assistance and they attended at my house within 20 minutes and found that the Battery had to be replaced. So the car was back at Lexus workshop and they had to order a Battery within 2 working days, they unfortunately did not have a courtesy vehicle but the manager offered to take me home from the workshop and I truly was not expecting this, as I was ok to book a taxi from the workshop to go home (I also did not really need another car just for 2 days as my wife does have a car so I could cope accordingly).  The staff were amazing to be honest and I commended them by email to Lexus for going for the extra mile assisting me – as I honestly do not think that Mercedes Benz nor BMW would have done this if I was in this position. The Battery was replaced (free of charge) as part of the first 12 months warranty and the car was cleaned (inside and outside!).

Now, my car is still due to be back at Lexus in order to replace the rear windscreen as some filaments were damaged by the previous owner who had done an aftermarket tinting. Again Lexus staff happily booked the vehicle to have the windscreen replaced under warranty and a courtesy vehicle will be provided. I know that there have been a few issues (not major) but I have full confidence with the team that the car will be looked after from start to finish (unlike my experience with BMW dealership)

 

Exterior look design

At first, I thought the GS model looks a bit too big, but when I saw the car in white with brown leather, it got me and I was sold and I am truly in love with this amazing Japanese machine. 

There are a few things that I think it really cool: first I love the fact that it is keyless, I keep the key in my pocket and the car unlocks when I put my hand in the door handle and locks when I pressed on the small gap of the door handle. At night, the side mirrors automatically lit when I get closer to the vehicle, which makes the experience truly unique and exciting to get in.

The front grill is ok, at first I was not too keen or thought it lacks of sharpness or aggressiveness but it is forgiven with the LED lights, which look really cool. The doors are big and bulky and feels very solid and well-built. The rear looks fantastic – I love the rear lights and they look very stylish. My only criticism is that the rear trunk does not fully open when unlocking it and the button is not in the centre but located in the righthand side.

The boot size is reasonable to be fair, the BMW 5 series (F10) has a bigger size boot but I can live with this acceptable size, and it is a wider boot compare to my previous car.

 

Interior design

I do think the leather is of higher quality than any leather seats I have had in all my previous cars (Mercedes and BMW) and you do feel you are seating in a rather high class vehicle and extremely luxurious but with simplicity ie not too many buttons. I love the fact that this car is fitted with some pads between the seats and middle console, which is so cool as I have in the past dropped money in the gap or drop my phone and this is a genius and simple idea that says a lot about Lexus. The comfort is superb and I love the fact that the seat and steering wheel automatically adjust when I turn the car engine on and off and when I put my seat belt on. It feels like we are in a cockpit ready to take off. The clock looks very stylish too and it is a great cabin to be inside when it is day or night time. I love the white glow all around and the dashboard looks very beautiful (when on Eco mode or Sport mode).

Only one criticism is that the seat is maybe a bit too upright or maybe because I had a BMW car before and the sport seat adjustment allow you to bring it right down like a sport car. I understand that this Lexus model is not a sport car but more like a limousine car so I am getting used to the new height of my seat (even though it is adjusted to the lowest level). The visibility around is very good and the rear and front sensors including the rear camera makes the car very easy to manoeuvre around and in tight places.

The sat nav and interface system is also a very good alternative than the previous systems I had with professional sat nav screen with BMW but, where Lexus beats BMW is where the following options are all standard (unlike BMW where you would have to pay an annual subscription and it does get quite expensive): emails and texts automatically received and can be read out when driving (you would have to pay this with BMW), speed limit notification, traffic prediction (you would have to pay this with BMW called RTTI) Bluetooth connection to allow spotify to be connected, DAB radio. The display is actually good enough to see clearly where you are going with the satnav and when it is used for directions, the system is extremely intuitive and I really like it. I do not mind the mouse on the console, contrary to quite a few negative comments some car journalists have said, I actually think it is very easy to use and anyone can get around it. You can adjust the sensitivity of it and so far, it runs really well. I also love the home button, which allows me to view at the same time what music I am playing with sat nav and air con. It is very clever indeed as I tend to leave in this home page most of the time, unless of course I use the sat nav.

 

The driving experience

It is definitely something else than I have driven before, the car feels tranquil and agile and the suspension are very soft (compare to the BMW) like silk and it is such a pleasant place to be when driving around. I could drive long distance and know that I will be fine and not have a backache. The car really is agile and turns around corners will well and strong. I love the way it drives you around and it reminds me of the rolls Royce (a friend of mine had an old Rolls Royce) how it drives.

 

Engine (best bit, I think)

Well before this Lexus and BMW, I had an E63AMG performance Pack with AMG W212 (E Class) and it was a 6.3L naturally aspirated engine and drove this car for nearly 3 years. I had lots of fun with it but the less fun was having to go to the petrol station every 2-3 days. It was mainly running at 10-15mpg in town (sometimes I could achieve 31mpg doing motorway trips). And the reason that I am mentioning this AMG car is that this Lexus reminded me of this car on motorway when overtaking – gosh it is really pushing and is a monster making a big noise with the engine – lovely sound I have to say.

I absolutely love this engine and it works superbly in town and on motorway. In town, it drives well and silently a lot of times with the Hybrid running on Electric engine up to just under 40mpg and it is remarkable how they have achieved this blend between fuel engine and electric engine. It runs so smoothly and recharge the Battery automatically that it actually encourages you as a driver to drive more sensibly and I have achieved so far 25.2mpg in town driving short trips and under 30mpg. On motorway, I achieved 38.1mpg and I am sure I could slightly improve this figure using the cruise control.

 

On the whole, it is a car that I very much look forward getting into daily and it gives me the buzz and I feel that it is going to give me more excitement in months and years to come driving it. 

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Well if that isn't a wonderful testimony to the quality and engineering of Lexus I don't know what is.  Maybe you should tell Herr Jeremy Clarkson as I don't think he'd agree!

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53 minutes ago, Nico72 said:

I love the fact that this car is fitted with some pads between the seats and middle console, which is so cool as I have in the past dropped money in the gap or drop my phone and this is a genius and simple idea that says a lot about Lexus.

I'd forgotten that I was also impressed by this simple idea when I first got my IS300h. It's a small detail but it shows that someone has thought about the problem of losing coins down the side of the seats and actually gone to the trouble of coming up with a solution. Or maybe they've copied it from another car though I've never seen it before on other makes. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Thackeray said:

I'd forgotten that I was also impressed by this simple idea when I first got my IS300h. It's a small detail but it shows that someone has thought about the problem of losing coins down the side of the seats and actually gone to the trouble of coming up with a solution. Or maybe they've copied it from another car though I've never seen it before on other makes. 

 

Glad the IS has this fitted also and I agree with you. Such a clever thought and God knows how often I accidentally dropped coins and could not retrieve them...

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1 hour ago, Nico72 said:

Glad the IS has this fitted also and I agree with you. Such a clever thought and God knows how often I accidentally dropped coins and could not retrieve them...

Nico did you pick that up from Lexus Colindale? Mid 40s mileage and a full LCD screen I believe? I did take a look at that car during my project to replace my E60 523i. Was very tempted but just decided it would get me into too much trouble with all that power on tap! Was a little out of my budget too If I'm being honest. Looked at 4 GS series before I went for mine. 

Interesting how you ended up getting frustrated with your Beemer. Same here. Idling issues that just wouldn't go away even with some £££'s being thrown. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, superatticman said:

Nico did you pick that up from Lexus Colindale? Mid 40s mileage and a full LCD screen I believe? I did take a look at that car during my project to replace my E60 523i. Was very tempted but just decided it would get me into too much trouble with all that power on tap! Was a little out of my budget too If I'm being honest. Looked at 4 GS series before I went for mine. 

Interesting how you ended up getting frustrated with your Beemer. Same here. Idling issues that just wouldn't go away even with some £££'s being thrown. 

 

 

Yes that was the car! I was actually looking forward to having a car with a bit more power but with the same economy of a 520d.

Regarding the issues with the BMW: it is a bit of a long story but I had to bring my car twice to have it inspected why there was a build up of water in the footwell front and back passenger seats (left side). Back in November 18, the first time it went to BMW approved dealership (Borehamwood), they kept the car for a week and half and then stated that after a number of water testing, they believed that the front windscreen that I had changed at one point (due to stone chip) was not sealed back properly - so I got the work done with Autoglass fitting a brand new windscreen but then a few days later, still damp smell inside, with condensation on the left handside of my windows front and back, then we had torrential rain, the water built up and rose above carpet level like a swimming pool - I was spending my time draining the water out that night trying to minimise the damage.

The next morning, I called BMW and brought the vehicle again, this time they said they would need to pull the carpet out to investigate where the water comes from. I had done a lot of research online and found that this issue is a known problem to BMW with the 5 series F10/F11 and previous generations ie grommet (round plastic cap with a sealant around it that is located under the glove box under the carpet) is known to fail at some point due to design fault (BMW does not want to admit this) and they are lots of drivers complaining about this known water leak inside the cabin.

BMW kept my car for nearly 2 weeks (got a courtesy BMW car as I had a BMW warranty - and good I did this actually) and when I chased them after a week, they said that I would need to pay £800 + VAT to get the carpet job out. I refused as I informed them that I had an extended BMW warranty and that I should not be charged this much for just pulling the carpet. So I informed them that I would pick my car back immediately. BMW said ok, could you come in one hour as we need to prep your vehicle. I said fine. I got there and they bring the car at the front courtyard and I was with my 4 year old daughter, I was about to put the car seat in the back and to my horror, I discovered that there was about 10 centimetres of water above the carpet (goldfish would have been very happy to swim). I became angry and demanded to meet with the general manager of this workshop and told the BMW staff that it was utterly unacceptable. One of the staff, who drove my car to the courtyard, (and he would have heard the water moving back and fourth when driving it) said: why are you upset? you did not pay for any work. I firmly said that was not the point.

The general manager was present then and saw how my car was left with all the water in the footwell. And I said that it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I brought it to an approved Dealership thinking that my vehicle would be cherished and well looked after and that it was completely the opposite. I had threatened them that I would raise this matter to BMW head office. The general manager said they would remedy the situation. First, he said they would get the water out and that he would bring the car back if I did not want to pay the amount requested. I told the manager that I had completely lost confidence in their ability to fix my car properly. The manager did his best to calm me down (the staff who was out of line, saying that I should not have been upset because I did not pay anything, had to apologise for what he said in front the general manager).

I waited for about 30mns and they bring the car back and then I noticed the front of the vehicle (which I did not notice before) was not right: the left headlamp was full of water inside and heavy condensation. I did not bring the car in that state (in fact it was well looked after and cherished) and so I brought the manager back. He came back and he said that it was 'quite normal' and that it would go away in time. I turned the engine on to check if any fault would show and it did immediately shown 2 faults with the headlight (again the staff should have known that something was wrong and should not have brought it in). The manager then said, his team would inspect the fault and reckoned that it could be a lightbulb that needed changing.

I knew it was much more serious than this so I waited a bit more and he came back saying that he did not have any good news: the headlight unit had to be completely replaced and he said it would be so free of charge and offered to fix my car with the water issue meeting half half.

At this point, I did not want to drive the car in this state and felt it was my opportunity to insist he gets the work sorted there and then properly. He said absolutely and he apologised for the negative experience I had endured so far. He then said he did not have a vehicle for me. I told him that he would have to do better than this, as I am with my daughter waiting in the workshop for over an hour and that quite frankly it could be any vehicle including a non-BMW.

The manager did his best pulling strings and got me a brand new 520D touring sport (only had 38 miles on the clock) which he took from the main sales department and said it took it out of the sales showroom for me to drive until my car was fixed. Then within 5 days, I got a call saying that the car was fully repaired. So I reinspected the vehicle and found the carpet fully dried no sign of damp and the manager said that the grommet was cause of this fault and he said that they 'fixed the headlamp' without specifying further (they actually did not replace it but they have done some repair to it as the headlamp unit was not new - old stone chips were still visible) and he said there was nothing to pay. Then he informed me that he would call me back to give me a better deal on my next car purchase (as I had informed them I was in the process of buying a new BMW series 5 as a replacement to find a newer BMW) but sadly (for BMW) he did not call me back. So when my BMW car was back, I knew I had to sell it quickly - so Lexus was the car to go for! 

The funny thing is that I got a phone call from BMW high Wycombe 2 weeks ago (where I bought the car from) asking if I was interested in buying another BMW... I took the pleasure explaining all the latest issues and the BMW staff was unimpressed with the service and stated she would raise this matter to BMW head office as it was an awful experience and that she was 'sad' to hear that I left BMW for Lexus. I said don't be sad, because actually it could be the best thing that happened to me, without this ordeal, I probably would have stayed with BMW and never gone to Lexus (or not so soon) and I informed her that the service I have received from Lexus so far is something that has made feel much happier and I do not think BMW could match that... There was a long pause and she did not know what else to say...

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Wow that's a hell of a tale of ineptitude on a number of levels. Recorded issues with any design should surely be a positive as its surely the first port of call for any investigative work? The fact BMW appear to be in denial about a humble grommet says a lot about their attitude to customer service. The E60 actually has a known issue with a plenum drain blocking up and potentially trashing the ECU! Yet BMW do not include it on their checklist and simply won't acknowledge that its a problem. In your case any problem with water ingress and they should have been straight to the grommet rather than dancing around the issue, blaming the third party fitment of a windscreen. Its customer care problems like that which can totally ruin any confidence in future ownership of their products. I was considering a newer BMW 5 series as no question they are comfy and decent to drive. Ditto the A6. However I just couldn't stomach the thought of owning another car with too many potential problems and a dealer network that has its head in the sand. 

Hopefully your new GS should not given anything like the problems that the BMW did. About the only thing that frustrates me about the design of the GS is the factory alloy wheels which are absolutely ripe for scuffing the rims. I noticed you mentioned yours were in a bad state prior to purchase. Ditto mine of which were given a good refurb prior to purchase. I know its down to the driver to stay away from that kerb but most cars I've owned are a bit more forgiving. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, superatticman said:

Wow that's a hell of a tale of ineptitude on a number of levels. Recorded issues with any design should surely be a positive as its surely the first port of call for any investigative work? The fact BMW appear to be in denial about a humble grommet says a lot about their attitude to customer service. The E60 actually has a known issue with a plenum drain blocking up and potentially trashing the ECU! Yet BMW do not include it on their checklist and simply won't acknowledge that its a problem. In your case any problem with water ingress and they should have been straight to the grommet rather than dancing around the issue, blaming the third party fitment of a windscreen. Its customer care problems like that which can totally ruin any confidence in future ownership of their products. I was considering a newer BMW 5 series as no question they are comfy and decent to drive. Ditto the A6. However I just couldn't stomach the thought of owning another car with too many potential problems and a dealer network that has its head in the sand. 

Hopefully your new GS should not given anything like the problems that the BMW did. About the only thing that frustrates me about the design of the GS is the factory alloy wheels which are absolutely ripe for scuffing the rims. I noticed you mentioned yours were in a bad state prior to purchase. Ditto mine of which were given a good refurb prior to purchase. I know its down to the driver to stay away from that kerb but most cars I've owned are a bit more forgiving. 

 

 

 

Thanks Adam, I fully agree with you on the issues with BMW and it is a shame that they do not take these matters in hand to resolve persisting issues once and for all rather than ignoring them. I could not bear another thought with any new issue having to bring the car back again for any new fault. It is a shame because, I did enjoy the 5 series, it was a great car to drive as well. But Lexus GS puts it onto another level and way above it. So glad I did this change.

The GS had some minor scratches on the alloys and they were there before I bought the car, but I had decided to take the car before Christmas and book this work early January as I had no confidence in keeping my BMW car for another 2 weeks in case additional issues start appearing from the water leak.

So on second thought, and listening to my wife, she said 'get the Lexus now and enjoy the new car and forget all previous issues with the BMW'. It really felt good when I did that. You are right these alloys are fairly sensitive and prone to get scratch easily. I am a very careful owner driving away from the kerb and I have learnt my lessons with previous cars such as my AMG car (W212 E class) a few years ago, which had diamond cut alloys and of high quality, I once tried to get one repaired and the repair did not look the same as all other alloys that I had to buy a brand new one (£750 each!) so from that day onward, I have been religiously driving away from any kerb...

 

 

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