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So, it's been exactly a week since I purchased my 2014 IS300h on 37k miles and with the F-Sport trim. I know people on here like to hear about the experience of Lexus 'newbies' so thought I would share my thoughts for those interested:

What I like/love:

- The refinement - It's so quiet and civilized in the cabin that now the slightest rattle (from my children's baby seats) catches my attention (and also mildly irritates me) :-D Even when you floor it and the engine revs, with windows closed its not that bad. A drastic change from the previous louder than normal 2005 diesel. I also like that it feels solid which was something my previous car lacked.

- The convenience and tech - love the double edged sword of comfort entry (convenience v security - though I have bought a Faraday box). Really enjoy the seat memorization and their comfort as well as the smell of the full leather (dark rose). Enjoy using the rear camera (and wonder how anyone can do without it as visibility isn't great through back window).

Styling - still loving the F-Sport styling and the look of the dash when it's dark and it all lights up (though I don't like it quite so much in the day).

- Fuel economy - so far getting mid 40s which is good I think. It's similar mpg to the much smaller, much less refined BMW 120d I had prior. My wife drives it as well and I notice every time I come back to it after she has had it the Battery seems lower than when I have it (perhaps she's not braking early enough for the regeneration or just using it more pottering about at low speeds).  

 

What I've noticed:

- Acceleration doesn't feel as brisk as my previous BMW 120d. Accepted, it was a much lighter car and has a turbo but on paper they weren't too far off and this one has +40 BHP (at 220bhp overall) and a lot of people say the IS300h is quite fast in sport mode. What I notice though is that it doesn't feel fast or you don't get that push into seat acceleration, but then when I look at the speedo I'm doing 70mph so maybe it's a perception thing? I do notice a definite lag though between putting your foot down and the acceleration. Another thing to mention is I haven't found this 'kick down switch' people talk about on autos in this. Kind of like a notch for extra power at the bottom of the pedal. Floored it today to see and felt no such thing. Am I doing something wrong?

Oh and finally on this topic something weird I've noticed. In sport mode if you release your foot from the accelerator pedal (to coast) , weirdly it seems like the car almost instantly slows down a little  and loses a bit of momentum - much quicker than if you were in normal mode. It's really weird, I tested it a few times this morning. Has anyone else noticed this?

- Sound from Dolby system - unfortunately for me, the car I found with most of the things I wanted and at a reasonable price point doesn't have the Mark L sound system. I find the Dolby one a bit lacking in bass and when I turn it up sometimes there is quite a bit of resonance and I feel like I may damage the speaker. Funny thing is when I play certain music it sounds a bit better so not sure if its because I'm streaming from Spotify when its bad and better when the song is downloaded? Wondering if I can fit a small active sub or if I shouldn't dare with all the hybrid electronics?  

- Navigation has an ugly light brown background on the map during the day but looks nice at night when it changes to the 'night color scheme' which is much less in your face. Is there a way to change the background color in the day mode anyone? Even my wife doesn't like it and she is quite easy going on such things. I on the other hand...:-D 

- Cup holders in weird position - just makes it uncomfortable for front passenger but someone provided me with potential solution of a cup holder bin (its for an Auris, but may fit).

- Music currently being played via Bluetooth doesn't update on the screen when next song comes on (but some helpful people on here tried to help me with this). One said when you plug it into the USB and use it in that mode its up to date, you get slightly better sound quality and screen art - which is true. But its a bit of a faff plugging the phone in each time - which they also acknowledged. 

Well those are my thoughts after week 1. Would love to hear what you think!

Cheers

Ken

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I think you can change the colour of the general screen background from brown to blue or grey in the settings. General settings if I remember correctly.

Have you checked to see if the sw version is up to date? Post what the version is on here and someone will advise. Later versions fixed some of the bugs and usability.

 

 

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Make sure you have played with the equalizer settings for the sound. I find the premium nav sound system with the 8 speakers is very good, very little difference between it and ML whereas the 6 speaker on cars without premium nav was awful.

Also, you can change the contrast/brightness of the screen which helps with the sat nav colours. Theres a small blue button on the home page in one of the corners (cant remember which one

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You can also adjust the brightness of the instruments for daytime use. Adding an active sub if required will not in any way affect the hybrid system.

John.

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Reading this thread makes me miss my last is300h. I doubt very much you felt a push into the seat on fast acceleration in a 120d. My 300h felt very quick off the mark when floored it from a standstill. I only did it when I had a minimum of 50% Battery. There is a notch in the pedal but you have to really push your foot to get it and it is noticeable. Glad you're loving your 300h. Many happy miles in it to you.

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On 9/7/2019 at 10:40 AM, Ken83 said:

<SNIP>

Acceleration doesn't feel as brisk as my previous BMW 120d. Accepted, it was a much lighter car and has a turbo but on paper they weren't too far off and this one has +40 BHP (at 220bhp overall) and a lot of people say the IS300h is quite fast in sport mode. What I notice though is that it doesn't feel fast or you don't get that push into seat acceleration, but then when I look at the speedo I'm doing 70mph so maybe it's a perception thing? I do notice a definite lag though between putting your foot down and the acceleration. Another thing to mention is I haven't found this 'kick down switch' people talk about on autos in this. Kind of like a notch for extra power at the bottom of the pedal. Floored it today to see and felt no such thing. Am I doing something wrong?

It isn't as fast as a "regular" car with 220 BHP, but having said that, the power delivery is deceptive such that it feels slower. In 2013, Autocar tested the IS300H against the then current BMW 320d and the performance was comparable.

The transmission lag is also something that annoys me. You can access the "kickdown switch" by just pressing very hard on the accelerator but it doesn't really make a whole lot of difference to the lag. Nor does putting it into sport mode or using the manual override on the gear lever / "flappy" paddles. The truth is you just have to adapt your driving to the lag. When this isn't possible - e.g. in a big hurry -  it is just frustrating: try to accelerate into a gap in traffic, press accelerator, lag, not going to make it, release accelerator, get rewarded for your aggression/impatience with a mini acceleration even though you've backed off. My last car was a manual 2.0 naturally aspirated petrol and was much better to drive in these scenarios. The solution - for me anyway - is to adopt a more relaxed driving style.

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In sport mode (unless you're in EV mode) the default gear ratio is set higher than in eco and normal, so you will get more engine braking and hence feel the car is breaking more. There's a trick you can do to bypass this, by flicking from sport->eco->sport, and that should drop the rev counter to the bottom and give you less engine breaking feel.

The kick down switch should definitely be there, and does give you max power very quickly and the car will seriously pull. However, you have to press down quite hard after hitting the floor, the button is quite firm.

If you want to remove some of the lag in auto mode, try backing your foot off of the accelerator to reduce revs before accelerating again. This should give you a better torque response, which is lower down in the RPMs. Also, using the paddles in sport and S/Manaul mode will absolutely take some lag out of the gear box. S1 and S2 are you performance ranges, and the IS does respond well.

I have the premium 10 speaker sound system and think it's superb, the dealership also told me in the IS there's isn't a big difference between the 10 speaker premium sound and the ML. They also told me that you have to really crank the ML to get the most out of it, but then it's quite harsh on the old ear drums.

I've posted about IS fuel economy many times, but I average between 50-55mpg once the tank is dry, and that's all year around. The fuel economy and performance of the IS are quite impressive for a petrol saloon. I agree with a lot of people that the car should be faster given it can deliever 223HP. However, if you floor the car (even with kick down) it takes ages to reach 6000rpm. You can get to 5k rpm quite quickly, but it will then take quite some time to reach full power at 6k rpm. I believe this has something to do with the gear box and the Battery being the limiting factor and the car needing to build the power slowly at high rpm to ensure it doesn't go flat, at least that my guessing based on what I've read/heard.

I'm really hoping the updated 2021 IS will have more torque/HP and a slightly more responsive gear box (fuel eco will surely be better). Give me an IS300h with 0-60 at roughly 7 seconds and I'll be a very happy man. 

Hope that help!

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23 hours ago, LordByronUK said:

if you floor the car (even with kick down) it takes ages to reach 6000rpm. You can get to 5k rpm quite quickly, but it will then take quite some time to reach full power at 6k rpm. I believe this has something to do with the gear box and the battery being the limiting factor and the car needing to build the power slowly at high rpm to ensure it doesn't go flat, at least that my guessing based on what I've read/heard.

My guess is also that it's to do with the e-CVT. This page shows how the e-CVT works. If you scroll to the bottom of the page there's a simulation where you can adjust the speed of the electric motors and the internal combustion engine (ICE). Although this simulation is for an early Prius, the principle is the same.

When you adjust the speed of the car on this simulation to 20 mph, you can see that the maximum speed for the engine is around 2600 rpm. This is because at these speeds the MG1 motor is already hitting its maximum of 6500 rpm. Any faster would cause damage to the electric motor.

When you increase the car's speed to 30 mph, the computer now allows the engine to speed up to around 3000 rpm. But at these speeds, MG1 is still spinning at its maximum 6500 rpm, so the computer doesn't allow the engine to go any faster.

So my guess is that this is why it takes a while on the IS300h to get the engine up to 6000 rpm - MG1 is prevented from spinning faster so that it isn't damaged. And that in turn forces the engine to build up revs gradually in line with the road speed.

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In my experience Lexus is not a vehicle in which one needs to "floor the car."

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21 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

In my experience Lexus is not a vehicle in which one needs to "floor the car."

Hmm, I'm quite keen on flooring mine when I get the chance, exhilarating would be the word! Obviously I'm not so keen to see how the fuel gauge responds. 

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10 hours ago, The-Acre said:

Hmm, I'm quite keen on flooring mine when I get the chance, exhilarating would be the word! Obviously I'm not so keen to see how the fuel gauge responds. 

I know what you mean. I spend the vast majority of the time just leisurely cruising, as that’s how the car seems to be at its best. But ok, every now & then I can’t resist putting everything into Sport, cranking up the ASC and flipping the paddles whilst flooring it ..... the ‘speed’ is obviously nothing to write home about, but that (truly awful) artificial sound never fails to make me giggle out loud in the privacy of the car !!!! God only knows what they were thinking but it always makes me happy .... its guaranteed therapy after a tough week on the Friday commute home.

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6 hours ago, Pink said:

I know what you mean. I spend the vast majority of the time just leisurely cruising, as that’s how the car seems to be at its best. But ok, every now & then I can’t resist putting everything into Sport, cranking up the ASC and flipping the paddles whilst flooring it ..... the ‘speed’ is obviously nothing to write home about, but that (truly awful) artificial sound never fails to make me giggle out loud in the privacy of the car !!!! God only knows what they were thinking but it always makes me happy .... its guaranteed therapy after a tough week on the Friday commute home.

Exactly!  Very different cars of course, but I can't imagine having a V8 and not letting all the horses run occasionally!

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I've owned one now for a good few months and overall I am very satisfied.

I would like to get the steering wheel a little bit closer to me as the depth adjustment is in my opinion missing a few centimeters of adjustment. Another thing is that when using cruise you cannot really get your right leg totally straightened since the pedals are quite tightly fitted.

IMG_20190703_135645.jpg

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20 hours ago, royoftherovers said:

In my experience Lexus is not a vehicle in which one needs to "floor the car."

100% agree.

I get frustrated every time I 'floor' the right pedal on our IS, however drive it like its designed to do its a fantastic way to get you from A to B in comfort.

We just happened to have done Leicester to Gatwick this morning in the IS, apart from missing steer assist the car was faultless. 50mpg overall despite lots of rain, and pretty much lane 3 pace all the way. 

Ours is primarily used for long trips beyond the range of our EV these days, and for long distance M-way driving the IS really is hard to beat. 27k in and still on original factory tyres, I recon they wouldn't need changing for another 10k.

At one point this year the IS nearly made way for another car, but £10/year VED, no faults in nearly 5 years of ownership, no DPF worries, and all the gadgets apart from steering assistance which my wife wouldn't use anyways means its a keeper.

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 1:05 PM, Steve44 said:

I think you can change the colour of the general screen background from brown to blue or grey in the settings. General settings if I remember correctly.

Have you checked to see if the sw version is up to date? Post what the version is on here and someone will advise. Later versions fixed some of the bugs and usability.

 

 

Thanks Steve, I tried to find this yesterday by going to software update history but the log was empty so not sure if it's ever been updated and have no idea where to find the current software version.

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 2:04 PM, rayaans said:

Make sure you have played with the equalizer settings for the sound. I find the premium nav sound system with the 8 speakers is very good, very little difference between it and ML whereas the 6 speaker on cars without premium nav was awful.

Also, you can change the contrast/brightness of the screen which helps with the sat nav colours. Theres a small blue button on the home page in one of the corners (cant remember which one

I have a feeling it may be to do with my phone and the Bluetooth. It sometimes sounds muffled, but it sounded fine when I test drove so shouldn't be the car. Will try and get to the bottom of it but thanks for the suggestions.

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 5:36 PM, Mr Vlad said:

Reading this thread makes me miss my last is300h. I doubt very much you felt a push into the seat on fast acceleration in a 120d. My 300h felt very quick off the mark when floored it from a standstill. I only did it when I had a minimum of 50% battery. There is a notch in the pedal but you have to really push your foot to get it and it is noticeable. Glad you're loving your 300h. Many happy miles in it to you.

I found it :-) Thanks!

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Thanks for all the replies guys, you seem like a knowledgeable bunch!

I have one additional question to ask and I only noticed this yesterday as usually I park in a drive or in drive in bays (not parallel).

Yesterday for the first time I needed to parallel park and I found that as I was reversing the car and bringing it forward to fit in the space the brake pedal was vibrating intermittently and I could hear a noise from the engine bay as it vibrated something like a a groaning/grinding noise? I wasn't at full lock so don't think it's that and it definitely coincided with the brake pedal vibrating. I've felt it before if I am at maybe in traffic, release the brake to move forward a little and then press it again. But this time I guess because I was going backwards and forwards it was much worse.

Is this normal? Feels very strange indeed.

Thanks

Ken  

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Glad you found the 'notch' Ken.

As for the vibration thing I'm at a loss. I've had 2 300h cars and I've no recollection of those or any vibrations in my cars. Since you've only had the car a very short time I'd contact the dealer you got it from as it'd be in a warranty so they should investigate it.

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2 hours ago, Ken83 said:

Thanks for all the replies guys, you seem like a knowledgeable bunch!

I have one additional question to ask and I only noticed this yesterday as usually I park in a drive or in drive in bays (not parallel).

Yesterday for the first time I needed to parallel park and I found that as I was reversing the car and bringing it forward to fit in the space the brake pedal was vibrating intermittently and I could hear a noise from the engine bay as it vibrated something like a a groaning/grinding noise? I wasn't at full lock so don't think it's that and it definitely coincided with the brake pedal vibrating. I've felt it before if I am at maybe in traffic, release the brake to move forward a little and then press it again. But this time I guess because I was going backwards and forwards it was much worse.

Is this normal? Feels very strange indeed.

Thanks

Ken  

Could it be contamination on the discs/pads?As you have just purchased the car it may have been stood some time. I would take the car onto an empty road and then do a few hard braking runs from about 60mph which should clean up discs and pads. If that doesn't work then probably a trip back to the dealer to query it.

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Thanks for the quick responses chaps.

I bought the car in Wolverhampton (about 130 miles away from me), but they said as its in warranty (approved used) I can take it to any dealership to investigate the issue so I will aim to do that at the weekend. Just wondering if a dealer who didn't sell the car will care enough to spend money to fix but I guess they would recover from head office and I'm probably being too pessimistic!   

Cheers again,

Ken

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I'd seek opinions on which dealerships are most helpful firstly. There's a few highly rated, and some that are consistently poor, as reported by forum members.

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Could the vibration felt through the brake pedal be the pump repressureising the brake circuit. This is normal.

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  • Club Hybrid Poll

  • 294 Hybrid Reliability

    1. 1. If you were to consider buying a Hybrid model over 5 years old, would you be worried about the reliability of the Hybrid system?


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