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Hi all,

I currently have a 2013 IS300H Premier - it's been a fantastic car and I can't believe that the finance is up next year, the time has flown by.

So I need to start considering whether I pay the settlement figure and keep it or go to another car. If I replace, I don't intend changing again for some years as I am building a business and don't particularly get much pleasure from driving anymore, even though I used to be a real petrolhead :-(. I want something that will see me out for at least 5 years.

There are only two genuine issues with the IS:

1.) While the driving position is excellent, cabin space is limited and as I'm 6ft 2 and also have a mild neurological issue similar to Parkinson's, getting in and out is sometimes strenuous and on long journeys, I tend to lack space to spread out a little, which leads to aches and pains and muscle twitches.

2.) The car is black and the paint is already road rashed to hell on the front at 55,000 miles, so if I keep it I will need to address this.

On a minor note, while the hybrid drivetrain is great, I'm not a huge fan of the 4 cylinder engine note when accelerating. My wife's RX450h is a lot smoother and sounds great in comparison with the V6.

So I naturally am looking to the 2012 onwards 4th generation GS as a step up and a potential keeper.

The questions I have are:

1.) How easy is the GS300H to live with and does the lack of power frustrate?

2.) Is the GS450H worth the extra running costs, given how overpowered it is for today's roads?

3.) How does quality and refinement compare with the IS?

4.) Is there significantly more space for the driver in the GS compared to the IS?

Any insights would be very much appreciated!

 

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1 hour ago, jevestobs said:

Hi all,

I currently have a 2013 IS300H Premier - it's been a fantastic car and I can't believe that the finance is up next year, the time has flown by.

So I need to start considering whether I pay the settlement figure and keep it or go to another car. If I replace, I don't intend changing again for some years as I am building a business and don't particularly get much pleasure from driving anymore, even though I used to be a real petrolhead :-(. I want something that will see me out for at least 5 years.

There are only two genuine issues with the IS:

1.) While the driving position is excellent, cabin space is limited and as I'm 6ft 2 and also have a mild neurological issue similar to Parkinson's, getting in and out is sometimes strenuous and on long journeys, I tend to lack space to spread out a little, which leads to aches and pains and muscle twitches.

2.) The car is black and the paint is already road rashed to hell on the front at 55,000 miles, so if I keep it I will need to address this.

On a minor note, while the hybrid drivetrain is great, I'm not a huge fan of the 4 cylinder engine note when accelerating. My wife's RX450h is a lot smoother and sounds great in comparison with the V6.

So I naturally am looking to the 2012 onwards 4th generation GS as a step up and a potential keeper.

The questions I have are:

1.) How easy is the GS300H to live with and does the lack of power frustrate?

2.) Is the GS450H worth the extra running costs, given how overpowered it is for today's roads?

3.) How does quality and refinement compare with the IS?

4.) Is there significantly more space for the driver in the GS compared to the IS?

Any insights would be very much appreciated!

 

jOHN,

yOU MUST TEST DRIVE A 450H AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE ALL OF THE ANSWERS.

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Coming from a IS300h, with a GS300h you have same power , so if you think it's enough your IS it will be ok GS 300h too.

About extra costs, GS450h  it's obviously more expensive, but  the v6 power it's on another planet, I had a 2008 GS450h and when i bought a 2014 GS300h I missed that V6, even if in normal driving  the four banger is more than adequate, and less thirsty (from 12,4 km/l of v6 to 16 km/l my average).

Quality and refinement in GS is far better  , even more  if you choose a premier version.

Space for the driver? I don't know, but seats with 18!! settings with memory are very comfortable.

 

Now I drive a RX450h mainly for 2 reasons: I missed v6 and wanted to try a SUV, it's fast but compared to GS 450h it is "quiet".

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8 minutes ago, Zotto said:

Coming from a IS300h, with a GS300h you have same power , so if you think it's enough your IS it will be ok GS 300h too.

About extra costs, GS450h  it's obviously more expensive, but  the v6 power it's on another planet, I had a 2008 GS450h and when i bought a 2014 GS300h I missed that V6, even if in normal driving  the four banger is more than adequate, and less thirsty (from 12,4 km/l of v6 to 16 km/l my average).

Quality and refinement in GS is far better  , even more  if you choose a premier version.

Space for the driver? I don't know, but seats with 18!! settings with memory are very comfortable.

 

Now I drive a RX450h mainly for 2 reasons: I missed v6 and wanted to try a SUV, it's fast but compared to GS 450h it is "quiet".

Thanks for the reply!
Yes, IS300H power is more than adequate for me - overtaking is the main area I'm concerned about as I do motorway miles and it's great for that. GS450H is about £250 more per year to insure for me, plus the extra tax so the man maths is in overdrive to justify it! I guess we already have the RX if I want to drive a V6. 

How much of the 4-cylinder vibration and noise gets into the cabin on the GS300H? It's quiet on the IS but can be vocal on acceleration. Would you say the 450H is excessive for modern driving conditions?

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15 minutes ago, jevestobs said:

How much of the 4-cylinder vibration and noise gets into the cabin on the GS300H? It's quiet on the IS but can be vocal on acceleration. Would you say the 450H is excessive for modern driving conditions?

GS is very well silenced,  better than IS so noise and vibrations are not an issue; in some cases there was a vibration at low rpm and around 45 mph but there is a TSB with a software update I made and it disappeared, same on IS300h but it needed also a little mechanical mod. GS 450h is quite refined and smooth in daily driving, but if you wanna accelerate … WOW!

No troubles in any overtaking 😉

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1) can't really answer as we never actually drove one. Performance won't be very different to your IS, as the GS300h is less than 100kg heavier. Your IS with an adult passenger. If it frustrates you in the IS then you already know. 

2) The GS450h is a lovely thing in many ways. It is overpowered in a way, but actually it is at its best when driven at six tenths. It's smooth, capable and relaxing, and rewards a relaxed driving style with languid torque rather than hoofing it. Ours returns an average of 37mpg (see fuelly sig below) and that's phenomenal for a 340bhp petrol car. 

Hopefully it won't upset or frustrate, but another car you might usefully take a look at is the Tesla model 3. I have one as well as our GS450h - while the GS is more refined (quieter inside with less road noise, softer and floatier) the Tesla is more comfortable for me (seat works better for me personally. This is very much a personal matter) and handles and performs in a different league. However, the real kicker is that you said you're building a business - if you're taking it as a company car then the entire value of the car can be written off against profits (ie you can reduce your business taxes by several thousand pounds against the purchase of a zero-emission vehicle), and your personal BIK rate will be 0% from April 20, 1% from 21 and 2% in 22, saving you thousands of pounds personally. If it's a personal car claiming mileage expense from the business, again you can minimise your tax bill by claiming at the HMRC 45p/25p rate against true running costs of around 5p/mile (lowering your business's taxable profits, and maximising personal transferance of cash from the business to you without paying income tax on it). The running costs of a Tesla 3 will be significantly less than the IS300h while performing above the GS450h. It's a bigger car than you realise, with a longer wheelbase than the GS, larger boot, fold down seats, etc. 

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1 hour ago, i-s said:

1) can't really answer as we never actually drove one. Performance won't be very different to your IS, as the GS300h is less than 100kg heavier. Your IS with an adult passenger. If it frustrates you in the IS then you already know. 

2) The GS450h is a lovely thing in many ways. It is overpowered in a way, but actually it is at its best when driven at six tenths. It's smooth, capable and relaxing, and rewards a relaxed driving style with languid torque rather than hoofing it. Ours returns an average of 37mpg (see fuelly sig below) and that's phenomenal for a 340bhp petrol car. 

Hopefully it won't upset or frustrate, but another car you might usefully take a look at is the Tesla model 3. I have one as well as our GS450h - while the GS is more refined (quieter inside with less road noise, softer and floatier) the Tesla is more comfortable for me (seat works better for me personally. This is very much a personal matter) and handles and performs in a different league. However, the real kicker is that you said you're building a business - if you're taking it as a company car then the entire value of the car can be written off against profits (ie you can reduce your business taxes by several thousand pounds against the purchase of a zero-emission vehicle), and your personal BIK rate will be 0% from April 20, 1% from 21 and 2% in 22, saving you thousands of pounds personally. If it's a personal car claiming mileage expense from the business, again you can minimise your tax bill by claiming at the HMRC 45p/25p rate against true running costs of around 5p/mile (lowering your business's taxable profits, and maximising personal transferance of cash from the business to you without paying income tax on it). The running costs of a Tesla 3 will be significantly less than the IS300h while performing above the GS450h. It's a bigger car than you realise, with a longer wheelbase than the GS, larger boot, fold down seats, etc. 

Thanks - I've driven a few Teslas. Astonishing machines! Not a fan of the interiors though, I much prefer Lexus build quality and luxury. I did wonder about business benefits with an electric. Hmmm.... 🙂

The big issue with the GS450H seems to be insurance costs and tax, which is around £600 per year in total more than my current IS. Oh, and their rarity! My IS is a Premier so I need to get a high spec Luxury, F-Sport or Premier to match its existing equipment levels.

It's times like these when going for a brand which doesn't sell millions of vehicles in the UK is a bit of a pain!

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2 hours ago, Zotto said:

GS is very well silenced,  better than IS so noise and vibrations are not an issue; in some cases there was a vibration at low rpm and around 45 mph but there is a TSB with a software update I made and it disappeared, same on IS300h but it needed also a little mechanical mod. GS 450h is quite refined and smooth in daily driving, but if you wanna accelerate … WOW!

No troubles in any overtaking 😉

I've driven a few 450H's - wow is definitely the word.

Glad to know the GS is quieter in 300H form. I just found some decibel readings and it seems to be 2db to 3db quieter than the IS.

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I have just sold my 63plate gs450h f sport after 16 months/10,000 miles. I would say interior quality/cabin noise is better. And like others have said it has more power in terms of the initial acceleration. I find the mid-range acceleration can be lacking especially when the Battery is used up. 
The v6 sound is ok/ cvt. tax is 150/year. Insurance is same as my nx300h. servicing is more expensive. Warranty is more expensive. 

fuel economy is early to mid 30s for me. 
 

but yea, do test drive one or may be try out the es300h. 
 

hope it helps

barry

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I have recently swapped my IS250 for a GS300h (Premier).

The GS feels like a substantially bigger car and it's quieter and significantly more luxurious. If you can't get comfortable in a GS I doubt you could be comfortable in anything. The seat has 18-way adjustment (premier spec - lesser versions have less adjustment) - main problem is trying the infinite combinations! It definitely has more 'driver space' than the IS.

I haven't driven an IS300h but I imagine its performance is pretty similar to the IS250, and the GS300h is much the same - not exactly a rocket but perfectly adequate for UK roads. I think the only place you would feel it lacking is if you are used to German autobahns at more than 200kph - GS300h max speed is about 119mph. Acceleration is quoted as somewhat slower than the IS250 - 9.2 secs to 100kph rather than 8.5 - but it doesn't feel like it - if anything it feels at least as quick.

I did worry that I would find a 2.5 litre four a bit of a step down from the wonderful V6 in the IS250 but really it's almost as smooth and anyway, you're used to the 4 in the IS300h!

The GS is definitely a more relaxing drive - maybe it just lulls you into a feeling of contentment with the world!

My wife comments that the GS is a lot more luxurious than the IS - she was horrified at my spending the dosh but she's happy now! I plan to keep it for a long time!

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30 minutes ago, johnatg said:

I have recently swapped my IS250 for a GS300h (Premier).

The GS feels like a substantially bigger car and it's quieter and significantly more luxurious. If you can't get comfortable in a GS I doubt you could be comfortable in anything. The seat has 18-way adjustment (premier spec - lesser versions have less adjustment) - main problem is trying the infinite combinations! It definitely has more 'driver space' than the IS.

I haven't driven an IS300h but I imagine its performance is pretty similar to the IS250, and the GS300h is much the same - not exactly a rocket but perfectly adequate for UK roads. I think the only place you would feel it lacking is if you are used to German autobahns at more than 200kph - GS300h max speed is about 119mph. Acceleration is quoted as somewhat slower than the IS250 - 9.2 secs to 100kph rather than 8.5 - but it doesn't feel like it - if anything it feels at least as quick.

I did worry that I would find a 2.5 litre four a bit of a step down from the wonderful V6 in the IS250 but really it's almost as smooth and anyway, you're used to the 4 in the IS300h!

The GS is definitely a more relaxing drive - maybe it just lulls you into a feeling of contentment with the world!

My wife comments that the GS is a lot more luxurious than the IS - she was horrified at my spending the dosh but she's happy now! I plan to keep it for a long time!

Thanks, that's really helpful and paints a nice picture of the car. It sounds like the GS300H is effectively my IS300H with more space, refinement and luxury. Sounds good to me!

I'm trying to get over the urge to have loads of power under my right foot. I guess it's part of a lack of acceptance that today's roads are not the place to have fun and the relentless war on speed means it's better to waft around in luxury while paying bugger all for tax, low insurance and using little fuel instead of having thrilling acceleration that can only be used 5% of the time with high costs for the privilege.

Not a world I like living in but hey... this is where Lexus scores over the other brands that make "sporty" cars...

 

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Appreciate all the replies folks.

Another question - facelift or pre-facelift? Is it really worth forking out more for the facelift or would a high spec pre-facelift at a much lower outlay be just as satisfying?

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About facelift, probably recent models have more ADAS that I find not strictly necessary but very useful. The suggestion to give a look to ES300h may you give the idea of features in a level 2 assisted drive car (like all Lexus sold now are): if you are considering a GS300h (great but out of production), you should consider a ES300h too, a step beyond GS in some features but more advanced in other ones.

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4 minutes ago, Zotto said:

About facelift, probably recent models have more ADAS that I find not strictly necessary but very useful. The suggestion to give a look to ES300h may you give the idea of features in a level 2 assisted drive car (like all Lexus sold now are): if you are considering a GS300h (great but out of production), you should consider a ES300h too, a step beyond GS in some features but more advanced in other ones.

Is ADAS driver assist? ES is out of my price range unfortunately - trying to keep costs down. 

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Yes, German people say so 😄. At the moment level 2  in Lexus gives adaptive cruise control, automatic braking in some emergencies, lane keeping and some other features for safety, like adaptive high beam and sleepiness monitoring.

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Does the 2014 Luxury spec have an auto dimming rear view mirror? I cant get my hands on a brochure from that year. 

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42 minutes ago, jevestobs said:

Does the 2014 Luxury spec have an auto dimming rear view mirror? I cant get my hands on a brochure from that year. 

2012 definitely had it so chances are that 2014 had it as well

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On 11/13/2019 at 12:01 PM, jevestobs said:

Hi all,

I currently have a 2013 IS300H Premier - it's been a fantastic car and I can't believe that the finance is up next year, the time has flown by.

So I need to start considering whether I pay the settlement figure and keep it or go to another car. If I replace, I don't intend changing again for some years as I am building a business and don't particularly get much pleasure from driving anymore, even though I used to be a real petrolhead :-(. I want something that will see me out for at least 5 years.

There are only two genuine issues with the IS:

1.) While the driving position is excellent, cabin space is limited and as I'm 6ft 2 and also have a mild neurological issue similar to Parkinson's, getting in and out is sometimes strenuous and on long journeys, I tend to lack space to spread out a little, which leads to aches and pains and muscle twitches.

2.) The car is black and the paint is already road rashed to hell on the front at 55,000 miles, so if I keep it I will need to address this.

On a minor note, while the hybrid drivetrain is great, I'm not a huge fan of the 4 cylinder engine note when accelerating. My wife's RX450h is a lot smoother and sounds great in comparison with the V6.

So I naturally am looking to the 2012 onwards 4th generation GS as a step up and a potential keeper.

The questions I have are:

1.) How easy is the GS300H to live with and does the lack of power frustrate?

2.) Is the GS450H worth the extra running costs, given how overpowered it is for today's roads?

3.) How does quality and refinement compare with the IS?

4.) Is there significantly more space for the driver in the GS compared to the IS?

Any insights would be very much appreciated!

 

1. I have owned a 2014 IS300h and a 2015 pre face-lift GS300h luxury. Great car to live with and feels just as quick as the is. 

2. Probably not worth the extra cost. My GS300h was more economical than the is. 

3. In my opinion the GS build quality is a step up from the is and on a par with the RX450 I now own 

4. Definitely more room for the driver in the GS as I am just shy of 6 feet tall. Plenty of seat adjustment to get comfortable. 

The car I owned was better kitted out than my current RX. 

Be aware that the spec on a facelift GS300h luxury is not quite as good as on the pre face-lift model (blind spot detection and rear cross traffic radar deleted on the later cars). 

2015 cars definitely had auto dimming rear mirror but mine never worked as the car had rear privacy glass. 

The only issue I had with my car was the common Toyota issue of water pump gasket weeping which was sorted under warranty. 

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Many thanks all. Very helpful advice.

I've got a deal in the offing for a 2014 GS300H with 44k at a main dealer. Very well priced. Your posts have been helpful in coming to a decision. Cheers!

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Picking the GS up on Saturday. Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow folks, pleased with the choice of a 300H. 

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Congrats. Pics are obligatory!

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@jevestobs How are you getting on with the GS300 any issues to report?

I did consider going to view this car when it was up for sale!

 

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Love it. Drives like a limo! Much more refined and better quality than the IS. But with all the same fuel efficiency. I got an average of 58mpg on a motorway trip to see family today. Performance is actually very brisk.

The only minor issue is a bit of vibration at 50mph from the drivetrain. My IS did it as well and although I asked the dealer to do the software update before I got the car, it's still there to some degree.

 

 

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