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Help me decide please, Always wanted a Lexus. What to purchace. is 250, gs300 or a gs450


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Hi all,

As per the title, I've always had a soft spot for Lexus, since i started driving 14+ years ago, however always ended up with something else depending on what was available locally, I owned a SAAB 9-5 SE 1997 Which probably had the comfiest seats of any car I've been in since, regrettably sold it as it was just sat on the drive for months back in my Army days always wished i had kept it as it was clean as a whistle no rust, fully documented service history etc. Purchased a few years later a 2003 Saab 9-3ss which yes looked sleeker but the quality had gone, things wore out quickly with paint peeling and plastic trim de laminating after a few years use.

Our family mechanic told us to get a VW more specifically with the 1.9 engine pre dpf and i quote "you'll keep it for years", 1 year in im looking at 2 sticking calipers, 1 dual mass flywheel as its starting to rattle and cause the clutch to judder, rust has started to bubble up beneath the paint work in the door steps, arches and boot lid, which for a car one owner full service history and looked after I'm beginning to loose interest in cars. More seriously my wife has a bad back and after about 20 mins shes finding it painful and on a hour journey im also finding the seats uncomfortable.

Something twigged when i saw both the is250 and the gs300 at our local garage I was amazed at firstly at having some local and secondly at the quality compared to some newer cars, anyway after having a nosey, I love the gs300 it looks and feels great, great quality same with the is250 although more sporty, now I'm seriously wanting to put some money down and finally get the Lexus after all these years but, I don't want to buy what on paper looks great and have nothing but problems. People seem to absolutely love there cars and talk highly of Lexus when ive mentioned about purchasing one.

So far i think I've been unlucky with the cars since getting grid of the Saab 9-5, usually spend months looking for a decent one viewing it, test driving making sure im 100% happy with paperwork and checking stuff over to end up with a string of problems, which does my head in when im a stickler for servicing and carrying out preventative maintenance.

So i guess my question is how reliable are Lexus cars? I usually do all the work on vehicles myself being a HGV mechanic anyway.

And buying an older is250 or gs300 circa 2008-2010 a wise decison or am i saking for trouble from engine or auto gearbox?

Seats wise are they supportive in both models for long distance (guessing the gs300 will be as that's the sort of market it was aimed at).

Lastly all being well with the above mentioned models which would you recommend and why?

Appreciate its a wall so apologies on that front, just trying to get as much info as i can before purchasing.

Cheers all

Dan

 

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  • Danjwilko changed the title to Help me decide please, Always wanted a Lexus. What to purchace. is 250, gs300 or a gs450

I'd say a lot depends on your budget. 

A decent 450h will probably be the most expensive, having said that mine only cost about £4k total (most
of that buying a replacement traction Battery lol) but you have to really hunt for one that cheap and if it hasn't
ad Lexus hybrid checks every year, be prepared to have to replace or recondition the hybrid Battery which isn't cheap.

For long distance cruising the GS450h is lovely. I mainly do fairly long trips (2 hours each way) so wanted
something for motorway cruising and its perfect for that. It just sits there barely straining at *ahem* fast
motorway speeds 🙂 With a 0-60 of 5.2s its not sluggish either when you put your foot down and 32 mph
is normal for me so that isn't too bad either, not great but its not a small car.

Comfort level is a++, not been in a car more comfortable including mercs and BMWs. The seating position
is a bit weird at first (for me at least) compared to european cars but very comfortable once you setup the
seat right.

Also it'll run practically forever if treated right other than normal wear and tear on parts. A lot of them hit 250k+
miles before having an issues beyond the hybrid Battery. If its had the lexus hybrid check every year (£60 a go roughly)
then Lexus will sort any Battery issues for the first 15 years. Mine is at 175k and has no major parts replaced other
than the hybrid Battery. Mechanic had a through look over it and couldn't see anything that he thought would be
an issue either. Other thing that tends to need replacement on both the 300 and 450h are the suspension struts
which can go as its a heavy car.

Only downside is really it isn't great dealing with bumpy roads at low speeds and your insurance might cost a bit more.

The GS300 is a very similar car, slightly small and lighter and has a lot less power so its no-where near as
fast. I've heard some complaints about the engine used as apparently it using a belt instead of a chain that can
go pop.

I wouldn't say the 300 is a bad car but I'd def go for the 450 unless there was a big price/quality difference.
Both are really solid build quality but the hybrid system on the 450 gives it similar fuel economy with a lot
better performance.

I'd never get a IS 250..... its one of those cars which tries to look fast but really isn't 😉
I'm not a fan with 0-60 at 9 seconds, well unless you really really want to put the top down, I just don't see
many benefits to it over the other two. 

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Ive had lots of cars and probably have 3 at any one time and change every 6 months max.

I bought an 09 plate gs450h last with full lexus history.

I love it. 

Depending on your budget. Id go for either a 300 or 450h 

I had  a 95 aero in the past. Very quick but was unreliable 

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i've had my Gs300h since october 2020 so not long

its a good comfortable , quiet car thats returning over 40mpg

during the winter months and even being the lowest spec

model in the range it has all the tech i need  / want,

i purchased my 1st Lexus in october 2013 and i am now on

my 4th Lexus they have all been brilliant cars to drive and own.

so my advice would be test drive both of them and put a deposit down

on the one your taking home

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I came from Saab too.

25 years of them. Mostly 9000s. I think Lexus is the natural progression. A 2009 Lexus is way ahead of a 2009 Saab.

Only gripe with GS450h is lack of boot space. You thought 9-5 seats were good? 9000 Aero seats were even better. Lexus seats are probably as good as the Aero ones.

Only had mine a year and costs are normal age related ones like exhaust and radiator. Can't have a ten year old car at 10% original purchase price without some expenses.

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9 hours ago, Steven Lockey said:

PS. I counter your wall with a bigger wall lol 🙂

Good info in the wall that's for sure, I'll have to have a longer test drive make sure the 450 gets a decent outing too as it wasn't available to test at the time. the is250 as you say was sportier and smaller so not sure if its a contender space wise anyway so would be more gs300/gs450 the only thing that was putting me off the 450 was the hybrid batteries some horror stories that you always end up with online.

Overall I don't do a huge amount of mileage each year around 8000k used to do 30k plus commuting down south every week, obviously less now due to lockdown but we have family in Cornwall, we used a family members XC90 mk2 for a short trip down which was a breeze. I wouldn't dream of going down there in the VW, to cramped, uncomfortable after short periods its an ok A-B car in short commutes up to about 45 mins but any longer I'm wanting out.

Budget is around 3500 4000k plus whatever i can get for either selling or part exchanging the VW in.

On the Hybrid Battery front I take it the Battery check will be documented in the service book? Any come backs if a years is missed?

The more I look at them I want one haha, Due to where we live mind which is country side for a few miles before we hit main roads would the rx series not be a bad shout? never really liked the look of them for some reason where I think the gs series is great to look at.

 

 

 

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I have owned previously:
2005 IS250 - great car if there is not more than 2 people in it (not a lot of leg room in the back). It has great road feedback and a sporty feel to it. Drove it for 3 years - only did annual maintenance on the car at the dealer.

2011 GS450h - loved the torque and the size (not the size of the boot though). Comfortable car to drive on a longer cruise. During the 4 years I did annual maintenance at the dealer and had the water pump changed

2016 GS200t F-Sport - The only good thing was the look of the front of the car. The car was not very sporty nor it was very comfortable. I didn't like the engine at all. Did only annual maintenance.

2018 LS500h F-Sport - This brings me back the joy, performance and comfort of the GS450h.

I have thought of getting myself an older IS-F for a Sunday car to bring back good memories with a punch, but we'll see about that.

It is hard for me to give you a good answer, but it depends on your preferences:

1. If you want space, comfort and power - go with GS450h

2. If you want an experience and joy - go with IS250

3. If your options are IS250 or GS300, then I would choose IS250 (if size is not an issue. 4-people driving in the car daily is not so comfortable)

I hope it helps!

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Not sure which generation of GS you're referring to Daniel (no "h" in your original post) but something to keep in mind re: the 3rd gen GS300, is the vehicle tax. £565 for anything post '06. 4th generation 300h obviously much lower. And I think all the IS250s are lower apart from the manuals.

If I've got that wrong I'm sure someone will correct me. The newest Lexus saloon I've had was 2002.

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9 hours ago, Chasdad said:

Ive had lots of cars and probably have 3 at any one time and change every 6 months max.

I bought an 09 plate gs450h last with full lexus history.

I love it. 

Depending on your budget. Id go for either a 300 or 450h 

I had  a 95 aero in the past. Very quick but was unreliable 

Thank you for the input, I'll make sure i get both the 300 and 450 driven to compare. as so far ive only driven the is250 and the 300, 300 was miles ahead of the 250 in smooth driving relax-ability, not uncomfortable in the is250 mind just different. 

My 9-5 was relatively reliable over the course I had it, the usual wear and tear items, I think the worst issue was the coil pack, whcih failed on my drive so was unusable for a couple for days, only other job i think i did was the Crankshaft oil seal,  iirc the repair cost about 50p and 30 mins labour, job done where as the saab 9-3ss 7 years newer was a pig in comparison, 2 hours of just awkwardness for the same job, I wont go into the list of issues but one after the other just ended the love of SAABs newer offerings. Which was a shame.

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2 hours ago, KolePaha said:

I have owned previously:
2005 IS250 - great car if there is not more than 2 people in it (not a lot of leg room in the back). It has great road feedback and a sporty feel to it. Drove it for 3 years - only did annual maintenance on the car at the dealer.

2011 GS450h - loved the torque and the size (not the size of the boot though). Comfortable car to drive on a longer cruise. During the 4 years I did annual maintenance at the dealer and had the water pump changed

2016 GS200t F-Sport - The only good thing was the look of the front of the car. The car was not very sporty nor it was very comfortable. I didn't like the engine at all. Did only annual maintenance.

2018 LS500h F-Sport - This brings me back the joy, performance and comfort of the GS450h.

I have thought of getting myself an older IS-F for a Sunday car to bring back good memories with a punch, but we'll see about that.

It is hard for me to give you a good answer, but it depends on your preferences:

1. If you want space, comfort and power - go with GS450h

2. If you want an experience and joy - go with IS250

3. If your options are IS250 or GS300, then I would choose IS250 (if size is not an issue. 4-people driving in the car daily is not so comfortable)

I hope it helps!

Appreciate your reply, around 80% of the time would just be myself commuting, however it would be used as a small family car too, minimum 2 adults 1 child in a car seat, pram the usual shopping spree items.

For driving daily for a quick trip into town we usually use my wife's BMW 120d m sport, which does the job quite nicely. I would have bought a 3 series but most are abused, rear seats not folding and small boot was a no go, ( I know the Lexus seats don't fold but the bigger boot holds sway on that one).

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1 hour ago, rich1068 said:

Not sure which generation of GS you're referring to Daniel (no "h" in your original post) but something to keep in mind re: the 3rd gen GS300, is the vehicle tax. £565 for anything post '06. 4th generation 300h obviously much lower. And I think all the IS250s are lower apart from the manuals.

If I've got that wrong I'm sure someone will correct me. The newest Lexus saloon I've had was 2002.

A quick nosey on Autotrader I'd probably be looking at 2005-2006 gs300, or the gs450h. Il steer clear of the £500+ road tax bracket, been there before Its not a great option considering the amount of similar cars in a lower tax bracket. Il bear that in mind so il keep an eye on that one.

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46 minutes ago, Danjwilko said:

A quick nosey on Autotrader I'd probably be looking at 2005-2006 gs300, or the gs450h. Il steer clear of the £500+ road tax bracket, been there before Its not a great option considering the amount of similar cars in a lower tax bracket. Il bear that in mind so il keep an eye on that one.

Someone on fb has posted hes selling a gs450h with new hybrid batteries 

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3 hours ago, Danjwilko said:

Good info in the wall that's for sure, I'll have to have a longer test drive make sure the 450 gets a decent outing too as it wasn't available to test at the time. the is250 as you say was sportier and smaller so not sure if its a contender space wise anyway so would be more gs300/gs450 the only thing that was putting me off the 450 was the hybrid batteries some horror stories that you always end up with online.

Overall I don't do a huge amount of mileage each year around 8000k used to do 30k plus commuting down south every week, obviously less now due to lockdown but we have family in Cornwall, we used a family members XC90 mk2 for a short trip down which was a breeze. I wouldn't dream of going down there in the VW, to cramped, uncomfortable after short periods its an ok A-B car in short commutes up to about 45 mins but any longer I'm wanting out.

Budget is around 3500 4000k plus whatever i can get for either selling or part exchanging the VW in.

On the Hybrid battery front I take it the battery check will be documented in the service book? Any come backs if a years is missed?

The more I look at them I want one haha, Due to where we live mind which is country side for a few miles before we hit main roads would the rx series not be a bad shout? never really liked the look of them for some reason where I think the gs series is great to look at.

 

 

 

I'd say the GS is actually sportier in terms of performance. 5.2s 0-60 vs 9s according to the specs.
Not sure it even handles that well from what I've read and I wasn't impressed with the one I test drove tbh.

I don't like chelsea tractors so not keen on the RX series either 😉

Thing is, if you can find a gs 450h with a dodgy Battery, they normally sell for about 1.5K and you can get a brand
new Battery with 3 years warranty for 2K, so thats a good car for 3.5K which is basically what happened to me 🙂
Spent total about 4K on mine total including set of premium tyres.

Otherwise the dealer should be able to confirm that it has had a recent lexus hybrid check. I believe if its up to date
on the hybrid check all is good even if it skipped a year but something to get the dealer to confirm or call up a lexus
dealership who will be able to access records for the car. You can do this on their website as well with the right details
for the car. 

As far as rough roads go, its alright if you know the roads and know WHERE the bumps are. Its only really the unknown
ones that catch you by surprise that are a bit of an issue.

 

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2 hours ago, Danjwilko said:

A quick nosey on Autotrader I'd probably be looking at 2005-2006 gs300, or the gs450h. Il steer clear of the £500+ road tax bracket, been there before Its not a great option considering the amount of similar cars in a lower tax bracket. Il bear that in mind so il keep an eye on that one.

I believe the GS300 from that period 05-09 can have carbon build up causing a few issues, although mine was fine at around 75k.

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1 hour ago, The-Acre said:

I believe the GS300 from that period 05-09 can have carbon build up causing a few issues, although mine was fine at around 75k.

I did just have a read up on this issue, looks like carbon build up and more transmission issues with the 06 models. no menton of 05 but id assume its the same, so it would be 07 + which also means theres a lot less available in budget, shifting to the 450h opens up a few more options. Il have another hunt see what is250's and 450h's I can find.

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47 minutes ago, Danjwilko said:

I did just have a read up on this issue, looks like carbon build up and more transmission issues with the 06 models. no menton of 05 but id assume its the same, so it would be 07 + which also means theres a lot less available in budget, shifting to the 450h opens up a few more options. Il have another hunt see what is250's and 450h's I can find.

Saying that I did really like my GS and as I've mentioned recently I honestly don't know why I didn't keep it, perhaps its just a case of being spoilt with an LS, they do get under your skin!

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For long journeys the IS250, for people with back problems is not a good idea. Ask my wife. The seats make you sit in the base of your spine rather than her bum as they are quite low slung at the back and do not offer thigh support. The GS models are far better for comfort. Do the rx400h's not work for you?  Tried a 3rd gen GS450h and whilst it was a brilliant car out of your price range. I would look for a GS450H around the 5k mark.  Batteries are easy to replace either completely or individually.  And 100k miles for a Lexus is absolutely nothing. 

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22 hours ago, KenMavor said:

For long journeys the IS250, for people with back problems is not a good idea. Ask my wife. The seats make you sit in the base of your spine rather than her bum as they are quite low slung at the back and do not offer thigh support. The GS models are far better for comfort. Do the rx400h's not work for you?  Tried a 3rd gen GS450h and whilst it was a brilliant car out of your price range. I would look for a GS450H around the 5k mark.  Batteries are easy to replace either completely or individually.  And 100k miles for a Lexus is absolutely nothing. 

I am getting better feedback on the gs450h thats for sure, reading through the forums. carbon build up, transmissions better etc, only down side would eb boot space, but thinking about it how often do we use the full boot capacity? itl more than likely be the odd irregular shape that throws it out of contention. flapt panle or large box haha.

would the transmission in the 2006 450h be the same as the more problematic 2006 gs 300? The ones at the garage are both 2006, ones a gs450, the other is a gs300, is250 sold anyway. GS300 has only done 91k where as the gs450 has done 171k which after finally being able to view it was a bit of a kicker, never liked higher mileage cars due to wear on the engine, where as lower mileage units tend to be shorter journeys but harder wear on the drive train.

 

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11 minutes ago, Danjwilko said:

would the transmission in the 2006 450h be the same as the more problematic 2006 gs 300?

completely different transmissions.

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On 2/8/2021 at 11:42 AM, Danjwilko said:

 

Whats your budget. Ive just bought a lovely 09 gs450h with flsh just over 100k miles for less than 5k

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Having had large capacity Saab hatchbacks prior to gs450h, it is a niggle but I can always put on the roof bars.

To get 38mpg out of a family car that does a sub 6 second 0-60 is a hard ask.

Something has to give!

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