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Not entirely complimentary review


PeteTP
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Hello ESers,

Word reaches me of a well known person writing a less than positive piece about the ES300h in a Sunday Newspaper, yesterday. Would any of you be able to provide a copy as I don’t take the publication in question?

If my request is perceived as parsimonious or absurd then, I of course, apologise unreservedly in advance.

TIA

PeteTP 

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"Powering the hybrid ES is a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine mated to an electric motor to send a total of 215bhp to the front wheels."

Seriously....?

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7 minutes ago, Mincey said:

"Powering the hybrid ES is a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine mated to an electric motor to send a total of 215bhp to the front wheels."

Seriously....?

LOL!

I'm missing my turbo, those damn assembly line workers forgot to install one!

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I picked up a friend of mine and his wife on Saturday night in the Celsior who’s previous cars have included  BMW, Mercedes and Bentley models.

He commented that although he was impressed with the quality of Lexus cars it was the enormous front grille on the new models that put him off buying one.

I must admit that the grille which was once subtle on earlier models has gone OTT taking over virtually all the front of the car.

I appreciate that it’s not only Lexus big grilles are in fashion now like shoulder pad dresses were many years ago but Lexus following the fold like Lemmings heading towards a cliff.

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3 minutes ago, peniole said:

LOL!

I'm missing my turbo, those damn assembly line workers forgot to install one!

You and I both got "Friday cars" then. I'm about to ring Lexus Leicester to complain.

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17 minutes ago, steve2006 said:

I picked up a friend of mine and his wife on Saturday night in the Celsior who’s previous cars have included  BMW, Mercedes and Bentley models.

He commented that although he was impressed with the quality of Lexus cars it was the enormous front grille on the new models that put him off buying one.

I must admit that the grille which was once subtle on earlier models has gone OTT taking over virtually all the front of the car.

I appreciate that it’s not only Lexus big grilles are in fashion now like shoulder pad dresses were many years ago but Lexus following the fold like Lemmings heading towards a cliff.

I think Lexus have a little way to go yet in the Grille Wars 😄

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29 minutes ago, PeteTP said:
59 minutes ago, First_Lexus said:

https://www.driving.co.uk/news/jeremy-clarkson-lexus-es-dull-car/

Not the full article, but enough to give a decent taste…

…..”its quiet, grey anonymity does make a deal of sense.”

I concur entirely which is precisely why I love it. So much so I bought one! I’m simply not interested in 0-60 data, Bhp or Nm of torque. Dunno what they are on my dream machine and care even less. They’re irelevant for this motorist.

Smooth, comfortable, reliable and economic cruiser with no flashiness or kerb appeal. Yep, that’s for me.

Dull? Moi?

PeteTP

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42 minutes ago, Mincey said:

"Powering the hybrid ES is a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine mated to an electric motor to send a total of 215bhp to the front wheels."

Seriously....?

Back in the 1970s I, as a child, had various opportunities to see motoring journalists work first hand. I’m sure things aren’t that different now. I once remember a review (for a respected magazine) on the new 2.8GL Granada being completed purely using the press pack that was on the front seat. The car itself was never driven by the journalist who wrote the review. I believe that sort of thing happened often…

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10 minutes ago, First_Lexus said:

Back in the 1970s I, as a child, had various opportunities to see motoring journalists work first hand. I’m sure things aren’t that different now. I once remember a review (for a respected magazine) on the new 2.8GL Granada being completed purely using the press pack that was on the front seat. The car itself was never driven by the journalist who wrote the review. I believe that sort of thing happened often…

In the slightly distanced past, I would occasionally commission articles from motoring journalists.  Very few made enough to rely on it as their sole source of income.  And they did indeed rely heavily on the Press Pack - and probably still do!

But it was a symbiotic relationship.  For example, a writer would plan to take the family away for a week by the coast so a call to a suitable company would get a new Estate delivered for a review.  Which they would then describe how excellently it performed this task.

But what they all had in common was that the journalist didn’t own the vehicle and didn’t necessarily drive it the way an owner - who had paid good money for it - would do.  If you’ve just raided the family piggy bank for a new motor, you’re not inclined to indulge in flat out, engine torturing revs just to determine its ultimate 0-60 time!

Or trying to determine its ultimate cornering ability by seeing how quickly you can wear out a set of tyres.

In the real world, taking a couple of seconds longer is all that’s needed by most motorists in most circumstances.

I think that motoring reviews should just be regarded as an interesting background to taking your own test drive.  That’s when you make your buying decision.

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I think that his assessment is spot on and that's what made me buy one. I didn't want anything that mentioned 'sport' anything that 'slid' round corners, anything that made a 'noise' or anything that said 'I want a race'. I'm quite happy with what I got.

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I wouldn't take too much notice of Clarkson's opinion. He's very entertaining but he's made a career out of rude comments about cars and he's never been complimentary about Lexus' offerings, except the LFA which I think he liked. He even criticised the ISF for having too many gears (rubbish) and a hard ride (fair comment) because he couldn't find anything else to complain about. In fact the whole motoring journalist world is a bit sniffy about Lexus cars, but we know better don't we??

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12 minutes ago, 08ISF said:

 except the LFA which I think he liked. 

He more than liked it.  At the time at least, he called it the best car he had ever driven.

Also, he was also so impressed with the GSF that he bought one!

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Sadly I don't have access to whole article and I would not pass the judgement on just few quotes from what he said, however from what little I was able to read on Sunday Times without subscription I thought that his comments were spot on and rather fair. He said that unlike other cars this one was not made to shock anyone and it is rather subtle and implied it was not made for "speed and handling and lashings of rip-snorting exhaust noises"... which is exactly the case.

Yes absolutely ES300h is boring car, maybe Clarkson didn't even drive it, but I did and it is exactly that. I was just comfortable, very Toyota like (well made, but not fancy) car with few Lexus badges. There was nothing offensive about it, but nothing exciting either. The next quote - "the perfect car for people who simply don’t care about attributes such as performance, handling and fun" - spot on. If I would be picked-up in one by cab driver I would be very happy, but I wouldn't want to drive one myself... ever. Quite importantly it is not comparable to say BMW 5-Series, because it isn't "sports" saloon, basically take BMW 5-series remove everything sporty and driver focused away, make it 4 times more reliable and you have yourself ES.

The belief that Clarkson hates Lexus comes from TG worst car of the century nomination for SC430. I disagree with them on this one, but I do see where they coming from. The styling at the time was questionable, inclusion of back seats was questionable and for the price it cost new it was bad deal. When we look at it from perspective of 10 years old flagship car which sells under £10k and it is completely reliable with minimal effort - that is good value for money. If one would have been asked to pay like £60k for it new in 2002 - that was definitely poor deal.

Apart of that Clarkson really only ever looked at very few Lexus cars - mocked LS600h for not working self-parking, IS-F review was rather fair from new car buyer perspective, but again didn't aged well just because of Lexus reliability (which new car buyers don't care about), RC-F was Lexus own fault - they advertised it as competitor for M4 (sport coupe), which it wasn't, it was rather competitor for E-Class coupe (GT car). GS-F he liked, just because it was genuinely good alternative to M5. If anything I think it is Lexus fault that by trying to shake off "old-people" brand sticker, they tried too hard to market their cars as sport cars they are not. Same for ES - they try to sell it as alternative to 5-Series, then people and press looks into it as sport-saloon it isn't and they get wrong impression.

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Not sure why the U.K. motoring press don't like Lexus ? (But have great love for the German brands)

In North America (and I think including Canada) people and press love Lexus. One of the reviewers even went as far as to say that the ES is the best product Lexus have produced in the last few years because it delivers beyond it's asking price.

I have close relatives in US who had a GS for ten years which they sold and bought another GS a couple years ago. (There also happens to be a Toyota Tacoma which is clocking 300k+ miles, it is so old that it actually has a Carburettor ! ... but that is another story)

One thing is for sure that in US people use their cars a lot more than we do here. They cover a lot of miles on a daily basis and I think that makes a difference. That is exactly the kind of use case where Lexus will shine and make people happy.

My personal experience was that on a rental Toyota Seinna I put about 500 miles in the span of two days. Didn't notice any drama. Then due to rental changes, I got a Dodge Journey. That also had a 3.5l V6 on it. On that I drove from the west coast to Page, Arizona (about 500 miles) in a day. I am pretty sure I started to notice a distinct whine from the the transmission ! I did complete the trip back to west coast in total racking up about 1800 miles on that Dodge but all the time I was worried that it might break down as it had definitely started to feel "rough". I asked the rental company to change the car but in rental locations in Arizona didn't have a seven seater available ! Got back and got into the Sienna and put another 500 miles on it and that car didn't skip a beat.

Over here, the Audi A6 I had developed a dash rattle in about two weeks of ownership 😕 Audi tried to fix it under warranty by stuffing some felt tape between some vent gaps but that didn't fix it. The same experience with a brand new VW Golf as well previously. So much for German engineering !

I don't have the time to deal with warranty claims for issue which should not be there to begin with (certainly not on a Audi A6 and that sort of price segment) but I also don't want to be constantly reminded of being fooled into buying something I was told is of top notch quality but really isn't.

My ES so far in one year of ownership has no rattles. I do notice a couple of "squeaks" or crunches and I know exactly where they are from and I know they are temperature related and they settle down. Which is fine. And does it matter that it is 8.9s to 62mph ? In real life driving, not at all. I do care that in heavy "lovely day" summer motorway traffic it returns 60mpg. Pretty sure the other cars which do 0-62mph in 5s are still lined up next to me burning fuel but not making any more progress than me in my ES 🙂 

Last year in September there was a mentally disabled person who started attacking cars on a red light. My wife was driving our ES and she was in the front of the queue to take his attack. The guy kicked really hard at the side windows and the body several times but nothing broke and nothing came bent. He then went on to attack cars behind ours and managed to smash the glasses on two of them and then wreaked havoc on another car by climbing on top of it.

Based on my experiences and anecdotal evidence, I am not even dreaming of looking into another brand ... ever !

Motoring journalists can continue to pander to the German manufacturers as much as they want. It is their livelihood after all and bills need get paid.

--E

 

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I find it difficult to disagree with anything you say there e-yes (I'm sure I know someone who will though). I really couldn't care less that some Scheissewagen can beat me to 60mph. I'll chuckle as I pass him later while he waits for the AA/Green Flag/RAC to come and fix his "Ultimate Driving Machine". Again. My days of wanting to be Michael Schumacher ended many years ago. I just want to get where I'm going feeling as relaxed as I did when I set off - a task which Betsy copes with admirably. In Betsy, and even in my IS300h, which was allegedly the slowest crock of s**t on the road, I never heard myself saying "oooh, I wish this had got a few more BHP..."

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22 minutes ago, e-yes said:

And does it matter that it is 8.9s to 62mph ? In real life driving, not at all. I do care that in heavy "lovely day" summer motorway traffic it returns 60mpg. Pretty sure the other cars which do 0-62mph in 5s are still lined up next to me burning fuel but not making any more progress than me in my ES 🙂 

People seems to read into it what they want to hear. Isn't this exactly what Clarkson said?! He said it is good car, excellent build quality, comfortable - but not exciting and rather boring - befitting the world we living in, where we can't drive fast because ecomentalists and speed cameras etc. And here you basically say the same thing, highlighting that you don't care about handling, speed, excitement, because you can't drive any faster when stuck in traffic, which Clarkson said is exactly what car lacks and that for owners it does not matter.

I just can't see how this was negative review?! It seems people feel entitled to hear only cheesy and sweet things and get upset about objective review. It seems that expectation is - "I have paid £40k for new car, so I expect to read it is best car ever made and I made absolutely the best choice and it is just amazing", the sort of thing 70 years old aunt who has no clue about cars would say. But as soon as there is balanced review, pointing out both positives and negatives, they get enraged and only focus on negative comments saying it was "negative reporting", despite actually agreeing that the reason they bought the car was that they only care about positives and they don't actually care for those negatives. 

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5 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

People seems to read into it what they want to hear. Isn't this exactly what Clarkson said?! He said it is good car, excellent build quality, comfortable - but not exciting and rather boring - befitting the world we living in, where we can't drive fast because ecomentalists and speed cameras etc. And here you basically say the same thing, highlighting that you don't care about handling, speed, excitement, because you can't drive any faster when stuck in traffic, which Clarkson said is exactly what car lacks and that for owners it does not matter.

I just can't see how this was negative review?! It seems people feel entitled to hear only cheesy and sweet things and get upset about objective review. It seems that expectation is - "I have paid £40k for new car, so I expect to read it is best car ever made and I made absolutely the best choice and it is just amazing", the sort of thing 70 years old aunt who has no clue about cars would say. But as soon as there is balanced review, pointing out both positives and negatives, they get enraged and only focus on negative comments saying it was "negative reporting", despite actually agreeing that the reason they bought the car was that they only care about positives and they don't actually care for those negatives. 

Don’t forget long term value. £40k? Try less than £35k for mine after discounts etc, equivalent 5 series/ E class etc can be got with big discounts too but  start just over £40k immediately hitting the owner with luxury tax payments in the future on top of the out of warranty repair bills. And I too agree my car is not flashy and slightly boring etc but that also translates to dependable, safe, efficient 

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1 hour ago, Mincey said:

and even in my IS300h, which was allegedly the slowest crock of s**t on the road, I never heard myself saying "oooh, I wish this had got a few more BHP..."

Who would say such a thing :biggrin:..I seriously thought that accolade was reserved for my IS200t. 

I look at Lexus like a big pink cuddly comfort blanket, a little like my GP told me Tramadol would be (he was wrong ). I don't necessarily agree with the way its gone in the UK with the brand but hopefully it will still be there when I decide I need it again.

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5 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

People seems to read into it what they want to hear. Isn't this exactly what Clarkson said?! He said it is good car, excellent build quality, comfortable - but not exciting and rather boring - befitting the world we living in, where we can't drive fast because ecomentalists and speed cameras etc. And here you basically say the same thing, highlighting that you don't care about handling, speed, excitement, because you can drive any faster when stuck in traffic, which Clarkson said is exactly what car lacks and that for owners it does not matter.

I just can't see how this was negative review?! It seems people feel entitled to hear only cheesy and sweet things and get upset about objective review. It seems that expectation is - "I have paid £40k for new car, so I expect to read it is best car ever made and I made absolutely the best choice and it is just amazing", the sort of thing 70 years old aunt who has no clue about cars would say. But as soon as there is balanced review, pointing out both positives and negatives, they get enraged and only focus on negative comments saying it was "negative reporting", despite actually agreeing that the reason they bought the car was that they only care about positives and they don't actually care for those negatives. 

To be fair I do agree that this specific review was neutral and balanced. Thanks for pointing it out.

However, if you can find the original Top Gear Lexus LFA review and how Richard Hammond ended that review...

LFA is an extreme example so... let us focus on the current generation ES ?

How many popular YouTube reviewers from U.K. (can get into naming names but lets leave that out) have given a fair review to the ES ? Most reviewers compare it against 5-series, A6, E-Class segment. While it really has no matching segment. It is one price class below those... size wise it is big and roomy (if not roomier) as all those. The complaint against CVT making the noise it makes is just blown way beyond proportion in one of the reviews.. and I am not saying this with any cognitive bias of being an ES owner and thus blinded against hearing anything negative about it. It has been said in the reviews that the ride is "lumpen". Is it really ? After putting 37k miles on BMW 3 series I had at one point.. that ride quality degradation is what I would call lumpen. We could go into more details but...

On the A6 particularly, for the current generation, just see how many negative reviews are available (I would guess ZERO). And then go and check on owners' forums the kind of issues owners are facing with brand new A6s. I am focussing on A6 as due to some foolishness I ended up paying deposit on yet another A6 even though I wasn't happy with the A6 I had originally, but pulled out in time after I noticed what was going on and then experienced the same on the test drive as well.

It's all in the presentation and media/press has the ability to mould opinions in peoples' minds. That is unfair if some brands are constantly being put in good light and others aren't even if those are no worse or even better. I fell for it once but being careful for the next times.

(Oh and BTW.. I am getting some pop-corn ready 🙂 )

Cheers,

--E

 

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I also don't see how the ES handles poorly. At legal speed limits, it can take corners and motorway speed bends without hearing squeeling tortured tyres despite the weight. Yes I've had cars that can take a corner like they were "on tracks", but none that could do it without drama and be as comfortable. I feel they've found a near perfect middle ground between handling and comfort. Now on a track I'll take a C6 corvette thank you, but after a few hundred miles on highway 1, the cornering ability novelty wears thin as the back pain sets in. BMWs are marginally better than a corvette on ride comfort, but not by much. Only Audis I drove were a horrendous painful A3 and a better estate A6, I wouldn't call either a middle ground for anything when it came to handling and comfort. Neither was comfortable, A6 marginally better than the A3, and handling was just ok. Not being entirely fair as the A6 was an estate and you definitely felt the heft in the corners. The last gen E class is too wafty and bouncy at speed (mind you autobahn speed), and handles like a boat. It was comfortable though.

On the "boring" perspective, if that means it's less likely to get noticed, vandalized and nicked, then I'm glad it's boring.

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16 minutes ago, Tonyw said:

And I too agree my car is not flashy and slightly boring etc but that also translates to dependable, safe, efficient 

And that is exactly what review said. Isn't it?

8 minutes ago, e-yes said:

Most reviewers compare it against 5-series, A6, E-Class segment. 

On the A6 particularly, for the current generation, just see how many negative reviews are available (I would guess ZERO).

Yes and that is Lexus fault - they advertised it as competitor to this segment. It isn't and it get's compared against wrong cars. As well they called it sporty and has this silly "F-Sport" pack on the car which has nothing to do with sporty. Again that sets wrong baseline, wrong impression, wrong comparison and wrong review. 

Really the only other car in this segment is VW Arteon, maybe to extent A6 in lower specs, or A5 saloon, or old good VW Passat. 

As well, Audi A6 (current model) was called least reliable car, so there is fair share of negative press. As for reviews - reviewers can't estimate how reliable the car will be, so it is impossible expectation. Although, it would be fair to point out that almost every review I have seen the presenters literally said "this is Lexus, so it will last forever", so even if they don't say Audi will fall apart (because they can't), they do mention that Lexus is reliable.

13 minutes ago, peniole said:

I also don't see how the ES handles poorly. At legal speed limits

There is not such thing as "handling at speed limit". Are you saying because I live in 20MPH zone, then I should look at how car handles at 20MPH? Because if that would be the case, then there will be no difference between 911, Fiesta or indeed ES, I am sure they can more than handle corner at 20MPH! No - handling is absolute, speed limits disregarded, you take car to twisty road or track and see how it "handles". Some cars handles well and are predictable, exciting to drive etc. Some others are not. ES isn't.

And I don't think he said it handless poorly - he said it is FWD car and "it plainly wasn’t designed to set any cornering speed records. Or raise the hairs on the back of your neck". And that is true.

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I will probably get slated for this, but on the whole the reviews are not widely inaccurate really. Yes, its safe, reliable and roomy but it is also boring and does not drive as well as a BMW 5 series (my last car was a BMW 530). And yes, compared to my BMW it does drive a bit like a Prius in a suit (My wife has a 2017 Prius). At at this price point, i am happy with the compromise. 

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As someone who favours comfort over sportiness, I think the Lexus blend suits fine.

However, that isn't for everyone, and for those who want 'dynamic' handling, The ES300h is probably not the way to go.

The other problem is that, despite wanting comfort, I also want some go when I press the accelerator, hence my previous car being the GS450h.  As Lexus seems to have abandoned this idea, it is a hard sell in that respect.

Mainly though, it is the comparison to the German rivals where brands like Lexus suffer.  Say what you want, but anyone who has experienced a new 3 or 5 series will see that it is possible to marry comfort and sportiness when it comes to handling and power.  Now, there are plenty of reasons for not choosing a BMW, with the big ones being styling, German price tax and reliability; but, if you can look past those, there is no doubt that as an overall package the BMW range is composed of some very capable machines.

So, when the ownership experience is taken out of the equation, then as a standalone proposition the ES generally doesn't bode too well against its typical rivals.

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