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Unhappy Lexus Experience...


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Hi All,

Sorry for a slightly negative post..

I was initially a proud Lexus GS300 owner (used - registered October 2000) back in October 2004. Just over 4 months later, I'm trading in for a BMW.

The Lexus has some great plus points - Comfortable seats, high level of equipment, solid engineering, great sound system, marvellously smooth engine. However the minus points weigh more heavily against the GS in my opinion - Very bad ride, lazy auto box (although very smooth), wind noise in the cabin, poor panel fit (started getting a little paranoid that I had an accident repaired car), very inelegant interior (solid but feels a bit tacky). The main thing is the ride and wind noise. Even though I had a BMW 528 Sport previously and the road noise was much greater, I find wind the wind noise in the GS is just unacceptable for a car in the executive and luxury segment.

I've today signed up to do a part (actually full) exchange for a BMW 735. It has bigger wheels but the road noise is still significantly less - it also has a much better ride quality, and even though the seats aren't as nice, I think the family will find it a more relaxing place to travel in.

Sorry, but my either my expectations of the GS were too high, or I got a Friday car... From studying this forum over the past 4 months, I think my expectations were too high (common themes around wind noise, fidgety ride etc.). I really hope the new GS is a lot better...

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Got rid of my BMW 528i, cos of electrical problems, used to have to get into the car through the windows (climbing etc :blush: especially in the summer)..........BM* service remains the most in the world, .......cannot fault Toyota in any respect,may ultimately think about buying a Toyota SUV or TUNDRA.................no problems fella :lol:

please stop swearing in posts, these forums are public and can be viewed by anyone!

Edited by Supracharged-IS340
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Got rid of my BMW 528i, cos of electrical problems, used to have to get  into the car through the windows (climbing etc  :blush: especially in the summer)..........BM* service remains the most in the world, F*** em.......cannot fault Toyota in any respect,may ultimately think about  buying a Toyota SUV or TUNDRA.................no problems fella :lol:

Hi wills

Agree with the rock solid engineering behind these cars (still a take back a bit with the panel fit on mine though) - nothing in the slightest indicates that my car is unreliable in the 4 months I've had it.

I just think the drive is not up to what I would have thought for a vehicle squaring up against the 5 series. But, looks like some have taken the time to tweak their cars (including wills) which may mean you get the perfect driving experience - but I've found I haven't got the time (or money, to be honest) to be able to do this.

I'm not saying that the GS is really that bad - just not as good as I thought it would be. Of course, by saying all this I've probably invoked Murphy's Law and thus the bimmer I'm getting in place of the GS will be an absolute bag of spanners....

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Have you thought about the LS400 instead of the BMW?

Most of the negative points

wind noise in the cabin, poor panel fit
and
I think the family will find it a more relaxing place to travel in
will not be present in the LS400 :driving: . A BMW 7 series is not as quiet or relaxing as an LS400. The motoring press criticise the LS for being too "refined", but for me thats the point of a luxury car. Drive one and you'll see what I mean. Good luck with whatever you buy.
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Have you thought about the LS400 instead of the BMW?

Most of the negative points

wind noise in the cabin, poor panel fit
and
I think the family will find it a more relaxing place to travel in
will not be present in the LS400 :driving: . A BMW 7 series is not as quiet or relaxing as an LS400. The motoring press criticise the LS for being too "refined", but for me thats the point of a luxury car. Drive one and you'll see what I mean. Good luck with whatever you buy.

Hi adz

I can't afford the current generation of LS - although in general the LS looks too imposing. The previous generation LS (pre 1999 I think) doesn't do it for me in terms of interior cabin styling.

I'm sure you're right about the LS being quieter and more relaxing that a 7-series (probably also beats an S-class in this respect also).

Unforunately the only Lexus which I really felt I could relate to in terms of image and styling probably was the GS, but you all know what I think about that already.

Hopefully a couple of years of bimmer ownership then pick up a great deal on a used 2005 GS (assuming it's as good as the current 5 and E).

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Cool Dolo

It'd be boring if we all liked the same cars wouldn't it.

I was looking at an S-class, a 7 series or an LS400

I chose the LS because you get so much more and at a few years old i'd go for Lexus every time.

Good luck with the Beemer, I hope it's a nice colour with loads of toys.

Enjoy :D

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Cool Dolo

It'd be boring if we all liked the same cars wouldn't it.

I was looking at an S-class, a 7 series or an LS400

I chose the LS because you get so much more and at a few years old i'd go for Lexus every time.

Good luck with the Beemer, I hope it's a nice colour with loads of toys.

Enjoy  :D

I know what you mean adz about a bit of diversity, but then again this is a Lexus forum :blush:

The 7 lacks heated seats of the GS (and sat nav is not widescreen), but it gains front and rear PDC and rain-sensitive wipers (which I had on my previous 528 and thought was the most useful day to day gadget). Always perplexed me that the GS was so high in spec and toys but lacked the rain sensor and PDC.

I refer back to wills post though - it can be a bit worrying having lots of toys on a bimmer! Fingers, toes and everything else crossed :duh:

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Hi Dolo, I sold my GS300 after about 6 months for the same reasons. I too found the ride unbearable. I had a Sport and so expected the ride to be firm, but I found the way it crashed and banged over uneven road surfaces and skipped across the road when going around uneven corners unacceptable for a car of this class. I also noticed the wind noise, but that wasn't a major reason for selling.

I loved a lot of things about my GS. The looks and individuality were far better than the BMW 528i which I owned previously, as were the smoothness of the engine and gearbox. It was also a really comfortable place to be on a long journey (as long as the roads were smooth!). The handling wasn't as good as the BMW, but I knew that before I bought it.

The ride quality in my Audi S3 is actually better than in my Lexus. Everyone I know who has been in both cars agrees with me on this. The Audi has the firmer ride, but it handles uneven surfaces and potholes far better. This really surprised me - a hot hatch with better ride quality than a luxury saloon!

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Good luck Dolo with the 7 series, i've thought about these cars, they look great and perform well...........only thing is the servicing costs of BM*.....but then if you go for the full lexus service regulaly you are probably a rich person anyways (i change my oil myselr every 3 months and keep fingers crossed!)

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You cannot compare the GS with a 7 series. You have already stated the GS has less wind noise than your 5 series.

However I agree the ride quality is very poor in the GS - it's set up too much for the US market. Is your GS a face lift model (new style rear lights) as these do ride better than the 1998-2000 versions but it's still not good enough.

I'm considering swapping out my suspension but don't want to spend £1000 to find it doesn't make things any better and I do not know of anybody in the UK that has already done it.

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You cannot compare the GS with a 7 series. You have already stated the GS has less wind noise than your 5 series.

However I agree the ride quality is very poor in the GS - it's set up too much for the US market. Is your GS a face lift model (new style rear lights) as these do ride better than the 1998-2000 versions but it's still not good enough.

I'm considering swapping out my suspension but don't want to spend £1000 to find it doesn't make things any better and I do not know of anybody in the UK that has already done it.

I didn't say the GS has less wind noise that the 5 but less road noise. I agree the GS and 7 are completely different cars - a comparison between the GS and 5 is fairer so here goes (I owned a 2000W 528 Sport for 12 months and my GS is 2000X):

Road noise : GS wins - the firmer suspension of the 5 lets in more road noise. I don't think it's tyres as my GS has 235/45 all round (Goodyear GSD3) and the 5 had 235/45 front with 255/40 rear (also Goodyear GSD3).

Wind noise : 5 wins - Anything over 65-75 in the GS creates a very irritating wind noise around the front and driver side windows. Seems this is not a problem with the GS, just the way it is. The 5 had better isolation from wind noise (but not as good as the 2000X E class I had before that).

Ride : 5 wins - As mentioned by NickF, the GS just can't manage on anything other than brand new smooth roads - twitches around continuously on less than perfect surfaces and lets you know about all the imperfections in the road. The 5 rode over bad surfaces very well although you could really feel speed bumps with it's stiff suspension. ColinBarber asked which Lexus I had - I believe it is the 2001 model year as I have the new style rear lights and DVD satnav and if this is an improvement over the first version of the GS II then all the more shocking that Lexus could not make this any better. Surely the LS doesn't behave like this?

Handling : 5 wins (just). Both cars feel pretty precise in handling and agility, but as the 5 rides better over imperfections, one feels more secure in rapid changes of direction in this car over the GS.

Comfort : GS wins (just). The GS seats feel more cossetting - very luxurious. The 5 (I had sport seats in mine) feel firmer at first but are comfortable for long journeys. However, I prefer the GS seats. The climate control in both cars seems pretty good to me, although I think the GS has better air distribution (like the little channel which blows under the steering wheel right between your legs :whistling: )

ICE : GS wins. The standard stereo on the GS is unbelievable. The 5 has a very ordinary amp and with the lack of a standard sub as the GS has, lacks any real impact when the volume is pumped up. The Mark Levinson equipped GS cars must be out of this world.

Interior : 5 wins. The GS looks a bit ordinary on the inside - except for the binnacles that the instruments sit in, the rest of the dash could be from any Toyota, and it doesn't have flowing lines as in the 5. The 5's dash is very ergonomic - I really like the way it flows and the slight angling of the centre console towards the driver.

Exterior Looks : 5 wins (just). I like the 5 series (E39) looks - a classic shape I think, but when fitted with the sport kit, looks a lot like an M5 so even better looking. But the GS is very nice - even the GS Mark I still looks good. A GS in sport trim looks even nicer that a GS SE, but still not quite as cool as a 5 series with full sport kit.

Running costs : 5 wins. I've not had to service the Lexus yet, but from what I've read it appears servicing costs are not that different - but the GS needs servicing every 10k whereas my 528 was averaging 15k service intervals. So even if the 5 cost 50% more that the GS to service, it would work out the same over a long time. The fuel consumption in the 5 was better on the motorway that the GS (average 30mpg at 90mph in the 5 but only about 26-27 in the GS).

I could go on, but possibly at the risk of boring everyone to death (if not already done!). But overall, I think I still stand by my opinion that while the GS is a decent car, it's not as good as a 5 series. From what I recall, I believe the 5 series took WhatCar executive car of the year for 5 or 6 years consecutively, and I think there is much merit in this fact.

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i have changed the suspension on my GS300 several times.

When i received my GS, it had the stock 16" wheels and stock springs and shocks.... i hated the ride ... it was like a Buick ... :lol:

Then i replaced my 16" (with 225/16/45 tires) with the 17" (235/17/40) and installed KYB shocks and KGmm lowering springs ... a huge improvement... the floating was gone....

Then i decided to go for the Apexi WS coilovers ... and the ride was improved even more... i started liking the ride...

Now i have Sportek coilovers and 18" (235/18/40 + 265/18/35) and installed TRD Sportivo sways in front and rear ... and lately installed a STB ... i can tell you that the ride is really good. Even better than the bimmers i have driven in ... still very comfortable, but excellent handling...

and of coz ... lots of modding fun :hehe:

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Well done and good onya.You have achieved with care and attention what a multi billion pound international motor manufacturer could not (or didn't want) to achieve.I hope they are reading this thread and feel very ashamed.

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Basically, i think that most of Lexus current customers (who are located in the US) ... like the existing Lexus handling / driving experience .... However, now that more ...(read: younger) people are considering Lexus .... the traditional Lexus handling / driving experience is not what we require.

It is people like us ... who like it to be a bit more sporty ... :lol:

BTW ... even for the LS430 there are a whole assortment of parts available that can enhance the handling of the car ...

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