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I wrote the following "road test" for another forum I'm a member of, but I thought you guys might be interested in my first 10 days. I'm sure some of this will be nothing new but what the heck...

I picked the car up from Lexus Stoke on Thursday 22nd June. The handover took an hour and 30 minutes (seriously) the attention to detail on the handover is astonishing but then to be honest there is so much to go over (I'll cover that later). The first thing that struck me was just how big the car actually is. In a showroom next to other Lexi' it doesn't appear as large - out in the car park it was.

So...

There is no key to gain access as such - as long as you have the key fob in your possession the doors unlock and you can jump in. The car will not lock if the keys are detected inside the cabin. You can also use the key fob to open from a distance, at night this turns on the "mood" lighting in the car - all of the interior lights (and there are 15 of them distributed around the cabin are white LEDs - no horrible yellow lights here!) and the exterior lights under the door sills and wing mirrors come on (again all LED) The key fob also allows you to open all the windows and "moon roof" from a distance. Similarly locking the car either using the fob or the lock button on the door handle will close any open windows or sunroof.

The cabin quality really is top notch (although I'm sure some former members would disagree :rolleyes: ). Lexus have moved cabin quality on since I owned my last Lex a few years ago - it's solidly built with high quality soft touch plastics and (real) wood (Craig mentioned it was polished by Yamaha Piano company in his report) There is just enough wood to give it a "luxury" feel without going over the top that some mainstream (i.e. Korean) manufacturers would feel the need to fit. Dominating the centre console is the 7" touch screen. There are a few buttons mounted around it to control basic functions of the heating/audio/navigation etc, but most require to be set using the touch screen, with the seat heating/ventilation switches hidden under the sliding centre armrest. The remainder of the buttons are hidden in a drop down panel just above the drivers right knee - great idea I think.

Starting the car is just a case of putting your foot on the brake and pressing the Engine start button mounted to the left of the steering wheel. The 3L V6 comes alive with a muted V6 howl - not too quiet, not to loud - just enough. Once the engine settles after a second or 2 the quietness of the car becomes quite eerie.

The aircon system adjusts itself, the seat ventilation comes on, and the massively impressive 14 speaker Mark Levinson sound system drowns out the faint hush the engine is making. The system continuously adjusts the settings dependant on a number of factors, including number of people in the car, background noise, etc.

Programming the sat nav is very straight forward; there are so many options for Points of Interest, etc. The screen can be configured to show as much or as little as you want. I have it set to show a close up area of where I am on one side, and a "view from higher up" on the left. This is so that I can see the icons for traffic "incidents" well in advance of when I might actually meet them. Touch the relevant icon and it brings up details of the "incident" e.g. the other day it told me "Rescue and Recovery work in operation" on a road that had been closed. Driving back up from stoke I was informed that "In 5 miles, torrential rain" - Sure enough, 5 miles later it was ****** down. Another good feature of the navigation is the ability to "mark points" by hitting a button on the map display. I.e. if you come across something you may want to mark its location so that you can return to it. I've thought of a more sinister use for this - marking the location of speed cameras! As you approach a marked point it "boings" to let you know - could be useful.

The voice activation (for just about everything) works really well too and so much better than the version I had in my 350Z for the phone (although to be fair, there was just too much roar in the Z for the voice activation to work effectively). Pressing a button on the steering wheel and saying something "Twenty Two Degrees" will set both sides of the dual zone climate to, surprise, surprise, 22 degrees.

The built in Bluetooth phone system works very well, although it doesn't dynamically read the phonebook of my phone - you have to transfer numbers to it via Bluetooth. This is OK if you have a phone that can bulk transfer more than one number at a time - mine can't so I've had the tedious task of transferring them one by one. My only other criticism of the phone system is that the volume can be too quiet when on the move (something I know 4car long term test has picked up on too).

That said, there isn't that much noise anyway - the only time you hear the engine is when you boot it and even then it's not intrusive at all.

The memory seats for both passenger and driver and a neat touch and although we tend not to drive each others cars that often, it's reassuring to know that when Mrs A has been in mine I can reset it exactly as I want.

As for on the move, well despite weighing in at 2 tonnes, it doesn't hang about. The engine is torquey and the 6 speed (with manual override) suits the engine well. 245HP and 317NM of torque is plenty. I've managed to convince myself that buying the 4.3 V8 version wouldn't have made (too) much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Despite being larger than the Accord, the boot (or trunk as the dashboard display likes to call it) is no larger - I guess that the RWD gubbins steal some boot space. There is an emergency spare wheel and the amplifier for the ML sound system is also in there under the floor. The self-closing boot lid is a nice touch.

So, to sum up:

:) Good Points - Refinement, performance, kit, ventilated seats!

:( Bad Points - Car has to be stopped to program satnav or use phone system (although you can set up 18 one-touch numbers that do work), not much else.

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A good write up....Well done

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Hi,

Again Good write up :) .

Most if not all the Lexus range has a poor size boot for the size of the car,seems most if not all the Lexus range have the fuel tank behind the rear seats robbing boot space.

Other makes/model cars have the fuel tank under the boot in the floor and allow for the rear seats to fold forward.

Happy Motoring with your new car!!

Chips..

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Cheers chaps.

I'll try and get some pictures up soon...

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