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I've just returned from a Lexus Open Day at Castle Fraser, near Aberdeen. Lovely sunny day. Got to drive each car for 15 miles through scenic countryside in and around the glorious castle gardens. Gave a good chance to test the suspension on rural roads, and a few potholes too. Also a nice straight bit to put my foot down (and not a speed camera in sight :D :D )

I ended up test driving all the GS range, an RX350 and an IS250 SE auto. What an eye-opener it was too :ohmy:

So my first impressions are:-

The GS's were a real surprise to me having never been anywhere near one before. Comfy, good handling, performance, roomy and looked much better in real life than in pictures I've seen. OK, so they were all the SE-L spec and it's true what they say, the Mark Levinson system is really good, especially for classical music. The Mesa Red with beige interior looked good to me (more importantly my wife liked it best :winky: ).

I really liked them all, but the GS300 was my favorite. The 430 went well but the suspension felt a little harsher than the 300. The 450h felt so quiet at lower speeds, and I was amazed at how the petrol engine cut in and out, without even hearing it. Stonking performance too. But again, the ride was a tad harsher, probably the result of the extra weight of the batteries and motors. Running fuel consumption showed a disappointing 23.5 mpg, so no real benefit there! Boot's small too. Perhaps in the future.....

The RX just wasn't to my taste. It went well enough and the higher view was good, but the ride was harsh and it just had no soul. A truly "American" car in my view, It just felt outclassed by all the others. But then I never have been a tarmac 4x4 fan.

The IS looked good and was nice to drive, but having driven the GS first, there really was no contest. I thought the engine was bit tame, compared with my IS300, but maybe once it's loosened up it would improve. It also had a creaking seat, at the back :duh:

One thing did surprise me however. I tried a steep hill start with all the cars, given that they all have the horrible parking foot brake. All the cars rolled backwards, except for the GS300. Don't understand why. I thought the IS at least was supposed to have an automatic brake applicator that held it on a hill, but none of them seemed to work, yet with the GS300 I thought I could feel the brake applying itself and it didn't roll back at all.

Anyway it was a great day out and a fine way to compare the cars. All I've got to do now is save up...... :blink:

IanB :D

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I thought the IS at least was supposed to have an automatic brake applicator that held it on a hill

................. :yawn:

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Sounds like a fun day you've had there! I agree the new GS is quite nice, but I actually found the 430 to be more comfortable than the 300 (was the suspension damping on sport perhaps?)

The IS does have a device to hold it on hills (not sure what it is though, its the same as on the old IS as far as i know) - but I find even on my IS that if you don't bring the car to a complete stop, it doesn't engage

I personally still think that the IS250 is much better all round than the GS, but yeah the engine isn't as powerful so when you think of the cost, it doesn't really make sense. Especially as 1 yr old GS430s are now under £30k......

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Hi,

Sounds like you had a great time today.

So there wasnt a LS model to test?

If you was impressed with the GS you would be Bold Over by the LS :)

Chips..

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Hi,

Sounds like you had a great time today.

So there wasnt a LS model to test?

If you was impressed with the GS you would be Bold Over by the LS :)

Chips..

No the LS wasn't there, as they were waiting till the new model comes out later in the year.

I'm sure you're right that I'd like it, but I think it's just more car than I need (or can justify :blink: ).

Cheers,

IanB :D

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Sounds like a fun day you've had there! I agree the new GS is quite nice, but I actually found the 430 to be more comfortable than the 300 (was the suspension damping on sport perhaps?)

The IS does have a device to hold it on hills (not sure what it is though, its the same as on the old IS as far as i know) - but I find even on my IS that if you don't bring the car to a complete stop, it doesn't engage

Ah the salesman didn't tell me about a sports setting, so maybe that was it. I'd better not write it off just yet then. The motor was nice... :)

As for an auto-brake, my IS300 doesn't seem to have it, but it's not an issue as I can use the handbrake if needs must. I'm sure I've seen mention on the forum about this. I'm taking my car in for some work next week, so I'll ask the service manager about it just to satisfy my curiosity.

Cheers,

IanB :D

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I just had to resurrect this post.

I've gone and bought a virtually new GS 300 SE-L. It's black with sand interior and is just every bit as nice as I though it would be, following my test drive back in the summer.

Chuffed to bits, I am :D :) :D :) :D

IanB :D

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Here's a picture. The trick will be keeping it looking glossy black like this.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/bowenina/NewGS1a.jpg

I went for the Lexus Bodycare treatment, inside and out, so hopefully that will keep it sparkling.

Still learning about the all the controls and the sat nav. Also need to buy a new mobile phone that will talk to the car. Can you use any Bluetooth phone, or are there any particular models that work best? I'd prefer a flip phone with reasonable sized buttons.

IanB :D

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Nice motor, have you thought of getting a light tint added to the windows? WOuld make it look real nice

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The IS does have a device to hold it on hills (not sure what it is though, its the same as on the old IS as far as i know) - but I find even on my IS that if you don't bring the car to a complete stop, it doesn't engage

whats this? i've never heard about this before, please enlighten me?

great car, lovely colour, black is the new black!? :lol: its nice youve gone for the light interior I bet it looks great.

Craig

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The IS does have a device to hold it on hills (not sure what it is though, its the same as on the old IS as far as i know) - but I find even on my IS that if you don't bring the car to a complete stop, it doesn't engage

whats this? i've never heard about this before, please enlighten me?

great car, lovely colour, black is the new black!? :lol: its nice youve gone for the light interior I bet it looks great.

Craig

Yes the light interior really looks good. I also saw one with a grey interior and that looked a bit too somber for us.

As for the autobrake, I don't know the answer to this one yet. I'll try and find a step hill tomorrow and see if mine stops. However, as you can see from the correspondence earlier in this thread, it rather looks like there isn't one, but if the engine is idling fast enough, it will hold itself on the autobox drag. I'll report back.

IanB :D

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So the answer to the autobrake question is: -

Service Manager at Lexus Aberdeen says there isn't one! Apparently the Lexus autobox has a sort of built-in resistance to rolling back, which does hold it on slight hills, However, the rest is up to the natural oil drag in the gearbox. There is no external application of the brakes.

However, he says the new LS will have this feature......!

Mystery solved!

IanB :D

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Here's a picture. The trick will be keeping it looking glossy black like this.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/bowenina/NewGS1a.jpg

I went for the Lexus Bodycare treatment, inside and out, so hopefully that will keep it sparkling.

Still learning about the all the controls and the sat nav. Also need to buy a new mobile phone that will talk to the car. Can you use any Bluetooth phone, or are there any particular models that work best? I'd prefer a flip phone with reasonable sized buttons.

IanB :D

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Here's a picture. The trick will be keeping it looking glossy black like this.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/bowenina/NewGS1a.jpg

I went for the Lexus Bodycare treatment, inside and out, so hopefully that will keep it sparkling.

Still learning about the all the controls and the sat nav. Also need to buy a new mobile phone that will talk to the car. Can you use any Bluetooth phone, or are there any particular models that work best? I'd prefer a flip phone with reasonable sized buttons.

IanB :D

Ian,

I recently took delivery of a GS450h SE L also in Black with Beige Interior (Velvet Black with Sandstone as Lexus call it). I would be interested to know if you notice whether the paint picks up any light surface marks?

My car spent a week with the dealer having some light surface scratches polished out, as well as a couple of tiny (one the size of a head of a pin head) stone chips on the bonnet dealt with.

What concerns me is the ease with which the car can pick up even the slightest of marks, allbeit that they will polish out.

Ive been told that black is a colour well known for showing up any surface marks that would be invisible on a lighter colour, and whilst I accept there is some truth in this, I'm wondering whether the non metallic black Toyota use is far more susceptable - I have a relation who has a Prius in black who also seems to notice the same issue.

Regards

Keith

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Interesting! No sign of any marks yet Keith, but it's early days. Right now the car's a tad grubby so if I get a chance to wash it at the weekend, I'll be scrutinising the paintwork :blink:

IanB :D

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Here's a picture. The trick will be keeping it looking glossy black like this.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/bowenina/NewGS1a.jpg

I went for the Lexus Bodycare treatment, inside and out, so hopefully that will keep it sparkling.

Still learning about the all the controls and the sat nav. Also need to buy a new mobile phone that will talk to the car. Can you use any Bluetooth phone, or are there any particular models that work best? I'd prefer a flip phone with reasonable sized buttons.

IanB :D

Ian,

I recently took delivery of a GS450h SE L also in Black with Beige Interior (Velvet Black with Sandstone as Lexus call it). I would be interested to know if you notice whether the paint picks up any light surface marks?

My car spent a week with the dealer having some light surface scratches polished out, as well as a couple of tiny (one the size of a head of a pin head) stone chips on the bonnet dealt with.

What concerns me is the ease with which the car can pick up even the slightest of marks, allbeit that they will polish out.

Ive been told that black is a colour well known for showing up any surface marks that would be invisible on a lighter colour, and whilst I accept there is some truth in this, I'm wondering whether the non metallic black Toyota use is far more susceptable - I have a relation who has a Prius in black who also seems to notice the same issue.

Regards

Keith

Remember that modern auto paints are much softer than auto paints from 10 or even 5 years ago. I saw a 1999 Audi A8 with 60k miles and the bonnet was peppered with stone chips. Every A8 I saw had the same problem.

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Yes I'm sure you're right Maneesh. I'm not going to get paranoid about the odd chip though.

I did wonder whether the Bodycare treatment might make it easier to wash, like just turn a hose on it and watch the mud rinse off. However, I tried that the other day and it doesn't work :blink:

So it's get the sponge out. I wonder how it'll take to a car wash?

IanB :D

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Yes I'm sure you're right Maneesh. I'm not going to get paranoid about the odd chip though.

I did wonder whether the Bodycare treatment might make it easier to wash, like just turn a hose on it and watch the mud rinse off. However, I tried that the other day and it doesn't work :blink:

So it's get the sponge out. I wonder how it'll take to a car wash?

IanB :D

Most commercial carwashes will leave your paintwork with tiny scratches. Be warned!

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