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Help Me Choose, Please!

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My first post so please be gentle.

It’s that time I face every 3 years when my company car comes up for renewal.

Narrowed the choices (limited to Ford, Vauxhall, Saab, Merc, Lexus and Toyota, Volvo) to either one of the Merc C class variants or the Lexus IS.

Coming out of a Jag X type SE 2.0L Diesel.

Strange but this year the Jags have been dropped favour of the Mercs.

The difficulty is I am stuck with the car for 3 years, so making the right choice is important. Guess I looking for comfort from you guys on the right Lexus choice.

I have to pay a personal contribution and obviously get hit for taxable benefit based on emissions. Business mileage is reimbursed at the going rate will at least cost the cover of current fuel prices.

The real choice is between having any of the 250d range (SE, SE L, Sport) with MM (on the SE, SEL not Sport) or the 250 SE Auto without MM.

Setting the 250 SE Auto as my highest point of personal expenditure. Trying to keep some sense of reality this combo would be £400 pm (per cont and tax)

I really fancied an auto box this time round but could again go with the manual on the 250d if I hadn’t read so many horror stories about the ratios, crunching etc.

As the Jag gives me 50- 54 mpg all of the time I was amazed at the low MPG figures mentioned for the 220d :o

On the other hand go back to Petrol suffer the increased BIK tax on emissions but have the luxury of auto and smooth V6 2.5 ltr :)

The MM system description sounds fantastic, but could you live with out it? Only thing I would seriously miss from the jag is rear parking sensors. Have a Tom Tom have a Bluetooth headset and the standard system in the IS seems good anyway.

So what’s it to be. I hear you telling me to test drive (I will) but I always feel guilty with the local dealer, knowing that Lloyds TSB Autolease will purchase elsewhere and just turn up one day at home with the new Car on a trailer, no hand over room experience for me!!

I do few personal miles so the reduced MPG of the petrol version doesn’t matter too much.

I would consider myself a careful driver through the gears (comes from driving the Jag!) but still like to cruise motorways at steady 80-85 normally.

Mainly fast A road and motorway driving about 25000 a year.

I have asked a lot of questions and sure I could do extensive test driving, but I am not sure a quick spin around the block will give not me the same insight you guys have living with these beasts every day.

So is it to be:

250d SE (L) MM

250d Sport

250 SE Auto

:unsure:

.

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It sounds like you're the kind of person enjoying luxurious and quality without having to sacrifice too much of your cash, hence 250 SE Auto would be the pick for you.

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I was initially interested in a diesel auto but when I found Lexus weren't doing one I tried the 250SE Auto and found it to be absolutely brilliant - it is so smooth and powerful - easily the best auto I've driven, and the most economical. The 220d was not out when I bought mine but I have subsequently had one as a courtesy car but I wasn't terribly impressed, the gearbox being the main problem. I found it had a long throw and was a bit vague. The engine itself was good, modern in terms of design, meets all current and future emissions standards and seemed a good balance between power and economy, albeit not as good on mpg as the older Audi/VW designs.

As for the MM, well I was buying with my own money and couldn't possibly justify the £2700 price. Again, I have tried an SE-L with MM and found the satnav to be no better than my £140 Garmin while the better sound system was only marginally better than the standard fit. It all depends how much of an audiophile you are I guess. I also thought that with all the advances in Satnav I could be stuck with an out of date system a couple of years down the line.

Another thing, the price difference between a 250 SE Auto and a 250SE-L Auto with MM is £5,300. There's no where near that much added value between the 2 in my mind. I love my IS but I don't think it's a £32k car in any spec.

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250d SE (L) MM

250d Sport

250 SE Auto

My only reason for getting the 220d was for the company car tax, I also chose not to 'top up, being a tight git so went for base model.

Although the MM is great, the standard sound system is superb anyway and a very good portable GPS is a lot cheaper than the MM and can have Bluetooth as standard.

If I was choosing for more than my wallet I'd go for the 250 SE Auto (but add parking sensors). The SE has as much kit as you'd need, the SE-L is great but I could cope without some of the gizmos. The gearing in the diesel is it's worst aspect and if you cruise at 80-85 this is the lowest it'll do in 6th unless you get a sport (which'd be my second choice).

Go to the dealers and have a spin is the best you could do - that'd narrow down the petrol/diesel argument at least.

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I got the 220 d standard model. for me it was V's a new A4. economy wise i very seldom achieve less than 44 miles to the gallon mixed driving. while this isn'ty as good as the germans I preffer the drive. on long motorway journeys using cruise (avg of 75mph) it'll return 52mpg. the economy figures impoved for about the first 3000 miles. I do think that the skins are lighter than the germans with as much stone chips evident after 6 months as after 3 years with Audi. the lack of a side rubbing strip also means dings from door openings can happen (as it did to me) if you don't watch where you park. When I go back into herselfs A3 i really see that the clutch in the lex is very heavy, i thaught it was snapped initially in the A3 it was so light by comparison. I change every 2 - 3 years and all thingsd considered I see myself staying with lex. at the moment i'm working on getting herself to trade up to a lex RX400, she's a bit of an enviormentalist and things are looking good.

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Personally, it would be between the IS250SE Auto (SE-L auto if you can stretch to that) and the IS220d Sport.

I chose the IS220d Sport because I pay my own fuel. I average 43mpg. I don't like the gearing on the other diesels (S, SE, SE-L) it basically renders it a 5 speed box and the acceleration isn't as good in gear, but the different final drive ratio on the diesel sport makes a huge difference.

The auto is superb though.

The ideal combination would be IS250SE-L auto with 18 inch wheels.....but thats getting expensive...

If only the IS220d Sport came with an auto box as an option it would be perfect.....

I personally can't justify the price of the MM.

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Thanks guys for your input so far

The 220d Sport, to be honest slipped under my radar initially though sems to tick the right boxes on front and rear sensors, diesel, MPG etc.

'Cellensia seating pack (including: heated; 8-way electrically adjustable front seats, featuring memory function) '

What s the above like to live with?? Guess I loose the fan up the a**se and not leather?

Going off the MM nobody suggests its a must have option, if you have Sat Nav Bluetooth etc

Plead to all you Sport owners, an honest opinion of having 18" rims, sports suspension and driving up and down our great country's motorways.

Appreciate the better gear ratios but does the sport cure all of the potential issues with the manual box.

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Thanks guys for your input so far

The 220d Sport, to be honest slipped under my radar initially though sems to tick the right boxes on front and rear sensors, diesel, MPG etc.

'Cellensia seating pack (including: heated; 8-way electrically adjustable front seats, featuring memory function) '

What s the above like to live with?? Guess I loose the fan up the a**se and not leather?

Going off the MM nobody suggests its a must have option, if you have Sat Nav bluetooth etc

Plead to all you Sport owners, an honest opinion of having 18" rims, sports suspension and driving up and down our great country's motorways.

Appreciate the better gear ratios but does the sport cure all of the potential issues with the manual box.

Cellensia seating is fine. I have the Ivory, if it gets dirty a clean washing up sponge and plain water gets out any marks easily.

18's and sports suspension is not too harsh, it still rides like a lexus and not much different from 17's, plus the 18's look wicked :winky:

Can't fault the car! Just wanted an auto, but the manual is fine in mine.

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Thanks guys for your input so far

The 220d Sport, to be honest slipped under my radar initially though sems to tick the right boxes on front and rear sensors, diesel, MPG etc.

'Cellensia seating pack (including: heated; 8-way electrically adjustable front seats, featuring memory function) '

What s the above like to live with?? Guess I loose the fan up the a**se and not leather?

Having had the ventilated seats this Summer I would now insist on them for future cars. They have gone from something I thought I'd never use to one of the best features of the car. My gonads have never felt so comfortable.

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I agree with most of the comments on here :D , especially about the diesel. It's not the best oiler in the world and will give you 50+ MPG if you stick it in 5th at 55-60 (i.e. HGV speeds) as I proved yesterday. But it is good at cruising on the motorway and once you're used to the gearing the car is an overtaking demon!!!

From an economy stand point, for a 170+bhp diesel it's average. If you do go diesel IS, get the sport. It's almost an SEL in terms of kit, but the gearing is better. You don't get vented seats, but becasue they're not leather it won't matter so much. You do get heated seats, bigger wheels, sports suspension, parking sensors etc. and easily the pick of the diesel Lexus cars.

The gearing however will mean that the MPG will be slightly worse on the Sport than the SE or SE-L, but probably only 2-3MPG if that and you probably won't notice... :blink:

Having said all of this, if I could turn the clock back, I suspect I personally would have got an 250 SE Auto...as NBLG says, it is by far the best auto in this class :blush: .

BTW - regardless of what people say about the MM system, I still think it is worth it. Borrow an IS with MM for a few days, then try one without it...

It's not just satnav :excl: - it also has integrated Bluetooth, rear camera (which is probably the best reversing device available on any car), Mark Levinson surround sound and voice activation. It also controls your Climate control etc, and I know most people don't watch movies in the car when at a standstill, but the sound system during movie playback is amazing and it does support proper DVD Audio (not WMA/mp3's on a DVD).

Also, the fact that you have a rubber sucker on the inside of the screen detracts from the "class" of this car (snob appeal - there's something very CHAV about it) - :tomato: please don't flame me - it's only my humble opinion :lol: .

PS - features aside, nothing really competes with a satnav that is plumbed into the speed pulses of the car and has a proper gyrosensor. I've also got a Tomtom, and whilst some of the features are good and better than the MM, the constant pointing in wrong directions, "stammering" on the screen etc is too much to take...and I hate those mounting brackets and small screen!

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Had a trip down to Brighton Lexus today.

Demo fixed for Tuesday, guy is trying to get both a 220d and 250 auto to try out. One with MM and one without

really impressed with the interior finish and general craftsmanship.

Saw the mm in a 250 SEL auto surpised how big the screen was.

Wish I could go for all of the toys. :o

If I can live with the manual 220d after the test drive then could be a 220d SE MM.

Then the choice of colour loved the Canterbury Blue ;)

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BTW - regardless of what people say about the MM system, I still think it is worth it. Borrow an IS with MM for a few days, then try one without it...

Also, the fact that you have a rubber sucker on the inside of the screen detracts from the "class" of this car (snob appeal - there's something very CHAV about it) - :tomato: please don't flame me - it's only my humble opinion :lol: .

You may be right - I wonder if Burberry could do a "Lexus check" baseball cap for us non-MM chavs.. :)

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Also, the fact that you have a rubber sucker on the inside of the screen detracts from the "class" of this car (snob appeal - there's something very CHAV about it) - :tomato: please don't flame me - it's only my humble opinion :lol: .

Whats a chav? :hehe:

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Also, the fact that you have a rubber sucker on the inside of the screen detracts from the "class" of this car (snob appeal - there's something very CHAV about it) - :tomato: please don't flame me - it's only my humble opinion :lol: .

Whats a chav? :hehe:

Council Housed And Violent

Apologies to anyone fitting that bill

If I can live with the manual 220d after the test drive then could be a 220d SE MM.

Excellent choice mate - you've taste... :lol: but do consider a Sport with MM if you can stretch to it...

Good luck!

You may be right - I wonder if Burberry could do a "Lexus check" baseball cap for us non-MM chavs.. :)

or Lexus emblem dice

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OK its been a while :blush:

Got to drive both the 250 auto and the 220d manual. The 250 was sel MM really wanted to test the MM and the auto box, not the wood trim! So smoooooth !!! fantastic gearbox.

220d by comparison, hmmm, vibrating RVM, noisy, those gear ratios, heavy clutch :tsktsk:

So its gonna be the 250 SE auto, can't / won't stretch to the MM so having dealer fitted rear parking sensors added. In truth really the only option the SE doesn't have that would useful AFAIAK. The rest of the MM caperbility, although great, I can live without.

Anybody know roughly the cost of the dealer fitted rear sensors option?

As this is a co car order I need to spec the choice on the Lloydstsb website. On the lexus the colours are either Mica, metallic or solid.

My understanding is that Black is the only solid (non extra cost) option.

The brochure doesn't indicate which of the colours are Mica and which are Metallic.

To complete the quote online and progress to an order I need to specify which option it is to be :duh:

Anybody know which colours are mica and which are metallic???

your help would be appreciated :D

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is everybody on holiday :question:

Another question:

does anybody have any experience of other dealer fit extras such as the LPA 400 parking sensors and the Bluetooth Hands free system.

The brochure shows the handsfree kit but its a bit difficult from the picture to decide how big it is, where it sits and how connected.

:winky:

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Anybody know which colours are mica and which are metallic???

Which colour are you going for?

does anybody have any experience of other dealer fit extras such as the LPA 400 parking sensors and the Bluetooth Hands free system.

The brochure shows the handsfree kit but its a bit difficult from the picture to decide how big it is, where it sits and how connected.

I'd assume that the parking sensors are the same as the ones fitted to the SE-L (and very surprised if they're not)

The accessories Bluetooth kit is just a Motorola one (just the logo's been replaced by a Lexus one), so I'm sure it'll be fine. The pics on the website are much clearer as to where its located and how large it is:

Lexus Accessories

:)

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