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3 Months In - A New Owners Experiences


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Now I’ve had my IS250 for a couple of months, and being a new Lexus owner, I thought it about time I checked in with you all.

Had to replace my rapidly ageing Mazda Xedos 6 as it was falling apart. Originally I was looking at the SAAB 93, Alfa 159, Mazda 6 etc, etc & hadn’t even considered the IS250 until my other half put her £0.02 worth into the pot and persuaded me to test drive one (she was Centre Host at Lexus Croydon in 2005, so she was a bit biased).

Anyway to cut a long story short, I drove both the 220d and 250 and the latter won hands down for me.

I managed to pick a 55, low mileage SE (18500 on the clock) from Lexus Tunbridge Wells, and now 3 months in and what are my experiences / thoughts.

The negatives;

1) Had the dreaded dashboard rattle (more like a hive of angry bees) make a real appearance on the drive home from picking the car up! I did detect some noise during the test drive, which I mentioned, though it would seem that “nothing was detected” by the workshop when they checked it out. Maybe they’d been hoping I wouldn’t follow it up. However, I did manage to get this fixed under warrantee ok and, “touch wood”, this seems to have solved it.

2) Thought for a while that I had the creak from the parcel shelf also, but this seems to have sorted itself out, so no issue there.

3) Had the “Check VSC” warning come up twice along with the ABS light and the brake warning light. Both time this occurred after drive 80 – 100 miles. Lexus TW said it was the rear nearside speed sensor (or something like that) but they couldn’t see anything wrong so they just cleared the error and checked the area. This hasn’t come back yet, but I suspect I need to do another longish motorway drive to test this properly. I’m not convinced that this had been solved yet, but time will tell. Anyone else had this happen to them?

The positives:

1) Compared to my old car, this is positively silent! ( mind you, most things would be in comparison ).

2) The gear box seems fine now I have gotten used to it. It was initially a bit notchy, but I’m over that now.

3) The driving cockpit is well set out & comfortable – which isn’t bad seeing as I’m 6ft 3in with 36inch legs!!!! Yes, it would be difficult to get anyone in the car behind me, but I’ve found that the case with many cars.

4) Fuel economy seems pretty good so far – around the 30 MPG at the moment which is comparable to my old Mazda. Not sure how I’m managing that though but it seems to check out boh through the on-board meter AND through manual calculation!

5) Loads of useful gadgets, which I’m still learning with the aid of may of the tips that can be found on this site ( my thanks to all who have had anything to do with these – your guidance has been invaluable ).

Overall, I’m really happy with the car, despite the initial hiccups. Hopefully those have all been sorted and I can enjoy the drive without the background noises, nor the worrying light show from the dash.

Time will tell!

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Used Lexus from a Lexus dealer is usually at quite a premium price. Until recently I thought that it was to cover getting the car up to Lexus high standards and to cover a very comprehensive warranty. The truth seems to be some way off this with the number of obvious faults you have. I'm sure that other members who have bought used from Lexus will have similar or much better experiences.

It seems to me that it is best to treat Lexus like any other car dealer who wheels them in, cleans them up visually, and wheels them out and waits for the complaints.

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Used Lexus from a Lexus dealer is usually at quite a premium price. Until recently I thought that it was to cover getting the car up to Lexus high standards and to cover a very comprehensive warranty. The truth seems to be some way off this with the number of obvious faults you have. I'm sure that other members who have bought used from Lexus will have similar or much better experiences.

It seems to me that it is best to treat Lexus like any other car dealer who wheels them in, cleans them up visually, and wheels them out and waits for the complaints.

You're probably right kenfoxy. If you want perfection youv'e got to persue them!

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i know for a fact its in a different league than a mazda6 so you made the right choice ;)

I really dont think you have had too many issues for a 4 year old motor..

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No, I suppose I've not had that much wrong for a 4 year old car, and I'm not complaining now that the niggles seem to have been eradicated! I'm just a little surprised that the Dash rattle wasn't sorted before I took ownership of the car!

On a comparison with all the other cars I've had, this is the newest and most expensive one that I've owned and this is the only one that I've had to have back in the dealers twice for work to be done within the 1st year of owning it. When you take into consideration that 2 of my other cars were Alfa Romeo's (146 & 156), this is hardly a good start.

However, as I said before, I'm happy at the moment and the car is performing well now!

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My experience with Japanese cars is that they are very good indeed. Particularly, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mazda. Which you prefer is pretty much down to what you are looking for, not a matter of quality. 3 years ago I drove a IS250 back to back with a 6MPS and chose the performance, traction and space aspects of the 6MPS over the super smooth engine and rear wheel drive of the IS250. I did not notice any quality differences between them.

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My experience with Japanese cars is that they are very good indeed. Particularly, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mazda. Which you prefer is pretty much down to what you are looking for, not a matter of quality. 3 years ago I drove a IS250 back to back with a 6MPS and chose the performance, traction and space aspects of the 6MPS over the super smooth engine and rear wheel drive of the IS250. I did not notice any quality differences between them.

never driven an 6MPS but i doubt 99.9999% of the general public have either

No way can you compare the interior or exterior quality of a mazda with a Lexus..different league

you may have chosen the 6 for the space and i would accept that as my wife went ballistic when i got rid of the 6, but thats the only advantage as far as i can see

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i know for a fact its in a different league than a mazda6 so you made the right choice ;)

I really dont think you have had too many issues for a 4 year old motor..

Can't speak for the old Mazda6 MPS, but have you actually driven a new Mazda 6 ?

Sorry but you are way off the mark with your comment 'different league', having driven driven both Mazda and Lexus i can honestly say there's very little difference in build quality and ride. The only real difference is the value for money you get with Mazda compared to the expensive Lexus.

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I used to own a Mazda 6 (not the new one), and I can tell you the difference in interior quality is quite substantial. They were indeed on a different league. I have yet to try the new Mazda 6.

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I think what seems to be happening here is a debate about "quality". I believe it means different things to different people, that's why there is such disagreement. My definition is "fitness for purpose" that is, do all the moving parts work well and do all the stationery parts stay stationery. So a car with poor switchgear and a rattling dash would fail the quality test. Other people's definition might be "expensive trims and prestige badges". So a car with plastic door trims and an East Euro badge would fail that quality test. There are probably hundreds of other definitions.

I think that it is important to be as objective as possible in choosing a replacement car by directly comparing models in a budget range without prejudice. Obviously one's own quality definitions come into play during this process.

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