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I have a 2006 IS220d but recently had a courtesy 2012 plate IS200d for nearly 3 weeks. I was quite surprised at the differences in the two engines. I know the newer IS200d has less bhp but I had expected Lexus to have learned from the 220d and created a much better engine and gearbox. The 200d has greatly less turbo lag although the turbo does not start to wind up till about 1700 rpm. The other thing that amazed me what how Lexus have not done anything with the gearbox. If you think 6th gear is useless on the 220d, it is worse than a chocolate ashtray on a motorbike in the 200d. 85mph, change into 6th gear, foot on the floor.........nothing, just loose speed. MPG was better though. 300 miles on the motorway in 5th gear, cruise control on, air-con on and it averaged 47mpg. Granted the car was brand new, it only had 214 miles on the clock when I got it.

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every IS220/200d driver i have come across bashes Lexus for having a 6th gear. news flash Merc 220CDI has 6th gear, BMW 320d has 6th gear, Audi 2.0TDI has 6th gear these are cars from 2005-6 onwards which are all in the same class as IS220/200d but thier drivers dont complain as much!! I would be glad if my IS3 had a 6th gear :shifty: . 6th is to help the car return better mpg and not put strain on the engine i.e rev wise on the motorway and also help it reach the 135mph top speed without sacrifising too much fuel so its there to be used at the right place if the driver wants to but its not a 'must'... some people say ISF is a torquey V8 so why does it need 8 gears but there is a time and place when 8th gear is needed but on a track maximum gear which will be used will probabaly be 5th. but on motorway ISF can climb to 8th sit there with no cabin/engine noise and sip fuel at almost 34mpg...

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The 6th gear issue is not quite as simple as it being an overdrive. I went from an Avensis 2.2d to a Lexus 220d and was astounded at the difference. The Avensis gearing was sensible, 6th gear was still high but not so high as to be unusable at 60 mph. On a motorway there was no need to change down for inclines or even for most overtaking. In 2 years with the 220d I hardly ever used 6th gear because it was hopeless below 75 mph. The result was a poorer fuel consumption than the Avensis at all speeds.

To be honest I found the whole 220d gearbox a bit of an agricultural pain and it spoilt an otherwise smashing car. The torque is superb for overtaking and it is otherwise a pleasure to drive.

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I had one of the early 220d SE's, 2006...bad memories of a bad gearbox, massive flatspots and a car that just didn't drive well at was in at the dealers a lot for EGR's, this and so fed up went "german" for a few years....then came back and bought a car that I believe Lexus does well - an Auto Petrol - no regrets so far!

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