Roger Bill

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Roger Bill last won the day on November 1 2013

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About Roger Bill

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  • Lexus Model
    IS 250 SEI Auto with Nav

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  1. JFB2: Many thanks for sharing your experience with Merc. It's bad news to have the reliability problems confirmed. Fortunately for my brother the Merc dealer in Leicester looked after him well but my nearest dealers are Cambridge, Peterborough and Bedford which are all unknown quantities to me. I'll certainly test drive the new Merc and, if it's as good as it seems, I might take a chance next year once they've had time to fix any teething problems. Another alternative could be the new small Jaguar XE which is due out next year but, having had some experience with the Jag X Type, I'd again be concerned about reliability.
  2. JFB2: I found myself in exactly the same position. In addition to the seats I also found the IS300h ride was too firm. Clearly this is a personal thing because so many others find no problem with either the seats or ride. The option I'm now watching is the new Mercedes C Class W205 due for UK launch in June. It has an air suspension option which is said to provide a very comfortable ride but I haven't yet seen any comments about the seats. Surprisingly the price for a similar specification appears very competitive with Lexus. The main potential downside is my brother's 2010 Merc C Class needed a lot of warranty work whereas over the past 5 years my Lexus IS250SEI has been entirely trouble free. I really like the reliability of Lexus and the excellent dealer service and I think the hybrid powertrain is great. Therefore, the Lexus RC300h might be an option. The seats look different but I guess if anything it'll be set up for a sportier (i.e. harder ride). Alternatively maybe I'll hang to my IS250 for another couple of years in the hope that Lexus upgrades the IS300h ride as they've done with the CT200.
  3. Some nice photos of the RC350
  4. Harry, I think you should certainly test drive an IS300h, but a Luxury or Premier rather than an F Sport if you're wanting to sacrifice as little as possible of the legendary Jaguar comfort factor. I've been really pleased with my 2009 IS250 and was on the verge of ordering an IS300h Premier until I had an extended test drive. The petrol/electric powertrain is wonderfully smooth, quiet, economic and free of the DPF problems that afflict modern diesel powered cars. However, I found the IS300h ride and seats were just too firm, although I think you'd find the Lexus much better than the A3. There are many who praise the IS300h ride and, unlike me, think it's an improvement upon the IS2 so it might just be a personal issue with my back or something. I've considered moving up a size in car in the search for more comfort. As Rayaan says there are some temptingly priced nearly new GS400h cars available. I've had a brief test drive and while it's a very impressive car I think it'd be just a bit too large and the handling was a little too "limo" like for my tastes and the sort of motoring I'm now doing. So, like you, I'm looking around at IS300h sized or smaller alternatives. I had a brief test drive in a BMW3 but thought it really disappointing in terms of noise, vibration and quality compared with the Lexus. I'm currently focused on the new Mercedes C Class which is due for UK launch in June. It has an air suspension option so the ride quality should be good and there are lots of interesting high tech gadgets. My main concern would be it's reliability compared with the 100% standard I've enjoyed with Lexus over the past 5 years. For that reason I now think I'll hang on to my IS250 until the end of this year. Obviously the choice of car is a very individual thing but the process of checking out the alternatives is interesting although occasionally a bit frustrating. I hope my musings chime a little with your situation.
  5. TSBID 181293 Contains details of the nav and audio system problems and the update procedure. This relates to the USA system but the problems are similar to those you guys describe and, if nothing else, this tech service bulletin shows Lexus and Denso are aware of the problems and are working on them.
  6. Hi Rayaan, Thanks you've confirmed what I suspected about the Q50. From what I've seen and heard about the GS450h I think it is a fantastic car but just a bit too big for me. I'm going to hang onto my IS2 and wait until the IS 300h RC coupe and Mercedes W205 C Class are launched later this year. But if neither are suitable then a GS will be my backup alternative. I suppose it's possible Lexus might do something to improve the ride or seats in the IS300h saloon. However, any change would probably be too late for me as I guess it won't come before a mid-life update c2016 because Lexus generally seem to limit the number of changes they make during the life of a model. For example, although the CT200 was widely criticised for it's hard ride, revised suspension settings have only recently been introduced.
  7. I agree the RC looks very tempting. The interior seems a significant upgrade on the IS3. I only hope the RC is set up for a more comfortable ride than the IS3 and that the more hard edged sport tuned suspension is reserved for the RC-F or F Sport versions of the RC.
  8. Hi Jonas, Having checked out a GS in the showroom I certainly agree with you about the high quality materials. It's the big car feel which is currently putting it down at 3rd on my list. I've just been searching out more details and photos of the Lexus RC and the new Merc C Class. Both look interesting. The front of the RC looks a little OTT but might be better in the flesh and the interior looks more upmarket and the centre console ergonomics seem an improvement over the IS3. Air suspension on the Merc could be excellent and while the interior looks much better than the current C Class, the Nav screen looks like an afterthought. Because I'm really taken with the Lexus hybrid system, I'll check out the Infiniti Q50 when I'm next near St Albans. However, it seems it'd be a high risk choice and from photos it doesn't seem an attractive design.
  9. Hi Rayaan, You're right it did have Bridgestone tyres but they were Turanzas which I don't think are RE040s? What I don't understand is why Lexus don't design suspension like Jaguar and Ford who mostly seem to produce cars that are comfortable and handle well. For example, I recently drove a Ford Focus ST which was very impressive. With the F Sport variant in the model range surely there is scope for the IS Luxury and Premier to have a much more compliant ride quality. Or alternatively with modern technology like adjustable shock absorbers or air suspension Lexus could make extra profit by offering these as options. In terms of shape and size the seats are good for me too, I'm 5'11" and of reasonably slim build. My problem was with the lack of give or padding coupled with the firm suspension on our increasingly poor roads. I guess the increasing number of pot holes and speed bumps directly correlates with the growth in sales of 4x4s. I'm interested in your comments about the GS450h. My motoring does include parking in some tight spaces and c15% of my mileage is on narrow roads in places like Cornwall. How do you think the GS would be in this type of environment? I guess it'll be a matter of personal preference but if I find neither the RC or the new Merc C Class are suitable, I could be seriously tempted by a nearly new GS450h which now seem a lot of car for the money.
  10. When I picked up the IS300h for a test drive I noticed Lexus UK now sell the ash tray/small bin accessory for £39 each. I couldn't find them on the Lexus UK web site but it is on the European web site: When fitted in the cup holders it looks like it will provide a more comfortable arm rest for front seat passengers.
  11. Just had a 24 hour test drive in an IS300h Luxury. After a brief test drive last summer and having followed all the positive comments from owners, l was fully expecting to place an order. Sadly I've decided against it and so l guess I'll be keeping my 2009 IS250 for another year. First the positives: Most significant is the brilliant hybrid/CVT power train which is ultra-smooth, quiet and I got 45 to 50 mpg without trying. I cannot understand why a lot of motoring journalists think the CVT whines or lacks acceleration. Also I think it's an easy and enjoyable car to drive and so I can't see why some criticise the steering for lack of feel or the brakes for being difficult to operate smoothly. The sport/normal drive mode settings provide a great means of configuring the engine responsiveness to requirement or your mood. It also seemed easier to place on the road than my IS2 and, partly became the camera is clearer, I found it easier to reverse. I didn't hear any rattles but on rough roads there was some noise that might have been the passenger seat leather rubbing against plastic trim. Certainly nothing of concern and I only noticed it because l knew some owners had reported problems. After a little practice I found the mouse reasonably easy to use and it's good that full UK postcodes are now included in the nav system. Voice input of destination addresses was good but I didn't find a way of entering destination by postcode using voice commands which, if true, seems an odd omission. Directions output on the two screens and audio were better than on the IS2 nav system although the pronunciation of street names was often odd! Searching for traffic information was slow and it wasn't always obvious whether the system was waiting for data or if there were no traffic incidents to report. However, because I don't have the RDC traffic option on my IS2, I might not have been using it correctly and also I didn't have a Lexus connected services account. The current speed limit readout on the new screen is another nice improvement although I did find a couple of places where the data was out of date. The quality of the boot hinge covers, a few bits of interior trim and the interior lighting are retrograde steps compared to the standard set by the IS2. But these wouldn't bother me especially as I think alternatives such as the BMW 3 are worse. The only thing that stopped me from ordering an IS300h Premier was the overly firm ride and seats which only became apparent after a longer test drive. I do have occasional back trouble but my other half also said she found the seats and ride uncomfortably hard. The test car had over 7000 miles on the clock so I would have thought any initial new car firmness should have worn off. My IS250 is certainly more comfortable which, given the older age demographic of UK Lexus owners, seems a big mistake for the IS3 designers to have made. I wonder if the ride will be improved in a facelift to the IS3 or if some adjustable shock absorbers or softer springs will become available on the after market. So I've decided to hang onto my IS2 at least until the IS 300h RC is launched. The RC looks very interesting, especially the interior improvements and I only hope it'll be more comfortable and that the sporting aspirations of the Lexus marketing guys will be reserved for the RC-F. An alternative I might consider is the new Mercedes C class, due in March, which will have the option of air suspension. However, my brother's C class has needed quite a lot of warranty work. If I find I don’t like the RC, I might then consider a GS 450h especially as one year old low mileage examples can now be had for less money than I was expecting to splash on a new IS300h. The GS is a quality car and l guess it'd ride well but it's a bigger car than I need and I'd want a test drive to see if I'd find it a little cumbersome. Maybe at 61 I've reached an age where I'll have to accept a compromise along these lines, time for a beer to console myself!!
  12. Hi Renato, Glad you found the links useful. Here's another which might be of interest: It's a listing of Lexus USA tests on various phones. Back in 2009 when I bought my IS250 I think I found a similar list on either the Lexus UK or European web site so it might be worth searching those sites especially now the Lexus software in the USA and Europe has diverged quite a lot. Happy hunting!
  13. Hi Renato, Very interesting & nicely written report, many thanks. This is just a guess because I don't even have an IS300h yet. Maybe the Gracenote software needs time to build a catalogue of album artwork, track titles, artist information, etc when a memory stick containing new music is first inserted in the car. Then, when the catalogue has been compiled and saved either to the memory stick or to internal storage in the car, you could expect the memory stick and it's contents would be recognised much quicker. Maybe if someone knows the actual details they could either correct me or chip in with more detail. Re the Bluetooth phone issue; could it be an Apple iPhone problem? For example, see:
  14. Hi Jonas, Sorry I don't have the What Car magazine now, but the review of the I3 here: reports a slightly better range of 65 miles. However, it also notes the car automatically restricted performance when the battery charge ran low: "It was a gradual process, from motorway cruising speed all the way down to 44mph. By this time I was travelling up a slight incline and had effectively become a slow-moving obstacle. Lorries were catching me with quite frankly terrifying closing speeds."
  15. This document contains a good description of the Toyota/Lexus hybrid system. The document is a little old, but I don't think the fundamental principles will have changed. The current edition of What Car magazine has a short article on a test drive in the BMW i3 which says the battery lasted 56 miles and that "it takes time to get used to the way the I3 slows down due to the heavy engine-braking effect".