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About mhult

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  • Lexus Model
    IS 300h Premier + CT 200h
  • Year of Lexus
  • UK/Ireland Location

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  1. Kieran, if a large part of your driving is two mile trips, I can understand why your fuel consumption is high. I imagine any car with some kind of combustion engine is going to do poorly under those conditions. I think the only way around it is to get a fully electric car, or a plug-in hybrid that doesn't start the combustion engine at all during those short trips.
  2. mhult

    New Lexus ES 300h club forum is born

    I have sat in one. It looks good inside and out, and feels modern. The seats are larger than in the IS. I did not get to drive it, as it was a pre-production car visiting the dealer for two days (although got to ride in the passenger seat for a hundred meters as it was driven outside by the sales guy to be loaded on to a truck for transport to Tallin for its next appearance, really managed to catch it at the last moment). It was the same with the UX visiting a few weeks ago, didn’t get to drive that one either. They do allow the press to drive the pre-production cars, so I am not sure why they don’t allow customers to do so. I have seen previews in the Swedish press of what I believe are the exact same cars as the ones I sat in (at least they were the same colours). Maybe they are only driven on closed off tracks for press events? They told me they would have a car for test driving in December.
  3. This is interesting. I got used to the card key when I bought my second gen IS Premier. When the third gen was launched, I partially held off getting it because it was initially not sold with the card key in Sweden. Call me crazy, but that is how good I thought it was, not having a huge car key fob in my pocket (my key ring only holds one house key and a couple of tiny electronic fobs for some business related doors). I actually asked a Lexus service technician back in 2013/2014 if it was possible to buy the card key as a spare part and pair it with a car that only came with regular keys, and he said that it was not possible because such a car would lack some piece of technology required for card keys to work. Later, the card key was added to the IS and I eventually got a new car with card key (yeah, I'm crazy, but the card key was a contributing factor).
  4. I had a second generation (2010) IS 250 Premier with ML for almost eight years. Since six months I am driving a new IS Premier with ML (manufactured in October 2017), and I also find that the audio quality is not quite as good as the previous generation. What is most obvious to me is that the sound appears to come more from the center, and not so much from the sides. I am guessing that the overall "cheapening" (my subjective experience) of the interior compared to the second generation left less money for good, solid speaker enclosures in the front doors. Still, the ML processing does quite a good job with room correction of frequency response etcetera within the given physical means of the speakers, so the sound is by no means bad. It's just that I found the previous generation to be slightly better. As for volume, I usually keep it between 10 and 25, with 10-15 being the appropriate level with the family in the car and some background music while still being able to have a conversation, and 15-25 when I am on my own and enjoying music. My sound source is usually an iPod nano.
  5. mhult


    According to the owner's manual, there are pressure sensors in the valves. The manual states that one should let a Lexus workshop or other workshop with similar qualifications and equipment register the ID codes for the sensors with the car. Maybe there is a way to disable the TPMS in order to reduce the cost of the winter wheels, if one is willing to live without the safety the system brings (and circumvent the regulations that require TPMS on all new cars).
  6. I haven't driven either BMW 330e or MB C350e, but I am going to chime in anyway I have read some comparison tests in some magazine where the testers found the BMW hybrid driveline to be significantly smoother than the Mercedes. I don't have the test at hand right now, and even if I did, it would probably be in Swedish. Don't take my word at face value, but you might want to be alert to this when you go for test drives. I don't know about you other Lexus owners, but my eight years of Lexus driving has really spoiled me in the smoothness department.
  7. Andrew and Blake, how did you remove the badges? Heat? Spudger? I also prefer cars without badges, but almost eight years with second generation IS made me accept them, since those badges were fitted with pegs in holes (if I am correct), making it very impractical to remove them. Learning now that the current IS is easier to de-badge makes me quite interested in a little modding.
  8. Thanks, Andrew! I just did this on my car, and it works exactly as you described. You saved me a trip to the dealer.
  9. I agree with you completely. I have never driven the IS 350, and would probably prefer a hypothetical IS 450h, but if the IS 350 was available in Europe I would find it very hard to resist. As I explained above, I really like the new 300h, but an IS 350 would win my heart, since I want the most powerful engine!
  10. I have now updated the review with more details, hopefully answering your questions, and also pictures. Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to know. And thank you for your opinion about the colours. Funnily, I have not seen any reviews of the IS 300h published yet. There seems to be only American IS 350 reviews, and of course the previews with Jay Leno and others. Are the European publications under some kind of embargo? It seems weird, now that even regular people have been invited to test drives.
  11. I test drove the new IS 300h F-Sport today, and now I am completely sold on it. It is so much superior to the previous generation in every way. I have been a very happy owner of a fully loaded IS 250 for three and a half years now, and since it only has 45 000 kilometres on it, I did not see any need to replace it yet. However, having test driven the new generation, I now have a very serious itch. My review below is based on my three and a half years with the second generation IS (2IS), and I make plenty of references to the old car when describing the new generation (3IS) in the text below. The car currently touring the Swedish dealers is a pre-production unit. Before driving it, I had to sign a legal document waiving my rights to sue Lexus for any damages related to the car not being production-ready. The car seemed to have all the options, but the centre console inlays were plain black, not the aluminium look the final car will have. Also, it had fog lights, which will not be possible to combine with the F-sport version, at least not in Sweden. Personally, I don't care about fog lights. Mine have never been turned on, and it's just another thing which can be broken by a flying rock, and fail in vehicle inspection. I see a lot of drivers using their fog lights in fair weather for "coolness", but to me it just looks stupid. For some reason the car was painted in a special colour which will not be offered. It was blue, somewhat darker than Ultra blue, but not nearly as dark as Atlantic blue (look them up in the brochure). The interior was black. Before touring the dealers, this particular car has been displayed at auto shows. Here it is in Geneva. .And here it is in the Lexus Karlstad, Sweden, showroom. Before meeting the car in person and test driving it, I was worried that some qualities from the previous version had been lost. I was particularly worried about the feel of the new interior, and of the hybrid drivetrain. My 2IS has ivory leather and dark wood, which I really like. Would the new interior feel too much like a black, uptight German interior? No, it does not. The dash, instruments, and centre console feel so much more modern than the 2IS, or any other mass-produced car for that matter. The new digital instrumentation is beautiful, even if I could not get my head around all the information displayed in it during my test drive. It does not look that complicated in these pictures, but when driving it also had the hybrid power flow, cruise control speed, and other information in it. The infotainment screen is also much prettier than the old one. I still prefer a touch screen over remote touch, despite being somewhat used to it from my wife's CT. I noticed one thing which is either a bug, or bad design - when pausing the playback of my ipod, it took several seconds for the playback to actually stop. When starting it again, there was a delay as well. This happened consistently, so it wasn't just a temporary hiccup. There are now two USB inputs, and the name given to my ipod through itunes is displayed when selecting audio source. And the seats are fantastic. The seats in the previous generation are almost too small for my 184 centimetres. The new seats are much more supporting to the whole body, like the CT's, without losing the comfort of the 2IS. They can also be lowered more than in the 2IS. Also, the steering wheel now has a wider adjustment range, and can be pulled closer to the driver than even I prefer (I move the steering wheel to end stop closest to the driver in most cars). So the driving position is significantly improved, more so than I expected after reading about a few millimeters lower seats here and a few degrees of steering wheel angle there. In addition to the steering wheel moving out of the way for entry and exit, the driver's seat now also moves back and forth, as in the larger Lexus models. I was informed this feature can be turned off, if you don't want to crush the knees of backseat passengers when turning off the engine. Speaking of the rear seat, it should now have more room for long-legged people. I didn't test this thoroughly, but it did seem like my growing kids would be happier there. The leather does not feel quite as soft as the semi-aniline leather of the 2IS. Another, perhaps minor, complaint is that Lexus doesn't offer the card key for the 3IS. I have a card key for my 2IS, and I keep this in my wallet always, offloading my keyring from a bulky car keyfob. I really like the new chassis, which is more comfortable and much more refined than the 2IS. When driving on uneven pavement or crossing railroad tracks, the 3IS with 18 inch wheels is less bumpy than the 2IS with 17 inches! The F-sport has adaptive suspension which can be firmed up by selecting the Sport+ mode. During my test drive I did not feel any difference between the normal and the firm setting. Maybe it takes some time getting to know the car to really feel this. Before driving it, I was afraid that the hybrid drivetrain would feel "cheaper" than the smooth and well-sounding V6. I already knew from numerous test drives and loaners that the high powered hybrids (LS, GS and RX) are very nice, but my wife drives a CT since March last year, and that drivetrain does not have very much of a luxury feel to it. So where in the spectrum between GS 450h and CT 200h does the IS 300h drivetrain fall? Well, from a performance standpoint it is certainly no 450h, but in terms of refinement, it absolutely feels as luxurious as the 450h. I would say the IS 300h goes 4/5 of the way from the CT to the 450h. Overall, I would say the response and smoothness of the drivetrain is actually better than the V6. It is slightly slower off the line than the V6. You 2IS owners know that when you floor it from a standstill, the car really shoots off in a way that feels in your stomach for the first second or so. We have the torque converter to thank for this. When revving from a standstill, the torque converter works as an extra reduction gear. When the rpms go up to 3 000 instantly with the car still stationary, the rpms are converted into huge torque at the wheels. All cars with torque converters do this, but in the 2IS this effect is greater than in other cars with similar horsepower that I have driven. My theory is that the naturally aspirated V6 increases its rpms faster than some other (read turbo four cylinder) engines, and that Lexus have not applied quite as strict torque limitation at low gearing as other manufacturers do (all cars limit the torque in lower gears to protect the drivetrain). Anyway, the 300h is not quite as exciting off-the-line, but once it gets going, there is a very connected feeling between the right foot and what goes on at the rear wheels. As for engine sound, it is not as exciting as the V6. It's not exciting at all, actually, but it is completely acceptable to me. Of course, when you floor it, the rpms get stuck somewhere around 5 200, but the engine sound-proofing is as well done as on the 2IS, and the engine note is much more pleasant than that of the CT. I am not bothered by the constant-rpm acceleration of the LS 600h, the GS 450h, or the IS 300h, but the CT 200h bothers me quite a bit, especially since the payoff in acceleration isn't that great with the CT. To summarise: if you like the GS 450h, you will probably not have a problem with the refinement of the 300h, but if you would prefer a conventional drivetrain over the 450h, you will not like the 300h either. When done this well, I would happily switch from V6 to inline four hybrid and never look back. But I would leave the synthetic engine sound from the Active Sound Control system turned off. Forever. The steering is improved, but I could not really test it, or the turning grip, since my wife who is prone to motion sickness was with me during the test drive. Normally, when test driving a car, I find a roundabout with no cars in it and go around and around at high speed, trying to find the limit of the chassis. Once, when I returned to the Hyundai dealer after having test driven the Genesis Coupé 3.8 V6, and I told the sales guy that the car had passed the "roundabout test", he didn't look so happy. Anyway, roundabouts are "skidpads for the poor", as the Great Father of automotive journalism, the late David E. Davis of Car & Driver put it. With the improved chassis, steering, and driving position, the new car is a more engaging drive, without losing any of the refinement and comfort of the outgoing generation. So I am almost ready to jump the gun on an F-Sport with all the options. The question is which interior and exterior colours to choose. I really prefer tan or ivory leather, but that is not available on the F-Sport. I will do almost anything to avoid an all-black interior, so that leaves only the dark rose, which I actually find quite beautiful, though I have yet to see it in person. As for the exterior, my current car is white pearl which I really like, even though it has become too common on the roads here, and I would really like a change from white. Some time ago I said that my next Lexus will be Mesa Red, but I don't think that will go well with the red interior. Black, grey and silver are completely out of the question for me. I find Ultra blue quite interesting, ever since it was first introduced as an exclusive colour for the IS F in the North American market only. So my preferred combo is Ultra blue with dark rose interior. But my wife is a little worried that it will be "too much colour". It is my car, so I can choose whichever colour I like without having to please her, but she has a good sense of colour and design in general, so I value her opinion. What to you think?
  12. This is what the dealer might be referring ... http://www.autocar.c...AllCars/262161/ I hope not. I don't want an ES, because: It is front wheel drive It favours interior space over sportiness
  13. According to my dealer, the next generation IS will be available only as an IS 300 hybrid. The petrol engine will (unfortunately) be a four cylinder, and the combined output will be more than 250 hp. I think this sounds awesome. Driving my wife's CT has made me feel like conventional petrol cars are old fashioned. I'm drooling over the new GS (the interior is fantastic in real life), but it's too big for me, and also a bit more than I am willing to spend. I have no idea about the price, but a fully loaded IS 300h at EUR 55 k would be OK for me. What do you think?
  14. Living in Sweden where winter tyres are required by law, the idea of getting another car rather than changing the tyres seems completely ridiculous. FYI, there are (at least) three different categories of winter tyres: 1. Studded tyres. This is what most people use in Sweden, since they are superior on ice. They are however quite noisy and I would believe not allowed in the UK, due to the wear they cause on the roads. 2. Snow and ice tyres. These are optimised for grip on snow, but not particularly good on asphalt due to the very soft compound and thread which is very flexible in order to find grip on uneven ice. Some people in Sweden stupidly drive with these all year around so they don't have to change wheels twice a year. 3. Performance winter tyres. These are almost as good as summer tyres on dry roads, while being much better on snow and ice. I switched to this type of tyre when I got my IS after always having used studded tyres before. This is what all the Germans use on the Autobahn, and also what I would believe is available in the UK. My summer tyres are 245/45/17 rear and 225/45/17 front, while my winter tyres are 225/45/17 all around. However, I sort of regret not going for 205 wide 16 inch wheels for the winter, since 225 is a little too wide on ice and snow. Also, my winter rims are not Lexus originals, since they were prohibitively expensive (I think they would have added £1000). One more thing - 4WD is NOT a substitute for winter tyres. What good is 4WD going to do when you come too fast into a corner, or need to brake before an intersection? With 4WD you can accelerate faster, but is that your biggest safety concern in the winter? As for the hassle of storing and switching wheels, most tyre shops in Sweden offer a storage and shifting service where they store the set of wheels that is not currently on you car, and you just book an appointment twice a year to have them switched while you wait. The cost is about £100 per year. Don't you have this in the UK? In fact, when you buy a new Lexus in Sweden, a complementary three years of wheel storage and shifting at the dealership is included! This is part of the Lexus service experience here, and I am not aware of any other brand that does this.
  15. That's a picture of the current GS... Autoblog mentions a 5.0 liter V8. While that would be more fun than a 380 hp hybrid, I doubt it. Hopefully we will know later this year!