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Everything posted by Rabbers

  1. I too found the weight of the steering at motorway speeds took some getting used to when I first had the car (surprisingly so since the previous-generation 250 I previously drove also had variable-assist steering). At 130kmh and upwards the power assistance decreases very noticeably though by no means alarmingly. Presumably because the heightened firmness reduces any need to overcorrect the wheel during changes of direction, I have always found it reassuring, so much so that it has never crossed my mind that it could be anything but an aid to safety - and a very well-calibrated one at that.
  2. That is sound advice, one really should use it more.
  3. Irrespective of the source - iPod, Bluetooth or Memory Stick - I have noticed that when music has been playing at any normal volume setting (which for me is 40-50 depending on music type, road noise etc.), and the device is not switched off or disconnected at trip's end, the volume can be so startlingly loud as to require turning down the next time the car is started and the audio automatically returns at the setting in which it was left. Does anyone know if this has something to do with the "Auto Volume System" specific to the Mark Levinson or some other ambient-sensitive volume control feature not mentioned in the owner handbook?
  4. You are almost certainly right. I just had a look in the car and saw that the ASL was switched off, I don't know why but probably because I fiddled around with the audio controls out of boredom and to no good purpose when waiting for my wife in a car-park somewhere. I'll see what happens when I use the car tomorrow. Thanks. Easy fix - turn the audio off before switching the car off. That's what I do with every car Ive owned! Right. But even small things like that require the sort of self-discipline I haven't got. How do you manage to put the parking brake on then? :D As a matter of fact I make the effort only when parking on the edge of a cliff or halfway up an Alp.
  5. You are almost certainly right. I just had a look in the car and saw that the ASL was switched off, I don't know why but probably because I fiddled around with the audio controls out of boredom and to no good purpose when waiting for my wife in a car-park somewhere. I'll see what happens when I use the car tomorrow. Thanks. Easy fix - turn the audio off before switching the car off. That's what I do with every car Ive owned! Right. But even small things like that require the sort of self-discipline I haven't got.
  6. Rabbers

    Is 300H Or Diesel...

    Close to 42.4 mpUKg. Figures based on liters consumed between full-tank starts and low-fuel warnings, car computer tends to be more optimistic by 2-3%.
  7. You are almost certainly right. I just had a look in the car and saw that the ASL was switched off, I don't know why but probably because I fiddled around with the audio controls out of boredom and to no good purpose when waiting for my wife in a car-park somewhere. I'll see what happens when I use the car tomorrow. Thanks.
  8. Rabbers

    Is 300H Or Diesel...

    Christian: See my post of 28 June 2014 under Tank Range. In summary, for an all-motorway drive of 1650km from Italy to Denmark (via Jutland, no ferries) with just about everything a cross-Europe motorway route can throw at you in the way of physical geography, roadworks, traffic intensity around cities etc. (but not bad weather on this occasion), the 300h, with one passenger and a full boot, consumed 14.9km/l at an average speed of 103kmh. The return trip over exactly the same route substantially confirmed these figures, the average speed having dropped to 96kmh because of heavier traffic and some rain but with a slight improvement in consumption to 15.2km/h. On the basis of these figures, I reckon 15km/l to be the realistic figure for the 300h's consumption on longish-to- long motorway or fast-road drives but believe there could be an appreciable improvement if it would ever be possible to keep up a steady speed for long stretches while broadly observing the customary 110-120-130kmh limits. Personally, unless you objectively believe these numbers could be much improved, I would keep the 300h at the top of your list on grounds of long-drive comfort alone.
  9. Rabbers

    Tyre Wear

    At 17800m (=11000miles) my OEM Bridgestone Turanzas were showing an acceptable 6mm+ tread all-round when I recently changed to Winters. While I therefore have no complaints about their durability so far, and am particularly impressed by the effectiveness of the rim protectors, which have saved me in many dodgy high-kerb situations, their noise level has more noticeably increased with wear than in the case of any other tyres I have ever had, including other Bridge- stones. Looking ahead to when I shall be changing them, probably sometime next Summer, the Eagle Asymmetrics sound like a good choice, but I have also heard nothing but praise for Vredestein Ultrac Vorti's. All I personally know about the brand is that their products are aesthetically pleasing. Does anyone know if their good looks are matched by performance?
  10. Rabbers


    My experience is the same. In the two weeks I have been running iOS 8.1.1 (on an iPhone 4s), the availability of the Bluetooth connection upon ignition has been perfectly consistent and stable, and all the phone's functions fault-free.
  11. Rabbers

    Sports Mode

    I am reminded of when, after only a few weeks from new, the tyre warning light came on and stayed on. After checking the pressure of all four tyres with my own little guage and finding them OK, and then getting my readings confirmed by a tyre specialist, the logical diagnosis was a defective sensor or sensors. That it was one sensor was duly confirmed by my Lexus dealer after I had needed to make a round-trip of 90km from home, and of course, the sensor was not in stock - not that I had expected it to be. This having been a Saturday morning, there was no chance of getting one before the following Tuesday, when I was going to be a 1000km away. To cut a long story short, I drove the next ten days with the warning light permanently on, and, although I knew there was nothing amiss, I found it a strangely disturbing presence in my line of vision, so much so that still today the light's fade-out is the first thing I look for every time I switch on the ignition. When in due course the sensor was replaced, I was informed of the possibility that cold weather and/or long parking could lead to the warning light temporarily staying on upon ignition, and that if this becomes a regular occurrence, a slight increase in the recommended pressure should resolve the problem.
  12. you can guarantee it will be more than just dealing with the local company direct - there is an extra party involved wanting to make a profit from you. My Lexus dealer charges €20 per corner and €8 per set per month for storage, giving a total of €128-136 depending on likely duration of storage. I would guess these prices do not vary much from country to country. The tyre shop I previously used (and to which I intend to go back when the time comes to buy new tyres) advertised €15 per corner but charged an all-in €100 inclusive of a season's storage without quibbling about the duration thereof. A two-man team plus a fetcher-and-carrier took 30-35", or maybe a bit less, for the change.
  13. Has anybody else experienced delays or heard of technical difficulties in connection with the fitting of 18" tyres? Before I had my 300h I bought tyres from specialist shops that also stored and changed them for me as necessary. Because Winter was approaching when I took delivery of the 300h in October last year and Toyota/Lexus was offering a good seasonal deal, I ordered a set of Yokohama W-Drives (245/45/18, all four) with a view to replacing the standard factory-fitted Bridgestone Turanzas (245/40/18 front/255/35/18 rear) a few weeks later, believing this to be an intelligent move since it offered the possibility of combining future seasonal tyre changes with other routine maintenance needs on a one-stop basis under the same roof. And indeed, when I took the car in for the first S-to-W and subsequent W-to-S tyre changes, I left the car for the whole day on both occasions, so that it did not cross my mind that the changes could have been carried out other than routinely and on the premises. Last week, expecting to have to wait for an hour at the most, I booked the car in for the sole purpose of having the tyres changed S-to-W. When the hour came and went, I began to get fidgety, and upon being told that it would take a while longer, I went out for a walk. When I came back, I spied what looked suspiciously like my tyres being unloaded from a van with the name of a local tyre shop on the sides. Twenty minutes later, the car was ready, and before being given the chance to blow off a fair amount of accumulated steam, I was thanked for my patience in having waited for so long and told that there would be no charge. By this time, I was late for an appointment and could not hang around for a detailed explanation but was able to gather, if I understood it right, that when the tyres are levered onto the rims, the lowness of the profiles and the connected rigidity of the walls involves the risk of seriously damaging the metal (and I got the impression that this has actually happened with some unfortunate customers). Apparently this has also been the experience of other Lexus dealers who now prefer to have 18" tyre changes done by outside specialists. As regards my own dealer, until the management decides to invest in new equipment for the tyre bay, 300h customers with 18" tyres will in future be asked to leave the car for at least half a day and be given a courtesy car while the tyres are out for changing.
  14. A quick tour of Lexus websites for the main European countries does indeed indicate that while they all recommend proper tyre care and the use of Winter tyres, Italy possibly appears to be the only one where dealerships formally offer, as do Toyota ones, a full in-house tyre service. I quote from their site [in transl- action]: ".... Tyre maintenance is fundamental to your safety .... in our dealerships specialized technicians will look after your tyres using the latest technologies and facilities .... in Winter, normal tyres will changed for thermal ones .... and when it is time to change tyres, a team of specialists will carry out this delicate operation ...." My own experience in this regard with a dealer whose other services I have always found excellent over more than a decade makes the claims somewhat embarrassing. Personally, I have not the slightest objection to dealers using outside services for a tyre change, unless it takes much longer or costs significantly more than going direct.
  15. More than just a bit, I would say. On the other hand, OT as they are (like much of this thread), the S- v. ECO-mode figures for the 300h are interesting - and would have been more so had NORMAL been added to the comparison - insofar as they quantify the available performance boost as being quite significant. Also, these are the only published acceleration figures I have personally seen (although there may well be others) where Lexus' declared 8.3' for 0-100kmh is actually confirmed.
  16. I was just now sorting through some Italian magazines from 2013 which, in their reviews of the 300h, included detailed acceleration figures I have not seen elsewhere. Since one of them (Auto, August 2013) coincidentally also reviewed the BMW 135i (xDrive) in the same issue, I thought the figures would perhaps be of interest to some contributors to this thread: IS300h F-Sport 135i (xDrive) 0-60kmh (in seconds) 4.35 2.18 0-80 6.46 3.24 0-100 9.09 4.64 0-120 12.31 6.28 0-140 16.30 8.40 0-160 21.46 11.03 0-180 28.46 14.17 80-100 in D 2.72 1.27 80-120 6.10 2.85 80-140 10.25 4.94 80-160 15.68 7.53 80-180 23.27 10.52 40-60 in D 1.75 0.99 40-80 3.89 2.05 40-100 6.56 3.45 40-120 9.90 5.05 40-140 14.06 7.13 The figures for the 300h F-Sport were substantially confirmed by Quattroruote (October 2013) and also by Panorama Auto ( August 2013) for the Premier model, this latter review having also compared figures for ECO and S-Mode: ECO-Mode S-Mode 0-50 3.4 3.1 0-80 6.4 5.9 0-90 7.8 7.1 0-100 9.2 8.3 0-120 12.4 11.5 0-130 14.8 13.2
  17. Except for Nigel's dislike of the standard 18" wheels, I agree with everything he says. Having bought my Premier straight out of the showroom at a good price based on a mutually beneficial situation whereby my willingness to take the car off the dealer's hands was matched by his anxiety to make a quick sale, I really did not need to ponder whether I wanted the top package or not. Not that I would have been likely to decide differently since my previous four ISs (two 200s and two 250s) were also top-spec models that yielded higher-than-market trade-in values and therefore satisfactorily supplemented the cash discounts negotiated for the new. In other words, it has been my experience that dealers find top-spec second-hand models easier to re-sell and will therefore value them at a relative premium upon trade-in. Except for when I bought my first IS200 twelve years ago, I have never sat down to figure if, apart from simply pampering myself by buying the top package, I was also getting value for money and/or actually had a practical need for all the gadgetry. As regards value for money, I recall that upon appraising the contents of Lexus packages by adding up the average prices Mercedes-BMW-Audi were asking for their optionals, Lexus was significantly better, and although the gap appears to have narrowed to judge by a glance at current price- lists, probably still is. As regards the need for gadgetry, I like to think that I could live without much of it but am probably not alone in finding it difficult to judge when something becomes indispensable after having been merely useful.
  18. To my disappointment I learned earlier this week that Sewell of Dallas, Tx, which some members might know as a very efficient online purveyor of original Lexus accessories not readily obtainable in Europe, now no longer ships outside the U.S. Although they do not say as much in their standard reply to enquiries, it must be suspected that they were asked (or told?) to stop because they were taking business away from Lexus subsidiaries in other countries.
  19. The 300h primary market is for company car buyers and completes directly against low powered diesels which also can be purchased with sporty looks. The IS isn't designed and built solely for the UK market, and with Lexus GB/Europe being a niche player they don't have the ability to bring out all variants in this region. Whilst certainly not sporty, if you want more performance you should be looking at the IS250, and its replacement the IS200t once it comes out. Unfortunately the IS350 is unlikely ever be released in this country however that successfully completes against the german equivalents in the US. Judging by Lexus' levels of spending on promotion and advertising for the 300h in the main European markets, which have been unprecedented for the brand, I think they have been aiming to create more than a niche product. But, whatever the case may be, they have certainly managed to widen an unsatisfactorily small market share/ customer base and, by so doing, pave the way for new lines, it being inconceivable that Toyota wants Lexus to remain a niche brand forever. And even though the 300h's numbers might not translate into more than a nibble at the combined segmental share of the Germans, Lexus must feel encouraged by the frequency with which such press headlines as "Has Lexus finally found the answer to BMW and Mercedes etc.?" have appeared. Of course, the headlines have usually been intended to set up a negative answer, but there have nevertheless been enough borderline opinions to lead to the conclusion that the brand is (at last) becoming a serious contender for non- niche status.
  20. I confess, not being a petrolhead, that I have lost the thread of this thread (so to speak), and am left wondering what cars are being compared to which, and why. In fact, my heart goes out to Lexus and, in particular, to its marketing people, who must be wondering what customer groups they should be targeting if the 300h is ultimately going to make any enduring impact on a segment of the market which has few, if any, bad cars. Having developed and launched the 300h on the basis of a "sporty" image, literally so in the case of the F-Sport, Lexus has fully met its objective in terms of design aesthetics but failed to match competitors in terms of speed and acceleration, which, expressed in a few simple numbers, are all that most prospective customers want to know about a car's ability to perform compared to another. Therefore, while competitors in the same segment, almost all of them German, successfully back up their sportiness of image with good performance (indeed with various levels thereof within any given model range), this being a practice in which BMW notably excels, Lexus does not. As a result, it has not only offered ammunition to journalists who might be prejudiced against the brand but also invited prospective customers to make somewhat confusing comparisons with models of a completely different character and level of performance. To some extent, Lexus have themselves to blame as the result of an understandable anxiety at launch to get away from their sedate image by wooing younger age-groups while trying, at the same time, to attract or retain older ones by touting the 300h as a form of automotive Viagra. The 300h, Lexus should stress much more than they do, performs irreproachably in 99.9999% of the situations any driver is likely to encounter. Among its many demonstrable virtues, which prospective buyers can explore in whatever order of desirability they prefer - and some of which arguably represent benchmarks for the segment - are tangible high quality, elegance, numerical exclusivity, comfort, quietness, economy, ease and precision of handling and, of course, the aforementioned sportiness of image. Other boxes could no doubt be added and ticked, but speed-based excitement or the prospect of it are not among them.
  21. Rabbers

    Blow To Free Trade

    Of course one has to think twice (or thrice) before ordering mechanical parts online or from any supplier unable or unwilling to guarantee the transaction on the basis of a reading of your car's VIN, and it is only right that manufacturers should be concerned about product guarantees and liabilities. It is debatable, however, whether their concern should extend to accessories of a primarily aesthetic or even whimsical nature like body trims, badges, key-fobs and so forth. Be this as it may, one important benefit of free competition is to keep prices lower for longer and, rightly or wrongly, I prefer to choose my own suppliers and exercise my own judgment about any guarantees I might want and the prices I might pay or end up paying if import duties are a factor. I therefore tend to see red when I suspect that somebody somewhere may be interfering with commercial processes I have previously found satisfactory.
  22. Rabbers

    Driving Differently?

    Rather than changing your style of driving, the 300h is so relaxing that it disciplines your behaviour, by which I mean that it keeps you out of mischief in most situations and in relation to other road users. You simply let it do all the work and take you to where you want to go quickly, quietly, and with so little fuss that when you step out of the car you find yourself thinking how much you enjoyed the ride while looking forward to the next. Mid-range acceleration is excellent, and S-mode more than adequate for quick overtaking and a bit of aggressiveness when the fancy takes you, and although I might cast lustful glances at top-end German and Italian machinery, I honestly feel that I could not reasonably ask for more than what the 300h gives. Evidence of my newly-acquired laid-back attitude shows in small things. When I get into the car, I contemplate the pleasure to come by taking an extra few seconds to wriggle around in the seat in order to find an ideal position (despite the theoretically already perfect pre-set one). This, I find, has a positive effect on blood pressure. My grip on the wheel, while still firm enough to yield tactile pleasure, is looser than it used to be, white knuckles having become a distant memory. My right foot, which once had a life of its own, is now more controlled and certainly far less busy because of my gentler anticipatory approach to lights, roundabouts, corners and tight curves etc., and this is undoubtedly the main difference in respect of my past driving technique - and a considerable improvement too.
  23. Rabbers

    Front Fogs

    Philip, I think you are right on all counts. Regrettably, many, or even most, motorists in my part of the world believe that front fogs used together with dipped headlights enable pedestrians and oncoming cars to see them better in conditions of low visibility. A good number of them, moreover, objectively support the practice despite their awareness that it is a violation of the local highway code, which, following its revision not so long ago, clearly states that fogs can substitute dipped headlights when visibility is low but must not be used together with them. Of course, there is no formal requirement to have front fogs at all, or to use them if, as in the case of most cars, you do. The only obligation, which I believe applies in most countries, is not to use them if visibility is adequate. The presence of a rear fog, on the other hand, is obligatory on all cars (I believe there is European legislation in this regard) and it should be turned on if visibility falls below 50m and immediately off when it improves to above that. I believe that police also use 50m as a guideline to whether the use of front fogs is permissible.
  24. Yes When I bought the 300h, the salesman told me about the brake lights flashing when you brake hard from 50kmh, and added that when you reach 10kmh in the same braking sequence, the emergency lights automatically come on. When I mentioned this latter feature to a mechanic in the same dealership, he said it does not exist. Does anyone know which of them is right? I bet on the mechanic.
  25. Rabbers

    Front Fogs

    I live in the Po Valley, one of the foggiest parts of Europe. Between Autumn and Spring, mornings not infrequently start with a visibility of 0 to 5m and stay that way until afternoon. When I first had the 300h, I too was unimpressed with the front fog-lights and therefore surprised when several people remarked on how highly visible the car became with them switched on. So, one very foggy morning, I thought I would stand outside my house and note the distances at which passing cars came into view. Of thirty or so recognizably up-to-date ones that went by before I got bored, the best scored about 30-33m (a VW Passat) and the worst 17-20m (a Renault Mégane). Having earlier come in at about 25-28m, the 300h was slightly better than average and, comfortingly, no worse than several Audis and BMW 3s and 5s. For what it is worth, my somewhat unexciting conclusion was that the 300's fog-lights are no better or worse than most, but could stand some improvement. Generally, I think that the effectiveness of fog-lights in improving forward vision as they are supposed to do largely depends on the nature of the fog itself. When you are enveloped by a uniformly dense and bright white mass that hides probable sun- shine and a clear sky above, they are not at all effective and may even create additional glare. In these conditions, there is no way of judging whether the lights are good or bad and their only virtue is to make you more visible to pedestrians and other drivers. When, on the other hand, the fog is heavy and wet and/or freezing and the street-lighting poor or non-existent, such illumination as the lights provide depends purely on the strength of the beam, which should also be sufficient (and in my experience never is) to penetrate layers of wet dirt. Last Winter, when the 300h was new and the memory of my previous-generation 250 fresh enough to allow a comparison, I formed the opinion that the 300h's fog-lights in the latter conditions were better insofar as the road-surface immediately ahead was more intensely and sharply lit up but that the length of the beam was shorter, possibly because of the lights' angle and height off the ground. In short, I am not particularly enthusiastic about their performance but, then again, my expectations, as in the case of any car I have ever owned, were not high.