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Everything posted by Rabbers

  1. Was recently amazed to see a woman with 7+inch stilettos emerging from a 500 Abarth in what I suspected to be a three-pedal version. I thought of asking how she managed heel-and-toe gear-shifts but quickly backed off upon catching sight of her rippling biceps and barbed-wire tats...
  2. Has anyone else come across the following remarkably enthusiastic review, dated 1 December 2017, in trusted reviews.com: 4 ways the Lexus RC300h F Sport is the perfect hybrid for petrolheads? It is not the most in-depth of reviews, and nor can it be classed as "mainstream" motoring press, but, apart from consumption figures (presumably supplied by Lexus) that bear no relation to real-life ones recorded by owners in this Forum, it does paint an accurate enough picture of some of the car's virtues. Perhaps the most striking thing is the absence of comparisons with German marques.
  3. Michael: I'm guessing what you have on order is a special import model since Sirius, Enform and LoJack are not in the specifications of any IS model for Italy (or, as far as I know, any European country). If the importation is through an authorised Lexus dealer, there will be nothing to worry about, but if it is through a third-party importer you will need to check, if you have not done so already, whether the car corresponds to official local specifications as declared and registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles ("Motorizzazione") by Lexus Italia in its capacity as the manufacturer's representative.
  4. Rabbers

    funny occurance

    I can offer a couple of purely non-technical thoughts on the subject. It would have been interesting to know what border the satnav thought you were crossing. Had other functions besides Voice been affected by what seems to have been a momentary glitch, the message you heard would have been accompanied by a gong and the appearance on the display for the flag of the country you were entering, this being a nice little feature of the system, albeit one that is easily missed because the flag will already have disappeared by the time the message ends. When, only one or two decades ago, in-car GPS satnav was less common than today, concerns were occasionally voiced about our willingness to surrender one aspect of our lives to the U.S. Military, which owns and operates the GPS satellites. And indeed, there were occasional reports of system errors, usually of brief duration and connected to computations of distances, which always seemed to occur when the U.S. Air Force was re-programming or re-positioning (or whatever it does) its satellites in preparation for large-scale operations such as missile launches ! Could this have been the case yesterday in relation to Syria? I must add that I would have considered any such thought ridiculous until, some years back, the carillon of bells that greeted my approach to Home as my set destination sounded several times when I was hundreds of km away, only for me to discover, when I switched on a news channel, that the U.S. had started bombing Libya....!!!
  5. I was interested to read posts in the Jag Owner Buys a Lexus thread currently in the IS Forum in which some owners mention that they never use the Voice Command function. The RC I currently drive is my third Lexus with Voice Command, but despite familiarity acquired after a lot of initial perseverance and patience, I still don't use it as often as I feel I should. It works well enough, and certainly offers better safety than manual fiddling in situations that demand maximum concentration on the road. However, even if the number of times it asks me to repeat my commands (with concomitant leaps in my blood pressure) is now much lower as the result of generational improvements and, no doubt, of my having learned to articulate more clearly, my desire to use it remains far from instinctive. And yet, as in the case of other gadgetry that I don't regularly use and might therefore objectively consider unnecessary, I would be reluctant to omit it from the specifications list of my Lexus. This thinking has become more sentimental than logical over time and probably dates from almost two decades ago when the main reason why I first bought a Lexus was the convenient availability of a full-optionals package where most competitors merely offered long lists of expensive separately priced ones.
  6. My own belief, which Lexus clearly does not share (), is that an improved infotainment system would add value across the range, making good cars even better, and, as a result, boost overall saleability and give salesmen and advertising copywriters one more positive element to exploit. In order to quantify what increase in sales might derive from improving the system Lexus would first need to assess how much the performance of the present one counts in any broader list of negative factors that may be preventing some disappointed first-time customers from subsequently remaining loyal to the marque after having passively but wrongly assumed that the good car they were buying had infotainment of matching quality - and I would be willing to bet that the majority of the customers thus being lost fall into the desirable young/high-income category and are little inclined, unlike many of their older more tolerant counterparts, to forgive bad media technology. Incidentally, I recall once reading, I think on a French Lexus owner's forum, that the infotainment system, or maybe just the navigation part of it, is much appreciated by oriental users, especially the Japanese themselves, because what might appear counter-intuitive to us often constitutes a perfectly logical sequence of operations for them. Make of this what you will ....
  7. Yes, it is surprising after so many years of criticism by users and reviewers that Lexus has never seen fit to go to an outside company to have the infotainment system overhauled or even completely redesigned since the know-how appears to be lacking in-house. The right time to do it would have been with the introduction of the 10.3 inch display, but the opportunity has been missed.
  8. I believe the user manual warns that the VC can be confused by regional accents though I reckon that the sort of verbal abuse I sometimes hurl at it in my own fairly neutral accent after being asked to repeat myself might confuse it even more. Out of pure curiosity I once started a topic on the IS forum about the usefulness of VC navigation in Wales, where, because Welsh is not included in the Lexus system's list of language options (thankfully, some of my English friends would say), many of the local place- and street-names would not be recognised if pronounced correctly (which would in itself represent something of a problem for much of the local population). That the topic got no replies I interpret as meaning that the people of Wales are too intelligent for any thought of using VC to get to their destinations ever having crossed anyone's mind.
  9. Bernard: An RC or an NX could never be considered a bad choice within its own terms of reference, which means you may end up regretting that you favoured one over the other - as is not infrequently the case with two nice things when you can't have both. Personally, I'll never have this dilemma because, generally speaking, I am not fond of SUVs (or Crossovers) regardless of their quality and levels of performance and have never fully understood why machines whose ancestors were designed for the countryside have come to find such high favour among urban dwellers. I once had an NX as a courtesy car for the best part of a day, and although I found the ride uncharacteristically choppy for a Lexus, I concluded that nobody who is predisposed to like this type of car and wants a compact premium model could fail to be happy with it. It is agile and perky in town driving, the cabin is comfortable and roomy (insofar as it adequately meets all basic parents-plus-two-kids parameters), and its looks are striking. Striking but not beautiful. The RC, on the other hand, is both of these things and is unlikely to tire the eye for a few years yet. And whereas I imagine that changing to an NX from an IS could require a process of familiarisation within a whole new ownership experience (including a possible review of one's own self-image), the change to an RC represents a straightforward transfer of preferences to what is fundamentally a variant of the IS which, leaving aside considerations of exclusivity and aesthetic appeal intrinsic to a coupé, is only marginally or not at all better in some key elements but runs out as a clear winner when assessed as a total package in which the handling and the stability at high speed are particularly impressive. Yes, the RC has a few irritating blemishes such as a splatter-prone rear, water- drips and dirt-traps etc., but these, now they have been abundantly described in this forum, are foreseeable by the few prospective purchasers who might consider them serious enough to be deal-breakers. Similarly, I doubt whether the issue of long and thick doors has in itself ever prevented many people from buying a coupé, and the only solution is to try and choose your parking spots judiciously. Only once have I been completely blocked by an idiot parked too close on the driver's side, causing me to enter the RC via the passenger door and lever myself over the centre console, removing my shoes in order to avoid damaging the fixtures (and surprising myself when, after much strain but no little pride, I succeeded in my intent). As coupés go, it would be unfair to describe the RC as an impractical car: the boot is deep and quite capacious, rear-seat access is good and made easy by the electric seats, and unless you regularly ferry volleyball players around, the rear leg- and head-room is acceptable though not recommended for long trips. Driver and front passenger comfort is excellent and the seats in the F-Sport version are simply superb and look likely to remain in good condition in the long term. In short, the RC does not live on its good looks alone and my disappointments have been minor and very few.
  10. I wish I could disagree and thus be seen as staying ahead of the technology curve, but I can't, though my attitude to VC is perhaps more mixed than Bernard's. VC enables you to keep both hands on the wheel when performing actions that would otherwise prevent you from doing so. As such it is both useful and convenient albeit superfluous to any strict need insofar as it duplicates manual controls without substituting them. Even so, despite my acquired familiarity with VC and the ease of using it for brief and simple actions, it still generally comes more naturally to me to press buttons or tap the touchpad. The more I think about this the more I realise that I instinctively and illogically regard the VC system as a sort of middleman or third party standing between me and the car whereas the traditional manual controls provide direct personal communication and a simultaneous result without any need for me to issue precise instructions. For much the same reasons I have an attitudinal block to using the voice command function in my iPhone, since I cannot yet grasp the concept of speaking TO a phone rather than THROUGH it.
  11. Anthony: I had what may well have been the same problem some time ago when I had an IS, and it was quickly solved. If I remember right the mechanic locked the car keeping the flap open, then kept the lock piston inside the rubber concertina pressed down as he unlocked the car again. Give this a try and hopefully save yourself a trip to the dealer. Anyway, I presume the car is still under warranty in case the lock needs replacing.
  12. Having detected a tiny hint of Spring in the air, I thought I would give the car an extra good wash preparatory to more thorough seasonal detailing when the mood takes me, as it usually does sometime in April after changing back to Summer tyres. Never having used the mechanical key for the boot or closely inspected the relative hole located to the left of the numberplate lights, I was taken aback (and somewhat embarrassed) at the sight of the thick layer of accumulated grime coating the inside of the aperture - so thick, in fact, that insertion of the key would have the effect of pushing dirt into the lock mechanism. I suspect I am not alone in neglecting this particular spot and would therefore suggest other RC owners take a look, possibly arming themselves beforehand with an old tooth-brush or cotton ear-buds or preferably both. t
  13. Rabbers

    Parking tickets

    and Much to the satisfaction of its customers, the supermarket where I habitually shop, like others in the same chain, has made its parking spaces wider, not by increasing the individual areas but by adding a 45cm-wide "no-man's" strip between each. Problems related to long and thick coupé doors and the fear of potentially clumsy neighbours are therefore significantly lessened. The extra distance not unexpectedly encourages people to steer their trolleys between cars despite the presence of dedicated trolley-lanes at 8-car intervals, but the increased risk of scratches can be avoided if you park along the car-park's walled perimeter. Clearly the supermarket considers reduced total parking capacity less important than customer-friendliness, which would never be the case with commercially-run equivalents. The intent also extends to polite attendants who double as security guards, which is another comparative rarity in respect of public car-parks where surliness usually prevails.
  14. Rabbers

    Parking tickets

    Just an anecdote to illustrate how dishonest some private parking companies can be, especially when they pay their employees by the number of tickets they write. Last year in Denmark, having parked in a metered zone, I returned to my car and found a warden writing a ticket - or, rather, tapping one into an electronic pad - for no apparent reason. When I asked for an explanation, he muttered something unintelligible and shuffled off, clearly embarrassed, only to be stopped after a few yards by a policemen and a couple of civilians who engaged him in what appeared to be an unpleasant conversation with much finger-wagging before he managed to detach himself and drive off in his own car. When I asked what exactly had occurred, I was told that this particular warden's activities had been being watched for some time by some of his previous victims, mainly local residents, who suspected him of inventing false parking offences. It seems that the stripes of some individual spots, including the one where I had parked, were invisible when photographed from certain angles, especially on wet and murky conditions like on that particular day. The policemen then took a statement from me, to which he added a photograph of his own evidencing that I was correctly parked inside the short unworn bits of stripe between which I had aimed the nose of my car. He finally gave me a file reference number for use if I received a fine (which would have been via an international collection agency in the case of a foreign-registered car like mine), though he thought this unlikely given that he expected the warden to be suspended or fired and his recent tickets cancelled. And indeed, having received no fine after nine months, I like to think this is exactly what happened.
  15. Rabbers

    Uneven tyre wear

    Paul: Your specific issue of inner wear to the rear tyres sounds exactly like that experienced by myself and other owners with the IS300h - see, for example, IS300h etc. Forum, 4-Wheel alignment with new Goodyear tyres, started by Casa1862, April 10, 2017. The consensus explanation for the wear, confirmed in my own case by both my Lexus dealer and my trusty tyre supplier, was the rear-wheels camber angle specific to the IS, which, not being adjustable, meant the problem could not be rectified. What alarmed me was the suddenness with which the wear appeared at around 37000km, leading me to check the tyres much more frequently thereafter than had been my habit. And, in fact, wear to the replacements was starting to appear at 26000km when I traded in the IS for my present RC. So far with the RC I have seen no signs of uneven wear after 22000km on summer tyres and 12000km on winters but am wondering, after reading your post, if the camber-related problem might not also exist for the RC, in which eventuality 4-wheel alignment is unfortunately not going to help. As regards your fuel consumption, I would suggest you make a conscious effort to drive economically for as long as your self-discipline and/or patience allow and then revert to normal for a similar period. Then compare the relative consumption figures and come to your own conclusions as to whether the problem, if any, is with you or the car.
  16. Glad you are enjoying your RC. I agree with everything you say except that, like Peter, I don't quite understand your #4. As regards #5, in order to eliminate - or largely reduce - the recurrence of wet streaks in the side-windows I find it useful, after drying them the first time, to re-open and close them and then give them another quick and (hopefully) final wipe. As regards #1, I suggest that next time you clean them you aim to do a perfect job and then apply one or two coats of a heavy-duty wax such as Collinite, which, for 3-4 months or maybe longer, will allow you to use only water on them.
  17. Very nice, though arguably an unnecessary piece of tarting up, albeit largely redeemed, of course, by the high standard of Lexus build and materials. Personally I find the result somewhat over-sleek, it putting me in mind of a sort of down-scaled Batmobile in which the driver also needs to wear black in order to maintain the overall look. It would also require he or she to obsess over the tiniest bit of dirt or blemish, thus making it perhaps more suited to showrooms than everyday use. It is difficult to figure out Lexus' commercial rationale by following in, most notably, Mercedes' footsteps with an "Edition" of this type, unless the idea is to shift a number of possibly slow-moving excess inventories of bought-in components such as ML speakers, sunroof motors, 19" rims and tyres, black leather, roof-lining cloth etc., by neatly tying them all up into what is, for some, an undoubtedly appealing and good-value package.
  18. Rabbers

    Auto wipers and snow

    If you have snow or ice on the windscreen and have left the wiper switch on AUTO, the wipers will respond one or two seconds after ignition unless you use this time-lapse to switch to manual control. The lapse is short but more than sufficient to allow you to simply press the end of the wiper stalk.
  19. Several posts in the 2008-2014 topic currently on the IS Forum mention that the present-generation boot swings open, dangerously according to some. In my own second-generation IS300h (MY2013) it merely popped open a few centimetres upon activation whereas in my RC300h it swings completely open, this being something I have always taken for granted as a feature of the car. Are there any RCs where this is not normally the case?
  20. Rabbers

    Drivers seat wear

    Long experience of both from new tells me that the outer bolsters of F-Sport seats are far less prone to creasing than those of the standard design because of (a) the additional lengthwise stitching/panelling, which makes the area more rigid and therefore more resistant to downward pressure upon your exiting and entering the car, and (b) the use of "integrated foam", which makes the entire seating surface only slightly firmer but certainly a lot more supportive. Some might argue that better seating is reason enough to prefer an F-Sport version to others.
  21. I know a few Scandinavians who do this too, and it's a very good idea except when the snow doesn't materialise and you forget the brush is there...
  22. Much irritated this morning by a "design defect" in the RC. Upon opening the boot after a light overnight snowfall the thin layer of what I had erroneously thought to be solidly frozen flakes on the rear window slid unhindered directly into the boot as a single slab of ice. Admittedly my reaction time was a bit slow but the event was completely unexpected insofar as on the previous occasions I have had frozen snow on the car it stayed put long enough for me to reach inside the boot for my brush. The "defect", if such it is, results from the slope of the window being so flat as to prevent sliding ice from being caught or blocked by the boot drainage channel. In future, when snow is forecast, I'll keep my brush inside the cabin.
  23. For anyone needing an extra bit of cabin storage for small objects I can recommend the pocket shown in the attached photos, which I recently bought on Amazon (see Tentock Leather Car Seat Side Pocket Organizer) for about €25 inc. Postage. Being black with red stitching it perfectly matches the Dark Rose interior trim of the F-Sport (other colours are available), and although real leather would have been nicer than synthetic the item is sturdy and well made and does not move when the seat slides forward or back. An iPhone 8 Plus in a wallet case like mine fits in the larger of the two compartments and plugs into one of the USB ports in the armrest cubby with a 30cm cable (mine is a black Anker which I prefer to the longer and more obtrusive white Apple original), this being an adequate length for easy and flexible movement.
  24. Many years ago I had just arrived at a hotel late at night when I spilled some coffee on the leather passenger seat of my BMW. The only readily available remedy was a drop of bubble-bath (Hermesetas) added to water from my room. To my surprise, this worked a treat, and when I saw the seat in daylight the next morning, it looked better than the others. After that I always preferred a mild soapy solution for cleaning my car leather and was gratified to discover, years later, that this is also Lexus' recommendation.
  25. Unless you actually need or want to plan for motorways along your route, it is best to untick the relative box in the satnav settings, after which, in my experience, the system's apparent inefficiency is much reduced. However, if you subsequently forget to re-tick the box for drives in wholly unfamiliar areas in which sections of motorway may be essential, you could well end up feeling like an idiot when it dawns on you that you are being misrouted. Seeing that the three choices of route type are always offered regardless of what your average speed settings are, I don't believe there is any connection between the two features, the latter being, in my view, the least useful one in the entire system insofar as the time predictions it computes on the basis of averages you presumably originally considered to be realistic more often than not turn out wrong.