Spottedlaurel

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Spottedlaurel last won the day on August 24

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About Spottedlaurel

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • First Name
    Nigel
  • Lexus Model
    RX450h Luxury
  • Year of Lexus
    2014
  • UK/Ireland Location
    Norfolk
  • Interests
    Classic Cars

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  1. No Camry at my local dealership, and no suggestion as to when they'd be getting one. No ES in the neighbouring (small) Lexus showroom, but they did have one out on the forecourt (I think saying it was sold). Due to the similar front end styling I didn't realise it was an LS alongside it. A little bit cheaper than its big brother though....
  2. I'm certainly interested in the new Camry, if there was an estate version like they used to do in the '90s (and I still own an example of) it'd be a no-brainer. As it stands I think it offers a bit more utility than the ES due its fold-down rear seat, that's more important to me than ultimate boot capacity. I could have got one on a PCP for not much more than I'm paying on my 2014 RX, and it'd get better economy. I'm down at my local Lexus/Toyota dealership tomorrow for an service and MoT. I doubt I'll get a chance for a drive in either of them but I certainly hope to compare them both in the showroom. Saw my first Camry in the metal in London last weekend, it looked good. I suspect there'll be a few in use on the Uber circuit there in years to come, and that may hurt its image with some buyers? Probably less of an issue for me out in the sticks. Still not yet seen an ES300 on the road.
  3. Turned out it was on eBay as well, ending yesterday PM, and unfortunately the time I could have gone for a quick viewing didn't work out with the seller. Auction ended at £1300, I shall send him a message and find out whether the sale looks to be going through. I'd rather sell one or two of my other cars first than buy something and not be able to get shot of them.
  4. Thanks Malc. As luck would have it I'm going to London tomorrow and could view it if still available. MoT history shows a sensible increase of the mileage and no worrying MoT failures/advisories, with just a six-month gap this year.
  5. Currently for sale on C&C in London. Looks OK for the money, is it a known one on here? https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1153012 This one might not work out, but I'm contemplating selling a couple of my other cars and getting back into LS400 ownership. My RX is nice, but it's not an LS.....
  6. Nice one, welcome to the world of RX ownership! Also a good idea to keep the RAV4 and sell it yourself, £250 sounds rather derisory.
  7. That sounds rather poor service, hope it all gets sorted OK for you. You'd think selling cars and dealing with the paperwork that goes with it would a fairly normal process for Lexus UK and the dealer.......
  8. I don't believe that's relevant to RX hybrids though? Because there's no transfer box, centre diff or the like, there's a just a separate motor for the back end.
  9. You would hope so, but probably worth asking the question before the test drive. It sounds as if the RX will be quite different to your current car (it certainly was for me when I bought mine earlier this year) and it can be difficult to take everything in on the test drive. Hopefully the salesperson will shut up and let you get on with it. Ask if they'll let you take a route that replicates the roads you'll be using it on? I see that they have a slightly newer example with 82k, perhaps you could be cheeky and ask for a drive in that too? Would be an interesting comparison before you definitely go for the silver one. Also see if they have a 30-day exchange policy, I got mine from Tunbridge Wells and they did - I had to use it in my case due to issues with the first one I bought. If you find things after purchase that you don't like then that is the ultimate way of getting it sorted.
  10. Looks very nice, enjoy it! I imagine you don't need to take out the additional 2yr warranty now, it could be done near to the end of the one year you get when buying it? Did you also have to sit through the usual gap insurance, Supagard etc sales thing? Do Sidcup charge an admin fee?
  11. Don't assume a Lexus approved used car is going to mean you don't have to give it a proper lookover. I had to exchange the first RX I bought as there were things I wasn't happy about and they wouldn't fix it.
  12. Thanks for the further comments. If an RX didn't do well on this sort of trip then Lexus have failed miserably! Interesting to see the additional thoughts people have about rearward visibility, luggage space, etc. I was thinking about this yesterday, as we used the RX for a family trip out with an additional passenger on board, so I had an extra head to look past in the mirror. As I'm not an HGV driver (nor a professional chauffeur) then I do use the interior mirror in addition to the others, and I wouldn't want to be without it when I'm driving on the opposite/unfamiliar side of the road in a stream of traffic doing 80+ mph. The RX isn't small, another car would have to be a bit of a distance back to be visible in the door mirrors and a motorbike could easily be lost. As much as the safety of not having stuff piled-up in the back, it is the security aspect as Herbie mentions. I don't particularly want to look like I'm a holidaymaker with a load of pilferable stuff on board - some people we know had their car broken into in Paris this summer and just clothes were taken. I don't think the luggage cover is one of the best bits of design. Maybe I'm missing something on mine, but I think the fact that it doesn't cover the full bootspace when the seats are slid/reclined forwards is a bit of a shortcoming. When I looked at a Mazda 6 estate that had what looked like quite a neat feature, in that the rear edge of the blind was fixed to the tailgate, which meant it lifted up and out of the way when the boot was opened. Maybe other cars do this too? Would be easier than repeatedly unclipping the cover then pulling it back again. The RX's boot is just about big enough for what I need, but it certainly isn't massive. Be nice if it was a bit deeper, but I guess there's the battery etc under there. Lack of bootspace was one of the reasons I didn't go for an NX, but if any forthcoming model gets closer in that regard then it will be something I will look at again, especially when the children are older and less of a consideration.
  13. Thanks all. I was really looking forward to getting the RX out to France and letting it stretch its legs, something it's not doing with me back home. If any of you are thinking about doing something similar I would thoroughly recommend it, whether it's a day-long blast to a final destination for a couple of weeks like we did this year, or a more gentle cruise around the countryside, stopping somewhere different each night. To make it a full-on driving holiday would be a little selfish, having consideration to the rest of my family, so I try to make the journey as much a part of the holiday as I can. Having something capable and enjoyable to drive adds a lot to the experience and RX was just what I wanted it to be in that regard. It's a shame how disappointing I found the petrol Avensis that I took to France last year. I'd taken our previous diesel one there four years on the trot and it was fine, and I had no issue with previous trips in the Accord and Primera. Going back to pre-children days in the '90s and early '00s I used all sorts of stuff like Datsun Sunny, Violet and Skyline and Triumph Acclaim for European road trips, going as far afield as Norway via Holland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden and down to the South of France over the years. The 12v fridge is a useful addition. I wouldn't say the one we got is brilliant, and it does take up a bit of space, but packing it with pre-chilled drinks and maybe an ice block or two does help keep things cool on a long journey. It's good to have a degree of self-sufficiency, whether it's to avoid high prices at motorway/autoroute services, in case of queues or delays, or to take advantage of the plentiful rest and picnic areas they have in France. I would quite happily have turned around done the same trip again the day after returning home.....
  14. One of the big factors in me getting an RX450h some six months ago was using my previous Toyota Avensis 1.8 petrol on last year's holiday. It safely and comfortably got us around, but the torque-less engine didn't cope well with four passengers and lots of luggage on the mountains and hills of France, and all the time I was driving it I kept thinking how much nicer something like a big Lexus would be. I part-exchanged the Toyota after less than a year, losing a predictably unhealthy amount, so did the experience of using the RX on this year's French holiday prove this to be worthwhile?.... In short, yes! I ended up almost doubling the mileage I've done since getting it back in February, and the intensive use of it over the two weeks of my holiday showed it to be something I'd like to keep for a good while. What follows is a bit of a review of my experience. Started off with packing the car on the hottest day of the year, ready for the start of our journey the next day. Boot didn’t appear to be quite as large as Avensis, but still took two cases, 12v fridge box and bags of food, books etc with cover pulled across and rear seats slid slightly forwards. I never like the idea of driving a long way with clobber piled-up inside the rear window and limiting visibility. Despite all the extra weight it didn't appear to squat down at the rear as all my previous cars did (normal hatchbacks and estates like Primera, Accord and Avensis). Uneventful first leg down to Newhaven straight after finishing work on Friday. After experimenting with different routes and timings we’ve settled on the night-time crossing to Dieppe, getting a few hours of sleep on the ferry and getting to France for an early start the next morning. In previous years we’re broken the journey up with an overnight stop or two and relaxed driving on the rural D-roads, but this year we had a 520-odd mile trek down to our accommodation in one day. The RX coped very well with this, of course. The 81mph speed limit and generally emptier roads meant extended use of the cruise control which was an interesting experience as it's not something I can use in Norfolk/Suffolk. It's clear that most other drivers are doing the same, setting it very close to the 130kmh limit, and the minimal difference in speed makes for a much smoother, safer drive. Possibly not as economical overall, but amusing when the downhill stretches were steep enough to shut the engine down and go into full charge mode. The engine was surprisingly audible when climbing some of the hills, but in general the ability of the hybrid and CVT to let the engine run at a slow speed made for a very relaxed drive. Much of the time on slower roads the 12v fridge made more noise than anything else. The ability to quickly pick-up speed was much appreciated when joining the fast-running autoroutes, particularly with the tight radius ‘on’ curves and generally shorter sliproads meaning that getting back into the flow needs to be done in a decisive manner. It was also much more pleasant than the Avensis to have plenty of power when driving up the steeper hills. It took us around 14 hours to cover that long drive down on the first day, with a cross-country stretch of D-road driving to get between autoroutes and various stops for food, fuel and the odd catnap. All on board found it very comfortable, with my teenage children sleeping for much of the journey and my wife finding the more upright seating position much better than the Avensis. As well as comfort levels, factors such as good visibility and large mirrors made for a stress-free experience. Some sections of the autoroute on the way down were quite rainy, and the smooth asphalt surface generated a lot of spray, but the RX always felt secure and composed. No issue with my choice of Michelin CrossClimates recently fitted to the front, if finances permit I’d like to get the rears done before winter even though the Dunlops it currently has were new when I bought it. The CVT always being in the right ‘gear’ was appreciated on unfamiliar roads, in towns, when stuck in a queue on the autoroute etc, even more so than a conventional auto with its need to kickdown. As we have done before the map was used for position finding only in conjunction with a real, printed atlas (remember them?!). In this role it worked well, it was useful to be able to see upcoming bends and road layouts, and to find petrol stations, but not be a slave to the sat-nav. I don't think it could cope with my photo opportunity stops, detours and turnarounds.... The recently-introduced, slower 50mph speed limit on D-roads was a little frustrating on the long, straight roads in the north, but less of an issue in the hilly countryside of the Tarn et Garonne department where we stayed for our fortnight. Ride and handling was ideal and even on smaller roads the RX didn’t feel too unwieldy. I find the turning circle to be surprisingly tight, useful when getting around small villages and when turning round for a random photo opportunity. When I’m on holiday I usually take a few photos of old/interesting/unusual/rubbish cars (by few I mean several hundred). The extra bit of height and visibility was certainly useful to see things worth stopping for, and my family had a comfortable place to sit in a random gateway or street while I wandered off to get a photo or two. As I hadn’t used my RX on long trips like this before I was interested to see how it would fare on economy. Lowest I remember seeing was 28-29mpg on one tankful on the way down, but with cruise control on the relatively empty, flattish northern autoroutes I more usually got 31-33. When I’d filled-up off the autoroute and driven only on D-roads at 50-odd mph then I saw 40-41mpg after as much as 60 miles – I doubt the Avensis I took last year would have done as well as that, and it really tumbled when doing 80-odd on the autoroutes or when driving in the hills and mountains. Our journey home was pretty much a repeat of the way down, but with an overnight stop in Normandy at a great B&B to delay getting back home for as long as possible. We used the Eurotunnel to get back to the UK, as timings of the Dieppe-Newhaven ferry don’t work so well for us. Driving back home on the M20/M25/A12 was as awful as it seems to be every year, with lots of queues, roadworks and much lower standards of driving. Was there anything I didn’t like, or that annoyed me after this period of intensive use? First would be the lack of a simple button to turn the A/C on/off. Only other thing of significance is the keyless entry and start/stop. I’m happy to still use a remote button to unlock, there are very few occasions where it’s less convenient to do that than touch the door handle, and there are times when it didn’t ‘start’ (i.e. go into ready mode) despite me being as careful as I can be about pressing the brake pedal when I push the start button. I don't think there's a fault, it's just my lousy co-ordination. With it being initially silent I would then sometimes try and pull away, then realise that I had no drive or PAS. The twist of a key would be much more positive.... Lexus seems to be a much less common brand in France than the UK, but then that appears to be the case with most Japanese makes. I saw a UK-registered pre-facelift RX450 on the autoroute, a French F-Sport and an RX300. There was the occasional NX, CT, RC and IS, some of them belonging to Dutch and Belgian holidaymakers. Most surprising to see was a French-registered Mk1 LS400, which I just about managed to catch on the dashcam. Didn’t see any 4th gen RX at all, whether French or British. Is there a conclusion to this review? Just that the RX happily met my expectations and, as someone who enjoys cars and driving, it made the holiday even more pleasurable for me. It was roomy, comfortable, capable and relaxing, and economy was tolerable for the performance and capabilities it offered. I can’t see that a 4th gen model would do anything much better and at the end of my PCP I will think strongly about keeping this one, even if it’s as a second car to something more economical for day-to-day use.
  15. Apart from the more basic - and rare - SE there's not really a lot between Luxury, Advance and F-Sport. They all have plenty of toys, the latter two have a deeper bumper and more pronounced version of the Lexus spindle grille so look a little different. Any of them can have a sunroof or panoramic roof. Outside/interior colour choices can have a big effect, which is best is down to your taste. I'd prioritise condition, mileage, history and price over getting hold of a particular trim level.