Spottedlaurel

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Spottedlaurel last won the day on February 22

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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. Last year I paid just under £850 for a 5-car multi vehicle policy with Footman James, for four 'classics' (1972 Datsun to 1993 Camry) on agreed value plus the RX, with business use on all of them. I live in a rural area and all the cars are on the driveway/garaged. The policy itself (certainly for the Lexus) is with Ageas. I haven't had to make a claim through them myself, but when I've been on the receiving end of two different accidents it turned out they were the other party's insurers. On both occasions they dealt with my side of it quickly and efficiently, so I was happy to see I ended up with them. I imagine the £850 cost splits down to about £450 on the RX and £100 each on the old ones. I remember there being a bit of a jump when I changed from the Avensis as my daily driver. My next renewal is due in May, by which time I'll be the right (or is it wrong?!) side of the age when Saga becomes an option. Will be interesting to do a bit of shopping around on the RX as a separate policy to see if it would be more cost effective to go that way.
  2. An old Parker's Guide I have says IS200 was available as S, SE and Sport from UK launch in 1999.
  3. Hmmm, it's a thought. It has just started happening so I'm inclined to think I've picked up something that's caused a slow puncture - given the places I drive I'm surprised it hasn't happened before.
  4. Thanks Colin. None of those seem at all essential to me. They may even have a small benefit on ride quality and economy. I'd rather have 18 than 20" wheels, better-suited to pothole-strewn country roads. I've previously considered the Mazda 6 estate, but they only do the high-spec models on 19's with low profile tyres and that puts me off, despite it being a great-looking car otherwise. I suppose for 'just' £3000 difference the salespeople worked hard to ensure that buyers went for the better-equipped model, especially if it was leased or on finance as the monthly cost difference was probably negligible.
  5. Until recently I didn't realise such a thing existed. There are a couple currently for sale on AutoTrader. While it doesn't reduce the overall size, or the impact of the spindle grille, I do like the look of them on the 18" wheels. Somehow a bit more purposeful and they'd suit me better than the 20's on the other models. The ad's show all the modern 'basics' seem to be there, like DAB, rear camera and navigation. Not fussed about leather, but they seem to have that too. A shame we don't have an equivalent to Colin Barber's informative gen 3 list. Has anyone on here ever had experience of one? Certainly not common, just the two for sale at present. I have no plans to change mine, as reported elsewhere, but one of these could be tempting in the future......
  6. Like other 1990s Toyotas they do seem to have been popular for export. The economy (circa 50mpg I reckon for my use) is one aspect of the new Camry that definitely appeals. At least the saloon has a folding rear seat, so if I'm doing more miles next time I change I'll strongly consider one. I suspect Mk1 (and maybe Mk2) LS would have indicators on the right when RHD. From memory so would Mazda 323F, pretty sure our G-reg GT model did. Other than the modern RX and this '93 Camry I have three other cars, all old and Japanese. Indicators and lights are on the right on all of them, which is exactly as it should be for a RHD car. The only reason we got used to them being on the left was cheapskate European makers not bothering to change them for RHD. Sadly that became the accepted pattern in the 1990s and the Japanese makers followed suit for cars sold here (but hopefully not in their domestic market?). The interesting thing (to me at least!) about the Camry estate is that not only did they have the wipers properly set for RHD, they also handed the twin rear wipers. This is an example I went to view, but didn't end up buying: 1992 Toyota Camry V6 Estate - Dilemma! by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr Compare to the USDM model: A piece about the twin rear wipers here: https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/remember-when-toyota-camry-wagon-had-two-rear-wipers-260157 The article states there wasn't an estate version of the next-gen Camry, which is true for America but they were available elsewhere. 1999 Toyota Camry 2.2 Estate (Auto Trader, £3995) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr They look good, just a shame they didn't keep it going on future generations but by then I suppose there was the Harrier/RX etc. As already mentioned, same comments apply to the IS Sportcross. Nice 300 I saw last weekend:
  7. Looks like I'll be moving to a full set of CrossClimates sooner than planned. TPMS told me that a tyre was low, fortunately it's one of the rears that are the Dunlops it came with last year (albeit brand new back then, so still only done 13k miles). Topped it up but it's slowly dropping again. It may be repairable, but I think I'll take advantage of a forthcoming work mileage claim and no council tax this month to get a couple more Michelins. Looks like they're about £160 each on Black Circles at present. Discount code only available on a set of four. With the two-year warranty recently purchased and a full set of CrossClimates it'll feel like a car I'm happy to run for a while yet. Only other major expense coming up is the six-year service, at which point it'll have done about 40k. I need to have a chat with the friendly service manager about what realistically needs to be done then. Hopefully I can use the "Essential Care" thing, so long as that's sufficient for the warranty? Thought of a minor annoyance this week, I wish the fuel tank was larger so it offered a bit more range. With 400 miles being a realistic maximum out of one tankful, the location of filling stations out here in the countryside means I tend to fill up at around 300 which seems to come around rather quickly. I find that I very rarely look at the actual fuel gauge, it sits a bit low and I find it easier to use the odometer and cruising range figure.
  8. Thanks for the comments, it's interesting to know there are some other former Camry owners who've now moved onto Lexus. James, sounds like you have your '96 Volvo for the same reason I keep my Camry going! Paul, biggest shame about that generation of Camry is that the indicators are on the wrong side of the steering wheel.... One thing I find impressive is that parts can be swapped between a Japanese-built saloon and the US-built estate with no problem at all.
  9. Thanks everyone for the comments and feedback. Interesting to hear the views of others. My regular searching of RXs up to £30k shows a decent amount of 4th gen models with sensible mileage now available. In another couple of years I think I'd have no issue finding something, if the mileage I'm doing is compatible with 35-40mpg and I do choose to move on from my current one. I've noticed they do an SE model, not very common but strangely I like the look of that on its smaller wheels which would suit my rural life a bit better. I can live with a limited toy count, for that reason the rather basic tech of the 3rd gen isn't an issue to me. I find the looks of some of the current Lexus range a bit challenging. On the SUVs it's probably best on the NX, that was the model I saw when I still had the Avensis that got me interested although some research showed the RX would suit my tastes and requirements better. With the fact I've taken out the extended warranty and the need to get it serviced by Lexus, it does feel like I'd be putting a fair bit of money into it just for the dealer and next owner to see the benefit. For most buyers who, like me, would also class themselves as an enthusiast there's the desire to have a change and get something new fairly often. However, I'm lucky to own several other cars (nothing fancy, I can assure you) so I have plenty of opportunity to give myself a bit of motoring variety. Thanks Carl, I'll look that up and give it a try. I got mine up to 35+ MPG today after 110 miles of flattish Norfolk driving. A few years ago I'd have been more than happy with that out of anything I was driving, like a manual Camry 2.2. The fact that a V6, automatic heavyweight can do the same thing is pretty remarkable really. Interesting comment about the seats, my wife is around 5'2" but hasn't raised any significant issue over getting in and out, and at 6' it works perfectly for me. As mentioned in the holiday topic, she finds the more upright seating position much more natural and comfortable than in the Avensis. I'd agree too. I find the brakes to be fine, almost too sensitive - I thought they were better on a 69-reg NX I had as a courtesy car. One odd thing is that I'm sure I can gently brake (regen maybe) without the brake lights coming on, as if the switch doesn't activate at quite the right point on the pedal travel. It's a fractional thing, but noticeable in how I drive without being heavy on the brakes.
  10. Not exactly far away from you Malcolm, got to be worth a look?! Just found the ad, it looks great! I believe the V6 can suffer with head gasket failure and auto gearbox faults. I never had an issue with either on mine, and it was higher mileage than the one you mention and was used on a couple of trackdays. Looks like it has the later, lower-spec interior with cloth seats. I think they still have AC though. Would have had steel wheels as standard, so it's interesting to see those alloys on it - must be dealer-fit accessories, I've not seen that style before. Old-style plates and a clean, tidy bootspace with the spare wheel cover apparently intact are a good sign. Not cheap, but I think you'd struggle to find a better one.
  11. It's a year since I went down to Kent to purchase this 3rd-gen Luxury model (following the abortive month of having an Advance which had to be exchanged as I wasn't happy with it). Low mileage (less than 24k) and one owner from new. Condition and quality was commensurate with that. I wrote a post-holiday a review of it here: Much of what I found then is still the case, but a busy winter of using it very regularly has brought some other aspects into focus. Economy isn't great on the shorter journeys, of course. About 32-33, rising to around 35 if I can get some longer runs across Norfolk/Suffolk. No motorways for us here and it sees very little dual carriageway use, 50-55mph runs sitting with the lorries on A-roads definitely shows an improvement. Now I have my old Camry back on the road I hope to use the RX less for those silly little journeys, dad's taxi runs etc which should help. An SUV hadn't been something I was actively looking for, but the height is great for giving better visibility on the country roads I spend all my time on. However I think the overall look of it isn't too big or intimidating to other road users. Regrettably it spends most of winter looking like this. The joys of the sugarbeet harvest in winter. I spent quite a bit of time last week cleaning out the overlap behind the door bottoms, surprising how much muck had crept in there. The strange felt wheelarch liners hold a lot of muck, when it does get cleaned I usually spend some time shifting as much of that as I can. Ultimately it's a working car and I don't get too precious about it. It's impossible to avoid odd scratches and muck living out in the sticks and visiting building sites for work. The rubber mats and bootliner are doing a good job inside, however. I'm not convinced by the auto wipers, variable intermittent would be fine. And I still don't like the keyless entry and starting. It had a service and MoT down at Ipswich. All good and no untoward work required, although it does seem unnecessarily expensive for what was done. It'll be due the big 6-year service this year, I need to look at the essentials servicing. I like the people there (I've known for 25+ years through our shared interest in older Toyotas and Datsuns) and I will do my best to ensure any future Lexus comes from them as I don't wish to repeat last year's experience.... The overall package still works very well for me. The hybrid and CVT combination adds a layer of interest to even the dullest journey, and the peace and calm is very welcome. That being said I still find the ride a bit unsettled and jiggly. There are one or two others I see locally, but not as many as when I've gone down to Kent/Surrey. What I find interesting is that I cannot tell what sort of people have them, maybe that means they don't have a strong image but I prefer to think that they don't come with the negative baggage of some marques. I'm sufficiently committed to it that I have just bought the two-year extended warranty. The European recovery was a major factor in making that decision, as it should be making a couple more journeys to France with us. Difficult to predict life, work etc two years ahead, but assuming I'm still in a similar position to now I really don't know what will happen at the end of the PCP. For it to be something I can afford it means that I'd be looking at something that's in production now. 4th gen RX is the obvious choice, and reviews of it on here show it to be good, but I haven't fully come to terms with its looks and the better MPG of the new RAV4, Camry and ES could be a deciding factor. Just a shame the latter two aren't available as estates. Bootspace of the RAV4 is decent and it gets decent reviews, I shall be interested to see what they do with the new NX if it shares the same good qualities and particularly if/when it becomes available as a plug-in hybrid. Full electric isn't right for me yet, but 30-odd MPG isn't great nowadays. Might just buy mine outright, run it for a further year or two and then use it as a deposit for whatever's next. Mileage should still be relatively low even by the time it's approaching 10 years old so hopefully it will have some value unless the market completely dies.
  12. Welcome to RX ownership. 36+ MPG is a pretty good start. Noises are difficult to track down, that one isn't something I can recall hearing in mine. Did you buy it from a dealer? Could be worth taking it back and seeking their assistance if so. Is there any debris trapped underneath? With the recent storms there's a lot of rubbish on the roads. I would say that the back end of the RX450 isn't as tight and quiet as it could be. Mine certainly isn't it, I had to put some felt pads around the tailgate latch to stop squeaking there and the rear seats don't seem to be particularly rigid. Good luck in getting it sorted and keep us posted on the outcome.
  13. The new Camry interests me. Probably because of this thing and some others I've had: I'm rather pleased with myself today because I've just got this old crock back on the road. Its last MoT expired back in April 2019 and it just sat on my driveway since then. I think the novelty of the then-new-to-me RX distracted me, as well as having some other old cars to use as the weather got better, I first bought it back in 2011 as it seemed to be a good price and I think these old Camrys are fantastic. After a few months I realised how good this particular one was, so I sold a newer Camry Sport I had and it became my daily driver. The RH passenger door got hit by someone in a car park, but luckily I had a spare one off another estate. At the end of 2013 it got hit up the back by an Audi A4. Both cars were written-off, but damage to the Camry was limited and with spares I had I thought I'd keep it and get it back on the road. What actually happened was I bought a 2010 Avensis and the Camry sat on the drive until 2017. I finally took it to a local, friendly garage and they gave me a list of things required. Camry Estate parts by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr It ended up with a new clutch, two front springs, brake discs and pads front and rear and a new cam belt (probably a water pump as well). Engine had to come out. Happily the damage was easier to repair, just needing a replacement tailgate (which again I just happened to have). Used it as a back-up car and occasional 6/7-seater people transporter (they have a third row of rear-facing seats) until 2019, which brings me back to where I started. Driving it again today reminded me of just how great the 1990s Camrys are. Now I've also had experience of 1990s Lexus ownership (I ran a Mk3 LS400 for a while) I can see some strong similarities between them. The toy count is much less of course, certainly on the 2.2 models which have just fuel injection, electric windows, ABS and PAS to differentiate it from my older Japanese cars, but it's the feel and quality of what is there that counts. Mine looks somewhat rubbish (my wife despairs of it) but I know how good it is. The Mk1 LS400 wheels were a fairly recent addition, in great condition with some very good Dunlop tyres on them for just £40. Despite the LS being RWD and the Camry FWD, the offset is the same and so is the tyre width, so they work perfectly on it. The 2.2-litre engine is the best 4-cyl, multivalve unit I've had, smooth and with a nice bit of torque at lower rev's but with an ability to spin up to higher speeds quite happily. The stainless steel exhaust on mine gives it a surprisingly sporty note which adds to its Q-car appeal. The Camry is a fairly obscure and overlooked model, so why do I like them so much? I bought my first one in 2006 when I needed a big estate. It was a 2.2 with high mileage of nearly 180k at around 10 years old and I bought it unseen off eBay. Came from a Home Counties solicitor who'd spent more than my purchase price of £550 to get it through its last MoT. 1996 Toyota Camry 2.2 estate by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr It was my main car until 2008 when the looming MoT looked like it would be a bit tricky. I sold it to a friend who had the pleasure of taking it past 200k, then I bought it back for spares for the next one..... Camry on the track at RAF Marham #3 by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr Next-gen 2.2 Sport, an oddball Toyota GB creation with 17" alloys, bodykit, Connolly leather interior and surprisingly harsh, lowered suspension (I think some had been reading Max Power). Equivalent of the GS300 Sport I suppose. I ended up running it on 15" steels off the estate, much better-suited to the country roads where I live. This is the one I sold after I purchased the K-reg estate. What came next? Ah yes, because I had a spares car with good panels on it this accident-damaged, low mileage 2.2 saloon appealed and it became another unseen purchase. What could possibly go wrong buying a damaged car I hadn't seen before that was on the other side of the country? 1992 Toyota Camry 2.2GL Project Car (Pt 1) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr 1992 Toyota Camry 2.2GL (Pt 3) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr It's a 1990s Toyota, so not very much. Battery was dead and I had to buy a new one on the way home, but otherwise it was fine and I ran it like this until the MoT ran out. I started repairing it, but the panels didn't quite seem to sit right so it never progressed any further. Also, I got sidetracked by yet another one...... 1991 Toyota Camry V6 GX by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr I'd left a note on this local car some time beforehand, then the owner rang to say he'd been offered £200 as a part-ex and did I want it for the same amount? As a running, driving V6 how could I go wrong? I got it MoTed and it went into regular use alongside the green 2.2 estate. These V6 models go nicely, although strangely I prefer the lighter feel of the 2.2. Again, it saw some trackday action: Camry at speed! by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr I had it for several years until it was clear the next MoT would be difficult. Sold the engine and 'box to someone for an MR2 conversion, then by chance another local Camry owner needed a load of panels as he'd had a bump in his, so from that I had enough to buy the N-reg LS400 (another story, which also involves trackdays). I ended up owning all five at the same point (the Sport is missing from this shot): A convention of Camrys by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr As well as the green estate I still have the 2.2 saloon as a source of spares. A bit of a shame it won't see the road again as it's low mileage and was tidy apart from the damage, but it's been an invaluable parts donor. I find it a little sad that Toyota/Lexus don't offer a normal, big estate car nowadays. I've had a couple of Avensis estates and they were OK (though the 1.8 petrol in the last one was a miserable unit). I saw an IS Sportcross today and thought it a shame they didn't continue with these. It's great that Toyota have brought the Camry back here, with my history I should be a natural buyer for it, but a 4-door saloon isn't ideal for me which is why I went for the RX last year. An estate version would be a great alternative to the various German and Volvo models on the market. In the meantime I'll keep this one going for as long as I can.
  14. My RX came from a Motorline Lexus dealer. I eventually ended up with the right car for me, but I wouldn't say it was a very pleasurable experience and next time I shall be more patient and buy from my local dealer who aren't part of that particular group....
  15. That's a decent price. Is that only if you buy all four, or would they do a pair for half that?