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About Odysseus

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  1. Great write up! Thanks for taking the time to post and I’m positive this would help others in a similar position. Good on you. But dude, what’s going on with the red/pink steering wheel and mess of charging cables?!? [emoji33][emoji846] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Thanks chaps for the comments and the warm words on my expanding family, it's always good to get the feedback of the forum collective. With regards to my hopeless dealership: Does anyone else use Lexus Cambridge? If so, are my unlucky experiences unique? Anyway, the 'limited power you get unless you kickdown' thing has been playing on my mind more, and I've been doing some (very unscientific) testing. If I extend the throttle all the way to the floor WITHOUT KICKDOWN then the power needle jumps to about 150 KW and stays there as the car gathers speed. If I definitively boot it, engaging kickdown, it gives you the full bananas, spinning the KW needle up to about 250. This happens regardless of whether you are in normal driving mode, or Hybrid Power mode. Some light googling has informed me that 150 KW equates to about 200 bhp and 250 KW equates to 335 bhp (basically the full power of the car). This corroborates my observation that under 'normal' acceleration it's similar to a BMW 520D as these are in the region of 200 bhp. I appreciate this could all be a bit nonsensical as torque and everything else plays a part, but figured it might be interesting to people.
  3. About a year ago I posted my thoughts on my first year of owning my first Lexus, a 2008 GS450H SE-L. That was then, and this is now, so I figured a two year report might be a benefit to existing owners as a comparison, or potential owners considering a GS450 of this vintage. I'll stick to the same format as last year, just for consistency. The Car Clearly it's the same car as last year, but has now done around 82,000 miles, around 24,000 more than when I bought it from Lexus Edgware Road. Just to recap, it's a 2008 SE-L, with ACC, PCS and the extended wood package. Fully loaded, oh yeah. Driving Experience Still the same, it's still smooth and fast without being particularly sporty. It disguises speed very well and it's easy to find yourself zooming down a road doing naughty miles per hour having just given it a bit of a squirt. The low speed ride is fine too, and like I said it last time it's fabulous in low speed stop start traffic. Creeping along silently on electric power alone is brilliantly serene, and is a sensation I'll miss if I move back to a non-hybrid car. One thing I have started to find a bit frustrating however is the car, despite being at launch (in 2005) the second quickest car in its class after the BMW M5, really doesn't want to use the power it has. An example is accelerating onto a dual carriageway from a roundabout or a slip road you might expect that a 340 bhp saloon wouldn't hang around, and to be fair it doesn't, but it's not really using its full potential - it's about as brisk as a modern turbo diesel saloon, think 520D or similar. If you DO want convince the various propulsive methods to hustle you down the road in a harmony of 3.5L V6, electric motor, battery, and grinning then you not only have to floor it, but kick down so the magic button seemingly under the right pedal is engaged. This serves to open up the full tine of beans and then it absolutely feels fast, but also like you're on a mission. I appreciate I'm being picky, but I'd like 100% of available power without needing to change the DEFCON level to do it. The infotainment system continues to impress. Having now driven a bunch of brand new Lexus I find their fiddly menus and weird mouse controls a retrograde step compared to the simple clear touchscreen in my GS. I never did bother fitting the £500 GROM VLINE (see why below), but I still use the Lexus iPod adaptor, plus a simple Bluetooth FM transmitter to stream Amazon Music from my iPhone to the car stereo, which with all the Mark Levinson gubbins sounds great to my ears. The Bluetooth phone integration, while not modern enough to sync phone books from iPhones, works really well and is super clear, and 10 minutes spent programming in the numbers you want to call regularly has served me perfectly well. After all, you can still dial from the phone if you need to (while stationary obviously, we're all law-abiding in Lexus land). I still find the fuel tank annoyingly small. 320 odd miles between fill ups is still par for the course for me. An 80 litre fuel tank would be better. All in all though, great car to drive. Maintenance Still glad I bought the warranty... My record keeping has been less comprehensive this past year, but I did have the 80,000 service done fairly recently, and had a new set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4s fitted. The previous set of identical Michelins lasted about 20,000 miles which I think is perfectly fine for a heavy performance saloon. Great tyres too, grippy and quiet, no complaints. The 80,000 mile service was about £500, less a discount for being a LOC member, and the tyres were about £130 each with my Lexus dealer price matching Blackcircles. I had a new set of front brake discs and pads done, that was about £300 less some discount. I had a Lexus/Toytoa dash-cam fitted, that was about £200. Very happy with this incidentally! The following items have been replaced under warranty in the past year. 3 x TPMS sensors Left rear parking sensor Differential drain plug Gearbox earth strap I'm also told that one of my front shocks is "misting" but this can't be replaced under warranty as it's not "failed". I'm miffed about this so am pondering my next move. Fuel Consumption My anally retentive habit of recording my fuel usage petered out when my wife started using the car more. I wasn't prepared to tell her to record the mileage before refuelling, keep the fuel receipt, , reset the trip, then carefully present all data to me for tapping into my app to show strangers on the internet - I don't want to confirm I'm that weird. However, the fuel consumption hasn't really changed. On a long motorway run it'll top 30 mpg, and crawling through traffic it will do about 25 mpg. I'm still averaging about 28 mpg by my reckoning which I don't really mind, but it does perturb me when I see others on here are getting 35 mpg averages in near identical cars. How are you guys doing this?!?! Sometimes I make a concerted effort to drive like I have the Queen and Prince Phillip in the back which sees me just holding onto about 30 mpg, but one 10 mile journey running late and utilising the performance sees the numbers tumbling back to 27.9. Oh well. Owning my Lexus This is where it all starts to unravel a bit. I live in Cambridgeshire and work in Cambridge, therefore logically enough use Lexus Cambridge to work on my car. The past year has seen them decline from their distinctly average quality to something approaching quite crap. I won't bore you all with the full details, but there have been issues where what I've asked for during the booking in process has not been done, consistent time overruns, very poor quality washing, having to chase them up for answers to questions or reports of progress, and on one occasion money (about £4 in parking coins) was actually stolen from my car. I reported this to the service manager, complete with photographic evidence and they duly fired one of their car cleaning staff. I did receive an apologetic phone call from a senior dealer bod which was nice enough but given the Lexus reputation I was expecting a bit more contrition. It was especially galling that not long after this episode I had to book my car in for something else and STILL had to chase them up. Not cool, not fun, and not why I bought a Lexus if I'm honest. Lexus Cambridge verdict: Must try harder. 3/10 I'm minded to try a different Lexus dealer, but apart from it being less than sensible finding a dealer when there's one 5 miles from my work, all the dealers in my area are part of the Steven Eagell group, so I'm not sure I'd be getting anything different aside from a whole new level of inconvenience in going further away. Final thoughts. I wouldn't be quite as miffed with Lexus Cambridge if I didn't have to deal with them so often, which I wouldn't have to do if the car had fewer problems... Lexus reliability anyone?! Will I keep my Lexus? This part will be as much a life update as a car update. The answer to will I keep my Lexus in the long term is almost certainly no. The reason why is principally this little guy. That's my number three child, who was something of a happy surprise! This means I currently am the registered owner of a seven year old, a five year old, and a 6 week old. All three of my offspring legally require car seats, and as such it is obviously necessary to own a car capable of accommodating the whole family. Daddy, Mummy, and Cost Centres 1, 2, and 3. This was achieved in part by getting rid of our Toyota Prius earlier in the year and replacing it with a 2012 Volvo XC90 - a seven seater SUV my wife barrels around in, propping up the profit margins of Shell and BP. The Volvo manages to fit all three child seats in the middle row, for now, and when the baby needs a bigger seat we'll bring the third row seats into play. It's a good car to be honest and I enjoy driving it, recognising it weighs 2.5 tonnes fully laden and only has 200 bhp. You might imagine that the GS, as a fairly large car, would also be able to fit three child seats in the back. You'd be wrong. Due to the shape of the seats there's really no way to get all three of them in, let alone doing so safely, and until my children reach the size where they can sit in a car without needing a child seat as a family we're now in a position where only one car can carry everyone which feels a bit risky. While this is probably going to be okay for now with my wife on maternity leave, it almost certainly will be limiting in the future - no giving lifts to friends, no spare family car if the Volvo needs work, etc, and if I'm minded to change the Lexus anyway then I'm going to choose to replace it with a car capable of fitting my whole family in. This coupled with my distinctly underwhelming dealer experience has thus affected my view of my Lexus. I won't get rid of it while it's still under warranty and I'll want to see how family transport is shaping up, but I am likely to move it on in another 12 to 18 months. Therefore I'm not going to fit a VLINE, I'm not going to respray the few stone chips on the front bumper, and I'm not going to imagine it's the car I'll own for the long term, which was not necessarily the case a year ago. Thoughts on Lexus as a brand Not positive really. My dealer experience hasn't helped with this, but neither have the new vehicles I've used as courtesy cars. Thanks to frequent service and warranty work I've driven a couple of CT200s, an IS300, and two NX300s, and find them all bit lacking. Aside from the aforementioned fiddly infotainment there's a sense they are over-styled, with a lot of angles and 'design features' for the sake of it. I'm also not a fan of the fact that all the models seem to have flappy paddles, sport modes, and other 'performance' guff which is purely cosmetic. Why do you need flappy paddles on a car with one gear? Why bother having a rev counter when the car doesn't change gear? Why is the knob that changes the driving mode bigger than the knob that turns on the stereo? Why all the sporty nonsense on a car that is blatantly not a performance car?! To be fair I don't for one moment think Lexus is alone in this. I see enough humdrum 3 and 5 Series with M SPORT badges and stripy grills, and S Line/AMG Line seems to be the default choice in for otherwise perfectly nice normal cars the UK. I just find it a bit disappointing that the virtues that Lexus do/should have, like comfort, reliability, being different, and so on, seem to take second place to this pseudo-sporty lifestyle claptrap. On this basis I don't really like any of the new Lexus models and can't really see me owning a Lexus again for a while, at least not until the seven-seater RX450-L comes into my acceptable price bracket. Would I recommend a GS450H? Yes! It's a good car, and it's honest about what it is. I wouldn't say mine has been especially reliable, but in reality probably no worse than the equivalent German car of a similar age. Here's to another 12 months. Thanks for reading.
  4. Great to hear! I can’t help but imagine the current draw of an ‘idle’ top flight Lexus compared to a Mazda 2. [emoji846] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. It could be a weak 12v battery? I hear they can be the cause of lots of random issues. When was it last replaced? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Low riding aside, those window things look sodding awful on every car I’ve ever seen them fitted to. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. I can’t really fault your logic James, though the only thing I’d say with “old” cars like ours is sometimes it’s better the devil you know, meaning I’d hold fire on buying anything until you know the full details on the ULEZ scheme for Birmingham. I’m not much of an authority on the IS model but I’m sure a fully specced IS250 SE-L is a nice car, but I’d test drive one of these before making a decision. https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201903206100338 Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. [emoji106] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. I’m no expert but I’m sure those cars would be reliable, but despite them being newer those cars aren’t in the same league as the GS. That said they do have lots of space whereas the boot on the GS450 is relatively tiny - think about the same size boot space as a Fiesta or Corsa. I’m terms of reliability in the two years I’ve had mine I’ve needed a new shock absorber, water pump, new TPMS sensors all round, a new wing mirror motor, new earth strap on the gearbox, both windscreen washers, a new passenger seat belt mechanism and a few other bits. This has been covered by the warranty but it’s annoying all the same. I’m now chasing another problem with an intermittently failing parking sensor. This is on a relatively low mileage car with a full Lexus service history, so I don’t consider the reliability to be outstanding. I did a one year ownership report which might make for interesting reading. https://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/topic/116891-a-year-with-a-gs450/ I’m not trying to put you off, the GS450 is a really good car, but with a limited income stream the potential for expensive problems on what was a near £50K car might cause some sleepless nights! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. I’ve just renewed my road tax and it’s gone up to £250, which is still ok given far less interesting stuff is often over £300. I get an average of 28mpg in my 2008 GS450h. That’s over nearly two years and over 20,000 miles. It’s a heavy car and fast and smooth but it’s not something you can throw around a country lane, which is something you may be able to do in your IS. It’s a great car and I’m happy with it but in my experience it’s no more reliable than any other car of the same class. My local Lexus dealer (Cambridge) is average. Definitely consider an extended warranty if the car is under 10 years old and 140,000 miles. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. I'm told by Lexus Cambridge it's going to be sorted, and I'll be getting a courtesy car in the mean time. I'm due to drop the car off with them on Monday. If they're as good as their word, I'll be getting a new front damper under warranty, a new gearbox earth strap under warranty, a new differential drain plug under warranty, and a fresh MOT, as well as the rear discs and pads fitted as I requested when I made the booking. Getting this far has taken quite a lot of chasing however, and isn't the kind of hassle free Lexus owning experience I was hoping for. I'll let you all know how it goes.
  11. I know what you mean. When you call the Cambridge dealer number depending on how busy it is you'll either get through to them directly or the contact centre for the Steven Eagell group. I don't have a problem with this in principle as they are perfectly pleasant to deal with, but from my perspective as the customer it shouldn't matter who I talk to. I summarised all my niggles in an email so hopefully the response will be encouraging.
  12. Having a bit of a stroppy time with Lexus Cambridge at the moment. Booked my GS450h in for a bunch of work including 80,000 mile service, rear brake discs and pads, an MOT and two wheel refurbs, and the only things they did were the service and the MOT. It looks like a breakdown of communication between the ‘contact centre’ who handled my booking and the actual dealer doing the work, but it’s highly annoying. The other irritating things are that the MOT (which has an expiry date a month before its supposed to, but that’s another story) has advisories on a broken earth strap on the gearbox, and a misting front shock. I’m asking why these are not being replaced under warranty, and will let you know what the outcome is. Things aren’t supposed to be this hard with Lexus! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  13. Assuming what’s coming out is gungey gunk rather than limescale type deposits maybe something domestic like a dishwasher tablet dissolved in piping hot water flushed back and forth a few times? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Sorry to hear about your heating challenges Lee. I hope the flushing methods can resolve this without the need to dismantle the dash, that sounds no fun at all. :( Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  15. Check the settings. The unit in my GS450 is different to yours, but there is an option for it to switch away from certain display pages back to either the economy bar chart or the map, depending on what you were viewing. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk