Ten Ninety

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About Ten Ninety

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  • Lexus Model
    GS300h Premier
  • Year of Lexus
  • UK/Ireland Location

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  1. You're probably right - given current universal trends for cutting quality whilst raising prices - that it was unrealistic to expect the ES to have the same quality materials as the GS, given that the previous generation ES was never the GS's equal. However, I think some of us were living in the hope that because the final pricing of the ES in the UK was so high (a GS 300h Premier was actually cheaper than the ES 300h Takumi) then the material quality of the ES would have been brought up to scratch. It clearly hasn't, and I think it's understandable to be disappointed at the relative crapness of its interior materials compared to the GS. That said, I suspect I'm getting too old for my comments to have much validity these days. I can't really argue that the ES looks good value in a market where people are actually expected to pay £20k for a boggo Ford Focus Zetec. But that market, in my mind, is simply insane and in my old-fashioned head I can't get past the idea that £43k is an obscene amount of money to pay for any car that isn't either properly luxurious or properly fast. I will happily admit that I am tragically out of touch with mass market reality, but I suspect I'm not the only one who thinks like that. I also suspect few GS owners will be trading down to an ES - if I'm going to have to settle for in inferior interior, I'll take the Camry and £10k every time, thanks. However, I expect that Lexus have already factored that in. GS owners are a tiny minority anyway, and the ES is well placed to attract ex-diesel refugees from other 'premium' marques. Toyota interior materials and design have come on massively in the last few years, haven't they? I'd say the C-HR feels as 'premium' as a CT inside, if not more, especially in Excel spec with the quilting. Even my Prius PHV is nicely-built of tidy materials, in an interesting design. I'm sure the new Corolla and Camry will feel the same. For those of us who place actual user experience over badge snobbery, Toyota increasingly offers a relatively appealing alternative to the lower-end Lexus models. Of course, out there in the real world, badge snobbery is very much alive and well...
  2. I would have less of an issue with this proposal if the following were true: a) Speedometers in this country actually reported accurate speeds like they do in the US, instead of over-reading by what is often a ridiculous margin. You can bet the limiter will operate at the speedometer reading not the real speed, meaning we'll all be doing 3-5mph less than the actual limit. b) Speed limits weren't set by local council morons who think the answer to 'road safety' is just to continually lower the limit on roads which are perfectly safe at the NSL if you actually drive with your eyes open and look at the road ahead. Yes, I'm bitter that half of my commute has just gone from NSL to 40 for no good reason whatsoever, but the point still stands. Too many limits are now simply too low. c) 'Road Sign Recognition' systems actually worked. Many are a complete joke that routinely report completely the wrong limit after missing or misreading signs. The Toyota one, which presumably will be similar to any Lexus system, is spectacularly hopeless. In principle, I have no problem with enforced limits of excessive speed. But unless the three things above change then I suspect we're all going to end up stuck behind the person in the brand new car who's forced to do 5mph below a limit that's been set 20mph too low in the first place. Or behind the Toyota still chuntering along at 30 because it failed to spot the NSL signs half a mile ago. At which point someone in a yet-to-be-limited car will get so fed up that they overtake desperately, misjudge their move and end up killing someone.
  3. I would second that. I've had an occasional stone chipping get caught up somewhere and it can make all sorts of squealing noises that only go away under braking. I have found that a short, sharp, violent blast of reversing can be a suitable cure, having checked the mirrors first of course!
  4. The GS does not ride well on 18" wheels. It might ride well compared to other cars on 18" wheels, but that's the whole problem. Everyone seems to have forgotten what real comfort is, like you get when you run tyres that actually have a few inches of sidewall. I've just given my GS to my wife and am having a much more comfortable daily ride in a Prius PHV. Sure, I miss my 18-way adjustable seats and the quality ambience but I'm enjoying not being thrown about on poor sections of road and on being able to negotiate the speed bumps outside work without getting kicked in the butt every time. 15" wheels for the win. The sound deadening is, of course, pure supposition on my part. However, the new LS has dropped the ball on that front from what I've heard and I can't see the ES being any different.
  5. So I'll pay £5 more for an ES Takumi than a GS Premier? So much for the much-vaunted price reduction to account for the inferior platform. What do I get for that? Cheap materials, worse economy and pointless rear reclining seats instead of a useful passenger-seat ottoman? Seriously? Who the hell wants them in a car this size - it ain't a chauffeur-driven barge like the LS! And multi-weather headlights? Really, Lexus? Really? I bet it'll ride just as poorly as the GS on its stupid big wheels and have worse road noise as well, because they'll have cut the sound deadening to save costs. I predict they'll sell about two of these. One of which I might just buy in three year's time once some poor fool's taken a serious haircut on it. But it'll have to be a bargain, and it'll have to have a HUD, which isn't clear yet from the specs.
  6. I can see the logic in your last point - if the RC350 already exists, it would do no harm to bring (literally) a few over. However, I don't know where the RC is built - is the 350 American market only? Is it built in a different factory? If so, getting a RHD one to UK spec would presumably be too costly to justify. Same goes for the ES - they might shift a handful of 350s if they brought them over, but if they're all currently LHD and built to US standards then I doubt it would be worth the cost to re-do the production line. On the point about reducing the range, is that not what Renault did to great success in the UK? They cut their model range right down to just the ones which sold well a while back, and I believe they've done very well since. Much as we might not like the idea, I suspect Lexus would survive indefinitely selling SUVs.
  7. If you drive slowly, the 300h is an excellent choice. It behaves in exactly the same way as a Prius/Auris and is therefore supremely relaxing to drive. The bigger battery means it can go a little further in milkfloat mode than the Auris. It also gives considerably greater overtaking urge than the Toyota, although it's not a fast car. I imagine your 250 would be much more rewarding for a keen driver, but the 300h can do 60+mpg in the right conditions and 50+ all day long, assuming you drive it in a suitable manner and don't fit the wrong tyres like I did. What spec is the one you're looking at? If it's a Premier, the seats alone are worth the cost to change.
  8. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being in a minority, nor should anyone feel the need to apologise for their views (sarcastically or otherwise!). I would like to see Lexus continue as a niche player, producing some interesting left-field cars. My preference would be for them to produce some slower, more economical cars that prioritise comfort. You wish (I think) for them to produce some faster, more engaging cars to drive that prioritise driver enjoyment. I suspect that in reality neither of us is likely to have our wishes granted because we are both in too much of a minority for it to be a profitable enterprise for them. Perhaps we can agree on that?
  9. That is a fair point. However, I don't believe Lexus would have been able to offer an RC350 or an RC450h at a price point that would have been competitive with the Germans, and definitely not on a monthly PCP/Lease basis. It would still have failed. That was the GS450h's problem - as you rightly note yourself - it was a great car but most people probably saw it as just too expensive for what it offered compared to the equivalent Germans. The 'younger clientele' are far less driving and performance focused than the older crowd, and they care far more about emissions and environmental issues, too. A lot of young people don't want cars at all. At least, not to own. Many teenagers today don't even care about learning to drive - they want someone else to take the wheel so they can sit in the back taking selfies and posting more crap on Instagram. All the manufacturers know this, which is why they're rushing headlong into developing autonomous vehicles and offering subscription models. The technology won't be ready in time to meet the demand (real autonomy is probably 15-20 years away), which is where Uber and the like will come in to fill the gap. In the meantime, I reckon Lexus is doing the right thing by targeting the more mature market, as that's where the money is right now. The funny thing is, I suspect they're actually more likely to attract the youth by producing sharp-looking cars that are cool to pose with, which also have strong environmental credentials. Speed, performance and driving enjoyment are total non-issues. After all, the slower you go, the more people get to look at you. Genuine LOL. Thank you. This whole thread has been worth it, just for that comment!
  10. You're probably right, they would. Both of them. 😀 I don't doubt that an RC with a 350 would be a decent driver's car, but enthusiasts with money who want a Lexus will surely just buy an RC-F or an LC, whilst those who are less financially blessed will surely buy a more affordable second-hand example of what they really want? If someone could financially afford to weather the savage depreciation on a fictional brand-new RC350 at, say, £35k, I fail to see how they couldn't afford the running costs of a pre-owned RC-F for the same money. Are there people out there who can't afford the new car they really want yet are still clinging on to their dreams of being a driving god, whilst refusing to countenance buying anything other than a brand new vehicle? Undoubtedly, but they're all in 440is or C43s or S5s already. I can't imagine why Lexus would want to try and expend any effort penetrating that market for such little potential reward. Especially not when they can't hope to match the Germans on monthly payments.
  11. Fair enough, but you are surely the edgiest of edge cases - someone who drives outside of normal hours in one of the most sparsely-populated parts of the country! I know I've said that I believe Lexus should be a niche brand, but even I'd suggest that catering to such a negligibly small market would be going a bit far. If Lexus did a RC350 in this country, the comically out-of-touch motoring press would love it and rave about how much better it was to drive than the 300h and then literally nobody would buy one. Well, maybe not nobody. Maybe a handful of brave souls from the tiny (and diminishing) band of ageing 'enthusiasts' who still care about things like number of cylinders, throttle response and the ability to overtake 'safely' would stump up the cash. At least, those who weren't dissuaded by the lack of a German badge, the prospect of terrible running costs and the guarantee of absolutely catastrophic depreciation. I don't think hybrid drivetrains are the reason people are put off from buying a Lexus - if anything it's probably been their unique selling point in recent years. If the hybrid-only CT was so hopelessly different and out of touch, why was it Lexus's biggest seller following its introduction? It's only recently been surpassed by the on-trend NX, also in hybrid form. If people really wanted non-hybrid Lexuses, why did the 200ts sell so poorly? Like it or not, with diesel's long-overdue death finally underway, hybridisation (in its various forms) is the short-term future until we transition to EVs. I would suggest that Lexus might be better off capitalising on all those years of expertise and pushing their hybrid technology just as it's gaining mainstream acceptance, rather than wasting resources on trying to flog cars with antiquated old engines to an ever-shrinking bunch of die-hards.
  12. There's a small feature in this month's CAR magazine that features the RC300h. The reviewer hates it, basically because it's too slow. So Linas is not alone in his opinion. I wouldn't disagree myself either, to be honest. The 300h drivetrain is many things, but fast is not one of them. It's not sharp or responsive either, so 'sluggish' is probably not a bad description. But for me, that's fine. For me, the 300h shouldn't be fast, sharp or responsive. It should be a nice relaxing, smooth way to cruise around in comfort. When it comes to the issue of being slow or 'sluggish' I'm intrigued to know where the CAR journalists (and Linas) are finding roads where they can actually enjoy driving quickly, at least in the normal day-to-day business of going from one place to another. These days, on the very rare occasions when I do wish to press on, within minutes I inevitably encounter a fully paid-up member of the Anti Destination League at the head of a queue doing 35 in a 60. I can still totally get the idea of a fast sports car that you get up at 5am to enjoy, but I'm less and less able to wrap my head around the purpose of owning a fast car that is used in daily traffic. Everyone's different and there's no wrong or right, but getting rid of the 450h seems perfectly logical in a market which is surely inversely proportional to the amount of traffic on our roads?
  13. Nice review and useful info - thanks for posting. That, sir, is a genuinely impressive lead foot. Respect!
  14. Toyota made considerable gains with the Prius efficiency from Gen3 to Gen4 without resorting to plug-in stuff, so I was kind of hoping Lexus might do something similar with the 300h. However, I will reserve my judgement until the official figures, given Rayaan's suggestion about the inaccuracy of Auto Express above.
  15. So, it's too slow for the fastards and not economical enough for the slowtards like me. Seriously, how can it be worse on the NEDC than the outgoing GS? 60.1mpg and 106g/km are pretty pathetic figures, if that Auto Express article has them correct.