Lexus GS300 Review

Well, I did it. Gave up on the 6 years old 63K miles Audi and switched to a Lexus. It was a difficult decision, but I am glad. The Audi was just too unreliable after the warranty period. Do you think the car is designed that way? This is the full story. The Lexus is, well, near perfect. So instead of listing what's right with it, these are the little things that I do not like about it, yet:

Bad points

  • The pockets in the doors are too small for anything useful.
  • Parking brake is the foot activated kind. I don't like that.
  • The center console storage is a bit strange. A two level arm rest storage area is cool, but I need some open space storage for my phone, and parking cards, without having to open the arm rest.
  • The cover to the moonroof feels cheap. The Audi one is solid plastic.
  • Engine bay is not as neat as the Audi -- probably mean easier to get to the components. The audi is very well covered.

Good points

What's good? Some of this is just 2003 technology, but good never the less:

  • Auto headlights -- come on when it is dark. Never have to worry about it again.
  • Auto dim rear view mirror and side mirrors.
  • glove box mount CD changer, easy to get to.
  • e-shift -- shift buttons on the steering wheel, now I can pretend to be a F1 driver.
  • dual zone AC -- passenger can be comfortable warm while I blast the AC.
  • dual memory driver seat -- If the valet moves the seat position I can recall it back with the touch of a button.
  • The steering column moves away on key off, make it easier to get into/out of the driver seat, not that I really need that since I am so flexible.
  • twitchy engine and accelerator (drive by wire) -- fun !
  • very well design trunk -- remote open via key, easy lift open, handle on inside to close trunk, no need to get hand dirty or scratch the outside trying to close the trunk lid.

Some unusual stuff

  • When you enable the childproof lock, it is not just for the backseat, but all three doors and windows are locked. So if kids are in the back and spouse is on the passanger seat, the spouse cannot get out either.
  • childproof lock again -- when it is enabled, the little green lights on the other three windows button turn off, telling you that they are locked. Nice touch.
  • On the glove box CD changer, there is a storage space on the right of the changer for you to put the CD cassettes in. However it is too tall for just one cassette, but too short for two cassettes.

Tips on using the remote door entry

  • Press the lock button once and it will lock the doors, if the headlight is on auto it will stay on for 20-30 seconds.
  • Press the lock button twice will turn off the auto headlights immeidately
  • Press the unlock button twice (quickly) and it will unlock all the doors. Otherwise just the driver side door will unlock

Lexus Care

On a snowy New England Sunday night I had a chance of using their road side assistance service. I found out I had a flat tire Sunday evening, with the car parked in my garage. I called the 1.800 number at 7 pm. The phone rep was very nice and told me the ETA of the service truck is 1 hour. They call me after 45 minutes and the truck is waiting at the gate. It is a AAA truck. I guess they sub contract the service out to the same people. The guy was very nice and swapped the tire with the full size spare (I did not realized I had a full sized spare). The phone rep called back later to check that everything was done right, and I got a survey in the mail a few weeks later for me to rate the service.