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Old 18th August 2017, 07:21   #46
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

So maturely written, it was a joy reading the thread. Keep us posted and would be the "go to" review for Lexus and E330h for future buyers! Good to hear that Lexus is of-setting the high cost with a smooth buying experience, hope the ownership experience does justice to the high cost! The advent of GST has considerably dulled the Hybrid "sheen"!

Last edited by Durango Dude : 18th August 2017 at 07:24.
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Old 9th September 2017, 13:01   #47
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

@ Mr. V. Narayan,
This is one of the best written reviews I have read so far. And balance of precision and concision is perfect. Giving exact amount of information. Topping it up with sweet humour.

Congrats for the new car and thanks you for taking pains to write such a thoughtful review. Pl keep buying new cars and sharing reviews.
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Old 9th September 2017, 16:32   #48
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

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Originally Posted by Leoshashi View Post
It's a review I have been waiting for, and the content did make the wait well worth it. It's easily one of the best initial ownership reports I have seen on this forum.
Dear Shashi, thank you. Given your knowledge of cars I am flattered to receive this compliment. You know more about cars than I do about aircraft and I had a head start of 30 years!!
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Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
Keep us posted and would be the "go to" review for Lexus and E330h for future buyers! Good to hear that Lexus is of-setting the high cost with a smooth buying experience, hope the ownership experience does justice to the high cost!
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Originally Posted by wanderhermit View Post
Mr. V. Narayan,
And balance of precision and concision is perfect. Giving exact amount of information. Topping it up with sweet humour.
Thank you for reading the article and for your kind words. I am pleasantly surprised by the seriousness with which Lexus-Toyota is going about its preparations. This review has been studied by the folks in Japan. I've had meetings with their two senior most in India and one of their senior design heads from Japan is seeing me in October to get inputs on the needs of an Indian customer. I've invited him home and plan on preparing a meaningful list of three or four things they need to do. Team BHP is literally on the radar of Lexus Japan.
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Pl keep buying new cars and sharing reviews.
In 2 years time the last of the litter will be launched off. Then my wife can buy all the shoes she wants and I can buy all the cars I desire. Fair deal what say
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Old 9th September 2017, 19:50   #49
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Hi V.Narayan, this is a superlative review of a very unique car.

Out of curiosity... what was the main reason to look for only a hybrid car? Is it the association with cutting edge technology? Or sustainability?

I am asking since on other more conventional parameters the internal combustion engine still reigns supreme (speed, reliability, even economy in the case of diesels).

We had the previous gen Camry and Superb in our garage - the the back seat experience in the Camry is significantly better. I can only imagine the comfort your Lexus provides! Great choice for the chauffeur driven indeed.

Please do keep us updated on your experience with this hi-tech machine. All the best
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Old 9th September 2017, 23:10   #50
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

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Originally Posted by Carmageddon View Post

Out of curiosity... what was the main reason to look for only a hybrid car? Is it the association with cutting edge technology? Or sustainability?
I am asking since on other more conventional parameters the internal combustion engine still reigns supreme (speed, reliability, even economy in the case of diesels).
Please do keep us updated on your experience with this hi-tech machine.
Thank you for reading the review. I'm glad you found it of use. I went for a hybrid because I could not afford the only luxury plug-in hybrid in the market i.e. Volvo XC90 plug-in. At Rs 100 lakhs+ it was way over my pay grade and I stay away from EMIs. I realize that is not quite what you were looking for. Basically I have taken a call to go only hybrid /plug-in / all electric over the next 5 to 6 years as the 4 cars in our joint family garage come in for replacement. All kinds of motivations - go green, torque, sheer quietness, next step up in modernity, my ego, a desire to be ahead of the curve and a jot of adventure. The ES300h is the quietest, smoothest car I have driven and it being a hybrid is directly responsible for this. As a teenager I was fascinated by what is today known as renewable forms of energy generation. At that time it was only to be read about in National Geographic or in pictures of the solar panels on Skylab space station. And now it is coming home while I am still young enough to savour it. The trend is in the direction of electrics/alternates in my eyes at least. It will come to India too in a big way at some time. I believe 7 to 10 years from now such cars will be the norm - maybe sooner.

Selecting the Lexus brand was determined by their customer attention and openness to communicate across the hierarchy of the OEM as well as the owner-dealer. I liked the etiquette, courtesy and respect for the customer that Lexus displayed which I've touched upon in the review. Sadly this was utterly missing in one other brand I looked at. And finally I have even started to like the looks of the ES300h!!

Last edited by V.Narayan : 9th September 2017 at 23:22.
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Old 30th September 2017, 10:55   #51
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

Lexus have introduced an Extended Warranty programme that takes the warranty from 5 years & 100,000 kms to 7 years and 150,000 kms. The cost for the ES300h is Rs 1 lakh. The warranty covers the batteries too. While the cost could sound high it is 1.5% of the cost of the car and from that perspective looks reasonable to me.

I have taken it as this time frame and mileage pretty much covers the bulk if not the entire life of the car's intended ownership in my hands.

The car this month did a NCR-Chandigarh-NCR trip the same day with me in the back seat and literally the next day did a Delhi-Rewari-Delhi day trip. The smoothness, silence and cushiness of the ride is an asset if you have to attend to business and return the same day. Thus far 6 months and 7000 kms later I am very satisfied with the decision to buy this car. She gets a pat and a kind word from me whenever we meet.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 30th September 2017 at 11:02.
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Old 8th October 2017, 09:02   #52
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

The steel grey new member of the family has completed 6 months last week and 7000+ kms. These have been happy first 6 months.

Some observations:

The adjectives & verbs that come to the mind are ...smoothie, smoother, smoothest; coddling and cuddling; cushy and snoozy.

The car is designed around the passenger not the driver - it has been designed to spoil the passenger with a ride experience that aims towards the words tranquility and serenity.

A lot of sound insulation material ensures you can listen to music and bhajans at the lowest volume and talk to co-passengers in low tones and most importantly for me to be able to hold long calls via the blue tooth with the traffic blare of NCR shielded away.

While a lot of reviews on the ES300 write about its weak acceleration I don't find it to be so and certainly not in 'normal' mode. Maybe it is slow to accelerate on a German autobahn but not on Indian highways. We have done several road trips to towns near NCR and I just don't see any lack of acceleration for a driver who wishes to drive responsibly.

What could be better:

Toyota-Lexus seem to be wedded to this mouse for the infotainment screen.....
Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update-6-months-old.2.jpg
It is hard to use, not intuitive, takes too many clicks to get a simple thing done, takes your eyes off the road, has no touch screen feature and is the rump of the features' litter they need to change in the next update. I will be communicating this to Lexus Japan at a meeting next Saturday along with the need to increase the ground clearance and a valet button to push the front passenger seat ahead. Being an old man I see no point in ranting on the internet - pick up the phone and request for a meeting.

F.E.

Within city driving we stay in 'Eco' mode permanently and the FE remains in the 15 kms/litre range give or take a 5% margin. On a recent day trip to Chandigarh I did a full tank to full tank measure with the drive in 'Eco' mode and the FE delivered over ~500 kms was 16.3 kms/litre rounded off to 16 kms/litre for our purposes. Interestingly the electronic measure of FE that gets displayed shows a lower FE figure than what I measure on the full tank method.

So FE overall is:

City -Normal drive mode = 14 kms/litre
City - Eco drive mode = 15 kms/litre
Highway - Eco drive mode = 16 kms/litre

On the whole I am delighted with my purchase. The initial price sticker gasp has worn off. Every Sunday morning I take her for a long lazy ride. Delhi's roads are great to drive on a Sunday morning. They remind me of what Delhi's driving life was like in the 1980s.

Next update at the 10,000 kms service - maybe November/December.

Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update-6-months-old.jpg
From this angle the Lexus has a powerful feline predator look. Is that my sub-conscious at work

Last edited by V.Narayan : 8th October 2017 at 09:21.
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Old 8th October 2017, 13:27   #53
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

I envy you for being able to enjoy the pleasure of driving on the Delhi roads. Sunday mornings must be devoid of the usual traffic and those long and broad roads with their innumerable traffic circles really make one forget the present. Utter bliss!


And the silent car no doubt helps a lot in this!

Using a futuristic vehicle to go back in past!



By the way there were a few people waiting to ogle at that feline predator at a known south Indian food joint in Gurgaon :-p

Last edited by honeybee : 8th October 2017 at 13:29.
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Old 10th October 2017, 21:27   #54
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

Today this car has gone to Meerut transporting my mother and aunt (both octogenarians) for a family meeting. For those who are familiar Delhi-Meerut is one of the most undisciplined roads this side of the country. 20 minutes after their departure the driver calls me to complain that my aunt is refusing to belt up because she is on the rear bench! Sometimes older people have to be dealt with like a child. So I tell the driver to park on the side and switch off the engine. Call my aunt and tell her as sweetly as I can that no beltee - no engine startee - no journee. Argument commences. I say as reverentially as I can - then you can turn back. After ten minutes driver calls that all is well and belted again. In two days they will return. I wait with bated breath for the drama.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 10th October 2017 at 21:29.
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Old 14th October 2017, 16:21   #55
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

I had the joy today to host 2 senior Lexus-Toyota executives at home to discuss customer feedback on the Lexus. The two key from Lexus International, Japan were Koji Sato San who is the Chief Designer of the LC Series of Lexus cars. The other was Yasuhiro Sakakibara San the Chief Engineer for the ES300/350 family. Both outstanding professionals with a deep knowledge of their subject and quite senior in the Lexus technical stream.

Their aim was to gather first hand inputs on feedback on the car, suggestions for improvement, what tickles the Indian customer, what is the lifestyle and habits of a typical Indian customer for a Lexus, what does an Indian customer look for at this price point. They also took inputs from my wife to hear her point of view. I shared my inputs with them - the plus and the minus. I do not know if other luxury brands send senior executives to meet customers for detailed discussions like this - I assume they do. But I certainly enjoyed this thoroughly. They are clear that India is a target they wish to dig into quietly and at their pace. They also shared their design philosophy and approach to engineering and beauty.

This article on Team BHP has been read and circulated across Lexus. It is a testimony to the credibility of TBHP and authenticity of content of this forum maintained by the founders and moderators.
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Old 14th October 2017, 17:02   #56
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

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senior executives to meet customers for detailed discussions like this - I assume they do
I think Japanese companies excel in this, Some ISUZU guys from Japan came to our office after they had launched commercial pickup trucks and were keen to take feedback on the commercial vehicle we bought and also wanted to understand prospects of a lifestyle vehicles which was followed by V-Cross launch, Coming to Lexus, I think you are their premium customer given the way you communicate and your vast experience. Unfortunately, if we talk about premium brands from Germans, I don't recollect any interactions, except for occasional calls from BMW Germany to take feedback on new car delivery or service.

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Chief Designer of the LC Series of Lexus cars.
Did you try convincing them to make LC Prado or GX in India? There is a huge market for SUV in 50-70 Lac range and if Toyota can shift assembly of Right-hand vehicles completely to India, it can surely give lower cost advantage not just in India but also overseas.

Any discussions on Electrical or Hybrids? I am sure they must be upset with the recent change in Government policy on hybrids.

Last edited by Turbanator : 14th October 2017 at 17:09.
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Old 15th October 2017, 08:14   #57
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

Dear Turbanator, thank you for these great questions.
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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
I think Japanese companies excel in this, Some ISUZU guys from Japan came to our office after they had launched commercial pickup trucks and were keen to take feedback on the commercial vehicle we bought and also wanted to understand prospects of a lifestyle vehicles which was followed by V-Cross launch,
Very pleased to hear this.
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Coming to Lexus, I think you are their premium customer given the way you communicate and your vast experience.
I do not know about me being a premium customer. You see in hamari Dilli everyone knows the PM's personal assistant!! But yes this article in TBHP caught their eye and has been read with interest in their system. So I would say thanks to Team BHP. I do feel flattered - an ego massage is good at all ages - and I will need to hold my objectiveness vis-a-vis the car and brand.
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Unfortunately, if we talk about premium brands from Germans, I don't recollect any interactions, except for occasional calls from BMW Germany to take feedback on new car delivery or service.
I shared my letters to the Mercedes management and to the head/owner of the local dealer and requested them that ego and self respect count for as much (for at least the Indian buyer) as neighbours envy. And they should cater to this need in their customer interactions.

Quote:
Did you try convincing them to make LC Prado or GX in India?
They specifically requested I do not ask about future models except that India is a big target which they will grow with the long term in mind. But as has been shared earlier the LS500 and NX are coming next year. I did make a point of their pricing being a step too high. The focus of the one hour discussion was customer feedback, suggestions and needs.
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Any discussions on Electrical or Hybrids?
I am sure they must be upset with the recent change in Government policy on hybrids.
They have represented to the Govt. Didn't want to comment beyond that. They will continue down the hybrid-all electric path.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 15th October 2017 at 08:17.
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Old 15th October 2017, 16:37   #58
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Did you try convincing them to make LC Prado or GX in India? There is a huge market for SUV in 50-70 Lac range and if Toyota can shift assembly of Right-hand vehicles completely to India, it can surely give lower cost advantage not just in India but also overseas.
More than the cost advantages, they will be watching the production quality. I heard Lexus had ruled out production in China for concerns over the quality. Same will happen here. Plus the uncertainty over the future fuel of the cars means they won't be making haste to invest into a production line in India.
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Old 15th October 2017, 21:24   #59
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I heard Lexus had ruled out production in China for concerns over the quality.
Can be true but mostly it's to keep their USP - Made in Japan for Lexus. I am talking about Righ hand markets, like India, Australia, UK where Made in India is acceptable. They can always pick better workers from their Toyota production in India but given the way Toyota works, I am asking too much.

Quote:
uncertainty over the future fuel of the cars means they won't be making haste to invest into a production line in India.
Yes, the way our Government has discouraged hybrids, they will be cautious and correctly so. Some of the local manufacturers are equally to blame by terming regular models as Hybrids, perhaps they should have changed the norms for Hybrid benefits. I don't foresee any new technology apart from Electrical coming to mainstream so wonder what stops them, just gives me a feeling that India is still a too small market in overall Toyota schemes of things.

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But as has been shared earlier the LS500 and NX are coming next year.
I don't see a future for LS500 here, 8 Cylinder Diesel does a pretty good job already and most of VIP Junta that needs 7 seats should be happy with LC200.

NX can surely get them some numbers as it will have a 2 Ltr engine which qualifies for lower Custom Duties. So a regular 4 cylinder or a 4 cylinder Hybrid, both can be priced competitively ( relative to other models)

Last edited by Turbanator : 15th October 2017 at 21:53.
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Old 19th October 2017, 10:48   #60
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Default re: Lexus ES300h - Owner's Review. EDIT: 4-years, 48,000 kms update

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I had the joy today to host 2 senior Lexus-Toyota executives at home to discuss customer feedback on the Lexus.
This is great to hear! I'm might sound a little old fashioned here, but I used to be in sales, and I have found that nothing makes a customer happier than personally visiting an existing customer just to find out how things are and do a proactive review. Visiting a customer only when there is a deal to close or a fire to put out, while of course much needed as part of the sales process, does not have the same impact. The car by itself is only a product, and its these things that make it a 'relationship'.

Did they refer now and then to a structured questionnaire pattern or was it a freewheeling discussion? I am especially impressed that they took your wife's feedback as well. A lady's perspective is extremely useful because often they think of/observe things that completely bypasses the male brain ( I speak as a married man).
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