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Anyone Commute A Long Distance To Work And Still Drive A Lexus V8?


BimmerJustin
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I'm trying hard to convince myself to just buy a GS400 instead of a GS300, but its just not very practical for me. I live in the northeast, so winter is an issue. Also, with gas prices soaring, its tough to bring myself to buy the less efficient model.

So how many people are in this situation? You drive a lot of miles and just choose to pay the extra for gas and call out sick when it snows hard, just so you can have that extra power.

(Also, I really want the nakamichi system and I'm having a tough time finding GS300's with it)

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Well, GS400 vs GS300 isn't going to help you with snow. Both are RWD and will be bad in the snow.

In some instances, the Lexus V8 is not that much less or even more efficient than the 6cyl models. For instance the LS gets better mileage than my ES, assuming its a 98+ model. The ES is underpowered for its weight.

Look here:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/!Removed!/findacar.htm

According to the EPA, the 400 gets 1MPG less than the 300.

If you commute 50 miles a day, 5 days a week (250 miles a week or 2000 miles per month) at say, 20MPG vs 21MPG, the GS400 would cost you $500 a month at $5.00 per gallon, the GS300 would cost you $476.25. So $24 a month more in gas to drive the 400.

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True true. I have always told people interested in Lexus to go for the V8's. In fact the 1UZFE (or whatever model you choose) is a very efficient engine. It may not get +50mpg, but it is a very efficient v8. I have heard of people breaking 30mpg, and I myself have come very close to breaking 30mpg on long cruises.

Even in city driving the 6cyl is not anything to write home about in terms of MPG. In all honesty I'd say go for the GS400 hands down!

Good luck with whichever you choose to get!! :cheers:

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If you commute 50 miles a day, 5 days a week (250 miles a week or 2000 miles per month) at say, 20MPG vs 21MPG, the GS300 would cost you $500 a month at $5.00 per gallon, the GS400 would cost you $476.25. So $24 a month more in gas to drive the 400.

The GS300 would cost $24 MORE than the 400?

I think what is meant is that the 400 would be $24 more per month in this scenario (your mileage may vary -YMMV). And the 400 most certainly gets much better mpg- closer to 25-28mpg on OTR trips. What the hell are you worried about?

Do you want a car, or a precision machine?

Get the damn 400!

It's smooth baby.

In my book, ***I have way too strong opinions, and I just need to chill***(no offense 300 guys).

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$24 a month more to drive the 400, I had my discription reversed, I'll fix it.

In my book, if you're driving a 300, you're driving a camry (no offense 300 guys).

Thats rediculous. Even my ES which shares a basic motor with the Camry is only about 20% Camry overall, the GS300 has the I6 from the Toyota Supra! Doesn't get much more different than the Camry. In fact a lot of tuners buy the 300 because of the greater availability of mods.

The V8 is a great motor, and given an even choice I'd always choose the V8, but the I6 and the V6 (especially the I6) are great motors too. If I were buying a new GS (and I'm thinking about it) I'd never buy a GS460 over the GS350 for instance, I'd buy an LS460 if I were going to spend the coin on the GS460.

When you're buying used the price difference is much less, and you probably can negotiate a better deal on the 400 because of public perception of the fuel economy difference.

That kind of flamebait has no place here. No offense? Right.

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One thing to take into consideration outside of the published mpg figures is the type of driving being done. New Rochelle, NY is a pretty heavy traffic spot, with lots of stop & goes. On the open road, the V8 & V6 are pretty much dead even on mpg's. The V8 for open road cruising is the best choice, as you have those two extra ponies ready to launch you around traffic, and it runs at a very low rpm. Very quiet, very smooth. But, that's Lexus in general. But if you're going stop light to stop light every day, the benefits of the V8 are somewhat dimished. Case in point, my 4.7 V8 in the 4runner can haul the family and TONS of baby gear to the coast and back on about 15 gal's of gas (21 gal. tank). It's about 190 miles eachway ~ 380 round trip. It's an easy country drive on empty country highways, with a constant speed and cruise control. That equates to about 25 mpg's which isn't bad for nearly 5,000lb's on permanent 4x4. But, when I'm around town in the traffic light durby, the mpg's FALL horribly. In serious traffic, I'd be lucky if I pulled down 12 to 14 mpg's. It's all the sitting, inching foward, stop and goes that really hurt the V8's. I swear, I take my eyes off the gas needle for 5 minutes, then look down at it again, it's provokes a reaction from me that is a relatively nasty insult on Mothers, if you catch my drift! My old 95' LS, without the benefits of the VTI engine and 5 speed transmission that SWO is referring to with his 98+ model years would do a little better, but not by much.

So, if you're commuting in the stop light durby 90% of the time and mpg's really are a decision maker for you, then I'd have to really consider the 300 over the 400. Infact, to be honest, if you're in that kind of traffic, I'd almost pass on the 300 and 400 engines in general, and look at the "h" engines (hybrids). Granted, they're at a premium now, but depending on how long you plan on keeping the car, a $2k premium isn't all that bad, no matter if gas prices fell to $1 a gallon or not.

But if you're "cruising" 90% of the time, then spoil yourself with the V8. You'll love it!

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How about it OP?

What's the commute like---stop and go--- like NC thinks, or cruising like how I read the post? If you do go for the 400, make sure you have the traction control option. Rear wheel drive+quiet power+snow=trouble.

The rest of the year's driving will be worth it tho.

In my 92 ls, I'm getting around 18-20mpg with an 80/20 mix town and hwy on midgrade, 10% ethanol. When it's reversed, I'll typically get 25-28mpg. Plus, it'll be great on those long vacation trips.

Not too shabby for all that quiet luxury.

edit:

Sorry Steve. When I said no offense, I meant it. It's just that I've driven both, and much prefer the 400. Plus, a beer or two while posting is probably not a good idea. ;)

Will edit the above as well.

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How about it OP?

What's the commute like---stop and go--- like NC thinks, or cruising like how I read the post? If you do go for the 400, make sure you have the traction control option. Rear wheel drive+quiet power+snow=trouble.

The rest of the year's driving will be worth it tho.

In my 92 ls, I'm getting around 18-20mpg with an 80/20 mix town and hwy on midgrade, 10% ethanol. When it's reversed, I'll typically get 25-28mpg. Plus, it'll be great on those long vacation trips.

Not too shabby for all that quiet luxury.

I'm not joking when I say that my driving is 90% hwy and 10% city. I do live in a cramped little urban area, but my apartment is 3 traffic lights from I-95 and then a straight shot to I-684, then my job is literally 30 seconds off the freeway in danbury, ct. I do hit some stop and go traffic maybe once a week for about 10 minutes, but no more than that. If I was sure that I could average 24mpg for my commute, I think I would pull the trigger.

As for snow, I try not to concern myself too much with it. If it snows that bad, I'll call out of work. And since I'm on the hwy most of the time they do a nice job plowing and keeping it clear. I also have garage parking at my apartment, so I wont get jammed up in a lot or on the street.

I am going to test drive one this weekend and see what happens. Buying a new anything is dependant on me selling my 3-series first. Interested?

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showt...d.php?t=1040689

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In that case, then I would probably go with the 400. I assume you're talking used, as you note 400 not 430. Buying used, the V8 tends to be in better shape for the same reason SWO mentioned about power v. weight. The V8 in a GS is almost overkill, with means it doesn't have to work nearly as hard to get moving. Plus, I'm sure after the 2.5 6 in your BMW, you probably have an itchin' for a V8.

I like that BMW! If I could have a 3rd car, I'd probably buy one. However, I spent quite a long time reviewing the 3 series in general, as I really love those wagons, but was spooked a little due to that rear subframe mount problem. After driving just one with my wife, which clearly had that issue, I canned the idea of German in general. When they're right, man are they some serious fun, which is probably 90% of the time. But, when they're wrong, man are they pains in the butts. But if I came across a nice wagon sport of the same design as yours, I'd have to rethink some things. I think they're just the most beautiful 3 series ever made (that design period in general, not just the wagon).

One thing you'll notice though with regards to costs of repairs on the Lexus v. your BMW, is that they aren't cheap, at all. Parts are far more expensive, especially brake rotors and such. But, the upside to that is that you rarely have to fix a Lexus.

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In that case, then I would probably go with the 400. I assume you're talking used, as you note 400 not 430. Buying used, the V8 tends to be in better shape for the same reason SWO mentioned about power v. weight. The V8 in a GS is almost overkill, with means it doesn't have to work nearly as hard to get moving. Plus, I'm sure after the 2.5 6 in your BMW, you probably have an itchin' for a V8.

I like that BMW! If I could have a 3rd car, I'd probably buy one. However, I spent quite a long time reviewing the 3 series in general, as I really love those wagons, but was spooked a little due to that rear subframe mount problem. After driving just one with my wife, which clearly had that issue, I canned the idea of German in general. When they're right, man are they some serious fun, which is probably 90% of the time. But, when they're wrong, man are they pains in the butts. But if I came across a nice wagon sport of the same design as yours, I'd have to rethink some things. I think they're just the most beautiful 3 series ever made (that design period in general, not just the wagon).

One thing you'll notice though with regards to costs of repairs on the Lexus v. your BMW, is that they aren't cheap, at all. Parts are far more expensive, especially brake rotors and such. But, the upside to that is that you rarely have to fix a Lexus.

You are correct, I am looking at a 1998-2001 or so GS. Basically, I just want to lower my monthly payment and get into a relatively cheap comfortable cruiser. I'm going to try to find one with around 75k-95k miles, which should put it around my price range.

The BMW is great if you live in an area with a lot of winding, open roads, which is where I used to live when I graduated college and bought the car. Now that I've moved so close to NYC. My driving consists of 90% 80mph on the highway, and 10% pulling my hair out at lights and in traffic on roads that haven't been paved in 20 years. So all the joy of driving a Bimmer is lost to a bumpy ride and high blood pressure.

Plus, as I get older ( :( )I find myself caring less about having a sporty/flashy car and more about comfort and luxury. Though the V8 would help ease that transition. :D

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Of note: the V8's have a very expensive 90k service requirement, which includes the timing belt and water pump. Usually around $1,500+ at the dealership, $800 from an indi. You'll want to make sure if you're looking at that mileage that it's been done, or factor it into your offer if not. Secondly, do a search for "strut rods" and read up on the "clunk" when those strut rod bushings go out. Not terribly expensive to replace, probably $250-$300 for both parts. You mention bumps and chunks in the road. When you test drive, go over bumps at normal speeds and slow speeds and listen for any clunk noises. If you hear it, you'll know the car is ready for some suspension repairs. Of all the things that could go wrong with cars, the Lexus is by far one of the very best ever built. But, that soft/quiet/smooth ride is at the cost of very soft rubber bushings in all the suspension parts. Those bushings usually last longer than almost all other suspension parts in all cars. But at the 90-100k marks, you start to see some signs of bushing wear on the most abused parts, like the front strut rods, rear carrier arms, and sometimes lower control arms.

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Of note: the V8's have a very expensive 90k service requirement, which includes the timing belt and water pump. Usually around $1,500+ at the dealership, $800 from an indi. You'll want to make sure if you're looking at that mileage that it's been done, or factor it into your offer if not. Secondly, do a search for "strut rods" and read up on the "clunk" when those strut rod bushings go out. Not terribly expensive to replace, probably $250-$300 for both parts. You mention bumps and chunks in the road. When you test drive, go over bumps at normal speeds and slow speeds and listen for any clunk noises. If you hear it, you'll know the car is ready for some suspension repairs. Of all the things that could go wrong with cars, the Lexus is by far one of the very best ever built. But, that soft/quiet/smooth ride is at the cost of very soft rubber bushings in all the suspension parts. Those bushings usually last longer than almost all other suspension parts in all cars. But at the 90-100k marks, you start to see some signs of bushing wear on the most abused parts, like the front strut rods, rear carrier arms, and sometimes lower control arms.

do you think it would be fair to say that it is worth buying a GS with higher mileage knowing that this service has been performed?

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Absolutley, you should feel ok about it. When you find one that you like and are serious about it, just swing by your nearest Lexus dealership with the vin, and some sweettalk, and they'll probably run it through their service records to confirm what service and repairs have been done by Lexus on the car. I would have to say, that report is probably the key to getting a good one. If you're even marginally capable around the engine, it doesnt take much money or time to bring back a 400 engine to brand spankin' new operations, as most that ever needs to be serviced are fluids, plugs and that timing belt plus water pump. Everything else is pretty much bullet proof. I'd take a Lexus 4.0 V8 that was even marginally maintained over just about any other engine out there with half the miles and twice the maintenance, any day of the week. In fact, if my wife liked Lexus cars in general, our little Mazda 3 would actually be an IS300, or GS300/400. But, she doesn't really care for them. Although, she loves the new ones...go figure.

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