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Q45 / Gs300


nc211
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OK fellas, we've all discussed these two cars to great length. But I was hoping for some suggestions between the two. Here is my thinking. As many of you know, we're getting ready to move to Chicago next month. We've got the ducks lined up in a row, and the ball is rolling. Now, when we get up there, I won't have the need for a true "daily driver" beyond two blocks to the train station when the weather is bad. But, we do need two cars, as I don't want my wife to be without the 4runner at any time. Our 07 Mazda 3GT is a fun little car, in the right environment. Chicago, with it's rough concrete roads, no real twisty fun roads, and harsh road salt conditions, isn't the right environment. Plus, it's not really an appropriate "image" car for the times when "image" is important. Additionally, the $320 payment is something that I don't think is appropriate for something that won't get used all that much anymore. If it were a "toy" that I would want to keep for a long time anyway, it wouldn't be a problem. But, it's not. My thinking is to trade the mazda and a check for about $6K on something that will fit the bill of what I need. After looking over the BMW 5 series "declined due to significant cooling issues", MB E series "declined somewhat due to reliability ratings", and Jag's "declined due to wife insisting against them - her dad has one", I'm left with the Lexus and Infiniti brands. I'm amazed to see several GS300 and 03' Q45's in the 75-100k mileage range with asking prices of $11k, which would fit into my plan.

I like both. Infact I originally wanted a GS300 over my old LS400. I'm extremely intrigued by the Q45 though, extremely. Anyone have any experience or insight to the Q45 at those miles? I'm quite familiar with the GS series, and any offer would include a list of repairs I would insist on "strut rods, motor mounts, etc." But I'm a little in the dark about the Q45.

Basically, this car will be the "chicago car". It'll be for Chicago, and we'll leave it in Chicago when we're done there. I'm not going to go to the extremes of repairs like I did with my LS either. It's basically going to be an around town car every now and then, and airport runner.

thanks amigos!

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=u...mp;rdpage=thumb

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After looking at Consumer Reports, while not anywhere close to any Toyota/Lexus products, the Q45 still appears to be a reasonably reliable car.

It is much bigger, has a V8 engine, and looks like it would be a lot more comfortable than a GS 300. It will probably not age quite as gracefully, but if you are only going to keep it for a couple years, that doesn't matter.

I'd pick the Q45.

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Many thanks, Tom! You have access to CR online? Do you mind looking up the 99' model year on the Q as well?

http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp;?...leadExists=true

Two things I'm curious about on the Q is if there is a timing belt that needs to be changed "or if it's chain", and that "selective suspension setting" stuff. I know my buddy's 87' 300z turbo had that, and it was way too expensive to mess with "just went normal struts instead". Those are my two main concerns about the Q.

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Have you thought about the Audi A6 AWD? You can probably get an 00-03 in the same price range. And Saab is very polupar the further north you go!

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Have you thought about the Audi A6 AWD? You can probably get an 00-03 in the same price range. And Saab is very polupar the further north you go!

I have thought about those cars, but am too afraid to take on a high mileage Audi due to mostly VW parts, and the Saab with it's GM parts. I'm not a big fan of their designs either. We're going to stay with the asian built vehicles simply because they're just so darn reliable. I really liked the BMW 5series, thought it would be a great fit, and finally satisfy that itch I've had for decades to own a BMW, at least once. But, my inner voice just won't let me ignore all the owner-review comments in the "cons" section that say "Love the car, but constant constant constant maintenance, and it's not cheap"

After doing some more reading on the Q, I'm leaning more towards the GS300. The Q has great reviews for driving fun, comfort, etc. But it requires premium fuel, has those low profile tires "which are expensive and ride like steel on rough concrete roads", and what sounds like a pretty tricky suspension set up. Plus, I'm leaning towards the GS for the overall size difference. One thing my wife really didn't like about the LS400 was it's sheer size. And in Chicago, I can see where that might be an even more daunting characteristic to get comfortable with. But, still reading reviews!

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Many thanks, Tom! You have access to CR online? Do you mind looking up the 99' model year on the Q as well?

http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp;?...leadExists=true

Two things I'm curious about on the Q is if there is a timing belt that needs to be changed "or if it's chain", and that "selective suspension setting" stuff. I know my buddy's 87' 300z turbo had that, and it was way too expensive to mess with "just went normal struts instead". Those are my two main concerns about the Q.

Consumer Reports doesn't have very much data for the Q45, but what they do have looks relatively good for a vehicle you will only own for a couple years.

I just talked to a service advisior at an Infiniti dealership who informed me that both the 1999 and 2003 Q45 have timing chains, not belts. He said the chain never needs to be changed as long as the car's oil was changed regularly, as the engine oil is what lubricates the chain.

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post-48798-1232206210_thumb.png

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I loved the original Q45 when it first appeared in the early 1990s. Still think those cars are great lookers and if they've been maintained, I'll bet they're still great performers as well....

You've already decided that whatever you get, it will be for your Chicago duration only. Previous posts have indicated that you expect to be there for maybe three years tops. So now is the perfect time to find out for yourself if a newer Q45 is everything you hope it will be. It should be less costly from a routine maintenance standpoint than a GS300 as well....

I vote for the Q45....

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NC, any of the cars mentioned have no image problems. From what I've read about the Q45, there have been some reports about oil consumption (1 qt/15k). Infinity has acknowledged a concern. Other complaints have been undersized rotors leading to warping of the discs, acceleration issues (especially in passing situations), control panel hard to read in daytime, harsh tranny shifts on hard acceleration, and resale because of rapid depreciation. Obviously a test drive will sort out the power/ride/tranny concerns. Infinity service should give you some info on the oil issue.

On the other hand, you have to like the chain instead of a belt. Power should be more than enough with 340hp. Owners like the interiors. From what I've read, the interior feels smaller than the LS.

Have you looked at the RL? I know it's a fwd and only a 6, but it does get good reviews.

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After doing some more reading on the Q, I'm leaning more towards the GS300. The Q has great reviews for driving fun, comfort, etc. But it requires premium fuel, has those low profile tires "which are expensive and ride like steel on rough concrete roads", and what sounds like a pretty tricky suspension set up. Plus, I'm leaning towards the GS for the overall size difference. One thing my wife really didn't like about the LS400 was it's sheer size. And in Chicago, I can see where that might be an even more daunting characteristic to get comfortable with. But, still reading reviews!
I'd have to go with the GS. I've had a GS300 as a loaner before, and I really liked the way it drove except for the power. I'm not a racer, but the 6 banger didn't seem to have enough oomph (especially low end) for the car, maybe it is because I regularly drive a 400. I probably wouldn't go for the Q45. The gatling gun headlight projectors are cool, but the rest of the exterior doesn't do too much for me--the interior looks pretty nice though. I have to wonder about the Q45; I wonder what it is about the car that has made it such a sales failure (fewer than 1200 units sold in the year of 2005)? I think I've seen more Ferraris than I have Q45s. Is it a good car but over priced (like the current Acura RL)? Or something else?
Have you looked at the RL? I know it's a fwd and only a 6, but it does get good reviews.
Oooh, that's a great suggestion! I've always really liked the refreshed 3.5RL; it's such a sharp looking car.....

02acura_rl.jpg

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I'd have to go with the GS. I've had a GS300 as a loaner before, and I really liked the way it drove except for the power. I'm not a racer, but the 6 banger didn't seem to have enough oomph (especially low end) for the car, maybe it is because I regularly drive a 400. I probably wouldn't go for the Q45. The gatling gun headlight projectors are cool, but the rest of the exterior doesn't do too much for me--the interior looks pretty nice though. I have to wonder about the Q45; I wonder what it is about the car that has made it such a sales failure (fewer than 1200 units sold in the year of 2005)? I think I've seen more Ferraris than I have Q45s. Is it a good car but over priced (like the current Acura RL)? Or something else?

I like the updated looks of the Q45 better, but I agree with you Blake, I think it's going to be a GS300. We drove through the autopark this morning while on our way back from Perkins, and they had a 00' on one of the lots for $11k. It wasn't the right one, by a long shot "previous owner had some aftermarket stereo in it, and the car just screamed "abused"". But when I sat it in, I knew. The GS is the right size for us. The Q is in the LS neighborhood, which is too much for our needs, and probably will be tight in the new garage with the 4runner as well. Plus, I know Toyotas so well know - thanks to you and the amigos on here!- that I feel a lot more comfortable taking on a 90k mileage Toyota product, then a 90k mileage Nissan product. I haven't driven the Q45, or reallly had a chance to even sit in one, but the GS just felt "right" for me, and this plan. In terms of the power though, I agree, the V6 is certainly a bit weaker for the car. But two V8's "4runner has 4.7 V8" might be a bit too much for us, if gas spikes up again. Lots of stop n' go "mostly stop" traffic in Chicago, which is where the V8 really hurts the most.

So, now it's just a matter of time to find the right one. Probably won't mess with this here in NC, as we just don't have the time to do it. Eitherway, I do know the Mazda will most likely give me hemroids up there, with it's go-cart suspension, concrete-like sidewall low profile tires, and their horrible roads. Chicago will kill the 3, sadly :(

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So, here's what I'm thinking.... I found this one.

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=u...&cardist=21

And here's what I'm thinking about offering:

Full price, but that will include the following:

New suspension components throughout, all upper, lower control arms, strut rods, struts, strut mounts, rear carrier, motor mounts, transmission mounts, rear differential mounts, new weatherstrip on all doors, the 90k service with the timing belt and water pump, brake rotors and pads, including fitment kits and shims....... Am I missing anything? I'll do the plugs, since I'll pull the throttle body off to clean it, and seafoam the engine. I'll also do the fluids with synthetics. I'll also check the windshield to make sure it isn't pitted, like my LS was.

Basically, walk in with the knowledge we have of what it takes to bring these cars back to new, tell them I'll pay what they're asking, but want a select amount of repairs done. I look at it like this: get the discount on price via haggle, or get the discount on service via preventive maintenance that the knowledge of this site has taught me. In my experiences, the sales guys are only focused on price, not service. They'll almost always agree to the service more so then a lowball offer on the price. If they say yes to my approach, THEN I introduce the Mazda as trade, and walkdown the actual cost of the Lexus via equity in the Mazda. I figure, if I can get out the door with a GS300 that has 81k miles, with new suspension parts, new mounts, new fluids, new timing belt/waterpump, and the rest, for $9,500, I'm in good damn shape. Basically, what I'm thinking is taking the repair list I did on my old LS, and saying "I'll buy it for what you're asking, if you'll match my repairs I did on my other Lexus". Think they'll bite?

What do you guys think?

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Nice find. Looks great. Sounds like a good plan. I think they will probably meet you somewhere along the way with the suspension components and all. But I think it's a great idea. I'd do it. :)

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Im gonna say do it NC...and heres a few reasons.

WHen i was living in fort worth prior to my army days. My neighbor had a Q45L. You CAN NOT change the sparkplugs without removing the engine. They are under the valve covers, and the valve covers are blocked by the vacuum system, the intake and all these other things. I have NO idea why they put spark plugs under the valve covers, but they are there. My friend asked me how to change them, i told him to call his dealer. They quoted him $2200 for R&I of the engine and $150 for the new plugs. He about died. It burned oil after 90K, and didnt like to start in the 40 degrees and below range. Also, the interior was HORRIBLE. the leather was torn and raddy, the dash was cracked, the car wasnt taken care of, but that wasnt his fault, he bought it used. The spark plug replacement was going to cost more than he paid for the car. SO he caved and bought something new. I believe it was (ironically) a GS300.

So if it were me, i would skip the painful expensive and somteimes daunting learning process and just go with the lexus, and a good aftermarket warranty for $900 or so.

no payment and enjoyment for years to come.

But have you also considered the Honda Lineup? an 06 civic EX-L (looks like mine) gets 40 mpg hwy, has leather and is pretty much bullet proof. or if you need bigger, an Accord, while smewhat ugly is again, bulletproof. and with economy ratings pretty good for a midsize car too. Oh, and the 2 colors i would never own in the north are white and black. Black because you cant keep it clean, and lexus black has no clearcoat, thus no salt protection, and white because you cant keep it clean and i have this thing about white cars+white snow+stupid people who dont pay attention while they drive.

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Black because you cant keep it clean, and lexus black has no clearcoat, thus no salt protection

It would be a pain to keep clean, but the lack of a clearcoat doesn't make any difference in terms of salt protection. A single stage car like the Lexus obsidian black has just as much paint as a dual stage car (color & clear) its just the single stage car has all color coats, whereas the top few coats of the dual stage car are clear. No difference in salt protection.

Only suggestion...buy the car in NC. Reason being it won't have seen salt covered roads. That car being in Chicago has seen salt covered roads its whole life.

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Black because you cant keep it clean, and lexus black has no clearcoat, thus no salt protection

Only suggestion...buy the car in NC. Reason being it won't have seen salt covered roads. That car being in Chicago has seen salt covered roads its whole life.

I agree, but we've pretty much run out of time to spend hunting for one here. I closed down the office last week, have this week to prep the house, in San Diego the first part of next week, then the packers and movers arrive upon my return from CA, and we're outta' here on the 14th. Plus, the car carrier folks arrive next Saturday to pick up the Mazda. So, we're basically set to go. My wife would kill me if I tossed in "hey, lets buy a car" into the mix! But, I certainly agree with your thinking Steve. On the flipside though, prices in Chicago are a lot cheaper than down here "probably for the reason you suggest, and larger market". That GS I linked to above, is approx $15k down here. So the cost savings is significant. Now, I know what you're probably going to say next.....trade value on the Mazda. I'm anticipating a lower trade value on it up there. But I'll haggle my way through it. They're really struggling up there, so I've some room. Granted, I won't be an a$$ or anything, they need to survive too, but certainly won't let them steal it from me either! The 3 is a great car, but just too damn rough riding for those roads. I just had new tires put on it, and when doing my research, the tire with the softest sidewall, was the OEM tire at near $200 a pop. They don't last 25k, and aren't for snow. So I had to go with the next softest sidewall I could find, which has made the car ride like a ton of bricks and track like a needle. So, time to find a replacement, instead of !Removed! around with the tire guy again, which was a waste of my time.

Army: GREAT info on the Q! God knows I don't want to dismantle the engine to get at the plugs. And God knows, I'm going to replace the plugs within the first week of ownership!

No more black cars for me for a while. I like midnight blue though, like the 4runner. Don't care for grey, haven't seen alot of maroon "but like it". So, white will most likely be the color of choice, if possible. I'm not too worried about the snow effect as Army mentioned. I won't be driving it in the snow, thanks to the rear wheel drive. That's 4runner duty, and as substantial as that beast is, you gotta' come at me with a pretty heavy beast to get my attention.

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