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Two Years Into The Lease

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Just had my two-year lease anniversary and service with just more than 17K miles on the odometer. As expected, no problems. Car continues to perform virtually flawlessly, the only exception being the interface with starter button. Sometimes requires several tries to start, even with my foot firmly planted on the brake pedal before pressing the start button. Apparently no service bulletin on this.

The big question is what to do next, especially if Lexus offers to buy out the lease early. I understand this is not unusual. The leasing manager told me this arrangement is the best deal in town, as you apply the early buy-out to the next lease, substantially reducing your cost. Well, we'll see. Maybe there'll be an early buy-out option and maybe there won't, but in any case, no later than next November, I will need to decide: buy the car at the residual value, lease new, buy another, or choose something else.

This has been the best highway cruiser we've ever owned: quiet, solid, sure-footed, good power and sharp braking and handling, comfortable ride. But, as I noted in a previous post, not much pizzazz. As much as I like the car, it doesn't quite capture my heart. It is not quite a pure driver's car, and if it's the little things that count, Lexus get's it wrong with the controls for headlight washer and cruise control. I continue to dislike the clatter of the high-pressure fuel injectors, although this may now be endemic with all brands. I also recognize that I may be overly critical, and that the character of even the German cars has changed. Drove an '06 BMW 3-series a while back, and found the historical sharp edge of that brand much deteriorated.

So between now and lease-end, I am going to drive some others, including the Cadillac CTS and M-B. I will likely conclude that in this size class that I am best served to keep the Lexus, especially given the car's reliability. But I intend to test my preferences over the next few months, and will report here on what I find. I gather that I am not the only one in this position.

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Hi Stephen,

I feel your pain. :) I have leased cars several times and at the end of each lease, I would go through the same emotional Roller Coaster you are. Should I buy out the lease or turn it in for another car. When it comes to making a decision the focus is almost always two fold. Is it a smart financial move, or is moving to another car more important.

I have a 2013 ES350 and a 2013 RX350 and both have the same cruise control operation. Like you, I don't like it. But I love the cars and appreciate their reliability. Consumer Reports just published a study on automobile reliability. Lexus was number 1 again. Mercedes and BMW were way down towards the bottom. (see topic in the General Chat forum.)

Given their reliability, quiet ride, and selection of models, I would suggest another Lexus might be your best choice. However, a different model might fit your needs better.


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Thanks. I really don't have any pain, and don't feel particularly emotional about it. It will come down to financial consideration, reliability, and driving satisfaction. I suspect I'll remain with Lexus, but I am going to do some comparison drives in any case.

Oddly enough, the Audi A4 and M-B c-class I owned during the years we lived in the U.K. were faultless, and the dealer service was exceptional. That's been a while now, and it now appears German reliability has deteriorated rather than improved. Combined with highly variable dealerships in this country -- few of which are consistent with Lexus in professional terms -- the market tends to favor Lexus.

As I said, I will report on my test drives. If nothing else, it may make for interesting reading.

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Yes, I understand the cross-shopping of different brands especially when leasing. The risk is minimal given warranty coverage over the life of the lease.

I like the line about "I really don't have any pain, and don't feel particularly emotional about it." I had same concerns with my Lexus IS350, especially after owning a couple of Porsches (a Porsche is serious involvement, not just speed, hard to describe) as weekend cars for 10 straight years previously. My solution for the Lexus is "F-Sport" or my variation of since I'm primarily using it as a weekend kind of car. It gives the car the edge I require for a bit more emotional involvement and feedback. I've seen some other GS350's given similar treatment with similar outcome too. Just my thoughts or approach to a similar challenge...

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Oh, I get it, St. I've had cars that were emotional, and if I had a Porsche, that would be very emotional. Porsche may even be religious: Zen-like. Always wanted one, and may have one yet in my old age. I felt strongly about my Saab ('06 Aero V6) and would have bought the next generation if Saab hadn't failed. It was not nearly as refined as a Lexus, but had personality and offered mechanical involvement. Terrific mid-range response from the turbo; from cruising speed to 100mph with just a touch of the accelerator. Nimble braking and handling. I miss that car, despite its idiosyncrasies and maintenance requirements.

The GS is an altogether different car for a different purpose and I recognize that, so can't fault it on a direct comparison. I like it, but it doesn't grab my soul. It is outstandingly reliable and dealer system is consistent; both important. But I may just want something with a harder edge to got the next few years where age may push me to driving plain vanilla.

By the way, if that's you in the photo, you look military. Can't determine branch or unit, but goggles make me think Army or USMC, maybe Armor or Air Cav. If so, snappy salute to you and very firm thanks for your service.

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Oh, that's not a picture of me, it's just a picture that I pulled off of another forum years ago. I do like sunglasses though. Not military.

The Saab sounds like it was fun and involving. Wishing you the best in your automotive choices in the near future!

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  • 8 months later...

Hi All;

I just leased my first car and it was a 2015 GS 350 (Deep sea mica with flaxen interior). I had a 2012 IS 250, which I bought as a CPO with 18,000 miles on it. I liked the car, but it was not big enough in the back seat for one of my sons or carrying any rear seat passengers for a decent length drive. After seeing the GS, I always wanted one. So for $475 first payment and 475 a month I leased it for 36 months, 10000 miles a year (plenty for me, since I have a company car), I thought it was a pretty good deal. Now mine is the base with navigation, so I do miss the heated/cooled seats (living in Florida), the rest of the options are nice (blind spot detection, park assistance, etc.., but not really needed unless you are in to gadgets). I am pretty sure I will stay with the GS line just get the heated/cooled seats next time and if it comes with all the other stuff, so be it. I feel I got a pretty good deal on the lease considering I owed 20,000 on the 2012 and I needed no money down and had a credit score of 670. I was already paying 350.00 a month on the IS, so a hundred or so was not a big jump for a car I wanted. Plus my insurance only went up 60.00 a year. I do eye from time to time the Beemers and the Benzs, but overall Lexus has the reliability and style that is still pretty good. If I wanted to go big, I would just go with the LS 460, lol. Also, where do we ever drive them like race car drivers? Everyone says they want a "sports car type feel" but we buy these large 4 door cars. If you want the thrill of the seat driving get a Porsche 911, lol. If you want a nice ride and luxury, I found the Lexus GS and LS line the car to buy. I am interested though at the 24 month point. My salesman said that a little after 24 months, if I was close to my mileage cap, they would trade me out no problem and no cost, so that will be interesting to see what happens then.

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