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  1. Generally most companies charge for new's another place the aftermarket is cheaper than OEM though. Lexus charges $300 a year for new maps. Garmin gets $75. Now, with Garmin at least (and I would hope other manufacturers) if you buy a unit that happens to have old maps on it, as long as you have proof of purchase date, you'll get a free update to whatever the "current' maps are when you purchased it. that's a site with pretty good GPS reviews... if you are looking tomtom in particular you'd go here: Tomtom maps seem to run a bit more expensive just at a glance than Garmin, but still a lot cheaper than Lexus.
  2. He'd still have the exact same functionality though as far as the AC. More, really, since he could directly change the temp with a button press, as opposed to the OEM system where you have to change to the climate screen first. Anytime I've had a loaner with nav I found it pretty annoying to have to switch between screens to accomplish the same things (ac, radio controls, etc) that I can do directly in one step on my non-nav car... and if he's new to the platform that's probably worth mentioning to him as a consideration too.
  3. Or for 1/10th the cost you can buy a garmin that does more and doesn't cripple itself when you are in drive... plus you won't impact the warranty on the audio system. Actually, if you don't need traffic and bluetooth you can get a good Garmin at/under $100 nowadays. Looking at nav systems (the kind that sit on the dash) you have three common things you need to decide if you care about: 1) Text to speach- This is where it says "In 500 feet turn left on Elm Street" instead of the more generic "In 500 feet, turn left". If this is the only thing that matters to you you can get a nice unit in the $100-150 range pretty easily. 2) Bluetooth- Having the nav and your phone connect... so you can do handfree calling with the speaker/mic in the nav unit, dial via the phonebook on the nav, etc.... If this and #1 are all you care about you can get a nice unit in the $150-250 range depending on sales and such. 3) Realtime traffic- There are 3 different traffic services, all of which can deliver realtime traffic data to your nav unit, show accidents, route you around them, etc... In the case of the MSN service it can also show you local movie times, weather, route you to the cheapest nearby gas, etc. This is a for-pay service but it's fairly cheap (like $60 a year or $199 lifetime service from MSN for example). If you want all three features you're looking around $300 for a good unit. If you let me know which ones you care about (and if there's anything else you specifically know you need it to do I didn't mention) I can probably suggest a model or two, and probably even let you know if there's any deals running now, or where to keep an eye out for such deals if there's not.
  4. Without nav you can still change the radio and AC by touch. It's a magical invention called buttons! Heh... anyway, the Lexus ipod kit does -not- play videos on the nav screen. The aftermarket VAIS kit can do so if you buy the right model though. Note that using this in motion would be illegal in a number of states.
  5. It would cost more than just getting it as an option in the first place (it's several thousand bucks to get everything for a full swap) and it won't be covered by your warranty. On the other hand, for $300 you can buy a Garmin unit that does considerably more than the OEM unit does, and doesn't cripple itself when you put the car in drive... but it will sit ON the dash instead of IN the dash. If you -must- have ti in your dash you could get an aftermarket head unit with a screen and navigation installed, that also does more, for less than the cost of swapping in the OEM unit.
  6. U MUST HAVE THE NAV. THE CAR IS INCOMPLETE WITHOUT IT B/C U ARE ABLE TO CONTROL A/C AND EVERYTHING ON A TOUCH SCREEN WHICH IS SICK! DONT get the 350 i have a friend who got it and he hates it b/c he said in stop and go traffic he always feels like vomiting b/c he's thrown back and forth from stopping and accelerating at the stop lights satellite radio sucks i paid a butt load im not gonna lie. no where near invoice bro AND BTW THE LUX PACKAGE IS CURSED! I DID AN EARLIER POSTING ON IT AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE TRUE! and if you don't get nav you save 2-3k and can -still- control your AC by touch...amazing! And yeah, your friend doesn't know how to drive a car if that's how he drives his 350
  7. You mean you haven't noticed any engine knock Which means the knock sensors are doing their job. You'd need something that read data off the CAN bus to actually -know- if you were knocking or not. Given that lexus didn't just decide the car needs 91 to run properly for their health, you likely are. In an AWD 250 though your performance is pretty poor to begin with, so you'd likely need to make an effort to measure what you're losing by the ECU pulling timing. What you're losing in long term engine damage will take a while to notice. But hey, you're saving $2-3 a tank, so there's that. Well, assuming you've actually, scientifically, measured the mileage differences properly... since it'd take a pretty small difference to lose that 2-3 bucks back... a 5% drop in mileage would negate all the "savings" while still doing the damage and pulled timing.
  8. I vaguely recall it was like 2 or 3 hundred from 07 to 08.... pricing for 09s hasn't been officially announced yet.
  9. Lexus has been making the retarded design decision to not include a specific "pause" button on their CD players for a good 15 years or more now :P
  10. Mr. Smooth1, I agree 99%. However I am not sure what you mean by VW not being enough car but I admit they seem to be like in a separate german category, still they are reliable well "german" designed cars (or at least used to be?) I had an 84 Scirocco that finally sold in 2000 after 210K miles and it would not quit going. Still VW seems to be usually out of place or behind the rest but have a strong following. Again in the BMW/Lexus debate, I am not sorry at all for my choice. JA, No Oil dipstick. They are nuts !!!! Your 84 VW might have been reliable, but that was about the last time they made one like that. VW has ranked in/near the bottom of the JD Power long term dependability study every year for a good decade or so now... their reliability is -horrible- and has been for quite some time.
  11. The things there from the factory are the headlamp washers, the power rear sunshade, and the 08+ coinholder You can certainly do the coinholder pretty cheaply :) I imagine the other two could be added but probably not at any reasonable cost for their usefulness Memory seats are on the door panels and -very- -very- expensive to add later because they use a different body ECU, wiring, etc
  12. Keeps running until they shut it off... otherwise the real owner would be screwed if the battery ever died in the fob
  13. When you replace your tires you might consider paying for the road hazzard warranty, that -will- cover flats from nails and other road debris.
  14. Well, first the bad news... the IS also has a lifetime transmission. You can't change the fluid. I don't mean they don't recommend it, I mean it's physically impossible. It does have normal tires and an oil dipstick though :) It also has a vastly nicer and more modern interior, and vastly better reliability. The "common problems" you list on your BMWs are certainly common to BMWs, but not Lexuses. A common 'problem' on a lexus is "the brakes produce too much dust" to give you an idea. It won't have the magical road feel that everyone raves about with BMWs. But it'll still handle well, and if you want performance the IS350 is a -lot- cheaper than the 335 with similar options. If you're looking at a 250 it won't be uberfast, but it'll still handle well and be a lot cheaper than a comparable BMW. (and unless you're getting a 335 or M3 none of the 3 series cars are fast either) The ES is FWD, I can't imagine someone who is used to how a porsche or a BMW handles will enjoy driving it... it's comfortable and nice, but it's not going to excite anyone. When I ended up car hunting I initally was going to look at the 3 series, the IS350, the G35, and the Acura TL-S. The BMW dropped off the list first when I saw how insane they jack the price up for any sort of options and when I saw they didn't seem to have moved past 1995 on interior design or materials. However, since you've owned a lot of german cars, that might be the kinda spartan inside you like. Ultimately, test drive the IS, and see how you like it... it sounds like you're looking for AWD, which locks you into the 250... too slow for me personally, but apart from the power difference the rest of the car is pretty similar between 250 and 350 so you'll still get all the other perks of the vehicle which are many.
  15. The way to program the sunroofs behavior is to take it to the lexus dealer, it requires their techstream tool to change most of the personalized settings with very few exceptions.
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