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Deciding between lexus models

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Old 02-04-16, 03:25 PM
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fre3way3
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Default Deciding between lexus models

I'm looking to get my first lexus and confused on which model I should get.

2013-2015 RX 350
2014-2015 IS 250
2012-2015 GS 350

Those are the 3 cars I'm interested in. I'm buying them as CPO with around 30-40k miles on them and they seem to fit in my price range ~30k. I'm just in love with each one of them. I was looking for an SUV but after seeing how refined the GS and IS are now, I'm not sure if picking the RX is the best choice. Is there a drastic difference between the AWD of the RX vs the GS/IS? Any issues with any of these models?
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Old 02-04-16, 03:43 PM
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JDR76
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Well, I own or have owned all three cars in your list, so I'll give it a shot.

The purchase of an RX is really in a separate discussion from the GS and IS. I have an RX and I love it for a family vehicle. It's quiet, refined, easy to get in/out of, easily accommodates child seats, and hauls tons of stuff. The AWD system is ok. It is front wheel biased and only sends power to the rear wheels upon acceleration or detection of slipping. It handles moderate snow well. It excels in highway driving and long trips. It is easily one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. It's bulletproof reliable, but the navigation interface is quite dated, and some of the interior materials are outdated for the class.

In the GS vs IS discussion, let me first clarify that in the US there is no 2012 GS. The third generation ended with the 2011 year and the 4th gen came out in 2012 as a '13 model.

My 2014 IS350 was a blast (sorry I don't have experience with an IS250). It was very comfortable and I could easily accommodate 4 adults in it, though car seats were a challenge (and why I ultimately traded it in). Fuel mileage was decent, and it was a beauty to look at. Handling in the snow was very impressive. The IS and GS AWD systems are the same, and are very different from that of the RX. They are RWD based systems, and put 70% of the power to the rear wheels and 30% to the front, unless it detects slipping when it can then vary it up to 50/50. While the RX AWD system will switch to full 100% FWD when the rear power is not needed in order to help fuel efficiency, the IS/GS will always put at least 50% to the rear.

My GS is much more refined, luxurious, and spacious than my IS was, which is as it should be with an MSRP of about $13k more (my IS was $47k and my GS was $60k). It's remarkably quiet and the interior materials are top notch. It has things my IS did not have, like rain sensing wipers, auto parking brake, memory seats with more adjustments, parking sensors, etc. While the GS is impressive and I love it, I still find the IS to be more fun and a better looking car.

Edit to add some pictures.








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Old 02-04-16, 04:36 PM
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I've owned an RX and now have an IS350. The RX is a total family vehicle. Reliable, practical, and completely boooooooring. The IS250 is questionable as its really really slow. I think its about as fast as the RX. The IS350 is a complete blast to drive. I love it. Best car i've had in terms of fun factor, practicality, and hopefully reliability will be good. The GS is a notch above the other 2. Best car of the bunch but the most expensive too. if you can find an IS350 AWD for around $35k, that would probably be the best bang for the buck
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Old 02-04-16, 05:14 PM
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Def scratch the RX off of that list.
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Old 02-04-16, 07:06 PM
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get whichever one you like the most
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Old 02-04-16, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tea View Post
get whichever one you like the most
Exactly. All three cars are different with different strengths and weaknesses. Can't really go wrong with any of them.
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Old 02-04-16, 08:38 PM
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evident
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Gs350 over the is250. It's just a much better car. 250 is painfully slowand not as nice as the gs

Rx is a totally different category. Get if you need a suv
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Old 02-05-16, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by evident View Post
Gs350 over the is250. It's just a much better car. 250 is painfully slowand not as nice as the gs

Rx is a totally different category. Get if you need a suv
Considering there is a $25k gap between a IS250 and GS350...

Other than having 4 doors, they are different in almost every other way.
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Old 02-05-16, 12:00 PM
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Get IS250 for maneuvereabilty, handling, slightly better economy & price.
GS350 for space, ride comfort, isolation & equipment.
RX for utility purposes like space, large tailgate opening, fold down rear seats, and some off road ability.

All three good, but in different ways...
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Old 02-05-16, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by peteharvey View Post
Get IS250 for maneuvereabilty, handling, slightly better economy & price.
GS350 for space, ride comfort, isolation & equipment.
RX for utility purposes like space, large tailgate opening, fold down rear seats, and some off road ability.

All three good, but in different ways...
the rx seen in its natural habitat -- off-roading in the mall parking lot.
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Old 02-06-16, 12:17 PM
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Either I or someone in my family have owned all the models you've listed, though they were all F-sport variants. I currently have an IS350.

Based on your initial post, I think the GS350 would be the best choice for you. It offers tons of space, and is very refined. The interior is in a different class than either the RX or the IS.

I'd stray away from the IS250; based on the other options you can get for around the same price, I think you'd be much happier with the GS vs. the IS in terms of pure horsepower, luxury, space, and a better engine.

I think the GS is a great car. My dad has a '13 GS F Sport, traded it in for a '15 IS 350 F Sport, and he traded that in for a '16 RC 350 F Sport. The GS was by far the most luxurious and spacious of the 3 he owned. I love the GS; I have no use personally for a car that big, but if I did I would definitely lean towards the GS.

My mom had a '15 RX before getting a new '16 RX, and while it's nice, reliable, and no complaints, the '15 interior is far more dated than either of the other options. It just frankly isn't nearly as luxurious as the other options, though if you're looking for an SUV it's a great choice. There are more luxurious SUV options for the price, but they aren't a Lexus!

TLDR; if you want the best overall option, get the GS. If you must have an SUV, you won't be disappointed with the RX. Can't go wrong with a CPO vehicle, either.

Last edited by treymoczy; 02-06-16 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 02-06-16, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by davyjordi View Post
the rx seen in its natural habitat -- off-roading in the mall parking lot.
Hahahaha +1
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Old 02-06-16, 01:31 PM
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evident
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Originally Posted by anthonys2r View Post
Considering there is a $25k gap between a IS250 and GS350...

Other than having 4 doors, they are different in almost every other way.
yep, but I would look elsewhere other than lexus before touching an IS250. the IS and GS have the same chassis, but the engine is simply uncompetitive in this class.

Last edited by evident; 02-06-16 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 02-07-16, 09:57 AM
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get the GS if you don't want an SUV, but if you really wanted the IS, spend the little extra money on the IS350 because the 250 is a tank from when my mom and sister had one, it couldn't get out of it's own way. my step brother has a GS350 and it's a spacious, luxurious car but it can be sporty when you want it to be {if you get the f sport variant} but your best bet is a GS350 for a family don't even bother with the RX
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Old 02-07-16, 09:49 PM
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RX350 or IS350 I would not get IS250 if I were you.
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