Thursday, February 27, 2014

Shakedown, shake apart

I've been playing with the new toy :-)

I haven't had an excuse to take it anywhere for pleasure, just business. We can ask for hire cars with work but I prefer not to for a few good reasons :

You can't trust the hire car company - a few colleagues have been caught out by the hire car place claiming our people have damaged the car when the damage was either done by the hire car people or was on the car before it was dropped off. It's a serious problem and our people have taken to taking camera phone pics of the cars as evidence.

The expenses cost difference is trivial. The way it works is : hire car cost is the hire charge plus fuel used. With our own cars, it's a straight pence per mile (which incidentally hasn't changed in 15 years, even though petrol has gone up from 80p/litre in 2000 to 130p/litre now). Because I have an economical car, I make a profit on the trip on the petrol cost alone although that goes away when Total Cost of Ownership comes in. We get 25p a mile, the CT cost about 13p/mile on petrol and 80+p/mile on TCO, although that would have gone down after the finance period finished.

My car is already set up for me with Bluetooth and satnav destinations. Well kinda, it'll take a while for the satnav destinations to be programmed back in.

There's too many variables from the actual drop off of the hire car.

And that's leaving out the elephant in the car park of comparative quality between hire cars and what I'll be paying loads for over the next few years.

I've done the business run twice now, it's 120 miles each way so it's a good drive but not too long. Most of it is motorway, so it's where a relaxing cruiser comes into its own. Which is what the Lexus IS is.

This is going to read like an advert isn't it ? Sorry about that - it's just being honest ! The IS is my second Lexus after the CT and the CT was good enough to convince me that Lexus know how to make very high quality cars. The only problems with the CT were lack of power (10 secs to 60 but I like more) and a few trim niggles. It was an outstanding car but you could tell where unfortunate compromises had to be made to fit the price point and the concept.

The IS is better in almost every way, although they are two different cars with different interpretations of how some things should be done. Like me not knowing where the button to unlock the doors where, as it is done differently between CT and IS. Hitting "Park" would unlock the doors in the CT, the gear selection is done a bit differently in the IS.

But we don't really care about that. How's it do on the road ?

It's a supremely relaxed cruiser. It cuts through the air effortlessly at 70 and the engine is barely above idle. That nets it about 51-52mpg on the long run. It got the 51.2 at the end of the return 120 miles yesterday. I'm hoping for better when the car loses some of the new car stiffness and in the summer. Hybrid tech is very interesting when implemented well but it does demand the engine run more in the winter to keep the warmth going.

The sound is supreme from Bluetooth streaming to the car. I read some stuff about incompatibility between the Bluetooth in the car and the iPhone 5, I suspect that's more to do with the Apple side than the Lexus side. As in, Apple have variable quality and some of their kit just doesn't work right. Like this Macbook Air struggling to stream over 2.4GHz wifi. I think I must have got lucky with my Iphone 5 and got a good one.

Yeah - I enjoyed the two trips and next week's should be a good one too. It's another meeting at the same place, this time I'll have a new guy along. Actually, he's an old guy because he's been on the project before but has been on other things for quite a few years. It'll be good to catch up.

Oh - weird coincidence : With my CT, the first time I tried to fill it up with fuel I came across one of those garages where it refuses to give you more than a thimbleful. Never had that problem again. With the IS, it happened again ... first fill up, uncooperative pump. Hopefully I never see that problem again ! Another coincidence, it was at two different Insert Supermarket Name Here (same chain) garages ...

One thing that was weird - getting almost 600 miles out of a tankful. It's a 50mpg (claimed 60-63 but you rarely get the government figure) car with a 66 litre tank. That makes for lots n lots of miles ...

Shake apart ?

My skin's been mostly improving on the outside, although I'm not quite free of the need to treat it with the gunk fairly regularly. On the inside it's a different story. I get the feeling my outsides will be capable of cricket but the insides won't want to know. Whinge list ! :

Shoulder feels like it's disconnected - like it'll dislocate if I pull on something too hard.
Hip is still stiff
Back feels like it's had concrete poured down my spine
Wrist badly needs some Game Therapy*
Fingers still cramp up at the slightest excuse
And the rest
*(it's weird, the RSI in my right wrist seems to go away with certain games# - dunno why)
#(HEY ! I caught that snigger ... single player games@ seem the best type)
@(Ooo eck - think I'm digging the hole deeper there)

I'm going to stop that little train of thought before it plumbs new depths of deviant depravity.

I'm sometimes hobbling because the skin on my knees isn't cooperating, I'm sometimes limping because my hips or knees are being stiff.

Getting old ;-) But ... one thing that's guaranteed to make me pick up my feet, stand up straight and Walk Strong :

Pretty Ladies !

If there's one thing I hate, it's being caught mid - OUCH, it takes the gloss off that Big Grin ;-)

Oh - everything's on pause, I have one of those classic albums on. It's Gran Turismo and you'll recognise My Favourite Game. And that's not their best album !


  1. I totally agree the IS is a much better car, I love mine to death and will upgrade to the IS in 2015

  2. I think you'll like the IS, although as per usual, I'd take a test drive first to make sure it would fit with what you'd want in a car. It's an outstanding car but there's a few things that it could do better - I like hybrid personally but it's not everyone's cup of tea ...


So much for anonymous commenting ... If you would like to leave a message and don't have a suitable account, there's an email address in my profile.