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TLX vs GS AWD

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Old 12-06-2014, 09:09 PM   #1
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TLX vs GS AWD

I'm close to pulling the trigger on a GS AWD 350. It's one step above the base mode-Premium+cold in the US and Navigation package in Canada. I'm getting a great deal as per the dealer. I'm in Alberta and the price before taxes is about $43.5. This is a demo unit and it has about 5000 kms.
For about 1000 to 2000 less I can get a TLX AWD with the Tech package or even a brand new TL AWD Elite.
I love the GS and Lexus, but there are a few things I kind of like to have in the GS that it doesn't have:

1. Blind spot monitoring
2. Sport plus mode
3. 16 or 18 way seats.

I'll have to spend at least another 8 to 10k to get all these in a GS. Can't do that as I generally don't want to indulge myself too much.

That's where the TLX AWD with tech comes in. It has all the latest tech. It will be a 2015 instead of the 2014 of the GS.
the negatives of TLX are a notch lower brand. Plus first year questionable reliability and some not so wonderful reviews. I drove the TLX V6 and liked the drive, except for the low speed transmission 'jerkiness.'

Then there's the classic TL AWD Advanced/Elite. I can get a killer deal on that and it has pretty much all the items I need, but obviously it's an older car with older tech and all. But it should be reliable. I find that the TL is less refined than the newer TLX.

What do you all think? I'm leaning towards the GS, but the above points, along with the demo status kind of weaken my resolve to pull the trigger.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:22 PM   #2
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used vs new without comparable options in the GS
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:43 PM   #3
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How long do you plan to keep the car? If only a couple of years then go with the GS. If longer, you will regret not getting the Blind Spot monitoring.

If you plan to keep it for 3 or 4 years and are concerned that any problems with the TLX will not be resolved then get the TL.

Otherwise the TLX Tech will be fine.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:22 PM   #4
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I'm biased but my vote is TLX SH-AWD Elite.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:14 AM   #5
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How long do you plan to keep the car? If only a couple of years then go with the GS. If longer, you will regret not getting the Blind Spot monitoring.
Oh how did we ever manage without all this handicapping techno safety bullshit?
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by acurafreez View Post
I'm close to pulling the trigger on a GS AWD 350. It's one step above the base mode-Premium+cold in the US and Navigation package in Canada. I'm getting a great deal as per the dealer. I'm in Alberta and the price before taxes is about $43.5. This is a demo unit and it has about 5000 kms.
For about 1000 to 2000 less I can get a TLX AWD with the Tech package or even a brand new TL AWD Elite.
I love the GS and Lexus, but there are a few things I kind of like to have in the GS that it doesn't have:

1. Blind spot monitoring
2. Sport plus mode
3. 16 or 18 way seats.

I'll have to spend at least another 8 to 10k to get all these in a GS. Can't do that as I generally don't want to indulge myself too much.

That's where the TLX AWD with tech comes in. It has all the latest tech. It will be a 2015 instead of the 2014 of the GS.
the negatives of TLX are a notch lower brand. Plus first year questionable reliability and some not so wonderful reviews. I drove the TLX V6 and liked the drive, except for the low speed transmission 'jerkiness.'

Then there's the classic TL AWD Advanced/Elite. I can get a killer deal on that and it has pretty much all the items I need, but obviously it's an older car with older tech and all. But it should be reliable. I find that the TL is less refined than the newer TLX.

What do you all think? I'm leaning towards the GS, but the above points, along with the demo status kind of weaken my resolve to pull the trigger.
I was seriously considering the GS 350 AWD F Sport before I decided to go with the TLX SH-AWD Elite. I loved the interior of the GS and I think that Lexus provides a better "ownership experience" than Acura overall. However, I went with the TLX SH-AWD Elite for these reasons:

1. Fold-down rear seat - if the GS offered this, then it would have been a no-brainer - GS for sure. However, it does not, and this is an important issue for me.

2. Suspension/ride - I think that the TLX provides a very supple and yet still sporty ride, which is absolutely spot on. It also seems to be quieter than the GS even. On the other hand, with the GS, even with the F Sport trim, the suspension seemed to be a touch too soft for me.

Now that I have owned the TLX SH-AWD Elite for the last month and a half, I have really enjoyed it and do not regret it a bit.

However, the Lexus offer that you have is very attractive, esp. if you plan to purchase it and keep it for a long time. However, as a demo, does it reduce your warranty duration at all? Also, is this a 2014 or 2015 model? If it's a 2014 model with 5000km, then I am not sure if this is necessarily that great a deal..... Since you mentioned "Navigation package" I suspect that this is a 2014 vehicle. I think that you probably should then take into account the depreciation factor for the 2014 year model.

Both are great cars - you will enjoy either one! GOOD LUCK!
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:11 AM   #7
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This is a 2014 model. I'll lose the warranty kms out of the 80,000/110,000kms but not the 4 year/6 year bumper to bumper and powertrain coverage.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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Oh how did we ever manage without all this handicapping techno safety bullshit?
We/I managed from driving cars that did not have wing mirrors, to cars that had wing mirrors that could not be properly adjusted that that you still had to look over your shoulder, to those that could be properly adjusted. Now we have have enhanced warnings. Each step has been an improvement in safety.

I chose to pay for the advanced safety features if it helps ensure that I do not cause a crash or worse kill someone. At some point in the future, maybe not in my lifetime, there will only be self driving cars. The "old" driving experience will only be available on the race track.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:59 AM   #9
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acurafreez....All three vehicles you have listed are all good options.

1. I have owned the Acura TL SH-AWD (2012) and it has been an amazing car with no problems whatsoever in my 3 years of ownership and LOVED the car!! It is a little behind the times as far as technology is concerned but it is also not necessarily a bad thing. The more complex Acura vehicles are becoming, the more they are experiencing some technical issues. As much as I feel the new TLX is an improvement as far as technology and such, I still feel the interior of the 4G is better than that of the TLX, but that is my opinion of course. I love buttons over touch screens and to that effect, the TL wins my vote for its interior (and I love the seats better too).

2. The TLX is a great car as well and although it has had some issues, I still feel that it offers great exterior styling and feature/price ration that smokes the competition. You will be blessed with an engine that is buttery smooth, fuel efficient and reliable. I am not a huge fan of the 9 speed tranny and that is where I like the TL with its old, but very quick shifting tranny (atthe expense of being less fuel efficient).

3. The GS is a great car and as Ostrich has stated, one that has no folding rear seats (and the TL) so if that is a feature you must have, then the TLX is the only option you have left.

In the end, all three cars are fantastic vehicles and you will not be making a huge mistake if you get any of them. For what its worth, these would be my ranking if I had to make the choice:

1. TL (if new)
2. TLX (new)
3. GS (demo)

or

1. TLX (new)
2. GS (used)
3. TL (used)

Best of luck and keep us posted....
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:15 AM   #10
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:36 AM   #11
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Price wise, I see most people compare the TLX to IS350. Lexus is making some great deals right now on the 2014 GS's, so you can get a 2014 GS for about the same as a 2015 TLX. The technology packages you mentioned are important to me and adding them to the GS brought the price point too high for me to seriously consider the GS 350.


If you compare feature by feature, the TLX comes out ahead for the price. I drove the GS 350 F Sport and loved the way it felt and was hooked. Then reality set in and I knew with 2 kids in college, I shouldn't be spending a years worth of tuition to upscale to the Lexus GS 350.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #12
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If it is a years worth of tuition then you will not be buying any car right now. Maybe keep what you have for another 2 or 3 years. The urge to get something new can be overwhelming!
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:43 PM   #13
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I would never be so callous that I could rationalize a car I couldn't afford instead of investing in my children's future!


I think that is why I am still attracted to Acura. Their cars are upscale without being ostentatious. My youngest daughter in college will get my 2008 TL as a flow down, so she is anxious for me to get a new car! I may take your advice though and wait a year before I pull the trigger.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:30 PM   #14
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These aren't even the same class of cars. The GS IS a step above. I'd get the Gs. You should not have any issues with a Lexus/Toyota as they are the most reliable car you can buy.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:36 PM   #15
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All great vehicles! It just comes down to what you are looking for. Personally, I don't think the GS and TLX are in the same league. From your post, I glean that you may be looking for a vehicle that offers a lot features at a value price. If that is the case, the TLX may be a better fit. Obviously, only you can make that decision. Good luck!
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:36 PM   #16
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:48 AM   #17
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:52 AM   #18
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by acurafreez View Post

1. Blind spot monitoring
2. Sport plus mode
3. 16 or 18 way seats.
None of those are deal breakers for me. You mentioned the jerkiness of the TLX tranny; if you had it in Sport+, that would explain it. I like Sport mode, but find Sport plus too jerky for anything other than highway use at speed.

The power seats are a set it, and forget it item which once you find your perfect setup wont be adjusted much.

Miles on the GS are low, so I wouldn't worry too much. These cars aren't demoed the same way an M3, or even a Civic Si would be by the local boy racers.

The GS is a nice car, if you ok without the added toys, and aren't making other compromises as well; (color, etc), like the way it handles/drives etc, I would lean that way.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:13 AM   #20
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I would go with the GS. I had a few Lexus and acura cars and i will say Lexus builds their cars a lot better / more solid and more reliable than Acura.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:02 AM   #21
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I would go with the GS. I had a few Lexus and acura cars and i will say Lexus builds their cars a lot better / more solid and more reliable than Acura.
BOTH Acura and Lexus build solid reliable cars. My TLX 3.5 SH-AWD Tech is a very solid whisper quiet car. I had 0 complaints with my previous 3 TSXs and 1 CSX.not one defective item. My advice is to go with the best value proposition.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:54 AM   #22
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Make a list of the pros and cons, likes/dislikes of each vehicle. This helped me to make my choice when purchasing my vehicle. In the end the TLX came out on top for me.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:17 AM   #23
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^^ That is the exact process that I have recommended previously. Used it myself and look what it got me!
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:16 AM   #24
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Hmmm, I'll go a different route.

I suspect you drove all the cars, if one of them gave you an emotional response, based on how it felt, or the appearance, then I would go with that one.

All these vehicles should prove to be excellent. I had a 1998 GS 400 following my 1988 Acura Legend. I like both makers. I will say that I felt the GS was more durable and better built than the Acura, but comparing cars from 10 years apart is almost silly, because of changes in technology in that time.

But I do my research on cars before buying, and will accept narrowing down the cars that I know have proven track records, and THEN will go with the emotional choice.

Just a different way of thinking.

P.S. Do not drive German cars when planning to buy on emotion, as I have done that, and NOT had good outcomes....EVER.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:03 PM   #25
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I'm biased but my vote is TLX SH-AWD Elite.
That's my vote! SH-AWD is awesome! Not sure how it compares to the GS but the GS just not excite me at all - not one bit. But if you like it pull the trigger - just make sure you have evaluated all your options carefully because buyers remorse is a SOB.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:05 PM   #26
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P.S. Do not drive German cars when planning to buy on emotion, as I have done that, and NOT had good outcomes....EVER. [/QUOTE]

I have done that with American cars - big mistake. Build quality is there, no doubt, but long term reliability - not even close!
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:14 PM   #27
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That's my vote! SH-AWD is awesome! Not sure how it compares to the GS but the GS just not excite me at all - not one bit. But if you like it pull the trigger - just make sure you have evaluated all your options carefully because buyers remorse is a SOB.
Isn't the SH-AWD a little bit superior to Lexus' AWD system?

The OP is from Alberta, which tend to get a fair amount of snow/ice/hail.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:04 AM   #28
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Oh how did we ever manage without all this handicapping techno safety bullshit?
I hate to admit it, but once you have the tech it becomes ingrained. Every time I drive my wife's car, I have to re-teach myself how to do without the tech. Sounds easy but it does take an adjustment. If you don't have it, or if you never used it, you will find it difficult to appreciate, but once you get used to it you need it!
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:29 AM   #29
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Thanks a lot to everyone for the fine comments and advise.

SH AWD vs vanilla AWD from Lexus is something I've thought about of late. While researching further, I've found that the Lexus GS is inherently RWD biased as opposed to the FWD bias of the TL/TLX. Also, SH AWD is based on torque vectoring while the Lexus AWD isn't.
In any case, almost everyone recommends going with the winter tires on any of the sedans mentioned here (GS/TL/TLX) given the harsh winters we get here in Alberta.
So one of the bigger factors would be the actual performance difference between Lexus GS AWD vs the SH AWD. Anyone with real world experience, beyond the theory?
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:38 AM   #30
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^ My question would then be what type of performance are you looking for? Straight line? Cornering/handling? Given your answer to those questions will help in suggesting.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:01 AM   #31
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Thanks a lot to everyone for the fine comments and advise.

SH AWD vs vanilla AWD from Lexus is something I've thought about of late. While researching further, I've found that the Lexus GS is inherently RWD biased as opposed to the FWD bias of the TL/TLX. Also, SH AWD is based on torque vectoring while the Lexus AWD isn't.
In any case, almost everyone recommends going with the winter tires on any of the sedans mentioned here (GS/TL/TLX) given the harsh winters we get here in Alberta.
So one of the bigger factors would be the actual performance difference between Lexus GS AWD vs the SH AWD. Anyone with real world experience, beyond the theory?
The road test results of various SH-AWD equipped cars have shown how effective the system is at the limit. In summary, the system does a good job of eliminating most understeer and increasing cornering speed (especially exit speed).

Other AWD systems tend to increase understeer and make the car feels less nimble.

This video shows what the SH-AWD system is good for in icy condition:
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:58 PM   #32
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acurafreez....I think that without a doubt, the AWD system in Acura is superior than Lexus because it adds the torque vectoring to the equation and is not a vanilla AWD system (as someone said).

If you are purely basing your decision on the performance of teh AWD system...go TLX and you will NOT regret it because when the winter is over, you will have a very dynamic and fun AWD system to give you grin after grin on dry twisty roads.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:08 PM   #33
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Lexus doesn't market their AWD system very well - but from what I've read about their AWD system it is a pretty good one. It may not have torque vectoring like SH-AWD, so if the lack of torque vectoring is what you're using to define "vanilla AWD" then I guess its "vanilla".

Personally as a GS owner, I think the AWD system works really well in the snow. I can't say I have experience driving the car in the same winter conditions you may experience in Canada though!

When there is no snow - the RWD bias is an advantage although the lack of torque vectoring versus SH-AWD maybe makes that kind of a wash?

BTW- the video iforyou posted shows a different Lexus AWD system (one for the FWD biased RX350) than the one in the GS.

I recommend you drive both and see which you prefer.

Here are some good reads about the Lexus AWD system (and some others but unfortunately not SH-AWD) - and a video showing the GS AWD driving in the snow...

Luxury sedan AWD system review ? part 1 - YouWheel.com - Your Ultimate and Professional Car Resources
Luxury sedan AWD system review ? part 2 - YouWheel.com - Your Ultimate and Professional Car Resources


Behind the scenes:
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:45 PM   #34
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Oh how did we ever manage without all this handicapping techno safety bullshit?
We didn't.

Car Deaths by Year
2001 - 46,196
2011 - 32,479
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:44 PM   #35
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Thanks for the info LiQUiCE.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:11 PM   #36
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Thanks for the valuable comments all of you! I finally decided to go with the GS. The deal I got for the car turned out to be even sweeter-further 1500 dollars less- and with a nicer color.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:12 PM   #37
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With that much discount it's a bit of a no brainer haha!
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:53 PM   #38
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Congrats on the new car - I think you'll enjoy the GS!
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:31 PM   #39
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So as it turns out, I did not buy the car. The whole thing took a rather dramatic turn at the time of delivery. When I was ready to do a pre delivery walk around, I found that the vehicle was scratched, unclean and had several small rock chips in the paint. The door gaskets were full of mud and dirt all over.
I mentioned these items to the delivery coordinator and she noticed these items. I said that I won't take delivery of the car unless these items are resolved.
At this time, the sales manager stepped in and began to tell a series of lies about the vehicle.
Starting with the warranty. That the car's in service date is not starting from today but from some time in May when they actually got it.
Just moments ago, their delivery coordinator had explained to me that the warranty would be for full 4 years starting from today.
Then he said, that I wasn't buying a new car but a used car.
When I looked at the invoice, it was a new car invoice all right-it had line items for Freight, PDI, admin fees etc.
The sales manager kept on throwing lies, one after the other and I was so disgusted that I forgot the 'good deal' part that I was getting and walked out of there.
May be that's what the dealership wanted all along- not to sell me the car as they were probably going to lose some money.
This is Lexus service and standard for you. So, be careful what type of service you wish for.
I think in the end, it's just like work- you could be working for the biggest, bluest chip company of the world, but if your boss makes your life miserable and is xxxxxle, the blue chip company is useless.
Similarly, you could be buying a Lexus, but if the dealership is full of crooks, you'll get third rate experience.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:35 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by acurafreez View Post
So as it turns out, I did not buy the car. The whole thing took a rather dramatic turn at the time of delivery. When I was ready to do a pre delivery walk around, I found that the vehicle was scratched, unclean and had several small rock chips in the paint. The door gaskets were full of mud and dirt all over.
I mentioned these items to the delivery coordinator and she noticed these items. I said that I won't take delivery of the car unless these items are resolved.
At this time, the sales manager stepped in and began to tell a series of lies about the vehicle.
Starting with the warranty. That the car's in service date is not starting from today but from some time in May when they actually got it.
Just moments ago, their delivery coordinator had explained to me that the warranty would be for full 4 years starting from today.
Then he said, that I wasn't buying a new car but a used car.
When I looked at the invoice, it was a new car invoice all right-it had line items for Freight, PDI, admin fees etc.
The sales manager kept on throwing lies, one after the other and I was so disgusted that I forgot the 'good deal' part that I was getting and walked out of there.
May be that's what the dealership wanted all along- not to sell me the car as they were probably going to lose some money.
This is Lexus service and standard for you. So, be careful what type of service you wish for.
I think in the end, it's just like work- you could be working for the biggest, bluest chip company of the world, but if your boss makes your life miserable and is xxxxxle, the blue chip company is useless.
Similarly, you could be buying a Lexus, but if the dealership is full of crooks, you'll get third rate experience.
Sorry to hear about them treating you like you were stupid, What are you going to do now?
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