Lexus IS - £10k to spend over 3 years - Buy or lease ? - Andris Jansons

I would like your thoughts on what to get for my next car...

Currently I lease a Focus with the EcoBoost engine. The two year lease is coming to an end and although its been a good car I fancy something a little different. Possibly another lease or maybe buy something nice.

I travel about 6000 - 8000 miles PA. No commuting (can walk to work!) so all travel is for leisure, shopping etc - a mix of city and country.

I thought about leasing the new Astra SRI 1.6T 200ps. Had a drive in one and it feels good. Some nice equipment, comfortable seats etc. Its no Focus ST, but excellent performace and economy is acceptable for my use.

The total cost of leasing the Astra would be c.£9k over 3 years and it would probably cost no more than £500 in servicing. So total cost would be c.£9.5k.

As an alternative I'm considering a 6-7 year old low-mileage (less than 40k miles with Lexus history) Lexus IS250 from the Lexus Approved scheme. This would cost c.£11k. They give an excellent first year warranty - almost to 'manufacturer' level, but after that I would be on my own (don't rate 'aftermarket' warranties at all). Service and repair costs for the Lexus over three years should not be more than about £1.5k (unless I am unlucky). I have the tools and skills to do service and minor repairs (e.g. replace discs and pads, dampers etc) myself without breaking a sweat. So say total cost of the Lexus would be c.£12.5k. BUT with the Lexus it would have a value of, say, £5k after three years - so total costs c.£12.5k - 5k = c. £7.5k.

I realise that these are rather different cars - the Astra more practical, the Lexus more luxurious. I think I would enjoy both. Which should I choose? Is my valuation of the Lexus after three years ownership ball-park correct?

I would not have to borrow to buy the Lexus, but obviously would forgo the bank's generous interest on the £12k !

Lexus IS - £10k to spend over 3 years - Buy or lease ? - SLO76
I personally highly rate the IS250. It's an excellent used buy with high standards of build, reliability and comfort. The petrol engine is pretty much unburstable and it's a silky smooth thing to slither down the road in. Lexus dealers tend to rank highly regarding customer service standards too.

I wouldn't touch the diesel and I wouldn't buy one new for the sake of heavy depreciation but they're a great longterm purchase used. As long as you maintain a full dealer or specialist service history here's little to worry about aside from high fuel costs and further above average depreciation because of that greed. It's a stress free buy and far more comfortable and long lived than any equivalent Audi, BMW or Merc but don't service it yourself! You don't have access to the technical bulletins, tools, diagnostic equipment and software updates the dealer has and no service history means it'll be worthless when you come to sell on.

The new Astra is a great car but it's just that, a car. The IS250 is something a little bit different, a little left field from the mainstream and it's where my money would go.

Edited by SLO76 on 08/02/2017 at 19:51

Lexus IS - £10k to spend over 3 years - Buy or lease ? - Andris Jansons

Thanks for your reply.

No, I wouldn't touch the Diesel. Older Diesels tend to be bad news in my experience. I have also found that prestige German cars older than about 5 years tend to run up big bills - particularly if you use their dealers.

Mecahnically the IS250 looks fairly straightforward to me, however I would still have routine annual servicing done at a workshop (specialist) to keep the book stamped up. Things like discs and pads, brake fluid, pollen filter, dampers etc I would do myself. I have found a source for the factory service manual and TSB's.

Lexus IS - £10k to spend over 3 years - Buy or lease ? - SLO76

Thanks for your reply.

No, I wouldn't touch the Diesel. Older Diesels tend to be bad news in my experience. I have also found that prestige German cars older than about 5 years tend to run up big bills - particularly if you use their dealers.

Mecahnically the IS250 looks fairly straightforward to me, however I would still have routine annual servicing done at a workshop (specialist) to keep the book stamped up. Things like discs and pads, brake fluid, pollen filter, dampers etc I would do myself. I have found a source for the factory service manual and TSB's.

You talk complete sense and have picked one of my favourite used buys. As long as there's an annual stamp in that book from someone who knows what they're doing then who changed the minor bits and bobs isn't going to be a worry for the next buyer. I doubt you'll have much to do to it outside of basic service items anyway, they're extremely well made and as you say mechanically quite straightforward compared to most modern turbocharged petrol or diesel execs.
 

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