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The single biggest problem with my 16’ RX is the trim noise issue. Almost every panel is rattling in the car. The center screen, drivers upper door, passengers lower door, subwoofer area and rear seats. There is a squeaking noise coming from the rear which I have never been able to find it’s origin. The center console flexes like a toyota too. Simply put the RX is way below it’s competitors in terms of build quality and material choices and I happen to think the rest of the line up is suffering from the same problem.I agree with you Joe, cost reduction is coming through increased usage of hard plastics. While it might be understandable at lower price points, a Lexus is a Lexus where bean counters should not reign, but be reigned in ...
For example: The back of the front seats in our '19 NX are not hard plastic, but are almost entirely hard plastic in the '19 ES. Scratches on hard plastics never go away! Every time someone inadvertently scraps the plastic side of the center console with the metal tip of the seat belt a scratch will be left; many scratches after time. I can only imagine what the hard plastic on the back of the seats will come to look like.
Upon the closer inspection that time, warmer temperatures, and ownership afford, I have found in the ES center console a symphony of creaking noises in a sea of plastic parts top-covered with a skin of leather. The leather looks nice, but ... My ES has been in the shop for the last 3 days so far with no word, to locate and fix the myriad of creaks and squeaks coming from the double-hinged plastic center console. And there are creaks coming seemingly from the dashboard as well. I notice there is substantial use of hard plastic surrounding the center display (noticeably un-like the similarly designed UX center display) and on the dash on the left side of the driver's display.
These creaks and squeaks have become prevalent as the temperatures of spring increase and the plastics expand. And these noises are not just occasionally heard. Some sound when there is but a change in the car's momentum. And I notice the 600-miles-new '19 ES courtesy car I'm driving in the meantime, is creaking and squeaking much the same way.
Lexus is lowering the bar and persons like myself who have driven many Lexus vehicles for well over a decade are noticing. It makes no sense to devote so much attention to sound deadening the undercarriage of the 7ES only to allow the bean counters to increase and expand zones of hard plastics throughout the interior. I leased my '17 IS 300 AWD for two years. It was as tight as a vault. Never once heard a creak, squeak, or rattle regardless of the outside temperature. And true so far with the '19 NX. But the ES ... is another story. As a Lexus loyalist, besides the flagship models, I sincerely hope this pattern of cost saving will not become prevalent in new models and remodels across the fleet. This is not the pursuit of perfection.
I had an RC as a loaner and the door handles were painted silver plastic. This is absymal for a luxury coupe. Neither Bmw 4 series nor an audi a5 uses that kind of cheap plastics.
I think lexus designs beautiful interiors but uses too cheap plastics to match the designs. It is the only premium manufacturer which uses plastic emblems on the steering wheel. That is unacceptable.