Car Review: 2014 Lexus ES 300h Sedan
As Lexus continues to advance the styling of their products, they continue to lead with impressive hybrid offerings. The first luxury brand to introduce a hybrid vehicle nearly 10 years ago, Lexus continues its hybrid leadership by offering the 2014 Lexus ES 300h sedan powered by the innovative Hybrid Synergy Drive. We spent a fun-filled week driving the luxuriously appointed 2014 Lexus ES 300h sedan and can appreciate why folks just flat-out love this car!
The ES 300h cuts a striking figure, highlighted by the Lexus spindle grille dramatic L-themed LED daytime running lights and coupe-like profile. The car’s shape cheats the wind with a low 0.27 coefficient of drag (Cd), which helps reduce fuel consumption and minimize wind noise. The ES 300h conveys its hybrid status in subtle ways, with specific split-five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, lip spoiler, hidden exhaust pipe and blue hybrid badges. The cerulean blue metallic paint stood out on the road and is one of the cleanest colors when it comes to maintaining that clean look. The striking looks are enhanced by the new generation ES 300h gains LED fog lamps with HID headlamps.
There is no mistaking a Lexus when you enter the cabin space, as top of the line materials and ergonomically placed controls are right at your disposal. The original ES sedan upended the entry luxury category nearly 25 years ago by making a V6 standard in a category populated by four-cylinder models, and by offering more interior room and more standard luxury amenities. Lexus continues to set the trend in the entry-luxury category by virtue of a unique two-model strategy. The front-wheel drive ES models emphasize roominess and comfort, and the sport-minded IS models, which are built on a different platform, offer a choice between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. In contrast, other brands try to mold one model series to fit both roles.
The ES 300h is built on the sixth-generation ES platform, which grew slightly in external size over the previous-generation model and added a significant 4.1 inches in rear seat legroom to offer 40 inches. That compares favorably with legroom in some larger sedans All told, the Lexus ES continues to belie the term “entry luxury” by offering sumptuous accommodations. The ES 300h comes standard with 10-way adjustable power front seats, automatic climate control, NuLuxe interior available in parchment, light gray or black and with elegant piano black trim for instrument panel, doors and upper console. Other interior trim options include espresso bird’s eye maple or bamboo. Also available, 12-way heated/ventilated power front seats allow the seat cushions to extend by 1.4 inches for added leg support.
Read the rest of this entry »
Car Review: 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD F Sport
The 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD F Sport grabs your attention from the moment you first see it and kept our attention throughout the one-week test drive. The third-generation 2014 IS sport sedan features a bold design highlighted by the new dynamic signature spindle grille and for the first time separated LED Daytime Running Lights which are as cool as any on the road today. A combination of “aggressive elegance,” a more powerful road presence and a stronger brand identity help make the new IS models more alluring than ever.
The available F SPORT package as tested included unique 18-inch wheels with ultra-white paint that made a bonafied first impression on all that gave us feedback. Some notables that played key roles in the good-looking IS 250 F Sport was the further evolution of the spindle grille from the GS and LS models, featuring a more three-dimensional design with a chrome-plated frame and darker gray insert from top to bottom, standard HID low/high beam headlamps with LED DRLs and available twin projector LED low/ high beam headlamps, F SPORT exclusive colors (Ultra White, Ultrasonic Blue Mica, Obsidian and Matador Red Mica), and a wheelbase that has been increased by nearly three inches. Width has been increased by nearly half an inch for an aggressive stance.
This isn’t your father’s Lexus, as the IS 250 AWD F Sport has the attitude of a premium sports car with the functionality of the smartest luxury sedan all wrapped into one superb interior space. The driver can appreciate improved seating position and headroom, while the rear seat offers significantly improved roominess, ingress and egress. Separating the shocks from the springs results in a larger trunk as well.
New luxuries abound in the 2014 Lexus IS. A high-efficiency dual-zone climate control system uses new, touch-sensitive electrostatic temperature switches. The IS offers two multimedia systems: a standard high-resolution Lexus Display Audio (LDA) with controller or the optional Lexus navigation system. The navigation system is operated via a second-generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) multi-function control device, which also allows control of the climate, audio, phone controls and more. New interior design with LFA-inspired, driver-focused cockpit and enhanced rear seat roominess and luggage capacity earned high marks from drivers and passengers alike.
Read the rest of this entry »
Car Review: 2013 Lexus LS 460 F SPORT Sedan
As the renaissance is fully underway at Lexus, the LS 460 F SPORT appears to be beyond top of the line in both luxury and performance. The all-new LS 460 F SPORT combines a more aggressive exterior with a unique sport interior featuring F SPORT seats with larger bolsters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, and genuine aluminum trim. With a sport-tuned air suspension that has been lowered 0.4 inches, a Torsen limited slip rear differential (RWD model), Brembo six-piston caliper brakes, and 19-inch forged wheels with summer or all-season tires, the LS F SPORT is clearly the most engaging LS ever.
The first thing that you notice in the 2013 Lexus LS 460 F SPORT is an aggressive look not seen in past Lexus sedans. Our test model looked stunning in liquid platinum paint, high-intensity discharge Bi Xenon headlamps with adaptive front lighting system (AFS), dynamic auto leveling and integrated LED fog lamps and turn signals, LED daytime running lamps, headlamp washers and windshield wiper deicer. The look is large and luxurious, with a sports car heart ready to please.
The unique sport interior features F SPORT seats with larger bolsters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, and a genuine aluminum trim that lets you know immediately you’re entering a serious “luxury zone.” The redesigned interior integrates modern refinement with intuitive technology. The Advanced Illumination System (AIS), an all-LED interior lighting system, illuminates to greet the approaching occupants and then fades in sequence with the vehicle starting procedure.
The new Lexus Climate Concierge offers maximum comfort for every LS occupant. The customizable system uses multiple sensors to automatically regulate not only the temperature of the cabin, but also the climate control seats and the heated steering wheel, quickly bringing each occupant to their preferred temperature.
The standard navigation system is displayed on a huge and crystal clear 12.3-inch, split-screen, high-resolution multimedia display that is large enough to support simultaneous viewing of a large map display and other vehicle functions.
Read the rest of this entry »