Car Review: 2014 Lexus GS 350 F SPORT

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We set out to drive the 2014 Lexus GS 350 Sport Sedan with the formidable F SPORT package and came away with very favorable impressions. Lexus has moved the needle on styling in recent years and continues to challenge all rivals on the performance front. This car was up to that challenge!

EXTERIOR

Behind its distinctive spindle grille, which creates an unmistakable brand identity, the Lexus GS 350 shines bright with a refined but aggressive body. You first notice the 19-inch alloy wheels that pop along the amazing Riviera red paint. The GS 350 F SPORT is exclusively equipped with 19-inch staggered width wheels paired with 235/40R19 front and 265/35R19 rear summer compound tires for RWD models, while AWD models will have 235/40/19 all-season tires in the front and rear. The F SPORT stands apart with exclusive front bumper and rear lower valence styling, a rear lip spoiler and F SPORT mesh grille inserts. The rear bumper integrates a distinctive exhaust diffuser and centered aero fins to help control underbody airflow.

INTERIOR

Even with its sweeping, coupe-like profile, the Lexus GS 350 provides ample headroom for rear-seat passengers. The new-generation GS offers greater rear headroom, knee room, legroom and foot space than the previous GS, yet in a sleeker package. The trunk, too, grew with the redesign and can easily accommodate four golf bags. The sumptuously detailed cabin, trimmed in perforated leather and matte dark brown walnut wood, comes with standard 10-way power front seats. Some competitors charge extra for leather, even in this price range. Rear seat passengers are treated no less regally, with deeply scalloped seats providing excellent support and generous legroom for long trips.

Lexus recognizes that temperature is a personal preference, with passengers often having diverse needs. The GS 350 addresses this situation quite effectively. A first-in-class technology, the energy-saving S-Flow automatic climate control system detects if there is a front passenger and directs airflow only to the occupied front seat or seats.

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Lexus wants to know your favorite U.S. Open golf moment

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Golf is about always pursuing perfection, and Lexus and the United States Golf Association (USGA) share that goal. For the past seven years, Lexus has been the official vehicle of the U.S. Open Championship, and throughout this year’s tournament, the premium car maker will provide over 400 courtesy vehicles to players, USGA professionals and associates.

In anticipation of the 2014 Championship, Lexus is asking golf fans to vote on their favorite moment in U.S. Open history. They’ve pre-selected eight highlights to choose from (including Tiger Woods’ 2008 win at Torrey Pines despite a broken leg), so be sure to check out the survey before June 6th and make your voice count.

  

Car Review: 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD F Sport

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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.

EXTERIOR

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.

INTERIOR

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.

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Car Review: 2014 Lexus RX 350

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There are certain vehicles that you know are special from the first time you see it, and that’s exactly how we felt regarding the 2014 Lexus RX 350. There’s no question that Lexus created the blueprint for the luxury crossover utility vehicle 15 years ago with the original RX models. The 2014 RX 350 maintains its segment leadership by evolving that original and admired formula.

EXTERIOR

From the bold, brand-signature spindle grille, to the classy 19-inch alloy wheel with all-season tires, the 2014 Lexus RX 350 arrives in style. The distinctive skin of this SUV makes an impression with sharp LED daytime running lamps, Xenon HID headlamps, rain sensing wipers, power folding electrochromic heated outside mirrors with blind spot monitor and roof rails. The silky smooth skin is highlighted with a rear taillights and hatch that blend in so discreet that they look like one piece of sheet metal. The styling has evolved from the early days of the RX 350, but the overall shape hasn’t drifted too far from the original, and that’s what you call staying power in the marketplace!

INTERIOR

The upscale ambience in the Lexus RX 350 cabin is just the beginning of a customized experience every time you set foot in the fabulous interior. Lexus interiors have set new standards in design, materials, standard features and details, and the RX 350 shows why. The 10-way power front seats, ebony or espresso bird’s eye maple and dual-zone automatic climate control system set the tone for the luxury found throughout the cabin. The RX 350 upholds another Lexus tradition: the inclusion of true premium audio as standard equipment. The nine-speaker Lexus Premium Audio System offers a multitude of music source choices, including a CD player, SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability with a 90-day trial subscription included, Bluetooth audio streaming and USB/iPod control. The seats are truly made for each individual driver and passenger, enhancing the driving experience for all.

The Display Audio/Rear Backup Camera Package upgrades the audio system to 12 speakers. For the ultimate in mobile sound, Lexus exclusively offers Mark Levinson audio systems, a brand revered by audiophiles. The RX 350’s as-tested 15-speaker Mark Levinson Surround Sound system will delight discerning ears, no matter the music choice. The system delivers 330 total watts of power through a 15-speaker array with an incredibly low 0.1 percent total harmonic distortion (THD). Clearly one of the finest audio systems we experienced in a review vehicle.

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15 Cars to look for at Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show for consumers, even if most manufacturers don’t use it to unveil their most important new cars and concepts. Still, it’s located in the massive and beautifully designed McCormick Place in downtown Chicago and it has many of the new cars you’ll want to see.

I spent Thursday and Friday walking the show with other members of the media before the show opens to the public today, and a number of cars caught my eye. I’ve listed a number of them below though it’s by no means an exhaustive list of the show’s highlights. Most were not introduced at this show, but you’ll want to look for these cars and see them up close.

2015 Ford Mustang

The 50th Anniversary Mustang was completely redesigned for 2015 and was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show. This was my first opportunity to see it up close, and I have to admit I liked it more after seeing it in person. I’m still not thrilled with the dramatic change with the styling of the front headlights, but they do fit the new design. The more dramatic fastback is easier to appreciate when you see this car in person, and overall it’s an impressive design. Ford only has one at this show so make sure to look for it. You can see more photos of the Mustang from the show here along with official photos here.

2015 Ford Mustang at Chicago Auto Show 1

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