Car Review: 2015 Lexus RX 450h
The Lexus RX is a midsize luxury crossover that will appeal to a wide variety of consumers. We tested the hybrid model with the 2015 Lexus RX 450h, which definitely proved to be a pleasant option during a week of January weather. The roominess and comfort of the Lexus RX coupled with the fuel efficiency of the hybrid model offers a tempting option for consumers to consider.
The new spindle grille introduced by Lexus looks great on the RX. It’s not too aggressive, but it certainly adds some much-needed styling to the overall look of the RX.
Hybrid fans have to be thrilled that they have so many options these days, and now you can feel good about saving fuel while enjoying the comforts of a luxury CUV. The interior of the RX 450h is very roomy and comfortable, and it’s ideal for families and city driving. Our driving team ran plenty of errands around town enjoying the comfort of this vehicle.
The RX now features a standard Display Audio with Rear Backup Camera with a seven-inch monitor. We found it very easy to use considering all the options.
It’s all about gas mileage if you’re considering a hybrid, and the Lexus RX 450h delivers nicely. The RX 450h will achieve 32 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined (30/28/29 MPG with AWD). But you’re not sacrificing performance with the RX 450h which the performance of 295 combined system horsepower, with substantial torque at all speeds. Our team enjoyed driving this vehicle in all sorts of conditions.
The RX 450h is a full hybrid with an impressive variety of driving options. It can operate in electric-only, gas-engine-only or combined gas and electric modes. The Lexus Hybrid Drive combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a front-mounted 116-kW electric motor generator, with a continuously variable transmission. Our model also featured on-demand all-wheel drive which is great in bad weather.
Four driving modes can be selected by the driver, including EV, which allows the vehicle to operate on electric-only power at low speeds under certain conditions. Other modes include Normal, Eco and Sport for plenty of flexibility. We were definitely impressed with the responsiveness in Sport mode.
In a growing midsize crossover market, consumers seem to have an endless supply of choices these days. There are plenty of options regardless of your tastes and budget ranges. If you’re in the luxury market and you appreciate the value of a hybrid, the Lexus RX 450h offers an excellent option. Drive it and see for yourself.
Car Review: 2014 Lexus LX570
Lexus has been upfront with the innovations and capabilities of the 2014 Lexus LX570, and for very good reason. The Lexus LX was the first premium, full-capability prestige three-row luxury utility vehicle, and the latest edition wears the bold, brand signature spindle grille front design. We had a full week to test this hulking SUV to find out exactly what you can get for close to 90K these days!
You will notice the 2014 Lexus LX570 immediately once you see this beast on the road, and with the sleek designs of Lexus brand vehicles these days, this SUV goes in a different direction. There is a true off-road look to the LX 570, which is fine, but you kind of get the feeling that this huge SUV might have came out of the 90s. There are also some very good looking exterior features on the Lexus LX570, such as a very aggressive-looking front fascia and a high-end side view. The 20-inch, 5-spoke wheels with liquid graphite finish really pop on this SUV. At night, you can see the LX570 from afar with the high intensity discharge headlamps (HID) and integrated fog lamps with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lamps. We also liked the illuminated running boards with tow hitch and ball mount.
There is as much leather as a Texas boot shop in the cabin of the 2014 Lexus LX570! The Luxury package delivered semi-aniline leather trimmed interior with contrast stitching, driver and passenger heated and ventilated seats with second row heated seats, center console mounted cool box, smart access card key and wood-trimmed door switch plates. When full 8-passenger seating is not needed, the Lexus LX 570 can open up a large, useful cargo area. With the 50/50 split power-retractable third row seat folded into the floor, the LX 570 provides 41 cu. ft. of carrying space, and this expands to 83.1 cu. ft. with the 40/20/40 split middle row folded. The clamshell-design tailgate, which features a power upper section, is much more versatile than a typical one-piece hatch. Cutting-edge multimedia abounds in the Lexus LX 570, providing something for everyone onboard. Lexus Enform can make a compatible Bluetooth smartphone even smarter. The available Enform service, with Destination Assist, eDestination and App Suite, comes with the Navigation System/Mark Levinson Audio Package. Lexus Enform provides access to the subscription-free App Suite. These voice-enabled apps let you search the Internet through Bing, make restaurant reservations through OpenTable, get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com, listen to Internet radio including Pandora and iHeartRadio, search business reviews on Yelp, and check in on Facebook Places.
Lexus Enform with Safety Connect is available by subscription. Complimentary one-year trial subscriptions are available on all purchases of new Lexus vehicles equipped with these features. Safety Connect is standard on all vehicles, while Lexus Enform with Safety Connect is on all vehicles equipped with the optional Navigation system. The Lexus Enform and the Safety Connect response centers operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Lexus Enform vehicles are factory ready for subscriptions to a variety of innovative SiriusXM services, including NavTraffic, NavWeather, Sports, Stocks and Fuel Prices. SiriusXM services offer complimentary one-year trial data subscription.
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First Drive: 2015 Lexus RC F
There’s something about straight-line acceleration that’s exhilarating when you’re driving a car with balls, so the memory of flooring the Lexus RC F on the straightaway at the track at the Monticello Motor Club is seared into my brain. This all-new sport coupe from Lexus has some serious power with 467 horsepower that can go from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. The engine also produces a memorable growl that’s sure to put a smile on your face as you gain speed through the straightaway.
Lexus gave us the opportunity to test the RC F along with the RC F Sport at the picturesque Monticello track that features 18 turns per lap, so we got to test much more than the straight-line speed. For our safety, however, they added some cones and an S curve in the middle of the straightaway so we wouldn’t get too carried away with speeds we couldn’t handle going into the hard right curve.
As for those curves, the handling of the RC F was pretty amazing as it gripped the corners effortlessly at high speeds. Lexus has built a car that’s fun to drive regardless of your skill level. I pushed the F as hard as I could around that track and frankly had a blast.
The RC F is the most powerful Lexus V8 performance car ever and is a worthy successor to the 416 horsepower Lexus IS F launched in 2007 and the LFA carbon-fiber supercar that featured a V10 engine with 552 horsepower. If you’re looking for a performance coupe you have to check this one out.
In addition to the F model Lexus is also introducing the RC 350 featuring a 306 horsepower V6 along with an F SPORT model with Electronic Suspension Damping and Rear-Wheel Steering. We had the opportunity to drive the F SPORT at the Monticello track as well, and while it obviously can’t match the more powerful and more expensive RC F in terms of performance, it’s still an impressive vehicle that was quite fun to drive on the track.
Both the RC F and the RC 350 feature the signature Lexus spindle grille, with the F and F SPORT models looking more aggressive in a black mesh pattern. I love this new look for Lexus and it’s definitely changed the image of the brand. Also, the F SPORT models are bringing younger buyers to Lexus. As you can see from the photos above this is a beautiful coupe that will get plenty of attention.
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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.
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Car Review: 2014 Lexus GS 350 F SPORT
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!
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.
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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