Car Review: 2013 Lexus GX 460 Premium

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This true-to-form, full-size luxury SUV makes quite a first impression! Full-size SUVs are hard to find anymore, and one with all of the appointments of the 2013 Lexus GX 460 Premium are even rarer. Whether on-road or off-road, this beast of a vehicle will take care of business.

EXTERIOR

A goal of the designers was to have the vehicle create the impression of being sculpted from a single block of metal. This is one tough-looking ride, and there aren’t many blocks of metal that want to get in the GX 460’s way. The distinctive grille features three horizontal bars and, upon closer inspection, intricate detail and texture that conveys renowned Lexus attention to detail. The front bumper features standard integrated fog lamps and functional design elements like low-profile roof rails and an acoustic insulation windshield that helps reduce wind noise. The 18-inch, 6-spoke liquid graphite wheels were large enough to look good on the GX 460. Some of the exterior premium features included adaptive front lighting system, high intensity discharge headlamps, headlamp cleaners and illuminated front door sills.

INTERIOR

The luxurious Lexus GX 460 luxury utility vehicle carries over into 2013 with its quiet cabin and a long list of standard features and options that make it a versatile choice for city and off-road driving. Our loaded Premium model came with these and other options:

• Standard features include: ten-way power-adjustable, heated/ventilated front seats; automatic dual-zone climate control; leather trimmed seats and surfaces; steering wheel audio controls; rain-sensing windshield wipers; power moonroof; memory system for the driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirror positions; and integrated HomeLink transmitter.

• The versatile passenger-side second row seat slides 4.1 inches fore/aft to maximize passenger and cargo carrying ability.

• The foldable and reclining second row seats also feature a 60/40 walk-in function to access the standard power fold-flat third row seats.

• The rear door window has a flip-up glass panel for added convenience.

• Equipped for family multimedia entertainment, the GX 460 comes standard with a Lexus Premium nine-speaker audio system with iPod/USB connectivity, Bluetooth hands free phone capability and music streaming, and an integrated SirusXM Satellite Radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription included).

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Car Review: 2013 Lexus ES 350 Sedan

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As Lexus continues to roll out hit after hit, the all-new 2013 ES 350 Sedan keeps folks at Lexus smiling! Just because this new Lexus is better in all aspects, that doesn’t mean the pricing has to increase, and Lexus did a good job of keeping this elegant sedan affordable for those seeking luxury but not willing to break the bank.

EXTERIOR

The new ES features a lower, progressive profile and clean, continuous styling lines from front to rear. All four corners are pulled tightly inward to the wheel arches, creating distinctive proportions. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by just one inch, resulting in a more spacious interior. The new ES unmistakably bears the new face of Lexus with its distinctive, spindle grille. The LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps reflect the “L” design motif. The ES 350’s rear bumper sports dual exhaust pipes. New exterior colors for the 2013 ES include Fire Agate Pearl and Silver Lining Metallic, which our test model sported.

The most obvious improvement is the front facia, as Lexus really nailed it with a signature front that looks to be something Lexus can brand with its luxury lineup. Our test model also sported 17-inch split spoke wheels with liquid graphite finish and lane departure alert with intelligent high beam headlamps.

INTERIOR

The modern interior of the 2013 ES has been designed to provide both a sense of openness and security. Sightlines and visibility are improved, controls are logically placed, and new cabin materials express a high level of craftsmanship. You get the feeling from the dashboard that you have entered a car that was truly designed with an executive touch. Designed with attention to ergonomics and driver focus, the cockpit features separate display and operation zones to help keep the driver’s eyes on the road. The instrument panel, with its long, layered look, places the main information display directly in the driver’s line of sight. Just below the center display is a self-illuminating LED analog clock. Controls are clustered beneath the information zone, on the steering wheel and on the center console.

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First Drive: 2014 Lexus IS

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We love the opportunity to test drive brand new car models, and we like it even more when the test involves a day at the track. So naturally we were happy to join Lexus at Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina (“The Rock”) to test drive the all-new 2014 Lexus IS. We tested the IS 250 and IS 350, along with the F Sport version of the IS 350.

There’s nothing like accelerating from a banked turn, flooring it once you hit the straightaway, and then slamming on the brakes just as you approach 100 MPH as you prepare to make a 90 degree turn. You definitely get the feeling of what a car can handle on a track like this, and each model of the IS was a blast to drive.

Exterior

Lexus is emphasizing its new “obsession with design” and we can see the results as the company has rolled out its aggressive spindle grille across its model lineup. The new front end gives Lexus a new, bold look that sets the tone for all of the design elements. I always liked the look of Lexus cars, but now I love them.

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Car Review: 2013 Lexus ES 300h Sedan

The all new 2013 Lexus ES 300h Sedan has the chance to lead Lexus into the future with amazing fuel efficiency and new styling. We had the opportunity drive this new offering from Lexus for a week and took away the following impressions.

EXTERIOR

The new ES features a lower, progressive profile and clean, continuous styling lines from front to rear. All four corners are pulled tightly inward to the wheel arches, creating distinctive proportions. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by just one inch, resulting in a more spacious interior. The new ES unmistakably bears the new face of Lexus with its distinctive, spindle grille. The LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps reflect the “L” design motif. The ES 300h hybrid features a distinctive rear design with hidden exhaust and an integrated spoiler. New exterior colors for the 2013 ES include Fire Agate Pearl and Silver Lining Metallic. Our test model was nebula gray pearl and the paint was as smooth as the sleek exterior. The auto on/off projector bulb headlamps with integrated LED fog lamps and daytime running lights stand out both during the day and in nighttime driving.

INTERIOR

The modern interior of the 2013 ES has been designed to provide a sense of openness and security. Sightlines and visibility are improved, controls are logically placed, and new cabin materials express a high level of craftsmanship. A newly sculptured seat enhances driver comfort. The steering wheel angle has been reduced from 24 degrees to 22 degrees for a more natural control position. Fluid-filled engine mounts, new sound absorbing materials and a tuned engine intake minimize the intrusion of outside noise.

Greater rear seat legroom and knee room are the hallmark of the redesigned, more spacious cabin. Knee room is increased by 2.8 inches and legroom is increased by 4.1 inches. The new design also offers additional foot room below the front seats. I was very impressed with the amount of room for the rear passengers and that is a major improvement over many competitors.

Available comfort and convenience features include manual door window shades, a power rear shade, and a one-touch power trunk closer. Optional ambient lighting, discretely placed under the wood trim, softly illuminates the surfaces of the instrument panel and all four doors. The new ES features enhanced NuLuxe seating surfaces, developed to reduce environmental impact. Genuine leather is also available, as is semi-aniline leather for an even more refined look and feel. Our heated seats and heated steering wheel warmed up in what seemed to be record time in some pretty cold weather. Interiors are available in Black, Light Gray and Parchment. Trim colors and materials include Piano Black, Espresso Bird’s-eye Maple and Bamboo.

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Lexus Pre Super Bowl Teaser and Contest

In a few weeks, Bullz-Eye will be heading to Vegas to experience the all-new GS Series from Lexus, and it just so happens to be Super Bowl weekend when Lexus will be running their first ever TV commercial during the big game. The 30 second commercial is scheduled to run during the first half of Super Bowl XLVI. A 15 second sneak peek of the commercial can be seen on Lexus social media channels, including Facebook and YouTube.

Leading up to the Super Bowl commercial, Lexus is embarking on a unique social media activation called TweetDrive Engineered by Lexus. It is a socially-fueled game that will air live on NBCSports.com and offers fans the opportunity to earn yardage, move their “team” down the field, and score a touchdown during the actual playoff games and throughout the week. The object of the game is to gain enough yards to score a touchdown. Yardage is accumulated by tweeting the correct answers to a mix of trivia and predictive gaming questions using the #LexusTweetDrive hash tag. For each playoff game a fan plays TweetDrive, they are entered to win the grand prize — a trip for two to an NBC Sports Premium Event. To participate, fans just need to register at NBCSports.com and watch for tweets from @Lexus using #LexusTweetDrive during playoff games (predictive gaming questions) and throughout the week (trivia questions) through January 22, 2012.

We’ve seen the new GS Series but have not had the opportunity to drive one, so when Lexus offered us a chance to get behind the wheel of the hot new GS Series we were all in! Stay tuned for our take on what could be a big sales coupe for Lexus and a great driving experience for GS customers. Go to http://www.lexusnewsroom.com/ and check out what others will have to wait until 2-5-2012 to see for themselves!

  

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