Car Review: 2015 Lexus GX 460
The Lexus GX is a midsize, luxury SUV that probably qualifies for the “dream car” list for soccer moms all across the country. We had one of those soccer moms as one of our team of test drivers, and she certainly loved this vehicle. The rest of the team was pretty happy with it as well. And what’s not to like? It’s big and comfortable and loaded with the modern luxuries we all love in our new cars.
But it’s also a traditional SUV with body-on-frame construction, a standard V8 engine, a 4WD system and advanced dynamic control technologies. So if you’re looking for a luxury vehicle that can do more than pick up the kids and groceries, the GX offers an excellent option.
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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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Cadillac reveals all-new 2015 Escalade in New York City
Cadillac revealed the 2015 Escalade last night with a stylish and festive party in New York City. I was on hand to check out the new luxury SUV as it was introduced by Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of Global Cadillac, along with Ed Welburn, vice president of design for GM. This fourth generation vehicle is immediately recognizable as as Escalade but the improvements are quickly apparent as well, particularly the new headlamps and taillamps. Cadillac is emphasizing the craftsmanship that goes into the luxury accents of the Escalade as they highlighted some of the people behind the vehicle with beautiful photography by Autumn de Wilde. Sitting in the Escalade one certainly notices the comfortable and luxurious interior that buyer will expect.
With the emphasis on luxury craftsmanship and technology, the 2015 Escalade is loaded with features that will draw in consumers in the luxury SUV segment:
– The new Escalade interior features cut-and-sewn and wrapped materials along with real wood trim options. The use of premium materials is immediately recognizable when you sit in the vehicle. The new seats are also very comfortable.
– The new LED lighting jumps out as the most distinctive part of the exterior design evolution with Cadillac’s vertical light signature. The headlamps consist of four vertically stacked crystal lenses and LEDs. Coupled with the large and chiseled front grille the Escalade retains its very distinctive look with these upgrades. The rear of the Escalade is now even more distinctive with tall, thin vertical LED taillamps that reach to the top of the vehicle and feature the brand’s wreath-and-crest insignia which illuminates in the dark.
– I’m a big fan of Cadillac’s CUE system for navigation, media and other internal controls and it will be standard in the Escalade. I like how CUE uses proximity sensors to activate common options and controls as your hand approaches the screen. The new CUE also offers an expanded “favorites” section that provides quick access to station presets, favorite phone contacts and navigation destinations all in one convenient spot.
– Cadillac claims the new interior will be “dramatically quieter” due to a stronger new body structure, new and enhanced acoustic material, and Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology.
– The Escalade is Offered with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains and features a new 6.2L V-8 engine rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque – a nearly 5-percent increase in horsepower and 10 percent more torque.
– Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension system is now a standard feature.
– The front seating area offers more than 1.5 inches more headroom and more than four inches of additional legroom compared to previous models while the 2nd and 3rd-row seats fold flat.
I’m looking forward to driving the new Escalade to fully experience the new features. The updated design and luxury features will definitely generate more attention for this iconic nameplate.
Car Review: 2013 Infiniti QX56 4WD
Among the full-size SUV crowd, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better looking entry than the 2013 Infiniti QX56 4WD with its top to bottom inspired design. After spending a week driving the QX56, you’ll realize just how much luxury can be squeezed into a condo on wheels.
The exterior of the 2013 Infiniti QX56 4WD is simply stunning, as the folks at Infiniti have put together the complete package with this high-end machine. The Infiniti QX is designed to attract and hold viewers’ attention, conveying its underlying sense of power and strength. The bold, front chrome grille is flanked by automatic on/off bi-functional xenon headlights with windshield wiper interlock and integrated front fog lights. Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling headlights and headlight washers add to the list of options.
Other exterior features include LED taillights, heated and power-folding sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals, courtesy lights and reverse tilt-down feature, body color running boards, body color integrated front and rear splashguards built into the wheel arches, roof rails, a power-sliding tinted glass moonroof and a power rear liftgate. A front underbody spoiler, functional rear liftgate spoiler and redesigned side mirrors help provide aerodynamics of 0.36 Cd and zero lift. The QX’s strong presence is accented by the powerful wheel and tire combinations, including 22-inch, 9-spoke forged aluminum-alloy wheels with 275/50R22 all-season tires that demand respect.
I have friends who spent big bucks on designing their homes or condos that can’t touch the luxurious feel of the 2013 Infiniti QX56 4WD! The QX’s world-class inner sanctum offers a comfortable space and personal controls for every occupant. It features standard 7-passenger seating capacity, with 8-passenger capacity available with the second row 60/40-split folding bench seat. Leather-appointed seating is standard for all three rows. Even more luxurious semi-aniline leather seating surfaces in our Deluxe Touring Package with new third row perforation and stitching added for 2013 to match the front two rows. The driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable, including 2-way power lumbar support. It features a standard dual occupant memory system for the driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors. The front passenger’s seat is 8-way power adjustable, including 2-way power lumbar support. Heated front seats are standard, with climate-controlled (heating and cooling functions) front seats and heated second row seats, and the second row captain’s chairs offer a tip-up function for easy third row entry/exit. Also standard is a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel which drivers will truly appreciate in colder months, and a 16.6 cubic foot cargo space for luggage is provided with the third row seat up. When the third row seat is folded, the flat load floor offers a wide versatile space for carrying cargo and recreational gear.
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Car Review: 2013 Lexus RX 350 F SPORT
There aren’t a whole lot of luxury SUVs that can compare in looks to the 2013 Lexus RX 350 F Sport, and after driving one for a week, the rest of the vehicle is also enviable to competitors. The RX 350 F SPORT features an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, F SPORT-tuned suspension, unique sport front bumper and mesh grille, 19-inch split five-spoke wheels in a Dark Graphite finish, and exclusive interior enhancements in a way that only Lexus could deliver!
The new distinctive and contemporary front of the RX F SPORT is highlighted with Lexus’ signature spindle grille and a bolder sport bumper, featuring an F SPORT exclusive mesh design. The upper edge of the grille is set lower than the upper edge of the headlamp assembly to establish a more aggressive look. The standard LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps reflect the “L” design motif. Fog lamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia.
Pronounced front fenders flow into the doors, and integrated rear fender flares neatly sweep around to pull together the taut rear corners of the vehicle. The lower body emphasizes the standard 19-inch wheels. Distinctive F SPORT exterior badging adorns the sporty exterior. Together, these improvements mark a serious improvement from past models, as the RX 350 becomes the vehicle it was intended to be from the start. The new emphasis on design from the folks at Lexus is really paying dividends with the RX 350 F Sport.
The cabin of the 2013 Lexus RX 350 F SPORT is nothing short of amazing in the quality of the materials, overall luxury feel and high-end technology features. The buttons and knobs are elevated from other luxury SUVs and the leather surfaces are extraordinary comfortable. The RX F SPORT features a unique interior design treatment with perforated black leather-trimmed seats with white perforation holes. White contrast stitching accentuates the seats, center console and door armrests. A new Ebony Bird’s Eye Maple trim adds a touch of sporty elegance. A black headliner, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel showcasing the “F” logo, and aluminum pedals complete the interior enhancements.
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