Thursday, 29 September 2022

WIth so many automakers making commitments to going fully electric in the years to come, one question is what will happen to hybrids once all the dust settles. WIll they still have a place in the automotive landscape?

I believe they will, though it will be a more limited role and only the best ones will survive and thrive. Not everyone will want to go electric in the short-term, so having quality hybrid options is a nice middle ground for this group.

On the luxury end of the world of sedans, one gem that is likely to continue shining is the Lexus ES 300h, a sedan that is a rare combination of roominess, strong fuel economy and an enjoyable ride. It has few true competitors as a midsize hybrid sedan, and is priced well in comparison to the few hybrids it does battle (Audi A6, Benz E-Class).

Changes for 2022 include the addition of the F Sport trim level to the hybrid ES, improved safety features, updates to the tech setup, and slight design changs.

I recently spent a week in the ES hybrid, an F Sport version to be exact, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

EVs and hybrids are increasingly becoming the norm, and Lexus has been a leader in that realm in the luxury sector, long having offerings to boost fuel economy and eco-friendliness.

Their RX model debuted its hybrid model way back in 2006, and it’s still going strong — even as new plug-in and electric models start to take off and grow in popularity.

To keep people on board with their 2021 model, Lexus adds more standard features — including safety features such as Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and convenience items such as power folding mirrors.

Upscale but not over-the-top with its plushness, the RX450h walks a fine line in terms of blending a focus on sleek design with a tech-savvy approach that incorporates the latest technology — aiming for a best of all worlds when it comes to looks and utility.

I recently tested a 2021 Lexus RX 450h, and I’m back with a full report. Read on to see how it compares to its lofty competition in the luxury realm.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

While the charge toward electrification of the vehicles we buy continues, some brands are taking the challenge more seriously than others.

Among the brands most dedicated to this incoming change, and leading the charge (no pun intended), is Volvo. The company has a lofty goal of having fully electric vehicles comprising 50 percent of its sales by 2025, and already offers all of its new models in some form of hybrid or electric model.

Volvo has the difficult task of maintaining the strong driving experience that Volvos tend to offer, while adapting to this new eco-friendly environment. I recently tested a 2021 Volvo XC60 Recharge, the plug-in hybrid version of their mid-size SUV, and I’m back with a full report on whether it lives up to these expectations.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

If you want to get people’s attention in the automotive world, there’s a couple routes you can take. You can aim at putting out the best product that outshines what is currently on the market. Or you can aim for a more affordable product to draw in car buyers looking to save.

Rarely are both achievable at the same time, but Lexus has come close to achieving that rare feat with its 2020 Lexus UX 250h, a hybrid SUV which delivers best-in-class fuel mileage and offers a beautifully designed vehicle inside and out.

LOOKS

Lexus’ UX, a subcompact SUV, slots in just below the Lexus NX in the automaker’s SUV lineup. It’s also one of the few vehicles in this class to offer a hybrid variant, giving it a leg up on the competition.

The exterior design features the usual sharp Lexus look, with a bold-looking grille and smooth angles and curves. Go inside the UX, and you'll find a luxurious look and feel, and some of the most comfortable seats in the business.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

The Lexus RX 450h is the rare combination of a ride that is smooth, quiet and even a bit powerful when you need it to be.

The RX line is the best-selling luxury SUV in America, so its following is already quite strong, but it sees a refresh for the 2020 model year. Did it get even better? Read on and find out.

LOOKS

The exterior design of the 2020 Lexus RX sees some significant changes, including an even larger spindle grille and changes to the front bumper and headlight designs, and updates to rear bumper and taillight. It also updates the suspension hardware to improve the ride quality.

On the interior, the experience for both the driver and passengers is very comfortable. Lexus always delivers on their interiors, and this one is tremendously crafted and high-end throughout. Head and leg space is ample for everyone inside, though the one knock I have is that the cargo capacity is a bit limited compared to other luxury SUVs of this category.

The RX 450h features 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, LED headlamps and tail lamps, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, extremely comfortable power NuLuxe trimmed front seats, power Tilt and telescopic steering column.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

As the inevitable, industry-wide move toward eco-friendly cars continues, all brands and all segments are getting into the green mode with more hybrids and electric offerings.

Volvo is on this bandwagon too, offering two SUVs in plug-in hybrid modes: The XC60 (mid-size) and XC90 (full-size).

I recently drove a 2020 Volvo XC90 hybrid and I’m back with a full report on what it has to offer for luxury buyers seeking the best high-end but environmentally friendly vehicle.

LOOKS
The XC90 hybrid I tested featured seating for 6 passengers, but you can also opt for a 7-seat version. Be aware though, that the third row is pretty small, and not for adults.

It features an attractive and comfortable interior that all families will enjoy. From the sharp wood inlays that accent the design, to the high quality materials used throughout the vehicle, there is nothing that isn't high end in this vehicle. And most importantly, it’s quite roomy and has excellent storage options and versatility.

The exterior design is also very sharp with Volvo's unique, shapely and bold design that is generally eye-catching. The wheels are another visual standout.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

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