Wednesday, 21 February 2024

When exploring the luxury car realm, the word hybrid is usually paired up with the adjective “plug-in”, as so many luxury brands focus on getting their brand to the next level with EVs, or the plug-in hybrid offerings which are a bridge to EVs.

But bucking that trend is the Lexus ES 300h, a midsize hybrid sedan with no plugging in required. As the automotive world rethinks requiring a plug for all green vehicles, the hybrid concept launched en masse years ago with the Toyota Prius continues to live on in models like the ES 300h.

I recently spent some time in a Lexus ES 300h F Sport. (Note: The F Sport model debuted in 2023 and carries over unchanged for 2024.)

Read on for a full report on how the ES hybrid holds up against rival luxury offerings — sacrificing some sportiness but delivering a whole lot of comfort and class.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

A new powertrain has arrived for the 2025 Lexus UX 300h, and the compact crossover now boasts 196 total system horsepower. A new hybrid transaxle and lightweight lithium-ion battery contribute to the higher output with the 2025 UX 300h, providing more responsive performance. 

Infused with dynamic attitude, the Lexus UXh is engineered to deliver quick and engaging driving with a Lexus-smooth demeanor. The 2025 model year also sees updated technology and safety features, and Copper Crest has been added as an exterior color option. 

Only offered with a hybrid powertrain in the U.S., the 2025 UX 300h supports Lexus’ work towards the realization of a carbon-neutral society. Pricing for the 2025 Lexus UX 300h will be announced in the new year with the vehicle going on sale shortly after.

Published in NEWS

In the stratosphere of the automotive world, you will find a small number of extra large land yachts also known as three-row luxury SUVs.

These flagship offerings from the biggest luxury names battle head-to-head to be chosen by elite buyers willing to shell out well into six figures for the latest and greatest luxury rides. In the Lexus lineup, the vehicle battling in this class is the LX 600, which was fully updated for the 2022 model year, then saw some minor changes for the 2023 model year.

Holding from four to seven passengers, depending on configuration, it battles heavy hitters in the segment including the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X7, Range Rover, and Lincoln Navigator.

WIth a body-on-frame design that boosts its off-road prowess, sharp design inside and out, and much-improved tech offerings, the LX stands out as a leader in a segment where a vehicle must do everything right to be successful.

I recently tested a Lexus LX 600 F Sport, and I’m back with a full report on how well it competes.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Lexus is a luxury brand that has long been a supporter of hybrid vehicles, and it recently unveiled its first fully electric vehicle, the RZ 450e.

In the middle of that spectrum of differently powered vehicles is the plug-in hybrid, which embraces a partial EV operation combined with a hybrid setup. Lexus is also pursuing this category, with their first-ever offering being the 2022 Lexus NX 450h+, a plug-in hybrid version of their popular compact SUV.

The 450h+ is part of the second generation of the NX line, which also includes ICE and standard hybrid versions. Plug-in hybrids can help ease worries about range anxiety among buyers, while also allowing them to begin their journey toward fully embracing a true EV.

The luxury battlefield is always intense, and that applies to the electrified/hybrid realm too. So Lexus knows it has to come strong to compete in this sector — where it’s battling brands like Audi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and more.

I recently spent time in a 2022 NX 450h+ F Sport, and I’m back with a full report on the vehicle, which shares some technology with the nonluxury Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Due to sheer numbers, much of the conversation surrounding luxury SUVs focuses on non-domestic models.

But it’s important to remember that Detroit’s automakers are still holding their own in this popular segment.

One of those domestic brands battling for buyer loyalty in the luxury realm is Lincoln, Ford’s luxury arm, and one of the weapons in their arsenal is the 2022 Lincoln Nautilus, a two-row midsize luxury SUV — based originally on the Ford Edge — which continues to impress even against tough competition from Audi/Benz/BMW/Lexus/Cadillac/Genesis and other competitors.

Sitting between Lincoln’s smaller Corsair SUV and larger Aviator SUV in the lineup, it keeps the updates to interior design and infotainment that were first introduced for 2021, with no major changes for the 2022 model. 

I recently spent some time in a 2022 Nautilus, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up in the intense luxury SUV battlefield.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

There’s no shortage of luxury SUVs available today; in fact they seem to be growing in number.

But if you want one with a body-on-frame, trucklike construction that will let you get out of the city and into the great outdoors, the number of options is significantly smaller in the luxury realm.

One option that’s been around for many years is the Lexus GX 460, a 4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger luxury SUV that aims to please both on-road and off-road.

It would seem to be a strike against the GX 460 that it hasn’t seen a full refresh since the 2010 model, literally an eternity in car years. Surprisingly though, it holds up quite well despite its old age — though some buyers may be swayed by more modern-looking competitors in the luxury realm.

One bright spot for 2022 is the new Black Line Special Edition — which brings a fresh new design approach to the GX lineup.

I recently spent some time in a 2022 GX 460, and I”m back with a full review.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

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

If you’ve decided to purchase a new vehicle that will focus on thrills more than practicality, the compact luxury sports sedan category is good place to start — featuring strong competition from vehicles such as the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Genesis G70 and Cadillac CT4.

Another strong competitor in the segment, which I recently had the chance to explore the roads with, is the 2021 Lexus IS 300, a sharp-looking ride that returns in 2021 with some styling updates as well as improvements to the suspension.

Read on for a full assessment of how Lexus’ offering holds up and competes against a very tough bevy of competitors.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

 

When the word hybrid comes up, it’s generally associated with efficiency and strong fuel mileage, but rarely is paired with the word fun.

One vehicle trying to change that is the Lexus NX 300h, a luxurious compact crossover hybrid that has the rare combination of being a ride you can enjoy driving while also appreciating its looks and green credentials.

A brand new redesign is coming for 2022, but for now I tested the 2021 model of the NX 300h, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS
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