Wednesday, 25 May 2022

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

Luxury sedans, at least compared to their counterparts in the nonluxury realm, are doing quite well as we begin 2021. All the elite luxury brands have strong options available, so it’s really a matter of what fits the luxury buyer’s style and needs more.

One of those luxury brands, Lexus, is doing some trimming down of their lineup for 2021, ditching the GS sedan offering and focusing its efforts on the more popular ES sedan lineup.

One member of that lineup is the Lexus ES 350 F Sport, a luxury sedan focused both on comfort and powerful performance. I recently spent time in one of these high-end hot rods, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

If you have the need for speed, and a luxurious design to go along with it, there are plenty of sedans to choose from among the elite luxury brands.

For Mercedes-Benz, one such crown jewel offering is the AMG E53 (a high-end version of its E-class sedan), which I recently was able to experience. Read on for full details on how it measures up.
 

LOOKS

Long, low and shapely by anyone’s definition, the E53 boasts a simply beautiful exterior design, which is typical of a Mercedes offering.
You can also opt for attractive 5-spoke wheels with black accents (a $750 option) and a panorama sunroof ($1,000).

The Interior, with extremely comfortable seating and a smooth design that flows well, is equally impressive and one of the best in class. 

Published in CAR REVIEWS

 

While it’s important to be practical with your vehicle choices, if you have the means it’s also nice to have some fun — and there are quite a few vehicles out there that will let you do exactly that.

One such ride is the 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport, a luxury sport coupe that offers no shortage of thrills. Read on for a full report.

LOOKS

One look at the RC350 and you know it’s a hot rod.

From the aggressive front grille to its low-to-the-ground status, it gives off racy vibes. The exterior design is a work of art, with a beautiful, sleek design — a contender for best look in the class.

Point blank: THe RC350 is designed for speed and a fun driving experience.
It’s not set up for driver comfort, especially on longer drives (this isn’t a cushy SUV). The sport-style seating hugs the driver tight into the seat.

The back seat is strictly for storage, not people. Unless perhaps it’s a small child, and the people sitting up front are very short. Realistically, think of this vehicle as a 2-seater.

The seats are very low to the ground, and you really sink into the vehicle. This is a Lexus, so you’re going to have high-end materials inside. You’ll be greeted by quality leather seating and other high-end materials.

Options include triple-beam LED headlamps (a $1,160 option); Power moonroof ($1.1K) and heated steering wheel ($150).

Published in CAR REVIEWS

It’s important to be unique when you reach the upper echelons of the vehicle food chain. 

Prestigious luxury brands must offer a flagship vehicle that stands out from the competition in a segment where all competitors are going to have a quality offering, by definition.

Lexus is one of those brands competing for the luxury car buyer’s dollar, and its LS 500 full-size sedan is quite the specimen. I recently spent some time in a 2019 LS 500 and I’m back with a full report on whether it holds up to the crème de la crème.

LOOKS

Lexus is up against some extremely heavy hitters in the luxury realm, folks who’ve been at it for much longer that Lexus has been around. 

So Lexus has made the decision to boldly style its grilles in a large spider-web design that takes up most of the front of the vehicle.

This is in sharp contrast to the competition, which are typically more sedated and classically designed. The exterior of the LS 500 also features very sharp, attractive sidelines and a low profile.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

If you want to talk about categories that are exploding in the past few years, subcompact SUVs are probably at the top of the list. On the higher end of things, nearly every luxury automaker has one these days (BMW, Cadillac, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Infiniti, to name a few), so you need to do something to stand out.

Lexus’ entry in this segment is the UX, which stands out in a couple of ways.

First, new for 2019 is a hybrid version of the UX, which is unheard of in this segment.

Also, you can opt for an attractive F Sport package which spices up the exterior and the performance.

I recently spent some time in a 2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport, which featured both the hybrid engine and the F Sport package, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

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