Lexus of Santa Monica is thrilled to be taking part in the 13th annual Kickin’ Cancer! 5K event to help build support and raise funds to help fight cancer. The event includes a serious 5K as well as a family fun run and a variety of other fun activities for families to take part in. It occurs on September 14th from 7:30 am until 11:30 AM and promises to be a fun-filled morning. Come out to San Vicente Blvd. on Sunday the 14th to check it out. You can learn more about it at kickincancer.com
The 5k run is set to begin at 9 AM on the 13th and the Fun Run will begin at 10:30AM. Both activities are designed to raise fund for preventative cancer care. You can sign up to participate in either event through the Kickin Cancer website above.
Why We Do It
Most people are aware of the damage that cancer causes and how deadly it can be and this event is a major fundraiser to provide preventative care for the disease. Last year the event managed to raise over $200,000 toward preventative care, and that money was used to help many patients get the help that they needed. This year we hope to raise just as much and continue providing much needed financial help to victims plagued by cancer.
How to Get Involved
There are several different ways for you to get involved with the event if you want to help out or participate. By visiting kickencancer.org you can register to participate in the 5K or the Kiddie Fun Run yourself, you can donate to the cause, or you can donate to one of the sponsors already setup to run the race. By typing in the discount code”lexus” you can save 5 dollars off the entry fee and get involved for even less. Use this opportunity to test out your physical fitness while generating money for a worthy cause as well.
This is the 10th year that Lexus of Santa Monica has sponsored the event and we’re thrilled to be helping such a worthy cause and excited to promote physical activity as well. Not only are we providing some of the money to set up the event, but we’ve also provided the pace car for all the runners planning on taking part on the 14th.
Get involved with a great cause and come out to San Vicente Blvd. to take part in the Annual Kickin’ Cancer! event. It’s sure to be a morning filled with fun and worth checking out.
The rate of vehicle technology advancement continues to accelerate and features that you never would have dreamt of just a few years back are now available in vehicles sold at affordable rates. As top level technology is developed it debuts in expensive luxury cars and then quickly moves on to the general public. Kelly Blue book took the time to put together a list of the top ten best hi-tech cars of 2014 that can be had for less than $20,000. On the list of these vehicles was the Toyota Corolla, helping it move away from just a comfortable family sedan to a high-tech vehicle.
The Technology Packed in the Corolla
The Toyota Corolla made the list of best vehicles mostly because of the very advanced Entune Infotainment system that it comes with. This system is equipped with more apps than any other stock system on the market today and it’s pretty straightforward to use.
When you rely on the Entune system you can check HD weather and traffic information for free and you can switch between FM and Satellite radio seamlessly. You can even program the same set of presets on the system to go to different stations on both of the different radio types.
Checking your email, text messages or social networks is a breeze with the system, and you’ll never suffer from a shortage of music as long as you have a data connection available. This media system can even read back your texts out loud and you can program it to respond to different vocal commands while driving.
Fun Family Commuting
The Corolla is known for providing a comfortable ride that families enjoy but it’s also great for families from a technology standpoint as well. Not only the driver can take advantage of the media system installed in the Corolla. This vehicle is also highly efficient and achieves 28 MPG in the city and 37 on the highway. It’s spacious interior coupled with the efficient engine and advanced tech features make the 2014 Toyota Corolla an ideal vehicle to take trips in.
Holding its Value
Advanced features such as the media system in the Corolla will only serve to help it hold its value over time. Many times buyers get new vehicles because they are looking for those advanced tech features. Since the Corolla is so far ahead of the curve, even used models will often have the desired features that buyers are looking for making them more valuable.
As one of the top hi-tech budget vehicles on the market today, the Toyota Corolla is an excellent option for technology enthusiasts, or buyers just looking to get the most value from their purchase.
Even though the 2015 Subaru WRX STI is a sporty vehicle and it isn’t very large in size, that doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous to drive around. In fact, it features a wide array of safety features that all come together to make this vehicle very safe to operate. The WRX STI utilizes both active and passive safety features to keep drivers out of accidents and protect them if they get hit by the unavoidable.
Excellent Passive Safety System
Equipped with seven different airbags the 2015 Subaru WRX STI provides protection to both the driver and the passenger in all the important areas in the event of a crash. The front passenger and the driver are protected from the front and the sides, and backseat passengers are given additional side protection. The Subaru also relies on a ring-structured frame that dissipates crash energy very effectively, reducing the severity of an accident substantially. This technology comes together to help reduce injuries in the event of an accident.
Subaru went to great efforts to make their latest version of the WRX easier to see out of while driving. Engineers adjusted the shape of the vehicle to enhance forward visibility noticeably. To take care of rear visibility issues a rear backup camera now comes standard with the vehicle. Overall drivers should be able to see where they are going better than ever before while riding around in the 2015 WRX STI.
Enhanced Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
The WRX STI comes with a powerful symmetrical all-wheel drive system that evenly distributes power between each of the tires on the car. This increases overall traction while travelling down the road and it makes it safer to drive the car on poor roads or in inclement weather. Sure this feature won’t help much when you get into an accident, but it will sure help keep you out of them in the first place.
Brake Override and Brake Assist
Many drivers don’t press down hard enough on their brakes before having an accident so the WRX STI will help out by providing the extra force needed to stop the car. Not only will it enhance your braking force, but the car will also prevent accidental acceleration by not allowing the gas pedal to work when the brake pedal is being pressed. This helps drivers slow down fast enough to avoid accidents, and to prevent them from making the problem worse.
All of these advanced safety features help make the 2015 Subaru WRX STI a very safe care to drive around in. It’s designed to prevent most accidents from occurring in the first place, but when they do it can take a punch and keep passengers safe very effectively.
The Grades of Green Student Leadership Program is Open for the 2014-2015 Year: Submit Your Application Today
Grades of Green is excited to announce that they’re now accepting applications for their 2014–2015 Student Leadership program. Students between 2nd and 12th grade are encouraged to apply if they think they have what it takes to take control and help the environment in a big way. Grades of Green is a well-known non-profit organization dedicated to improving the environment while educating children in the process. The application period for these important volunteer positions will be open until September 15th.
About Grades of Green
Grades of Green is an organization dedicated to cultivating student interest in helping improve the environment. What started as a simple parent-run volunteer program has morphed into a massive non-profit organization that works with more than 250 different schools in 37 different states to improve the environment. As the group grows more children become educated about the importance of preserving and improving the environment.
The Student Leadership Program
The student leadership program is a chance for students in grades 2 through 12 to get involved with the Grades of Green organization in a hands-on manner. Each of the students who is accepted as a leader is charged with putting together a green project and implementing that project in their own school. The leaders get hands on training from the Grades of Green staff members along with ongoing encouragement and helpful ideas.
Benefits to Your School
Many Grades of Green inspired programs end up benefitting the schools just as much as the environment. While your school learns to cut down their use of harmful substances such as Styrofoam and plastic they also learn to save money through more cost-effective systems. Most schools end up saving a substantial amount of money and once they see how helpful saving the environment is to their budget they won’t want to stop.
Improve Your Resume
High school students can improve their resume noticeably by being accepted as a Grades of Green Leader. Not only will they be helping out the environment, but they will be leading a team to accomplish their goals. This is the type of work that shows true leadership, innovation and good values, all characteristics that colleges and employers value.
If you decide that the Grades of Green Student Leadership program sounds like a good fit for you, or you know a student who might like the opportunity to do good, visit this link for the application. After filling out the full application form and attaching the necessary documents just sit tight and wait for a response from the organization.
Most people who are used to driving modern vehicles take for granted the car’s ability to coast for long distances after letting off on the gas without losing much speed. This is not how old cars drove and they would actually slow the vehicle down quite rapidly after you let up on the gas pedal. While this can be annoying in some instances, like highway cruising, it’s a true pleasure to drive a car that brakes in this manner when going around winding courses or when you are traveling down a hill. You can’t get this type of driving feel any longer in modern cars, unless you opt for a vehicle with regenerative braking such as the e-Golf by Volkswagen.
The e-Golf has built in regenerative braking that activates when you let up on the accelerator. As soon as you let your food up the vehicle begins slowing down. The nice thing about this vehicle is that you have a choice about the braking effect and you can tailor the vehicle to your specific driving conditions and your unique driving style as well.
Four different Engine Braking Settings
When you are driving the VW e-Golf you get to choose between four different intensities for engine braking. The higher the intensity the faster the vehicle will slow down after letting up on the accelerator and the more effectively the battery will be recharged. Drivers should spend time getting familiar with each of the different intensity levels to determine which one works best for them. Having the braking effect up too high actually wastes fuel unless you drive in frequent stop and start traffic or you drive particularly windy roads. However, setting engine braking high enough to handle most of your stopping needs is much more efficient than relying on standard brakes to slow down.
Choosing an Intensity for Your Driving Course
It would make sense to adjust the braking level depending on your trip route as well. For instance very windy or hilly courses may be easier with a higher level of regenerative braking under your control. You could avoid braking at short corners and improve your fuel efficiency in these driving conditions. While doing regular highway driving you could turn the braking down to the lowest level and enjoy those nice long coasts that most modern car drivers are familiar with.
A More Enjoyable Car to Drive
Although it’s nice knowing that you aren’t using any gasoline on your trip electric vehicles aren’t traditionally known for being much fun to drive around. This additional driving mechanic that you won’t find in gasoline-only vehicles is a nice way to make driving an electric vehicle a bit more entertaining. By adjusting the deceleration rate of the vehicle you can get just the right amount of control over it and help improve the driving experience more overall.
The e-Golf is certainly a vehicle worth checking out and more electric vehicles should adopt the e-braking technology that they are making use of. If they choose to we may see an additional element to driving in the future, no matter what type of car you are driving around in.
The VW Touareg has always been known as a rugged SUV with rugged features at a premium price point. With the 2014 edition of the vehicle Volkswagen is changing some of that around by making the Touareg into an SUV with premium features while still holding onto the highly capable driving ability of previous models.
Volkswagen made some major changes to the latest model of the Touareg to give it a more attractive appearance. They adjust the grille to make it look more like their other VW models. They also softened up the styling a bit giving the vehicle more of luxury look than before and they made the vehicle bigger. They increased the width of this SUV while making it’s wheelbase longer as well. Not only does this provide more interior space than before, but it also give the vehicle a more natural crossover look than before.
Impressive Performance Options
When you choose to get this SUV you have three different engine options to choose from. You can either get the base gasoline engine, the diesel engine, or the enhanced hybrid engine. The gasoline engine is a 3.6 liter V6 that produces 280 HP. The Diesel version of the vehicle only produces 240 HP but achieves a massive 407 lb.-ft. providing massive power during acceleration and allowing this variation of the vehicle tow up to 7,700 lbs. behind it safely. Finally there is the Hybrid version of this vehicle that isn’t too focused on high fuel efficiency numbers like most hybrids are. Instead this Hybrid SUV is designed to put out lots of power and between the 240 HP gas motor and the electric engine it has a total of 380 HP giving you plenty of horsepower at your disposal. It fairs quite well with 20 MPG in the city and decent fuel efficiency while out on the highway as well for such a high amount of power.
No matter which version of the Touareg that you decide you want, you’ll have an enjoyable driving experience. This vehicle is equipped with constant 4-wheel drive and is designed for smooth performance. The refined driving feel gives this vehicle a sporty level of power with smoothness found on luxury vehicles. The seats are high up in the Touareg providing a great level of visibility.
A Luxurious Interior
At it’s price point the Touareg is more of a luxury vehicle than it is for utility purposes. When you climb into the interior you’ll see how VW can justify the price point of this vehicle because it looks like the inside of an Audi. The seats in this spacious interior are covered with supple leather, and soft touch materials abound. This quiet cabin is soundproofed heavily making it almost silent while traveling.
There is plenty of space for up to five people to sit, although only four adults will be able to sit comfortably. The rear of this SUV has ample storage space, but if that isn’t enough, the back seat folds flat into the floor for even more space.
This SUV comes with several standard features that you won’t see on budget vehicles. It’s fitted with a panoramic sunroof as well as leather seats with built in memory technology that adjust to suit the current driver. If you choose to upgrade to the executive or hybrid model you get even more features. Either of these models come with a heated steering wheel, rear obstacle detection, keyless entry and starting, heated rear seats as well as a premium radio system. Additional add-on packages are available for navigation or a more powerful audio system as well.
Whether you’re looking for a powerful SUV that’s fun to drive, or a refined luxury vehicle that you can take off-roading the Tourareg is an excellent option. It’s in an awkward position between luxury and utility vehicle, but it accomplishes something very special that many drivers will appreciate.
Both the 2014 Subaru Forester and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee excel at off-roading and traveling in urban conditions safely. Each is designed to handle most any condition that you can throw at it and both are designed to be comfortable and enjoyable to drive. This comparison between both vehicles will let you know which is the more reliable and which your family should get.
Although the Jeep Cherokee does feature some nice styling cues it feels a bit underplayed for a Jeep. The grille isn’t as bold as we’d like and the headlamps just look awkward the way they are split apart. The front bumper of the vehicle also looks a bit odd the way it creeps up the edges of the hood. Overall the Cherokee does look masculine but the front end looks a bit off.
The Subaru Forester is far more understated than the Cherokee and lacks many of the masculine cues present in the Cherokee. That being said, it flows better throughout and looks more like your standard vehicle. It has a boxy front end that makes the vehicle look a bit long, but it’s lifted up enough to keep that masculine stance. Subaru actually lowered the hood a bit for the new year making the vehicle more aerodynamic than before, but sacrificing looks a bit as well.
Matching Up Interiors
With either the Forester or the Cherokee it’s obvious that they are made to shuttle groups of people out into the wilderness more than anything else. The Subaru Forester provides more interior space and storage space for this task, but the Cherokee provides more interior flexibility and enhanced ride comfort along the way.
Handling and Performance
The Cherokee is built with either a four cylinder or six cylinder engine, paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. With nine speeds you would expect shifting to be smooth and responsive, but it feels a bit clunky during acceleration. The Cherokee has a smooth ride other than shifting issues, but it offers lower fuel efficiency than the Forester at around 25 MPG combined and barely over 20 MPG in city driving conditions.
The Subaru Forester comes with either a standard four cylinder engine that provides excellent fuel efficiency figures at 27 MPG combined, or a more powerful turbocharged four cylinder engine that’s a bit more fun. Either option is paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and both shift very smoothly. The Forester offers a bumpier ride while traveling on and off the road, but offers a more reliable grip thanks to its all-wheel drive.
The Subaru clearly has the Cherokee in the realm of safety with a standard rearview camera, and the forward-collision system it’s easy to avoid many common accident scenarios in the Forester. It also received an IIHS best crash rating with the Top Safety Pick + while the Cherokee only earned the Top Safety Pick designation, a step below the Subaru.
In terms of technology both vehicles are outfitted nicely, but the Forester does lag a bit behind the Cherokee. Jeep went all out when putting together the Cherokee’s infotainment package, and it comes with the Uconnect media center, in-car data access as well as a customizable LED instrument panel. The Forester fights to keep up with standard Bluetooth and audio streaming and a powerful audio system, but it fails to do so.
In the end it’s pretty difficult to decide whether the Forester or the Cherokee is better. The Cherokee is a bit more adept at weaving and bobbing through trees and over rocks while out in the forest and a bit smoother while rolling down the road, but the Forester offers more room, a safer ride, and excellent all-weather handling thanks to its all-wheel drive. If you’re looking for a vehicle to shuttle around children in or to take family camping trips in the Forester is probably a better option, if you don’t care about space and you want the most performance you can get when in the woods the Cherokee is a better fit.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra has been getting a lot of positive feedback since it was released, and after taking a look at the vehicle up close it’s easy to see why that is. This massive vehicle is designed for convenient hauling and comes with additions that most truck owners would kill for.
The cargo bed
It’s clear that Toyota put a lot of work and thought into the cargo area of their mammoth truck. It comes equipped with a series of tie down loops and cleats that will make holding a variety of cargo items secure simple. It also has a unique area designed to accommodate 2×4 boards to create a nice shelf for additional storage. The tailgate slowly lowers once released from the upward position until it is gently resting at the bottom. The cargo area is even lit for nighttime loading and unloading projects.
The Toyota Tundra comes in a variety of cabin types, the SR is a work vehicle, the SR5 can be either work vehicle with the Crew Cab or a family/work hybrid with the double cab, and the platinum and limited editions can go up to a CrewMax which provides even more interior space. The Double cab is a nice in-between option that provides plenty of space for hauling, but enough room for four adults or two adults and four children to sit comfortably.
The Inside of the SR5 Double cab is utilitarian with ample plastic and vinyl throughout, but it’s comfortable and still has a classy look about it. The two tone styling makes it a bit more appealing to look at. The center seat up front can be folded down providing a massive storage space for driver and passenger convenience. This space is big enough to hold two full sized cups and a variety of electronics and accessories.
The rear bench seat is designed to fold up vertically, providing a high amount of storage space for whatever you want to keep out of the elements. The rear window opens manually, providing an area for laying extra-long boards into the bed of the truck without dangling them off the back. It also provides a nice breeze while driving. The seating layout of this double cab is designed with tall people in mind and will accommodate four adults over six feet comfortably.
Tech Savvy Interior
The simple work trucks of yesterday are nearly gone for good, and this Tundra comes packed with useful tech features. Not only does it have a touchscreen display with Bluetooth connectivity, but it also has built in navigation and a smartphone connectivity with additional apps for listening to internet radio or setting reservations. It also comes with a convenient backup camera
The Tundra comes with at three different engine options with a 4.0 l V6, a 4.6 L V8 and a 5.7 L V8. Each is suitable for everyday driving but I’d recommend the 5.7 liter for any towing needs you have. beefy 5.7 liter V8 engine providing 361 HP. It’s paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly from gear to gear without complaint. The springs make this truck bounce a bit over bumps but that’s to provide enough lift for a heavy load to glide smoothly down the road. The Tundra is built for work, and it only gets 13 MPG in the city and 17 on the highway for a combined rating of 15 MPG. The Tundra is capable of towing up to 6,800 lbs. standard, which is enough for most people, but the Limited trim levels and up can be upgraded with a towing package enabling up to 10,000 lbs. of pure towing force.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra is a powerful workhorse designed for hauling heavy lumber, but it will accommodate several passengers comfortably as well. Just don’t expect this vehicle to get good gas mileage, but who expects that from a full-sized truck anyway?
Toyota strives to lead the pack of automakers with their concern for the environment and have already made a real difference in the automotive world with the release of the Toyota Prius. The Prius is not only a great solution for drivers looking to save money on gas, but it has a real noticeable impact on the environment as well.
Cutting Gas Use Dramatically
With EPA efficiency ratings up in the 50’s it’s no surprise that the Prius reduces gas consumption for its drivers. The amount of fuel saved by this family of vehicles is staggering. Since it was released, the Prius saved a total of 1.85 billion gallons of gas versus the average car. That amount of gas would let a Prius driver circle the globe 4.39 million times.
Preventing Millions of Pounds of CO2 from Entering the Atmosphere
The Prius family has been out for years now and over that period they have effectively prevented 26.5 million tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere globally. To put that into more tangible terms that’s the weight of 3.8 million African elephants. It’s that level of prevention that other automakers need to strive for, and those types of figures that keep Toyota at the front of the pack.
Saving American Families Money in Fuel Every Year
Nobody likes paying for high cost fuel and Prius owners do much less of that than most other Americans. Compared to the average vehicle rolling around on the roads today, Prius family owners saved approximately 5 billion dollars in the United States in reduced fuel expenses. If that money were put to use it could be used to build 2,526 wind turbines throughout the country, imagine what that would do for our environment.
Each year more environmentally conscious consumers are turning to vehicles such as the Prius to help reduce their impact on the environment. Toyota is constantly working to improve the vehicle adding in new features while enhancing its efficiency further, and those improvements help it stay ahead of competitors. If you are looking for a highly efficient vehicle in the US that will help you save on fuel and reduce your CO2 emissions the Prius is an excellent option and would be hard to surpass.
Lexus is finally making an entry into the compact crossover market with their 2015 NX. This little vehicle looks mean and has plenty of power and tech features to please most young drivers. The vehicle targets active adults and provides plenty of utility that most families will enjoy.
The NX Look
The all-new NX has a style all its own and it looks quite nice for a compact crossover. Of course the front end features the distinctive spindle grill that’s becoming universal among all the Lexus models. The F-sport model comes with a very cool looking honeycomb patterned version of the grill, while the other models have a simpler grill decorated with two horizontal bars. The vehicle is designed with very strong lines giving it a sporty look thanks to the almost sharp angular features. The features are more distinctive on darker models, so if you are looking for a softer looking crossover choose a light color scheme.
The NX is loaded with comfort features that make riding in it a pleasure. It comes standard with LED headlamps and LED high beams and tail lights can be obtained by getting higher trim levels. A standard 7 inch video screen is included for the media system that offers a suite of applications as well as a 3D navigation system. All of this can be navigated using the built-in knob similar to what is used on many German vehicles. It’s touch sensitive and responds to tapping, pinching, and swiping. The standard audio system packs eight speakers around the interior and you can bump that up to 10 by upgrading it. Upgrading the audio also offers a radio cache allowing you to pause live radio to take phone calls.
The Entune system also offers a host of management options for when young drivers take the vehicle out for a spin. Parents have the ability to set distance limits, curfews and even speed limits for the drivers using the vehicle.
The NX is a compact crossover but it still offers plenty of space and utility. It seats up to five adults comfortably and provides a total of 17.7 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seat in place. If you fold the rear seat down you get 54.6 cubic feet which is ideal for moving large furniture or carrying a lot of cargo. The vehicle is expected to be able to tow around 2,000 lbs. which probably won’t be enough if you have a massive boat trailer to pull around, but would be just fine for smaller cargo needs like a bike trailer or a canoe.
Driving and Performance
The 2015 Lexus NX sits on a highly modified Rav4 chassis. Nearly 90 percent of the original parts were modified or replaced and its designed for a stiff and highly responsive ride. The NX is built for swooping around corners on a windy road and it handles very nicely at high speeds and in standard driving conditions. The interior is whisper quiet and it’s feels similar to the Lexus IS while driving.
Two different engine options are offered for the NX depending on the model that you get. The 200T and F-Sport models both get a turbocharged four cylinder motor that produces 235 HP and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. All of this torque is achieved at a mere 1650 RPMs making the vehicle particularly well-suited to towing, and giving it a respectable level of acceleration. If you opt for the front wheel drive version of the vehicle you get 22 MPG in the city 28 on the highway for a combined figure of 24 MPG. The all-wheel drive model offers very similar figures with everything staying the same except for city which dips down to 21 MPG.
The 300H comes with a completely different engine setup using a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine as well as the electric motor built in with the hybrid setup. It’s the first hybrid vehicle to offer all-wheel drive, and if you opt for that setup the electric motor distributes power to the rear wheels and the gasoline engine powers the front. This setup offers improved fuel efficiency with the front wheel system getting 35 city, 31 highway and 33 combined and the all-wheel setup getting 33 city, 30 highway and 32 combined.
Overall the NX feels very quick, especially during acceleration and the turbo-charged engine has very little turbo lag at the low levels of operation which is nice.
With the NX you get a sporty little crossover with enough power to be fun to drive and enough utility to be convenient on a day-to-day basis. The styling is very attractive and it’s comfortable to ride in. Lexus put together a great little vehicle and shouldn’t have trouble competitng with rivals like BMW and Audi. The 2015 NX is set to be released sometime between November and December and starts at just below $40,000.