Tag: Lexus RX
By now most Lexus fans know all about the reliability of the brand, or at least the supposed reliability that it has to offer. That’s because companies are constantly going on about the benefits of relying on Lexus. Sure luxury vehicles are more expensive, but the added cost pays off in the case of Lexus thanks to its exceptional dependability. To prove that point further, the luxury brand just received the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study for the sixth year in a row. If that’s not impressive I don’t know what is.
Dominating the Dependability Study
Lexus is known as a highly reliable brand, in part because it’s a branch of Toyota, but also because the luxury brand continually dominates reliability tests. According to the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, Lexus vehicles have been the most reliable luxury model widely sold throughout the U.S. for the last 6 years. That’s something worth bragging about, and even before Lexus was the top brand, it was still known for its reliability.
How the Study Determines Winner
The dependability study relies on a very simple metric in order to decide which vehicles are the most dependable overall. It looks at the number of reported problems for the vehicles sold, and then compares that figure with the level of vehicles sold. These two figures together lead to an average set of problems per 100 vehicles sold, and that’s the number that J.D. Power uses to determine which vehicles are the most reliable and which are the least.
Individual Lexus Standouts
On top of coming in first place for a luxury brand overall, Lexus also had three different models that scored highest in their respective categories. In the Midsize Premium Car category the Lexus GS came out on top with a score of 94 problems per 100 vehicles, which is actually exceptionally low. The Lexus RX had a similar score with only a small number of more problems per 100 with 105 problems per 100 vehicles on average. The Lexus ES took the luxury compact car segment with ease with just 91 problems per 100 vehicles.
Either Lexus vehicle is exceptionally reliable and worth taking a look at if you are considering buying in the category.
Lexus vehicles might not be the most flashy, or the most powerful of all the luxury models on the market today, but they are the most reliable. For buyers serious about the value of their purchase, and cost of maintenance over time, a Lexus makes a lot of sense compared to the many other luxury options on the market today.
If you think that a Lexus truck sounds like a crackpot idea, you wouldn’t be alone, but it’s not quite as crazy as it seems at first thought. While pickup trucks are supposed to be rugged workhorses, and aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of luxury vehicles, pickups are getting more and more luxurious. There are plenty of upscale pickup models that fall well into luxury vehicle prices, and some pickups are even more expensive than luxury SUVs are. Now consider that automakers like Mercedes-Benz plan to sell luxury pickups and you have more than enough reasons for Lexus to at least consider the idea, and they are. They talked about potential plans for a Lexus pickup, but those plans certainly weren’t set in stone. Lexus merely mentions that they are considering such a truck, but what would a Lexus truck be like?
Built Around the Hilux
Lexus stated that a truck would be the most difficult vehicle on the list to create, and the hardest to make successful. If it did release such a vehicle, it would be based on the legendary Toyota Hilux platform, meaning that it would be built like a tank. A very shiny, glitzy, modern tank. Since the Hilux isn’t offered in our market, it’s unclear whether the Lexus variation of it would be either. It would be nice to get such a truck option here, but it’s likely that it would be offered in Europe, Australia and other countries where it would be more in demand.
The Other Expected Models
While Lexus is thinking about a pickup there are several other vehicles that are getting more attention and are higher up on the priority list. That list includes a large 7-seater variation of the Lexus RX and a compact SUV that’s smaller than the RX. Both of these models are likely being planned to capitalize on the growing SUV market. US buyers simply can’t get enough crossovers and SUVs in their lives at the moment and automakers are working hard to meet the demand.
I don’t think we’ll see a Lexus pickup anytime soon, and US customers might never see one unless they are willing to import it from another country. It’s still an intriguing idea, and it’s likely that a luxury automaker will offer a luxury truck in the United States at some point. That just seems to be the direction that we’re heading in.
As cars evolve they almost always get bigger, faster or more efficient. The one type of upgrade that isn’t nearly as common is a suspension upgrade. Added power needs to be handled more effectively. Demanding driving environments should be approached with everything we’ve got. That’s why Lexus is so excited to talk about its new Roll Skyhook Control technology. The tech is used in the brand new RX SUV and gives a whole new meaning to smooth.
When travelling over a bump surface it’s very common to experience a rolling sensation. That’s an issue even if the vehicle is prevented from rolling. That’s the issue that Lexus nearly resolves with the new Skyhook tech. This new system creates a feeling of being “hooked in the sky” according to Lexus. That means the vehicle will stabilize itself from the top side and remove most of that roll feeling in a variety of driving situations.
How it Works
The company does not go into detail about how the technology works, but an electronically controlled system of counter weights seems plausible. There is something up near the top of the vehicle that throws weight in the opposite direction of the roll of the vehicle. Whatever the technology is, Lexus promises a much more stable and smooth driving experience, especially around corners. This is an excellent improvement in a
Enhanced Suspension Too
The Skyhook technology is just one of the special features that comes with the new RX, it can also be equipped with an adaptive suspension system to help provide smoother driving dynamics in most standard situations. While going over major bumps the system relies on a series of dynamic dampers to help stabilize the situation.
The Lexus RX is a seriously improved vehicle, and with the new Skyhook technology you’ll be able to corner faster and more confidently. The improvements make the RX more attractive to look at, and more enjoyable to drive as well. With the adaptive suspension it handles smoothly and corners with ease and the media enhancements within make the RX more pleasurable overall.
With the exception of the LF-A when you think Lexus, you think conservative, understated luxury car. Lexus has always been the “safe” choice when you wanted a luxury car, but didn’t want something from Germany.
The IS range from Lexus tends to fly under the radar. Most people tend to focus on three models in it’s lineup. The top end LS, the mid level ES and the RX crossover. While there is nothing wrong with those vehicles, they don’t come within a solar system of what you might consider engaging drivers cars, but that’s not what they were designed to be either.
The IS is the exception to that rule. Even in it’s standard IS 350 guise, the IS does not feel “blandtastic” it does have strong elements that at times make you scratch your head and wonder how did this one make it through. That’s before we get to the IS-F.
If you like fun and engaging cars to drive, then the Lexus IS-F is for you. It starts under the hood with a 416 horsepower 5.0 liter V8 which sends power to the rear wheels via an eight speed automatic gear box. It should be required in owning or driving this car that you either (a) have a radar detector, (b) have an attorney on retainer, or (c) be on good terms with your local police department.
Why you ask? Because once you hit about 3500 rpms the exhaust note is so glorious, that you want to keep hearing it! We hope which ever engineers were responsible for tuning the exhaust note got a large bonus because this is one of THE GREAT V8 exhaust notes of all time!
The suspension also gets an upgrade over the standard IS 350. The ride is firmer, but it is also not harsh, it is something that is very livable in everyday driving. The IS-F does corner flatter and is quicker to change directions when called on to do so quickly.
As fantastic as the engine is, the brakes on the IS-F are equally as good. The pure stopping power can generate enough negative g-forces to make you think your eyeballs will come out of their sockets. Yet unlike many big brake systems, it doesn’t feel light a light switch which is either on or off, there is a nice linear travel, with excellent feedback. The brake system is sourced from Brembo and have 14.2 inch discs up front with six piston calipers and 13.6 out back with two piston calipers.
Inside the car has all the luxury touches one would expect in a $60,000 car. The leather is of good quality and the micro-fiber inserts in the seats give it an even more upscale touch. In hot or cold clients the micro-fiber is much more comfortable than leather, while waiting for the cabin to come up or down to temperature. It also offers better traction for your backside when you decide to push the car hard.
Looking onto the instrument cluster, a 9000 rpm tachometer is dead center and dominates your view. While the tach may go to 9,000 shift are handled closer to 7,000. There are a series of lights that change from yellow to red as you close in on the redline helping you if you are choosing to shift up manually in the gearbox.
Best be quick with those shifts as the engine revs very quickly! In first or second gear it is not difficult to bounce the engine off the rev limiter because the engine revs so quickly. There is a digital readout on the tach to tell you your speed, to go along with a smaller speedometer to the right of the tach.
The IS-F has an optional Mark Levinson audio package that comes with navigation. If you are familiar with the system in other Lexus models, it’s features are similar. To our ear, it could use a little more base, and a little more “presence” in delivering the audio, and that is true in listening to several different genres of music, from classical, to jazz, rock and trip hop.
Fuel economy is not unreasonable for the IS-F, the EPA rates the car at 16 city/23 highway/18 combined. Our experience with the car says those numbers are very close, and thats when were were not shy with the right foot. Take it a little easier on the loud peddle and you will see the number increase. We saw fuel economy at almost 20 in the city and 24 on the highway driving in a more restrained manner.
The IS-F has to rate as the most fun cars to drive in the Lexus lineup outside the $400,000 LF-A. The best part of the LF-A is that it doesn’t scream performance car, even though there are some very aggressive styling cues. There will be many a shocked BMW M3 driver when they see the IS-F’s taillights disappearing into the distance, and that may be the point, excellence in performance doesn’t have to be flashy, just quiet professionalism.