Tag: Lexus

Toyota Receives the Most IIHS Top Safety Pick Awards in 2014

December 24, 2014 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , ,

Not only are Toyota vehicles known for being highly reliable, but they are also very safe and recent tests performed by the International Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) prove it. According to the 2014 study Toyota managed to take 12 Top Safety Picks, 8 of which were Top Safety Pick+ awards. That’s more safety awards than any of the other automakers in the world, and that’s something to be proud of.

toyota top safety pick

What the Ratings Mean

The IIHS give out two different safety awards, Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick plus. The former is for above average vehicles that meet a long list of safety requirements, and the latter is for exceptional vehicles that meet the same requirements while having additional preventative equipment for even safer driving conditions. There were 71 total awards given out by the institute and Toyota received 12 of them between their standard and luxury brands.

The Top Safety Pick+ Vehicles

Out of all the vehicles that were given a good rating, the most impressive are the ones among the Top Safety Pick+ ranks. The Prius, Prius V, the Lexus RC, the Camry, the Highlander, the Sienna, the Lexus CT and the Lexus NX all received this award. Each of these vehicles comes with an impressive level of safety equipment making them good family cars and cars for young drivers you want to keep safe.

Great Family Vehicle

If you’re looking for a solid family vehicle to ride around in with larger families the Toyota Sienna is an excellent option. Out of all the minivans sold this year the Sienna was the only one to receive the Top Safety Pick+ distinction. That’s huge for van owners and families who want to provide the safest environment for their children.

Overall the number of vehicles that are now getting the safety rewards went up dramatically this year, but that’s in large part because the automakers are getting used to the more stringent testing requirements that were implemented the previous year. In 2013 just 39 winners made the list, but that amount has gone up to 71 vehicles since then. That’s an increase of almost double.

Toyota has established itself as one of the top automakers in the industry as far as safety and reliability is concerned, but they aren’t the only automaker to get a high number of safety awards. Honda managed to get the award for ten of their vehicles, giving them the second highest of any automaker.

If you’re looking for a vehicle that you can trust while driving around, check out any of the Top Safety Pick+ vehicles from Toyota. Each meets a very stringent set of requirements and has been proven to handle crash situations very well.

 

Lexus to Show Updated CT 200h in China

November 12, 2013 lacarguy Green Articles, Hybrid Vehicles, Lexus, Lexus Santa Monica, New Cars Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

lexus, ct 200h, china, facelift
The compact Lexus CT 200h is the latest Lexus to incorporate the company’s trademark “spindle grille” into its front-end design. Like other Lexus vehicles, the CT’s styling benefits from the aggressive maw, giving the car an added dose of character and aggression.

Scheduled to be unveiled at the Guangzho Motor Show in China, Lexus states the car will also receive a revised rear-end design and new alloy wheels.

Currently the CT is a hybrid only affair, affording the compact hatchback with impressive gas-mileage; however, Mark Templin, Lexus International executive vice president, recently told Motoring Australia that he hoped in the future Lexus might add a second powertrain option to the CT to target “people who want fast cars.”

Lexus recently revealed that it will show a compact SUV concept called the LF-NX with a new turbocharged four-cylinder at the Tokyo Motor Show. This engine is expected to eventually replace the IS250’s V6 engine, but will it also find its way under the hood of the updated Lexus CT? We’ll find out when the car debuts on November 21. Be sure to continue to follow LAcarGUY News for the latest Lexus news.

Image credit: Lexus

Lexus Reveals Further Details About 2014 GX 460

August 26, 2013 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

The first thing that stands out in the all-new, redesigned 2014 Lexus GX 460 is the “new interpretation” of the now trademarked spindle grille. The oversized hourglass outline is clearly unique and surely makes the GX stand out. In addition, standard LED headlights, daytime running lights, and fog lamps complete the front end look.

2014-lexus-gx-460

Expected to hit dealership showrooms in September, the 2014 GX 460 luxury utility vehicle (LUV) will be offered in two grades: standard and luxury. The standard is priced at a MSRP of $49,085, which is $4,710 less than the previous year, while the luxury model will be priced at $60,715.

The redesigned 2014 GX 460 features a luxurious and spacious interior with enhancements that include a new touch-screen display with an eight-inch screen, backup monitor, HD Radio™, Bluetooth® audio, automatic phone book transfer, a vehicle information display, and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio.

An optional premium package provides additional value to customers who want a fully capable LUV and is priced the same as the 2013 base model GX. Features include navigation system with backup monitor, perforated leather trimmed interior, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, Intuitive Parking Assist, and Three Zone Climate Control.

The luxury model adds Adaptable Air Suspension, Navigation, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Intuitive Parking Assist, and 18-inch split six-spoke wheels with liquid graphite finish.

With all the luxurious appointments, let’s not forget that the 2014 Lexus GX 460 is a bona fide trail runner especially since it’s equipped with a 4.6-liter V8 engine and standard fulltime four-wheel drive, including low range for off-roading. Power is rated at 301 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. Estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.

Safety highlights include a class-leading standard 10 airbags and on the luxury model, available Advanced Pre Collision with Drive Monitor. To learn more about the all-new 2014 Lexus GX 460, contact us or visit our showroom in a few weeks.

2013 Lexus LS Tops JD Power Initial Quality Study

June 27, 2013 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

For the sixth year in a row, the Lexus LS leads the industry in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2013 Initial Quality Study. The LS was redesigned for the 2013 model year with dynamic, fresh styling that gives it greater road presence and a stronger identity while demonstrating significant improvement in driving dynamics, responsiveness, and handling.

2013-lexus-ls

The model has seen great success and popularity since it hit dealerships. Last month, the LS sold 996 units, up an impressive 117.9 percent on both volume and daily sales record basis compared to May last year. It is the most technologically advanced model in the Lexus lineup and comes equipped an array of safety features including the industry’s most advanced Pre-Collision Safety System (A-PCS).

In the study, the Lexus LS received the highest score among all models in the industry with 59 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) where the industry average stands at 113 problems per 100 vehicles sold. The study, which looks at problems experienced in the first 90 days of vehicle ownership, was redesigned in 2013 to better reflect issues related to new technologies and features.

The Lexus production facilities also took Plant Assembly Line Quality Awards.  The Yoshiwara, Japan plant (LX 570) was honored with the Gold Plant Assembly Line Quality Award, while the Kyushu 2, Japan plant (IS line, ES line, RX line) received a Silver Plant Assembly Line Quality Award.

A First Look At The All New 2014 Lexus IS

May 13, 2013 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Over the last 18 months you can really see Akio Toyoda’s fingerprints on the Lexus brand.  For many years Lexus was considered a brand of fine cars with excellent build quality and a dealer network that set the standard for the industry. However, they were also thought of as bland and emotionless vehicles.  Cars and SUV’s for those that wanted something nice, but didn’t care about cars or want to think about cars.

2014 Lexus IS-3

Akio’s statement was that cars bearing his family’s name WOULD have emotion, would have a connection to the driver, they would NOT be thought of as just a commodity item.

The all new GS was the first real statement along those lines and now with the 2014 Lexus IS, the third generation of the car, Akio has focused Lexus’ efforts into not just drawing event with cars like the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4, but setting the standard for the small luxury performance segment.

The new IS draws from it’s larger stablemate, the GS, in several areas.  The front end is a further, more aggressive evolution of the spindle grill, the interior continues the horizontal theme dash, and the rear suspension is derived from the GS as well.

2014 Lexus IS-25

The new IS gains 2.5 inches in wheelbase allowing for a further 1.6 inches of rear seat legroom.  The overall length has been extended 3.5 inches, the trunk now has an additional .5 cubic foot of space and the first time offering a 60/40 split folding rear seat for additional cargo capacity.

When the new IS is ordered with Satellite Navigation, it comes loaded with 3D mapping including Street View.  Traffic and weather information are now subscription free, weather is updated every 10 minutes and traffic every 2 minutes.  Traffic also has the addition feature of Predictive Traffic which can forecast ahead 15, 30 and 45 minutes so that you can see what your route may look like, and if you should choose a different way.  Also when you are running low on fuel gas stations will appear as Points Of Interest on the map.

2014 Lexus IS-29

The 2014 IS has all of the safety features you’ve come to expect on a car at this level, 10 air bags, Blind Spot Warning with Cross Traffic, lane departure alert, and Pre Collision Radar cruise control down to 25 miles an hour.

The F-Sport version of the new IS, available on both the IS 250 and the IS 350 is distinguished by a different nose and bumper, different seats, LED daytime running lights, variable adaptive suspension and additional drive modes of Sports S and S+.  Also in the F-Sport is a different gage cluster that draws it’s inspiration from the LFA Supercar.  The center dial slides from the center to the right and alters the information on the LCD gage cluster.

2014 Lexus IS-32

2014 Lexus IS-31

Optional on all models is the 15 speaker, 835 watt Mark Levinson audio system.  The system features a full digital (Class-D) amplifier, 5.1 channel/7.1 channel surround system, a total of 15 GreenEdge™ ultra-high efficiency speakers and a Lexus-first Auto Volume System,which automatically adjusts volume when changing between sources or radio channels.

2014 Lexus IS-12

The IS 250 and 350 can be had either as Rear Drive or All Wheel Drive.  Power comes from either a 2.5 liter V6 in the IS 250 offering 204 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque, or the 3.5 liter V6 in the IS 350 which offers up 306 horsepower and 277 lb/ft of torque.

Fuel economy is rated in the IS 250 at 21/30/24 (city/highway/combined) for the Rear Drive and 20/27/23 for the All Wheel Drive model.  The IS 350 rates as 19/28/22 for the Rear Drive and 19/26/21 for the All Wheel Drive.

All IS 250’s, plus the IS 350 AWD will use a six speed automatic transmission, while the Rear Drive IS 350 will use the eight speed automatic from the outgoing IS-F.

On the road the new IS has a very comfortable and controlled ride quality, the cabin is very quiet, as you’d expect.  However, when you put your foot down, there is a very sporty sounding exhaust, and when tossed aggressively into corners, the body stays very flat, and the handling is very neutral, with just a hint of understeer to keep you safe.

Lexus believe you can have your cake and eat it too with the suspension in the new IS.  They have soften the springs at all four corners to make the ride more supple, yet larger anti roll bars allow the handling to be very sporty and controlled without being overly stiff.  When you want a more aggressive suspension you can dial it up with the drive mode selector.  In the standard IS you have a Sport mode, and in the F-Sport there are Sports S and S+ options.  The additional modes will not only change the suspension calibrations, but alter how aggressive the throttle is as well.

2014 Lexus IS-15

For 30 years the BMW 3 Series has set the benchmark for the small sport luxury segment, and Audi in the last decade has been running neck and neck with BMW with their A4.  Lexus have now gone all in on this segment, and just like when Lexus entered the market with the original LS, the Germans will be may need to re-evaluate their current efforts.

Pricing for the IS 250 begins at $35,950 and $39,465 for the IS 350, All Wheel Drive adds $2,515 to the IS 250 and $2,235 to the IS 350, all models of the new IS will be available mid Summer.

Lexus Introduces Significantly Refreshed LS

October 16, 2012 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

Over the last 18 months, Lexus has updated most of their entire lineup, with the exception of their flagship car the LS. Now, as we close out 2012, Lexus is ready to reveal the update to their flagship luxury sedan.

While the 2013 LS is a mid-cycle refresh, over half of the parts involved in building this car are completely new. There is a substantial rework of the exterior, which features Lexus’ signature spindle grill up front along with significant sculpturing throughout the body from nose to tail to greatly reduce aerodynamic drag.

In a market segment that puts a premium on perfection the new LS is positioning itself to once again be the standard by which others are measured. Not only is the exterior refreshed, the interior gets a complete makeover as well. The design concept 1st seen in the interior of the new GS is now brought in to the flagship LS sedan.  One of the features of the interior is the 12.3 inch  center display which can be organized into 3 different columns of information.

Interior materials also get an upgrade including a unique wood trim called Shimamocu. This unique wood trim takes 38 days and 67 different processes to complete. It has a horizontal grain pattern which helps to emphasize the with an interior space of the LS. If you choose to go with the hybrid version of the LS you can choose the bamboo wood option which gives a very nice look and feel to the interior.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mabO5t5alK0&w=640&h=360]

Something else that is also unique in the LS is the analog clock in the center of the dash is linked via GPS to automatically update times, even when crossing into different time zones. So, let’s say you’re driving from Detroit to Chicago, where you go from the Eastern time zone to the central time zone, the clock will automatically update to the local time.

There will be several trim levels available in the  LS, including the ultra-lux package which will have 4 different climate zone controls. All cars, 16 way power driver seat,” way adjustable passenger seats. Opt for the 600 L, or 460 L, and you will have rear seat that will recline, as an ottoman, and also massage functionality. It truly is an “Executive” sedan. The driver and passenger seats also have a unique climate control system integrated into them the seats sense body temperature and bring the temperature of the seats to the desired temperature, until the rest of the cabin can reach that temperature.

Depending on which trim level you get, the LS can have a sportier feel, but the emphasis of the LS has been, and always will be, that of late luxury sedan. As such, the emphasis is on a quiet interior and a smooth and comfortable yet very controlled ride. The LS will never be a Canyon Carver, but on tight twisty roads it can hold its own.

Powertrains are a carryover, a 4.6 L V-8 with 386 hp combined with an 8 speed automatic transmission will be standard. Elect for the hybrid version and you have a combined power rating of 438 hp between the gasoline motor and electric motor. The hybrid model also gets a redesign regenerative braking system which aids in recharging the batteries much quicker and more efficiently.

Available for the first time in the LS is the F-Sport trim.  With the F-Sport you will get a deeper drill with other aero treatments, cooling ducts for the brakes, suspension lowered 10mm, Alcantera headliners, larger side bolsters in the seats,, paddle shifters and a Torsen limited slip differential.

You also get 19” BBS wheels that are unique to the F-Sport along with massive six piston Brembo brakes.

Pricing will be announced at the end of October and the LS’s will begin to go on sale in November.

The All-New Redesigned 2013 Lexus ES 350 & 300h

June 25, 2012 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

There have been five generations of the ES sedan since its introduction in 1989, and more than one million remain on the world’s roads. The folks at Lexus know that their entry-level luxury sedan could stand to be livelier if its going to attract younger buyers; but at the same time, they don’t want to alienate the traditional ES buyer, who averages 63 years in age, and have made the ES Lexus’ best-selling sedan.

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So what we find is evidence of a trickle-down design and engineering shown to great effect with Lexus’ new ES 350 and 300h. Both from an exterior and interior stand point, the new ES takes many of its design cues from the elements introduced in the GS. As part of its complete redesign for 2013, this sixth-generation ES features sleeker styling, shorter overhangs, quicker steering, ECO, Normal AND SPORT driving modes and a tweaked suspension, all to provide a bit more masculinity and athleticism. The hybrid adds the additional low-speed, short-distance, pure-electric EV mode.

Also available only in the hybrid model is the bamboo interior trim option that was originally available in the new GS. Officials at Lexus say that if there is enough demand, the bamboo trim might be made available in the regular ES 350. They also went on to state that they have received positive feedback about the bamboo trim from journalists and consumers alike and are waiting for more data before moving forward to offer the option in models other than the hybrid.

What stands out most is the styling. The formerly conservative ES sheds its pinstripes in favor of Lexus’ new design language, sporting the signature spindle grille along with LED lights. In addition, the car is slightly lower and an inch longer, but the overhangs shorten on its 2-inch longer wheelbase. On the inside, the longer wheelbase results in an additional four inches in rear-passenger leg room.

The ES 350 retains its 3.5-liter V6, similar to the Camry, that puts out 268 horsepower and comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Powering the hybrid is a 2.5-liter I-4 Atkinson cycle four-cylinder along with Toyota’s hybrid drive system, where the combined total of the two produces 200 horsepower. The system employs a continuously variable transmission (CVT), borrowed completely from the Camry hybrid.

The hybrid launches from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 8.1 seconds which is a whole second slower than the 7.1-second sprint posted by the ES 350. Fuel economy in the hybrid is 40 city and 39 highway and a combined 40. The V6 posts 21 city, 31 highway, and 24 combined.

The long list of standard equipment for the ES includes a moon roof, keyless start, power everything, cruise-control, backup-camera, eight-speaker audio, and more. On the options list are Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Warning, radar cruise control, navigation, 15-speaker/835-watt Mark Levinson audio and panoramic sun roof.

Overall, the all-new redesigned 2013 Lexus ES has surprised us with its sportier, bolder styling, more engaging driving dynamics, roomier interior, and it is still bank-vault quiet as a Lexus is expected to be. Slated to arrive in showrooms mid-August, pricing probably won’t be announced until closer to launch date. So continue to follow us on Twitter and check-in on our Facebook community to be one of the first to be notified as soon as it arrives.

Lexus Unveils All-New 2013 ES 350 and First-Ever ES 300h Hybrid at New York International Auto Show

April 4, 2012 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

Lexus today unveiled the all-new 2013 ES lineup, including the ES 350 and ES 300h equipped with Lexus Hybrid Drive. Featuring a progressive new design and enhanced handling, the 2013 ES sedan is set to continue as a favorite of luxury car buyers.

“The Lexus ES brought new levels of refinement, sophistication and quality to the entry luxury segment when it entered the market in 1989, and through the years it has consistently been a sales leader for us,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “Now, with both gas and hybrid versions, the 2013 ES promises to lead Lexus forward once again.”

ES 350 Now Complemented by ES 300h Hybrid
For the first time, the Lexus ES will be available with Lexus Hybrid Drive. Featuring a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine, the ES 300h hybrid is expected to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of approximately 40 mpg combined city/highway.

This new, low friction twin cam engine utilizes a sophisticated power management system, 12.5:1 compression ratio, and Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). The beltless motor is designed to improve fuel economy and durability, and a near zero evaporative fuel system helps reduce emissions.

The ES 300h hybrid offers the driver four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV. EV mode allows short distance drives, at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favors fuel economy. Sport mode increases powertrain responsiveness.

The ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i. The six-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) provides enhanced performance, fuel efficiency and smooth shifts. Low friction materials further improve efficiency.

Signature Lexus Design
The new ES features a lower, progressive profile, and clean, continuous styling lines from front to rear. All four corners are pulled tightly inward to the wheel arches, creating distinctive proportions. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by just one inch, resulting in a more spacious interior.

The new ES unmistakably bears the new face of Lexus with its distinctive, spindle grille. The LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps reflect the “L” design motif. The ES 350’s rear bumper sports dual exhaust pipes, while the ES 300h hybrid features a distinctive rear design with hidden exhaust and an integrated spoiler. New exterior colors for the 2013 ES include Fire Agate Pearl and Silver Lining Metallic.

Interior Designed for Comfort and Spaciousness
The modern interior of the 2013 ES has been designed to provide both a sense of openness and security. Sightlines and visibility are improved, controls are logically placed, and new cabin materials express a high level of craftsmanship.

A newly sculptured seat enhances driver comfort. The steering wheel angle has been reduced from 24 degrees to 22 degrees for a more natural control position. Fluid-filled engine mounts, new sound absorbing materials and a tuned engine intake minimize the intrusion of outside noise.

Greater rear seat legroom and knee room are the hallmark of the redesigned, more spacious cabin. Knee room is increased by 2.8 inches and legroom is increased by 4.1 inches. The new design also offers additional foot room below the front seats.

Available comfort and convenience features include manual door window shades, a power rear shade, and a one-touch power trunk closer. Optional ambient lighting, discretely placed under the wood trim, softly illuminates the surfaces of the instrument panel and all four doors.

The new ES will feature enhanced NuLuxe seating surfaces, developed to reduce environmental impact. Genuine leather is also available, as is semi-aniline leather for an even more refined look and feel. Interiors are available in Black, Light Gray, and Parchment. Trim colors and materials include Piano Black, Espresso Bird’s-eye Maple, and Bamboo.

Crisp, Confident Driving Dynamics
Suspension and steering changes and a stiffer body deliver more precise handling. Opposite-wound coil springs on the front suspension enhance straight-line stability. Revised rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping characteristics enhance ride comfort. A reduction in the steering gear ratio delivers a more responsive and direct steering feel. Increased body rigidity is achieved through lightweight, high tensile strength steel, added bracing and additional spot welds. Despite its larger size, roomier interior and additional luxury appointments, the weight of the new ES is reduced by almost 90 pounds.

The ES will be equipped with standard 215/55R17 low rolling resistance tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, and for the first time, available 18-inch high-gloss alloy wheels.

Driver-Focused Cockpit
Designed with attention to ergonomics and driver focus, the cockpit features separate display and operation zones to help keep the driver’s eyes on the road. The instrument panel, with its long, layered look, places the main information display directly in the driver’s line of sight. Just below the center display is a self-illuminating LED analog clock. Controls are clustered beneath the information zone, on the steering wheel, and on the center console.

The second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with a controller conveniently located on the center console. RTI reduces eye and hand movement, helping reduce effort and distraction.

Safety Features
An array of safety features aid the driver. The available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) helps detect vehicles in side blind spots. The RCTA alerts the driver to rear cross traffic when backing out of a parking spot. Available Lane Departure Alert (LDA) is integrated with automatic high beam dimming technology. The available Pre-Collision System (PCS) uses sub-millimeter wave radar to detect obstructions and prepare the vehicle for a potential collision.

The ES features a segment-leading 10 airbags as standard equipment, including driver and front passenger knee and front air bags, as well as front and rear seat-mounted side and curtain airbags. Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats are designed to limit excessive head movement in certain rear-end collisions helping to decrease the severity of whiplash-type injuries.

Lexus Safety Connect, including Enhanced Roadside Assistance, an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), Stolen Vehicle Location services, and Automatic Collision Notification to a Safety Connect center is standard on the new ES. A one-year trial subscription for Safety Connect is included.

Lexus Multimedia
The new ES features the next-generation Lexus Enform® system. Lexus Enform® provides seamless connectivity with Bing™ search, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Pandora®, Yelp® and Facebook Places through compatible smart phones. Apps are updated through over-the-air downloads, so new apps and content can be added as they become available. One-year trial subscriptions to Lexus Enform with Safety Connect and the Application Suite are included.

The standard Lexus Premium Sound System features eight speakers with Automatic Sound Levelizer, CD player, USB/iPod® connectivity, Bluetooth® and a SiriusXM receiver. The available Display Audio package adds a seven-inch screen, a backup camera, HD Radio™ with iTunes® tagging, Bluetooth audio, phone transfer, and a vehicle information display. The optional HDD Navigation System includes voice command and an integrated backup camera.

An available 15-speaker Mark Levinson® audio system features an eight-inch display screen, HD Radio™ with iTunes® tagging, DVD audio/video and a SiriusXM receiver. Exclusive GreenEdge technology from Mark Levinson doubles the output of the amplifier, while reducing energy consumption by fifty percent.

“The new Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h hybrid combine technology, style and performance to please current ES owners and attract new buyers,” said Templin. “With the addition of the ES 300h, Lexus truly offers something for everyone in the entry luxury segment.”

The 2012 Lexus IS-F

February 16, 2012 lacarguy Lexus Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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.

Toyota, Lexus and Scion Dominate J.D. Power 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study

February 16, 2012 lacarguy Lexus, Scion, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Eight Lexus, Toyota, and Scion models captured segment awards in the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study, a performance equal to all other vehicle brands combined and more than twice as many as the runner-up nameplate.

The study also found:
  • Lexus is the number one nameplate improving by 23 fewer problems/100;
  • Toyota is the highest ranked non-premium nameplate and tied for third place overall, improving by 18 fewer problems/100; and
  • Scion achieves its highest ever position at fifth place, jumping up 17 positions and improving by 55 fewer problems/100.
“We are extremely pleased that not only did we win awards in eight of the 14 model segments, but that in two segments we finished one-two and made the podium in 12 segments overall”, said Jim Lentz, President and Chief Operating Officer Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
2012 Vehicle Dependability Study performers by segment
Segment
Ranking
Model
Problems/100
Sub-Compact Car
1
Toyota Yaris
97
2
Scion xD
113
Compact Car
1
Toyota Prius
80
2
Toyota Corolla
93
Compact Crossover SUV
3
Toyota RAV4
121
Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle
1
Scion xB
100
Compact Sporty Car
1
Scion tC
123
Entry Premium Car
1
Lexus ES350
81
Midsize Car
3
Toyota Camry
105
Midsize Crossover SUV
3
Toyota Highlander
111
Midsize Van
1
Toyota Sienna
123
Midsize Premium Crossover SUV
1
Lexus RX350
85
Large Premium Car*
1
Lexus LS460
72
Large Car
2
Toyota Avalon
100
Large Pick Up
1
Toyota Tundra
108
Lexus Nameplate
1
 
86
Toyota Nameplate
3 (tie)
 
104
Scion
5
 
111
Premium Brands Industry Average
129
Non-Premium Brands Industry Average
144

Additional examples of Toyota’s commitment to the highest standards for quality, safety, reliability and retained value include: