Category Archives: Lexus

2018 Lexus ES 350 4-door Sedan

2018 Lexus ES 350 4-door Sedan

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus ES 350 4-door Sedan. I understand the ES will sport some re-design for next year, but I doubt it will be a radical change even though the last model year changes were made in 2013. Some have complained about steering and body control issues, but I don’t consider the criticism real.

Gas and hybrid versions will continue to be available next year.

In the meantime, this 2018 is a fuel efficient spaciously comfortable 5-seater that makes a nice family sedan.

General Information:

Assembly: Japan; Classification is: Midsize; Vehicles from Lexus: CT, ES, GS, GX, IS, LC, LS, LX, NX, RC, RX.

Handling & Performance:

The model I tested was the 3.5-liter V6 with plenty of power and did well over the mountain course (The Crest Test).

Styling:

Futuristic styling that sets it apart in design. Nice.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

Well priced in this highly competitive luxury badged segment of the sedan market. Of course, you can opt to extend to the Ultra luxury stuff, navigation and other added features that could push the price up by $10,000. Nice but not necessary for me.

Conveniences and comfort:

Excellent array of features as it is priced, including the important safety high tech stuff I think are important. Things like Pre-collision system, dynamic cruise control, lane departure alert and smart start / stop technology top my list.

Consumer Recommendations:

In class there are only 4 recognized players so I would test drive them all. If fuel economy is a hot item look at the Hybrid model similarly priced. Smaller 4-cylinder engine at a combined horsepower of 200 with a combined 40 MPG. I’ve found you don’t sacrifice noticeably on power performance. Certainly, worth consideration.

Recognised Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus ES 350 40,000 24 5 4 Japan Japan
Infiniti Q50 40,000 23 5 4 Japan Japan
Buick Regal Sportback 40,000 22 5 4 USA Germany
Acura TLX 39,000 24 5 4 Japan USA

Good News:

Well equipped, competitive, good fuel economy, spacious comfort.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter V6 288 horsepower engine, automatic transmission, 17” split 10-spoke alloy wheels, front, front knee, side seat mounted and side curtain airbags, theft deterrent system with engine immobilizer, stability control, ABS power disc brakes with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), smart stop technology, pre collision system, pedestrian detection, high speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, high beam automatic system, keyless entry with push button start/stop, drive mode select (ECO, Normal, Sport), Lexus Enform safety connect plus Remote access, fog lights and daytime running lights, rain sensing wipers, power 10-way front seats, heated power mirrors, dual zone climate control, power tilt and slide moonroof, audio system with MP3 and 8-speakers, Bluetooth, USB, Sirius XM satellite radio.

Gas Stats:

21 City and 30 Highway MPG

$3.49 / Gal avg. April 14, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $38,950.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2017 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Lexus LC 500 Coupe

2018 Lexus LC 500 Coupe

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus LC 500 Coupe. Wow – I’m smitten and bitten by the Love Bug. Seriously, this is one of those special cars that light your fire. Surely every bit as exciting as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but for the money it even challenges Ferrari and Jaguar F-Type for a couple more examples that come to mind.

For me, this is, a very futuristic new entry into the luxury sports car market that will shake things up. Nice addition. Ok, so yes, I’m in love, but there will not be a word about marriage, no matter how sexy I think it is. A little pricey for my budget and you can’t get a pre-nup signed anyway. It is an exciting ride at close to 500 horsepower.

General Information:

Assembly: Japan; Classification is Subcompact; Vehicles from Lexus: CT, ES, GS, GX, IS, LC, LS, LX, NX, RC, RX.

Handling & Performance:

Special.

Styling:

Futuristically beautiful presence that will surely turn heads. I particularly was impressed with the Suede interior – very special.

Fit and Finish:

Exceptional.

Cost:

I’m thinking it is an introductory price point and when and if demand numbers rise so will the price. If you are a sport car enthusiast this will be an easy to swallow $100 grand.

Conveniences and comfort:

Enform Suite is a Lexus feature to access apps and Lexus apps for more advanced and more accurate voice recognition, and more.

Consumer Recommendations:

For sport car lovers you will want to see this car up close and personal where I believe it will impress you too.

Recognised Competition:

Lexus LC 500 $93,000, BMW 6-Series $93,000, Mercedes-Benz S-Class $124,000.

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country/Origin Assembled
Lexus LC 500 93,000 19 4 2 Japan Japan
BMW 6 Series 93,000 19 4 2 Germany Germany
Mercedes Benz 124,000 20 4 2 Germany Germany

Good News:

A new and exciting addition to the luxury sport car offerings. Fast and super comfortable driving experience.

Bad News:

New entrant for Lexus that is yet to be accepted by consumers. High tech stuff is a double-edged sword, in my view, because for me it can be very distracting and potentially dangerous. We all know how cell phone usage is distracting, the LC operator controls seem to be an iPhone on steroids.

Standard Equipment:

5.0 Liter 471 horsepower V8 dual VVT engine, 10-speed sport direct shift automatic transmission with paddle shift and manual mode, adaptive variable suspension with multi-link front and rear six piston opposed aluminum calipers with high friction pads, 20: 10-spoke cast alloy wheels, run flat tires, safety system with pre-collision and pedestrian detection, all speed dynamic radar cruise control, intelligent high beam headlights, lane keep assist with steering assist and lane departure alert, front, side curtain airbags, smart stop technology, smart access with push button start and stop, heated and ventilated leather trimmed 10-way power adjustable front seats, dual zone climate control, leather trimmed steering wheel, power mirrors with defogger and memory, auto dimming rearview mirror, audio system with 12 speakers, CD and 10.5” screen, AM/FM/HD, SiriusXM, Bluetooth streaming and hands free calling, dual USB plug, Siri eyes free, backup monitor, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio, memory and cruise controls, power windows and Lexus Enform App Suite.

Gas Stats:

16 City and 26 Highway MPG

$3.15 / Gal avg. January 29, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $92,000.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2017 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Lexus LC 500

2018 Lexus LC 500

By Phil Shuyler

The Lexus LC is newest addition to the luxury brand’s portfolio. It has been available for less than a year, so when people see it, there’s a mixture of emotions.
1.) What is that?
2.) Wow, that looks nice! and
3.) I want one!

All three are things you want to hear when you drive a high performance luxury vehicle. And that’s exactly what the LC is. Its 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 engine produces 471 HP and 398 lb-ft of torque – plenty to either mightily impress or scare your front passenger. Rear seat passengers will either need to be pets or luggage as there is zero leg room. This is quite common for sporty coupes though, so no negative marks here. Front seat room is perfect for anyone 6’ 3” or under, and the seats are firm yet supportive.

On the road, the ride is exceptionally comfortable, even in the potentially harshest Sport+ mode. Everyone who rode in the car commented on how smooth it felt. There are 5 drive modes you can choose from, including Eco, Comfort, Normal, Custom, Sport and Sport+. The good news is that no matter what mode you’re in, if you push hard on the accelerator, that glorious V8 will come to life. The sound the engine makes is purely outstanding. I don’t think I’ve grinned so much while driving in years. The sound is very much Lexus, and is very similar to the RC F and GS F, which makes sense since they all three use the same 5.0L V8 engine. The LC does have 4 more horsepower, thanks to improved intake and exhaust.

The LC is rear-wheel-drive and the engine is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which seems excessive when you’re driving spiritedly as you don’t hardly get out of 4th gear. There are little blips on up and downshifts, which some people aren’t fond of, however I think they give the car that much more audible character. The paddle shifters are attached to the steering wheel and are always right where you want them.

It may not be a critical buying factor, but we were impressed with the fuel economy we achieved during our one week test. Spirited driving averaged a little over 16 MPG, while pure highway driving maintained over 30. Both numbers are above the 16 city and 26 highway published by Lexus.

The 10.3” infotainment screen is integrated seamlessly into the dash, and the touchpad controls are comfortable and easy to use. It would be nice to have a touchscreen, however with the current design, the screen is too far to reach, so we’ll all just have to live with the touchpad for now.

Other optional goodies include an active rear spoiler, active rear steering, carbon fiber or glass roof, Alcantara headliner and color head-up display.

Pricing for the LC 500 starts at $92,000 and can climb up to $107,000 for a fully loaded chariot with the Performance Package, Convenience Package, 21-inch forged alloy wheels, a Mark Levinson surround sound system, and more.

2002 Lexus SC 430 Sport (Coupe?) (364)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2002 Lexus SC 430 luxury coupe. Brother in law Steve drives a prior year model and I prefer that body style.

However, I didn’t like the Porsche Boxster when I first drove it and now it stands out in my memory – I think that will be the case with this Lexus. It’s a brave styling change for this model and it will be interesting to see if the 12,000 intended for production will all find a home.

Other cars that rubbed me the wrong way initially include the Audi TT, VW Beetle and the Pontiac Aztek, to name a few. But all have remained in my mind as thoughtfully different in an otherwise bland cookie cutter auto world. This SC 430 is much like the Mercedes SLK in the operation of the hard top convertible. They are unbelievably slick, but you give up trunk space and that can be a real drawback when traveling. I guess that’s why they designed in a useless back seat that seems more intended for luggage, golf clubs or tennis rackets.

Handling & Performance:

I don’t think it handles as well as its older siblings. I felt uneasy when driving a little aggressively which I tend to do most of the time. The big V8 is awesome and in keeping with past performers of this model with 0-60 at a scant 6.1 sec.

Styling:

I was rather disappointed with the look, especially after I had come to love the design of prior year models. I don’t think it will appeal to macho men, but I expect it will appeal to women drivers much like the Jag XK8.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding like its predecessor and the burl wood is still REAL, even though you can\’t tell it from the better imitation. But it is still nice to know it’s real.

Conveniences:

Convertibles are back, big time. And if you want a convertible this one is almost embarrassingly easy to use. One button operation that is so simple even your husband can do it, assuming you let him drive it.

Cost:

Both this and the Jag are expensive but for a car this well made and the long list of quality features it is properly priced. All the high tech mechanical gear is impressive but an over kill for the use it will get in the Hills of Beverly or the French Riviera, where buyers must come from to afford such driving expense.

Recommendation:

Look ahead to determine if the rear seat will pose a problem or the lack of trunk space with the top down will be inconvenient for your needs.

The Competition:

Jaguar XK Series $69-97,000, Mercedes CLK $42-79,000, Mercedes SL Class $83-128,000.

Good News:

Well made luxury, super easy hard top/convertible, fast V8, comfortable seats.

Bad News:

Loosey goosey handling that requires effort to drive long distances, debatable styling (for some it’s ugly), and useless back seat for passengers with legs – I can\’t believe they did that.

Standard Equipment:

4.3 liter 300 horsepower V8 engine with continuous variable valve timing, 5-speed auto trans, torque activated power train, electronic throttle system, 4-wheel independent suspension, speed sensing power steering, 4-wheel power disc brakes, dual front and side air bags, skid system with ABS brake assist, traction control with electronic brake distribution, tire pressure warning system, theft deterrent system with engine immobilizer, headlamp washers, power retractable hard top, leather trimmed interior with memory driver seat, wood and leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, Mark Levinson 9 speaker 240 watt sound system with automatic sound levelizer, single feed 6-disc CD auto changer, dual zone climate control with smog sensor and air filter, rear wind deflector.

Gas Stats:

18 City and 23 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $58,455.