Category Archives: Lexus

2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport

2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport. While driving Electric cars over the recent past weeks from today I realized how anxious I felt always wondering if I would reach my destination without incident. For over 100 years we’ve demanded reliable easy to operate and maintain vehicles and the internal combustion engine provided our need. So, I felt comfortable when I stepped into this gas-powered 5-seat SUV that is perfect for most including small families.

However, you wouldn’t likely be taking the whole fam-damly camping very easily. I say that because it is a reminder that we should buy a car, truck or SUV that fits our need. For me and my wife it would be just fine taking off on a camping trip. One year we took a similar size Ford Escape to escape on a 3,000-mile camping road trip. Just fine for two with all our gear.

General Information:

Assembly- Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan; Classification is- Small SUV; Vehicles from Lexus- CT, ES, GS, GX, IS, LC, LS, LX, NX, RC, RX.

Handling & Performance:

This NX is in very capable competition listed here and it is up to the challenge. No complaints and it passed the very challenging Angeles Crest mountain course. Nice.

Styling:

I’m getting used to the radical lines of several of the new models across many brands we see on the roads these days. It’s not my favorite look, but it’s interesting and flashes me back to prior years where auto designs went from pointy to round. Like other fads and styles change is inevitable from the ‘runways’ in clothing to the ‘highways’ for automobiles. In the late 1950s cars morphed from Fins to everything had to be rounded in the decade of the 1960s.

Fit and Finish:

Assembly is consistently good relative to bygone days where rattles and squeaks were the norm. Today we’ve come to expect perfection, and most deliver.

Cost:

Competitively priced and for the serviceability we’ve been blessed with a range of prices to fit every budget.

Conveniences and comfort:

Really good stuff I’ve noted in standard equipment below that passes the test of what we need in our cars these days. Additionally, this Lexus is a comfy ride that is not always the case. But in this class, you expect it.

Consumer Recommendations:

In some ways I’m sorry there are so many choices but we’re all different people with varying perceptions of what pretty or comfortable is. I’ve driven them all and would have a hard time choosing. The good news is you could put this chart on the wall, throw darts and not get hurt in any case. If you like following the leader and patronize American car makers who pioneered the industry, the German’s made it precise and the Japanese watched and with the help of America post WWII they replicated the process and successful marketing. They too had to retool from wartime production.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus NX 300 39,000 25 5 4 Japan Japan
Infiniti QX30 39,000 27 5 4 Japan UK
Acura RDX 40,000 22 5 4 Japan USA
Audi Q3 39,000 23 5 4 Germany Germany
GMC Terrain 39,000 ? 5 4 USA Canada
VW Tiguan 39,000 23 5 4 Germany Mexico
Jeep Cherokee 38,000 23 5 4 USA USA
Chevy Equinox 38,000 24 5 4 USA Canada
MBZ GLC 41,000 24 5 4 Germany Germany
Toyota RAV4 37,000 24 5 4 Japan Canada
Subaru Forester 30,000 25 5 4 Japan Japan

Good News:

Turbocharged power, great features for a small SUV, good handling and size for zipping around town – easy to park.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter Turbo VVT 235 horsepower 4 cylinder engine,6-speed auto trans, torque control all wheel drive, 17” aluminum wheels, drive mode select ECO, Normal & Sport, tire pressure monitor, Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, All-speed smart cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beam headlights, 8-airbags all around, power ABS braking with electronic brakeforce distribution & smart stop technology, backup camera, theft deterrent system, 8-speaker sound system with HD radio / iTunes USB/iPod/MPS control and scout GPS link, Remote touch interface, SiriusXM satellite radio, 8-way power driver & passenger seats, power folding mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering column, 60/40 split rear seats, climate control, F Sport Features: sport tuned suspension special seats, metallic sport trim, leather heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, cornering front fog and driving lights, 18” sport wheels.

Gas Stats:

22 City and 27 Highway MPG

$3.59 / Gal avg. October 4, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $39,775.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Lexus RX 350 5-door SUV

2018 Lexus RX 350 5-door SUV

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus RX 350 5-door SUV. The general thought is that the RX has grown larger, heavier and longer in a negative way. Some miss the smaller cute version. Well, although I also didn’t see its classification as ‘small’ it is rather midsize to me, and I like the new more spacious size.

Surely it is a lovely and classy vehicle that is priced very well and is in a class with a lot of competition. Demand for SUVs has continued since the popularization of the ‘station wagon’ in the late 1950s and 1960s. They were then touted as a utility wagon for moms’needs and they even suggested dads could use it for fishing and camping trips. Jeep, of course, took rough and tumble adventures to a new level. That was shortly after and the adventurous embraced utility vehicles with a kinda pioneer spirt of a few generations before.

I suspect all these luxury models as noted here have more to do with consumer image rather than areal desire for the outdoors.

A U.S. News magazine article some 4 years agoexplained, “The rugged individualist has traded in his boots for a comfortable pair of Rockports.” And they also concluded the baby boomers have stopped pretending to be off-roading daredevils and SUV popularity would end soon.

Well, it looks like they got it wrong and SUVs continue to be highly prized even if it is the image that is the real draw. The SUVs of the past decade have gotten prettier and although the 4X4 versions are capable and sophisticated engineering marvels, they are rarely used off-road. You may remember my mentioning that only about 5% of SUVs will ever get off-road.

General Information:

Assembly- Cambridge Ontario Canada; Classification is- Small-Standard SUV; Vehicles from Lexus- CT, ES, GS, GX, IS, LC, LS, LX, NX, RC, RX.

Handling & Performance:

Super comfortable ride for your Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive shopping trips. Fast and quiet.

Styling:

Elegant classy look.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding assembly, which is rightfully expected these days. Squeaky components are rare but as luck would have it,my personal truck came with an annoying whistle no one seems to know why it does that. My response: “Well it is a Ford, after all”.

Cost:

You can get into a new Lexus RX at the low $40,000 range but with all the bells and whistles and luxury packages you’ll be right at $50,000. Or you could put a down payment on a house and continue to drive the old reliable clunker a few more years.

Conveniences and comfort:

Very well equipped and with options available for even higher tech features and more luxury features so thatyou’ll want for very little.

Scout® GPS Link is a part of the equipment on this RX which is to connect your car to your smartphone and to the cloud. I like that because it would allow me to eliminate the Nav system built in. Most cell phones have nicely advanced navigation capability.

Consumer Recommendations:

Wow, this is a great field but also a lot to be considered. I have no favorites here. SUVs are here to stay and with nearly half of all vehicles on the road being SUVs and Pickups they will continue to dominate the market for some time to come (in my opinion).

New 2019 models are emerging in August and September, so I suggest if you’re interested in finding a new car, go for the 2018 model year and you can realize great savings.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus RX 350 50,000 23 5 4 Japan Canada
Lincoln MKT 50,000 17 7 4 USA Canada
Dodge Durango 50,000 21 7 4 USA USA
Acura MDX 50,000 22 7 4 Japan Canada
Cadillac XT5 49,000 21 5 4 USA USA
VW Atlas 49,000 19 7 4 Germany USA
Toyota Highlander 50,000 28 7 4 Japan USA
Jeep Grand Cherokee 49,000 21 5 4 USA USA
Buick Enclave 49,000 21 7 4 USA USA

Good News:

Comfortable quiet ride, priced well in class.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter 285 HP V6 engine, direct injection and VVT (Variable Valve Timing), 8-speed auto trans with Drive mode select, 18” Aluminum alloy wheels, 10-airbags, safety system with pre-collision and pedestrian detection, smart cruise control, auto high beam headlights, lane departure alert with steering assist and lane keep assist, Power ABS disc braking system with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), fog lights, daytime running lights, auto on/off headlights, theft deterrent system with engine immobilizer, electronic parking brake, Lexus Enform safety connect and service connect, back up camera, 9-speaker display audio system, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, dual USB ports, Sirius satellite radio, Scout GPS Link, rain sensing wipers, climate control, 10-way power front seats, power tilt and telescopic steering column, 40/20/40 split folding rear seat, power back door, smart access with push button start/stop, Bluetooth hands free phone and audio streaming.

Gas Stats:

20 City and 27 Highway MPG

$3.49/ Gal avg. July 22, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $43,270 plus.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Lexus RC 350 2-door Coupe

2018 Lexus RC 350 2-door Coupe

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus RC 350 2-door Coupe. Wow,FLAIR YELLOW will wake up the senses. But they have some other bright colors as well. It reminds me of the Socialist countries where a drab color has been the PC thing and you’re expected to wear dark earthy colors. Those colors are surely practical and Henry Ford’s early car production lines turned out cars of any color you wanted as long as it was Black. In today’s world painting cars has reached its pinnacle as they have perfected the process so well that any color is possible – even Black.

I say Celebrate the joy of life with vibrant (lively, vivacious, exciting) colors on your car. Some are adventuresome but by and large you see mostly white and black or other dark colors on cars. The bright yellow inspired me to think about why it is so uplifting. You need only go to Nature for a rainbow of color on Birds, and frogs and so many beautiful lives in creation. In LA you even see purple and yellow hair. It does look cool but I wouldn’t want to marry it.

Well back to this car. I’ve been through nearly all Lexus product recently and this RC Sport is no exception to the great performance cars these truly are. Yellow only adds to the allure of this fast and fun to drive sport car.

I’m not so enamored with Toyota product as so many are but they truly produce a fine automobile. I’ve owned a lot of cars including a few Toyota’s over the years and driven most all on and off the race track for nearly 50 years in the Automotive industry. I like this Yellow Lexus.

General Information:

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

Handling & Performance:

The RC “F”model is V8 powered but the RC 350 had a V6 that I had no problem with since there was no want for more power.

Styling:

Lovely design for style you can’t mistake.

Fit and Finish:

Always outstanding design and assembly at Toyota.

Cost:

More than I care to pay for transportation and not as much as I would pay for a gorgeous car. Since we’re looking at high end cars why not go test drive a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Refi the house before you go. I’ve owned some of those too over the years. BUT, I’ve learned if it Flies, Floats or goes fast, rent it or have a friend with one.

Conveniences and comfort:

OK, so there is one thing that was noticeably lacking in this car. Getting in and out is a pain. Literally it is the nature of sport cars and it must be taken into consideration. The older you get the more difficult it is to pour yourself into a low to the ground car. Getting out is even more interesting. Girls in dresses? Men in Kilts? Something to think about.

Consumer Recommendations:

If you’re in the market for a sporty car and you’re agile enough to enter and exit the car without hurting yourself this class is exciting to drive. I’ve known women as beautiful and exciting but quite frankly they can be a pain too. Know what I mean. On the other hand, to be fair, I’m sure the gals have known guys with inflated egos as well.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus RC 350 45,000 23 4 2 Japan Japan
Mercedes Benz C-Class 44,000 25 4 2 Germany Germany
Audi A5 44,000 27 4 2 Germany Germany
BMW 4-Series 45,000 27 4 2 Germany Germany

Good News:

Fast, fun to drive and very pretty.

Bad News:

Mostly for the young at heart.

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter V6 dual OH Cam, direct injection and VVT (Variable Valve Timing), 8-speed auto trans with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, Drive mode select: ECO, Normal, Sport and Snow, 18” Aluminum wheels, 8-airbags, Power ABS disc braking system with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution),Smart stop technology, Vehicle dynamic integrated management, Safety system with pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, high speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beam headlights, Back up camera, Lexus Enform connect with Enform remote, tire pressure monitor, 60/40 split folding rear seat, 10-way power driver seat, 8-way power passenger seat, smart access with push button start/stop, genuine wood interior trim, information display including audio, phone and trip info, Bluetooth hands free phone and audio streaming, HD radio, real time traffic and weather, MP3 player, USB integration, CD, Sirius XM satellite radio.

Gas Stats:

20 City and 28 Highway MPG

$3.65/ Gal avg. July 2, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $43,576 plus.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Lexus GS 300 4-door Sedan

2018 Lexus GS 300 4-door Sedan

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus GS 300 4-door Sedan(2018-year model name changed from GS 200t).

Few will disagree there is a nostalgia for cars of the early by-gone days but,clearly,all cars are far better today. And although competition is good for we consumers, I’d be ok with fewer brands. It’s likerestaurantswith long all-inclusive menus that give me more choices to choose from than I would like and too many confuses me.

Lexus cars are a delight to drive, and if this oneis within your transportation budget it will be a tough choice considering all the great cars on the menu. Some list the GS 300 in the middle of the ‘pack’, being topped by BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz. Surely, I agree the Germans put out a quality product, but my experience in owning a German and Italian auto repair business, leads me to take exception with some pundits. My bitch is simple – those same German cars are particularly expensive to maintain, topped by BMW. SO – I wouldn’t rank the Germans above the Japanese car makers because of that.

If you read my column regularly you know I have been test driving a lot of Toyota / Lexus cars over the past months. In my opinion, based on critiquing many, is they are consistently good cars across all models tested.

General Information:

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

Handling & Performance:

Twin Turbo acceleration is on the top of my list of performance aids, especially when you have a smaller displacement engine. To me, 4-cylinder engines make more sense in recent years, even though I grew up with muscle cars that Detroit carmakers conditioned us to believe in.That was when gas was $.19 a gallon here in the US, while Europe was hugely more expensive. To keep it in perspective, today US gas prices are around $3.50 / gal. while the same gallon of gas would cost over $13.00. My point is that European car makers were forced to be more interested in fuel efficiency than in the US.

With the benefit of forced induction (turbocharging) manufactures are moving rapidly toward more efficient 4-cylinder engines. Turbo technology coupled with VVT (variable valve timing), and direct injection of the fuel is what makes 4-cylinder engines possible and desirable. The racing world has made all this innovation a reality as they have pushed the envelope over the life of the industry. Some of the fastest cars, btw, are 4-cylinder engines.

Styling:

Lexus is not afraid of bold and innovative styling. Love it.

Fit and Finish:

Always great attention to detail at Lexus.

Cost:

Not cheap to buy, but you get what you pay for, and the cost of repairs is less than the German offerings.

Conveniences and comfort:

Perfect. More and more great features are found on higher end (higher cost) cars and depending on your threshold of financial pain you can pretty much have all the cool stuff available on cars these days.

There are a few downsides to this vehicle and one is its convoluted infotainment controls. The display is not a touch screen, and most settings are accessed using a distracting mouse-like controller.

Consumer Recommendations:

You can either test drive them all or hang this list on the wall and throw darts. You can’t go all that wrong either way. All these ladies are alluring but I’m partial to blonds so that doesn’t narrow the field much. But then come to think of it Kimberly Guilfoyle is hot too. OK, so I don’t have a problem testing them all.

Recognised Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus GS300 48,000 26 5 4 Japan Japan
Acura TLX 47,000 24 5 4 Japan USA
Jaguar XF 49,000 28 5 4 United Kingdom United Kingdom
Volvo S90 49,000 27 5 4 Sweden Sweden
Audi A6 51,000 28 5 4 Germany Germany
Infiniti Q50 51,000 22 5 4 Japan Japan
Lexus ES 43,000 40 5 4 Japan Japan
BMW 5 Series 53,000 27 5 4 Germany Germany
MBZ E Class 54,000 25 5 4 Germany Germany

Good News:

Fast, fun, elegant and beautiful.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder 241 horsepower twin turbo engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted manual shifters, drive mode select with ECO/Normal/Sport modes, ABS power braking system with electronic brake force distribution, 17” alloy wheels, tire pressure monitor, 10 airbags, stability control, dynamic integrated management, blind spot monitor with cross traffic alert, back up monitor, pre collision system, pedestrian detection, all speed dynamic radar cruise control, high beam automatic system, lane departure alert with steering assist and lane keep assist, perforated leather seating with driver memory system, power tilt and telescopic steering column with auto tilt away, smart access with push button start / stop, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power tilt and slide moonroof, power folding mirrors, climate control, audio system with advanced voice recognition, HD radio, DVD/CD player, Bluetooth, USB audio plug and Sirius XM satellite radio.

Gas Stats:

22 City and 32 Highway MPG

$3.49/ Gal avg. June 24, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $46,310.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

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 IS 350 4-door Sedan. I wonder why every player in this class car is from a country outside the shores of America. The US dominated the auto industry for 100 years, and now it has become just one of the gang with less and less influence in the industry, it would seem. All the while the lines of distinction are becoming more and more blurred as no one company dominates in the world marketplace of the cars we love to love.

As precise and perfect as designs are now, possible through technology, there are differences that will change the landscape of which products succeed and those that fail. The list of cars that have come and gone is staggering. And no matter the failures of the early days, technology still hasn’t guaranteed successful products of any kind. If computers were the answer to a perfectly run company we would see no failures. I guess people still have a roll in decision making. Can it be any worse or better when computers run the show. So far computers only seem to make things more complicated. That’s my observation.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Japan; Classification is- Compact; Vehicles from Lexus- CT, ES,GS, GX, IS, LC, LS, LX, NX, RC, RX.

Handling & Performance:

Drive mode select is appreciated more every time I review a car that is equipped with it. It is a way to remind me of my heavy foot. When I feel the need for speed it is there at the push of a button or the turn of a select knob. But it also reminds me there is a cost attached to every choice. Cruising down the highway, ECO is my choice of settings.

Dynamic radar cruise control is another new high-tech thing that make the ride easier to handle. It is truly a special development and when coupled with Lane Assist it keeps me on my toes to be a safer driver. It is easy to get distracted in this fast-paced world of cell phones that lead you to text or call when you really should not. We must all be very aware of ever-changing and increasing driver distractions.

Styling:

Although the looks are becoming more generic and difficult to tell brands apart there are always unique touches to distinguish those subtle differences. The grill work or smoother or sharper lines help but still too often we must look for the Badge to identify the manufacturer.

Fit and Finish:

Technology is available to all and component improvements are so advanced, over the past several decades, that all brands are consistently better, in assembly. Rarely do the cars of today have the shake, rattle and roll noises of the past. Remember when it was not so?

Cost:

Computers (computer aided design, or CAD systems) explain how precise pricing is possible across all brands. Component and labor costs are fine-tuned elements to create nearly identical product costs of the competition. The human factor is nearly non-existent in today’s world.

Conveniences and comfort:

Remote keys with the push button start/stop feature is so cool. When the car doesn’t have it digging in your purse or pocket to find the key is a real drag.

Consumer Recommendations:

We consumers have many choices in cars but sometimes it’s like a restaurant with a huge menu of choices that is more confusing than it needs to be. Oh, for the Henry Ford days when your choice of a Ford model A was black paint or black paint.

Recognised Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus IS 350 43,000 23 5 4 Japan Japan
BMW 3 Series 43,000 36 5 4 Germany Germany
Alfa Romeo Giulia 43,000 26 5 4 Italy Italy
Jaguar XE 43,000 24 5 4 United Kingdom United Kingdom
Mercedes C Class 43,000 26 5 4 Germany Germany
Volvo S60 42,000 29 5 4 Sweden China
Audi A5 44,000 27 5 4 Germany Germany

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter V6 311 horsepower engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, Drive mode select / ECO, Normal, Sport, Snow, dynamic radar cruise control, dynamic management, 18” 5-spoke aluminum wheels, ABS power disc brakes with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), tire pressure monitor, power tilt and slide moonroof, remote access with push button start/stop, 10-airbags, safety system with pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, auto high beam control, back up camera, Lexus Enform safety and service connect, 10-way power driver seat, 8-way power passenger seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, multi information full color display with Audio, Phone and trip information, Bluetooth hands free phone and audio streaming, Audio system with HD ?radio, Real-time traffic and weather , Gracenote Album Art, MP3 Player, USB integration, CD, SiriusXM Satellite radio.

Gas Stats:

20 City and 28 Highway MPG

$3.69 / Gal avg. May 14, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $41,430.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

2018 Lexus LS 500 4-door Sedan

2018 Lexus LS 500 4-door Sedan

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus LS 500 4-door Sedan. Wow!!! What a lovely state of the art luxury car for the fortunate few who can justify the price of admission. For most of us it would be a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there!

This past week I had the opportunity to get an overview of 11 different models of cars with high tech devices found in most cars these days. The trend is going deeper and deeper into the weeds of complication. If you want knobs and buttons on your radio I suggest you buy a ‘classic car’ from the 20th Century. Don’t laugh. Most of you reading this were born and spent most of your life in that Century. The good news is that you surely know a pre-teen who you can call upon to show you how to use the controls on your $100,000 transportation vehicle. But if you don’t know a kid, the manufactures have huge manuals to reference, and classes to teach you to select channels on your radio. In the meantime, “Do NOT” attempt to use those features unless you are PARKED.

Opinion:

I believe Henry Ford would NOT have approved of the exclusivity of such luxury cars. He was “All Inclusive” in his production of cars so anyone could afford to have motorized transportation. And that marked the time when buggy whips became obsolete.

Conversely this LS 500 is designed for a select segment of automotive consumers.

I drive nearly every car made and it becomes clear, to me, that the main objective of the auto industry is transportation. But it also provides for satisfying our ego and self-image. This realization reminded me of my first career job at Price Waterhouse – Coopers. A partner at the firm drove an old, old Buick that seemed hardly a car that an important successful member of business would drive. It made an impression on me. He was making a statement to all who knew him that you didn’t go to a client in a flashy expensive car. I never checked to see if he drove a Ferrari on weekends.

General Information:

It is assembled in- Japan; Classification is- Midsize; Vehicles from Lexus- CT, ES,GS, GX, IS, LC, LS, LX, NX, RC, RX.

Handling & Performance:

Today’s cars, generally, make us better drivers. Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure warnings where you must use the turn signal or a warning sound is triggered, Cross Traffic alerts and crash avoidance technology make us more aware drivers. These driver-assist features are becoming more common and will eventually be cheaper so the cost will be easily justified by all.

Styling:

Some tell me they do not like the grill design, but I rather like the bold look. How ‘bout you?

Fit and Finish:

Careful attention to assembly is exceptional in this class of car. You’ll find perfection in seams, stitching and perfect fits when doors and trunk lid closes.

Cost:

Well….. when I get to the $100,000 price point, I begin to wonder if I get what I pay for. Hey, I’ve been looking at Motorhomes and the price of this car buys a great home on wheels.

Conveniences and comfort:

Most of the comforts of home except you wouldn’t want to spend the night.

Consumer Recommendations:

“Just think, by boy, think” – Richard’s grandpa.

Recognised Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus LS 500 76,000 23 5 4 Japan Japan
Genesis G90 75,000 23 5 4 Korea Korea
Audi A7 73,000 23 5 4 Germany Germany
Cadillac XTS 73,000 18 5 4 USA Canada
Cadillac CT6 70,000 21 5 4 USA USA
Audi S7 82,000 18 4 4 Germany Germany
BMW 7 Series 84,000 24 5 4 Germany Germany
Porsche Panamera 91,000 23 4 4 Germany Germany

Good News:

Elegant classy look and feel, bold styling, top high tech capable, comfortable ride.

Bad News:

I found the controls (follow the pack) needlessly too complicated. (classes for using the features are available, which makes my point.)

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter twin turbo 416 horsepower V6 engine, continuously variable valve timing, direct cylinder injection system, 10-speed sequential automatic transmission, drive mode select ECO, Normal, Sport, Electronic power steering, 19” alloy wheels, 10 airbags, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, all speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with lane keep assist, intelligent high beam headlights, vehicle dynamic integrated management, stability control, brake assist and brake force distribution, traction control, ABS braking system, tire pressure monitoring system, electronic parking brake, smart stop technology, intuitive parking assist with auto stop, Blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, rain sensing wipers, Navigation with high resolution 12.3” screen with remote touchpad and backup camera, Lexus Enform Safety connect and service connect (10 years of ownership), Enform Wi-Fi (1-year included), Enform remote App and destination assist (1-year included), Enform App Suite 2.0, Enform dynamic Navigation (3-years included), SiriusXM satellite radio (3 months), Climate control, 16-way driver’s and front passenger power seats, leather trimmed interior, power rear sunshade, hands free power trunk open/close, keyless entry with push button start/stop, tilt and slide moonroof, 12-speakr sound system, multiple USB and AUX, single disc CD, Bluetooth and HD radio.

Gas Stats:

19 City and 30 Highway MPG

$3.69 / Gal avg. April 29, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $81,000; with the rest of the options $102,000.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2018 – An Automotive Love Affair

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 © 2018 – 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 © 2018 – 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.