You may have heard; the Toyota Land Cruiser no longer has a home here in the States so it’s gussied up Lexus counterpart the LX is going to have to carry the flagship SUV torch all by itself. Sure, Lexus stocks a bunch of SUVs – 5 to be exact – but it’s the LX that separates itself from the group with a starting MSRP of about $90,000. Can it off-road? Yes. Can it take you from the Ritz Carlton to the airport all the while looking the part? Also, yes. And it’s “all-new” this year…an adjective rarely used when describing a Lexus SUV but after 14 years it was time to give it a complete redesign. The result? A big, bodacious grille, more sensuousness to the body, a new, more fuel-efficient twin-turbo V6 under the hood and a complete redo of the infotainment electronics. It’s lighter and more powerful but as for changing the LX’s footprint or other notable dimensions Lexus punted…choosing to preserve its heritage sizing of being nimble enough to tackle a wooded trail or the Nieman Marcus parking lot. And with the expanded Multi-Terrain Select, low-speed gearing, a locking center differential, crawl control and in this case – a height-adjustable suspension – the LX is the body-on-frame SUV of country club dreams…and a number of those features have been improved upon this year such as the much quicker reacting Active Height Control system with 3 levels of lift and a fast squat for easier coming and going. This Atomic Silver example looks amazing, the black open-pore wood trim is so classy and if an infusion of new tech is a turnoff to you the LX won’t overwhelm. You can also now get one in F SPORT Handling trim and a $130,000 Ultra Luxury model with individual rear seats fit for a king. It’ll fit in your garage and exudes an old money vibe that fits in perfectly with New England beach communities.
Ok, its bark is worse than its bite but the new IS 350 F SPORT with Dynamic Handling Package is an attainable luxury sports sedan that satisfies on a number of fronts. Not the least of which is this sexy new styling. Lexus knows sedans are yesterday’s news so investing tons of money to redesign its trio of 4-doors isn’t going to happen which is why you won’t hear terms such as “all-new” or “redesigned” when it comes to the 2021 IS – the car’s first significant update since it was redesigned in 2014. So don’t go searching for new engines, transmissions or a roomier interior; this is ostensibly the same car as before but better in terms of handling improvements, reduced weight and finally enhanced infotainment controls. And for those reasons Lexus says this IS ushers in the new Lexus Driving Signature – the first in a new generation of Lexus vehicles that is more balanced, refined in control, and confident than ever before. Reducing unsprung mass, enhancing body rigidity, tweaking the shocks for more responsiveness and fitting it with stickier, wider tires has elevated the driving experience of a car that has also shed 154 pounds – now weighing 100 pounds less than a BMW M340i. Lexus aimed to create a compact sports sedan that provides high-quality riding comfort while offering a high level of vehicle control and those attributes are certainly present.
LEXUS RX 350 L 2020 QUICK TAKES. The pioneer of the luxury crossover segment is receiving an update – inside and out – for the 2020 model year. The new 2020 Lexus RX and RXL three row enhance both their elegance and captivating appeal through improved driving dynamics, an updated Lexus Multimedia System, additional standard safety features and elevated styling that bring a new sophistication to the RX lineup.
All 2020 Lexus RX models feature updated exterior styling that includes revised front and rear fascias and a new standard 18” wheel design. Triple-beam LED headlamps have also been redesigned as an option. Inside, an available 12.3-inch touchscreen paired with the remote touch pad supports added dynamic voice and navigation functionality. The updated Lexus Multimedia System now includes advanced in-dash technology to simplify a guest’s life, such as Apple CarPlay® integration for your iPhone.
My first go around in this current generation ES was 2 years ago when Lexus last redesigned it. I really embraced the changes but ultimately decided that the hybrid powertrain was simply not for me. Well now, Lexus is offering the ES with all-wheel drive for the first time but unfortunately they’ve paired it with the wrong engine.
Just to make it clear, I like the ES… but not like this. With the 4-cylinder engine, this has to be the slowest luxury car I’ve ever driven and I’m not one that believes everything has to be a sports sedan; far from it. I love cushy, smooth rides and quiet cabins. But this here is a mistake and putting the F SPORT badge on it is an insult to the letter F and the word Sport. So just make sure the numbers after your ES begin with a 3 and not a 2.
The ES F SPORT is an attractive, conservatively styled car with a little extra flair that when V6-powered can make for a worthy luxury companion.
2021 LEXUS LC 500 CONVERTIBLE TEST DRIVE BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. After 2+ decades of driving new cars each week, I admit, you can get pretty jaded. So it’s rarer now that I get really wowed when a car is delivered but that’s happening right now. I mean, just look at this thing. The LC is already a gorgeous car but make it a convertible and paint it red like this and all of a sudden I’m a teenager again at Spencer Gift’s buying the poster because the Lexus LC 500 Convertible is as close as it gets to a rolling piece of art.
the LC is not a sports car…this is a grand tourer in the greatest sense. This is all about a beautiful autumn day, top down, companion in the passenger seat, neck heater blowing, and the intoxicating sounds of the V8. The huge 21” wheels and high performance tires ding the ride quality a bit and overall the suspension doesn’t feel as sophisticated as you would like so driving it with verve is more pleasing when the road isn’t too twisty. I love convertibles and the showier the better. And this Lexus makes for the ideal sunny skies weekender as long as you can handle all of the attention.