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Quick Comparo: Is the Lexus RC F Track Edition better than the BMW M4 GTS?

Quick Comparo: Is the Lexus RC F Track Edition better than the BMW M4 GTS?

Is the RC F finally a worthy competitor?

The Lexus RC has been around since 2014 and the Japanese luxury firm finally designed a track-prepped version. It’s called the RC F Track Edition and it’s more than an accessories package. But is it really a track-ready sports car, a coupe that can give the likes of the BMW M4 GTS a run for its money? Let’s find out in the quick comparo below.

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Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy

Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy

Who said these big boys can’t run efficiently?

The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.

Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.

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2019 Lexus ES Versus 2019 Toyota Avalon - Which Is Better?

2019 Lexus ES Versus 2019 Toyota Avalon - Which Is Better?

Picking them apart, side by side

If you’re in the market for a new mid-size four-door from Japan, Toyota’s offering up the 2019 Avalon, while Lexus has the 2019 ES, and truth be told, there’s lots of overlap between the two. However, there’s also several critical differences, so to find out which was best, we put ‘em side by side and broke out the magnifying glass.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Visual Comparison: 2019 Lexus UX vs 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA

Visual Comparison: 2019 Lexus UX vs 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA

Do you prefer the unapologetic aggression of the UX or the classy demeanor of the GLA?

Say what you will about Lexus’ penchant for swinging for the fences when it comes to the design of its cars. Some people like them while others don’t. But they draw attention, which, I suppose, is the whole point of it. You’ll likely feel the same about the Lexus UX, which hits dealerships here in the U.S. at the end of the year. When it does, the UX will compete against a number of crossovers, most notably the Mercedes GLA-Class. That said, there’s no better time than today to take a look at the design of both the UX and the GLA-Class to see which one is better.

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Driven Opinion: How the Lexus GS 200t Compares to the Competition

Driven Opinion: How the Lexus GS 200t Compares to the Competition

How the GS stacks up against the Germans and Americans

This week has seen a 2017 Lexus GS 200t in my driveway, and after some 200 miles of mixed driving around town and down the Interstate, I started thinking about how it compared to another luxury sedan I’ve driven. This won’t be a true apples-to-apples comparison due to the wide variety of engine options and trim levels, however, but we’ll still make the best of it. Grains of salt are generously sprinkled atop the premise of this piece.

So, a little on the Lexus GS 200t. Well, it has the rather desirable F Sport package, meaning it has an upgraded suspension with summer performance tires designed for better handling, it has a more aggressive exterior appearance, and the interior is finished off with deeper bucket seats and some slightly flashier trim work. The F Sport package does not change anything about the engine. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces the same 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque as the non-F Sport version. It’s also worth noting that Lexus’ website calls the 2017 GS 200t the GS Turbo and that, for 2018, the car is renamed the GS 300. Read about the name change here.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F

How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F

Two very different trims of the same sedan

Lexus might be best known for its cushy cars and that unforgettable Spindle grille, but the company has a long list of high-performance vehicles that include the iconic LF-A and a handful of F Performance models. The F stands for Fuji Speedway where the vehicles are developed, but it might was well stand for fun. These models have performance-oriented suspensions, larger brakes, a powerful engine, and more aggressive styling. A perfect example of this is the Lexus GS F. It’s a full-size sedan with a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8, rear-wheel drive, massive Brembo brakes, and looks to kill.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Lexus GS 200t – the same sedan but powered by a 241-horsepower turbo-four. While the cars couldn’t be more different, Lexus offers something in the middle: the F Sport package. This adds 19-inch wheels, larger brakes with high-friction pads, an adaptive suspension system, variable ratio steering, and a body kit that closely resembles the GS F’s.

This week happens to have a 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport in my driveway, and I wanted to explore the differences between it and the all-out GS F, especially haven driven both.

Continue reading for the quick comparison.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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Lexus GX460 VS. GMC Yukon Denali

Lexus GX460 VS. GMC Yukon Denali

Traditional body-on-frame SUVs are becoming something of a rare breed these days with unibody crossovers picking up the sales slack. Folks seem to be more worried about fuel economy than towing numbers or off-road abilities. Still, the market for the old-school, ladder-frame SUV exists and models are still moving off dealer lots.

Two of the more luxurious examples are the Lexus GX460 and the GMC Yukon Denali. Both of these beasts come packing some serious hardware, including V-8 engines, standard/available 4WD and trailer hitch, roof racks, tall ground clearance, and enough attitude to make a snotty high school girl seem angelic.

But how do these two compare when pitted against each other? Both go for the luxury segment, both are slathered in chrome, both offer three rows of seating, and both cost over $60,000. That’s what we’ll find out.

To preface this comparison, both the GMC and Lexus have spent a week in my driveway and were driven on the same roads, in the same conditions, and even photographed in the same place – all within a two-month window. So let’s get to it.

Continue reading for the full comparison

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Lexus GX460 VS. GMC Yukon Denali

Lexus GX460 VS. GMC Yukon Denali

Traditional body-on-frame SUVs are becoming something of a rare breed these days with unibody crossovers picking up the sales slack. Folks seem to be more worried about fuel economy than towing numbers or off-road abilities. Still, the market for the old-school, ladder-frame SUV exists and models are still moving off dealer lots.

Two of the more luxurious examples are the Lexus GX460 and the GMC Yukon Denali. Both of these beasts come packing some serious hardware, including V-8 engines, standard/available 4WD and trailer hitch, roof racks, tall ground clearance, and enough attitude to make a snotty high school girl seem angelic.

But how do these two compare when pitted against each other? Both go for the luxury segment, both are slathered in chrome, both offer three rows of seating, and both cost over $60,000. That’s what we’ll find out.

To preface this comparison, both the GMC and Lexus have spent a week in my driveway and were driven on the same roads, in the same conditions, and even photographed in the same place – all within a two-month window. So let’s get to it.

Continue reading for the full comparison

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C-Pillar Design Comparison: Lexus RX Vs. Nissan Maxima

C-Pillar Design Comparison: Lexus RX Vs. Nissan Maxima

If you’ve been following us lately, you probably noticed our new focus on comparisons. They helped us conclude the new Focus RS is a better alternative to the Golf R, and that the Porsche Boxster has the upper hand over the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. Also, comparing the Focus RS and the 2015 Mustang made us realize Ford is brave enough to let use choose between two fantastic and highly desirable performance cars. If you enjoyed those, than be prepared for more, but until we roll out our next comparo, we will take a closer look at the 2016 Nissan Maxima and 2016 Lexus RX.

Confused? Than let me say that this isn’t a regular comparison. That would be impossible since the two come in different shapes and sizes, and, more importantly, compete in completely different segments. So what do the Maxima and the RX have in common, you may ask? Well, besides being made by Japanese manufacturers, these new models share a common design feature, which seems rather awkward with both cars having been introduced at the New York Auto Show. Keep reading to find out more about it.

Continue reading for the whole story.

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Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

I’ve already given the introduction to how much Texans love their trucks and how every year the Texas Auto Writers Association gathers to crown the winner; the coveted “Truck of Texas” award. Now let’s get down to some results.

Besides the main award, there were 17 other categories that each of the 75 vehicles fell into. These consisted of titles like “Midsized Crossover Utility Vehicles” and “Luxury Pickup Trucks.” Awards were also given for best connectivity, best powertrain, and best technology.

Each vehicle was subjected to a battery of tests that measured its ability to perform its intended function, whether that be towing, going off road, surrounding its occupants in luxury, or proving a great all-round family hauler. The vehicles were all competing within their respective category for the win.

So which truck, SUV, or crossover took home the Truck of Texas award? Continue reading to find out.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

Not much goes together quite like Texas and trucks. It’s the U.S.’ largest truck market by a long shot and it’s plain to see as you peruse any given parking lot. Texans love their trucks. That’s why the Texas Auto Writers Association crowns a Truck of Texas winner every year after an extensive evaluation process.

As a member of TAWA, I spent the better part of a week in the dusty hills outside San Antonio testing 75 contenders vying for the prized top spot. Eighteen automakers from around the world were in attendance, the majority bringing more than a handful of vehicles.

Ground zero for testing was the famed Knibbe Ranch, with hundreds of acres of sprawling across the Lonestar state. Muddy creek crossings and rocky hill climbs, combined with twisty country roads and newly paved highways provided the test beds. Those trucks, SUVs and crossovers brave enough to tackle the off-road section were subjected to rock-strewn dirt roads that punished suspension parts and underbody skidplates. More road-biased crossovers were thrown around narrow roads and up steep hills. The new pavement along the Texas highway was still covered in loose asphalt with orange caution cones proving a tempting (yet highly illegal) slalom course. Thankfully no one attempted that obstacle.

The 60 journalists judging the event had a huge decision to make. What truck, SUV or crossover would be crowned the Truck of Texas? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. We’ll announce the top winner and the winners of sub-categories on Wednesday.

Click past the jump for a full photo gallery

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2015 Lexus RC F Vs BMW M4 Coupe

2015 Lexus RC F Vs BMW M4 Coupe

Like Ron Burgundy, high-performance cars are kind of a big deal around here. Anytime something new comes out, it causes quite a stir. So you can imagine the excitement built up over the new offerings from BMW and Lexus. Both companies have been hard at work building track-ready beasts like the M3/M4 duo and RC F ready to take on the clock, the instrumented testing, and each other as they duke it out for a spot on your dream driveway.

While neither the M4 Coupe nor the RC F has been driven by anyone outside their respective manufactures, the comparisons have already begun. And that’s what we’re doing here. A detailed look into their numbers, estimated performance stats, and brand history to see which car is likely to find itself on top once the real-world comparison tests happen.

Until time narrows towards the cars’ launches this summer, guessing is all we can do. However, we can make educated guesses based on the criteria above. We will also take a close look at each car’s interior and exterior design, usability, and pricing. Follow along as we dive deep into the numbers to dissect which car will emerge as king.

Click past the jump for the comparison

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