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2022 Lexus NX

2022 Lexus NX

The new-gen Lexus NX comes with an updated exterior, a much-needed tech upgrade, and a new top trim with a plug-in hybrid mill

Lexus has come up with the next-gen 2022 NX crossover. The NX has been in the market for over three decades now and is still one of the most important products for the automaker. In fact, it is the second-best-selling Lexus model after the RX. For the 2022 model, the NX comes with an updated exterior and interior, and also a plug-in hybrid engine in a new top-of-the-line trim. The NX will arrive by the end of the year and could start at around $40,000.

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2018 Lexus RXL

2018 Lexus RXL

Adding two extra seats could pay big dividends

The mid-size Lexus RX premium crossover has been around for almost two straight decades now, first hitting U.S. shores in the late ‘90s. Since its debut, Lexus has ushered in four generations, with the latest dropping in 2015. Now, it’s time for a refresh, and Lexus is providing just that with the latest 2018 model year. We’re still waiting for all the details, but the big news so far is the addition of third-row seating, bringing total passenger capacity to seven, a much-needed update for the top-selling model. Indeed, the Lexus RX is one of the segment’s most popular entries, and a seven-seater option has been expected for quite some time now. In addition to the added practicality, the RX will continue to offer efficient hybrid power and AWD grip, both features that should find their way to the new three-row model as well. The uniquely sharp exterior styling is expected to continue on more or less unchanged, as will the high-end luxury and technology inside the cabin.

Updating the RX with new seven-seat practicality is a good move for Lexus, giving customers a shot at greater seating capacity without stepping up to the larger V-8-powered Lexus LX and Lexus GX. We should get the full rundown on the 2018 Lexus RXL next week at the Los Angeles Show, but for now, read on for our speculative review.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 RX 350L.

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2019 Lexus GS

2019 Lexus GS

For a while now, rumors have been circulating, and it seems as if the Lexus GS may find itself on the guillotine at the end of the fourth and current generation. That generation has been around since 2011 and was just updated in 2015, however, the GS has had some seriously insignificant sales, which is probably why rumors seem to point toward the ES taking the GS’s place in as the mid-sized executive box on wheels. And, considering Lexus sells roughly 10 times more ES than GS models, the rumors make sense. However, we’re now looking at some spy shots that point to those rumors being wrong. We’re guessing the model you see here is the new GS, but it could also be the next-gen ES as it’s currently about time for a generational shift as well. Either way, there is something fresh coming to Lexus’ stable soon, and if it is the GS, rumor has it that the next-gen GS F will get a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 that’s good for some 590 ponies and 500 pound-feet of torque.

With that said, the spy shots show a fairly revised model regardless of what it really is, but we don’t know much else about it at this point. It is clearly a hybrid, as the yellow tape on the back window is a safety requirement for hybrids testing on the Nürburgring. Potential debut dates, based on the current life cycle of both the ES and GS, point to a late 2018 debut with the potential to be a 2019 model with 2020 seeming more feasible. So, we should be learning more about what’s lurking under the camo in the somewhat near future. But, until then, we’re going to assume this is a next-gen GS, so let’s take a better look and talk some more about it.

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The 2017 Lexus IS Interior's Big Annoyance: Form over Function

The 2017 Lexus IS Interior’s Big Annoyance: Form over Function

Sometimes pretty doesn’t equal usable

Form and function are two concepts often competing for the same space. Form, the beauty and style of an object, can prove hard to retain when adding functionality, the ingrained usability of an object. The 2017 Lexus IS sedan is a perfect example of an automotive battleground where these two concepts duke it out. And in the Lexus’ case, form is winning.

Let’s back up a bit. I’m driving the revised 2017 Lexus IS 200t F Sport sedan this week – the 2.0-liter turbo-four-powered, RWD sports sedan from Toyota’s luxury brand. This compact 3 Series competitor offers a taught suspension with summer performance tires, sexy bodylines, and a beautifully designed interior, all powered by 241 horsepower. There are negatives about the IS, but they relatively few and far between. The biggest complaint, however, is the lack of functionality within its center console.

Lexus designers did an amazing job sketching out the dashboard, steering wheel, and center console. Sadly, they seemed to forget how Americans use their cars. There is simply a lack of handy storage space and usable cup holders.

The two cup holders are placed too far rearward, making it hard to reach for drinks. Even worse, the presence of cups renders the passenger’s left arm an orphan, consuming all the armrest space afforded to the shotgun rider. The cup holders are also too small for larger drink containers. Secondly, there is no space for cell phones, wallets, or other odds and ends people tend to store in a console cubby hole. Yes, there’s the under-armrest storage compartment, but it’s not the handiest place for such items.

The remedy for this form over function layout is simple – though it doesn’t change anything: think of the IS as a driver’s car. Sure, the vast majority of American IS buyers use the car as daily transportation, but the designers apparently thought coin trays, storage bins, and convenient cup holders weren’t necessary to the task of driving. And while they’re right in the purest sense of a sports car, the lack of everyday usability is unwelcomely compromised.

The faux pas doesn’t diminish my appreciation for the IS sedan, but would make ownership a bit more challenging. Let’s hope Lexus finds a way to inject functionality into the cockpit of the next generation.

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2016 Lexus RX 200t

2016 Lexus RX 200t

Lexus only recently unveiled the 2016 RX, and it has a completely new look that some may love and others, not so much. At the Shanghai Auto Show, Lexus revealed a new addition to the redesigned RX lineup, in the form of the RX 200t.

The Lexus RX lineup dates back to the 1999 model year, which was when the U.S. first laid eyes upon the RX 300 crossover SUV. In 2004, the RX gained a new look, a 3.3-liter engine, and a new name: RX 330. In the 2007 model year, the RX’s engine grew again to a 3.5-liter V-6, which meant that a name change to the RX 350 also took place. Following its change to the RX 350, the SUV received a new look in 2010.

With its new four-cylinder addition for the 2016 model year, the RX is treading into new waters for this segment, as neither the Acura MDX nor the Infiniti QX60 have four-pot offerings. Is this movement to a smaller, turbocharged engine a good move for Lexus?

Continue reading my review of the RX 200t to find out.

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2016 Lexus RX

2016 Lexus RX

Among the stars at the 2015 New York Auto Show is the all-new 2016 Lexus RX. This forth-generation RX builds on the foundation already laid by Lexus’ best-selling model of all time. A hot new design that takes after the compact NX crossover that debuted last year clearly moves the RX from meek and boring to vogue and cutting-edge. Lexus might lose some of its older customer base, but will likely gain a younger, yet just as affluent crowd thanks to this bold move.

The 2016 RX wholeheartedly embraces the corporate Spindle Grille design from its F Sport trim. Inside, the cabin takes an even further departure from what we’re used to seeing from Lexus, departing from the brand’s current design styles in favor of something fresh.

Even the mechanicals have been heavily updated. The 3.5-liter V-6 returns with more power and direct injection. An all-new eight-speed automatic transmission joins the mix while the RX 450h’s Atkinson-cycle powertrain also gets a slight power boost.

All told, the new RX is far more visually outgoing in its new design. What that actually means for its sales numbers is unknown, but I’d bet on a huge growth in popularity.

Updated 04/01/2015: The new Lexus RX made its world debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show - in both standard and hybrid versions.

Continue reading to check out the details of the new 2016 Lexus RX.

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2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport & a NASCAR Roadtrip

2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport & a NASCAR Roadtrip

There are few things in this country more American than a NASCAR race. Sure, apple pie and baseball might outrank it, but neither of those can compete with stock cars thundering around a track at 200 mph while continually riding on the brink of catastrophe as they race just inches away from a concrete wall and other drivers gunning to win. So when the opportunity arose to become deeply immersed in the culture during the recent All-Star race, I jumped at the chance.

It all started a few months ago with an email invite from Toyota. It read something along the lines of, “how about joining us at the NASCAR All-Star race and tours of the Joe Gibbs Racing Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame?” My reply went something like, “Heck yeah, I’ll be there!”

I decided to skip the crowded airports for a 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport and a seven-hour drive through the heart of the eastern seaboard. I viewed this almost like a pilgrimage; setting out on a roadtrip for a destination of racing importance located in the rolling hills of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Once on the road, my choice of chariot was immediately affirmed. Unlike my last Lexus experience, the front seat was perfectly molded, padded, and bolstered. The more I drove, the more the car seemed to shrink around me, making tight maneuvering a thing of ease. The stout 3.5-liter V-6 offered plenty of grunt while the tight steering and sport-tuned suspension made each corner a memorable event.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport and about my time spent at Joe Gibbs Racing Center

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