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2020 Lexus LX 570 - Driven

2020 Lexus LX 570 - Driven

Is it the perfect blend of off-road capability and mild luxury?

From the company that invented the luxury crossover, the 2020 Lexus LX 570 is a decided throwback. This is a full-sized SUV that’s derived not from a car platform like you’d find in a Mercedes-Benz GLS or BMW X7, or even from the family-focused Toyota Sequoia.

Instead, it borrows its underpinnings from the Toyota Land Cruiser — one of the most capable SUVs you can buy. The LX 570 is no mere leather-lined cocoon, but also a boulder-climbing machine that employs a mix of electronic gizmos and burly suspension components to tackle challenging terrain.

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2020 Lexus RX450hL - Driven

2020 Lexus RX450hL - Driven

We tested the 2020 Lexus RX 450hL — the RX model with the longest name

The Lexus RX invented the luxury crossover. It invented the luxury hybrid. And it’s consistently America’s best-selling luxury SUV. That’s why the current-generation RX’s shortcomings have been so surprising. It debuted in 2016 with polarizing styling, limited cargo space, no available third-row seat, cumbersome controls, and missing infotainment features.

At least based on the sales numbers, buyers registered no objections. They either embraced or accepted the RX for what it is, continuing to be drawn to its quiet ride, rich leather, and promise of headache-free reliability. But Lexus has steadily improved the vehicle since that 2016 debut. It added an extended-length three-row model for the 2018 model year, known as the RX L. Now, the 2020 RX features an upgraded infotainment system and tweaks to the styling and suspension.

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What It's Like to Daily Drive the Lexus LC500

What It’s Like to Daily Drive the Lexus LC500

A grand tourer that’s fine with commuting… mostly

The 2018 Lexus LC500 is a stunningly beautiful coupe that looks more like a concept car than a production model. That visual appeal, combined with its sultry interior and angry V-8, solidly confirm its place as an aspirational vehicle. It would be right at home on a bedroom poster next to high-end sports cars from Ferrari or Lamborghini. Yet this 2+2 coupe isn’t a true sports car, but a grand tourer with comfort and luxury as its main objective with a go-fast nature coming in second.

It’s this aim at luxury that makes the LC500 a pleasure to daily drive. Of course, the 471-horsepower V-8, 10-speed automatic, and rear-wheel drive that turn the pleasure into outright giddy fun.

Continue reading for driving impressions of the Lexus LC500.

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Why The Lexus LC500 Isn't Perfect

Why The Lexus LC500 Isn’t Perfect

The misunderstood labeling that’s hurting the LC’s image

Read nearly any online review of the 2018 Lexus LC500 and you’ll be left thinking the car is too heavy, too underpowered, and too expensive. And in defense of my fellow automotive journalists out there, they mean well but miss the LC’s essence – its thesis statement. Compared to many 2+2 luxury coupes with V-8 power and rear-wheel drive, the LC simply falls short in the performance category. Unfortunately, this narrow-angle view entirely misses the point of the LC’s existence.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Lexus LC500.

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The 2018 Lexus LC500 is the Perfect Ride for a Valentine's Day Date

The 2018 Lexus LC500 is the Perfect Ride for a Valentine’s Day Date

A hot ride for a hot date

It’s Valentine’s Day, and so long as you’re not celebrating Single’s Awareness Day, you’ve probably got a romantic date planned for tonight. While most people will ride to the restaurant in their Toyota Camry or Chevrolet Tahoe, they’re dreaming of arriving at the valet booth with something a bit more… upscale.

It seems the 2018 Lexus LC500 fits the bill rather perfectly. Let me explain.

Continue reading for more on the Lexus LC500.

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The 2018 Lexus LC500 is the Definitive Grand Tourer

The 2018 Lexus LC500 is the Definitive Grand Tourer

Luxury combines with power to make driving an enriched experience

The 2018 Lexus LC500 is impossible to miss. Drive it anywhere and people will point, take pictures, and ask questions – both about the car and your best investment advice. The LC500 imparts an air of luxury and sophistication that not many vehicles can match. That’s especially true when, like my tester, the 2+2 coupe is draped in Liquid Platinum paint, fitted with the upgraded 21-inch wheels, and shows hints of its red interior through the windows. The LC simply looks like money.

And given its price tag, looking the part is the least it should do.

Lexus charges a whopping $92,000 for a “base” model LC500. Adding options makes the price rise quicker than Diet Coke out of a Mentos-filled bottle. My tester stickered for $100,920. That’s some serious coin for a vehicle some bill as a “personal luxury coupe.” But is it worth it? And more importantly, what is the LC500?

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Lexus LC500.

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What Lurks Under The Lexus LC500's Hood

What Lurks Under The Lexus LC500’s Hood

Hint: It makes the best noises of every Lexus short of the LFA

The 2018 Lexus LC500 has the pedigree of a proper sports car, though it’s far better at being a fantastic grand touring coupe. Still, it packs a wallop behind that Spindle Grille and it hides plenty of high-tech gadgetry under its carbon fiber reinforced plastic body panels.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Lexus LC500.

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The Lexus LC500's Interior is Breathtaking

The Lexus LC500’s Interior is Breathtaking

Function takes a back seat to form’s overtly striking appeal

The 2018 Lexus LC500 is a beautiful car to behold. Just look at it – everything from those exterior lines and Coke bottle haunches to the interior’s deep bucket seats and intricate dashboard. The dash pulls cues and inspiration from the famed Lexus LFA while combining new elements and Lexus’ most modern take on the Enform infotainment system.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Lexus LC500’s interior.

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2018 Lexus RX350 - Driven

2018 Lexus RX350 - Driven

The grandfather of luxury crossovers

The Lexus RX has been around since 1998 and basically invented the luxury crossover segment. It’s even appropriate to credit the RX with the boom in popularity for all crossover niches. But things have changed, of course, and the competition is fierce. Lexus brought its latest RX iteration to life for 2015, complete with the aggressive styling seen elsewhere in Lexus’ lineup.

Now as 2018 rolls on, the Lexus RX gets a new three-row version called the RX L. it’s available in the RX350 and RX450 configurations, meaning you can haul seven people with a standard V-6 or one connected to a hybrid system. If that’s not enough choice, Lexus will also let you have the F Sport package – and that’s all before getting into the optional features available within the cabin. Needleless to say, the RX offers customers plenty of choices.

But we’re testing the old standard – the RX350 in FWD without the appearance package or hybrid powertrain. This is the type of RX you’d find at any Lexus dealership without having to special order something. Let’s have a look.

Continue reading for more information.

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What it's Like to Daily Drive the Lexus RX350

What it’s Like to Daily Drive the Lexus RX350

Smooth cruising for four adults

This week we’re evaluating the Lexus RX350 in FWD and without all the extra stuff like the F Sport package and hybrid drivetrain. This is the RX in its purest form. It’s also the least-expensive way to have an RX and a build configuration that you’ll likely find stacked like cordwood at the local Lexus dealer.

It probably comes as no surprise to hear the Lexus RX 350 rides like a cloud on stilts. Lexus has always done a fantastic job building smooth-riding suspension systems for its sedans. That expertise carries over into the RX, along with the 20 years of experience Lexus has with build the luxury crossover. It’s almost hard to believe the RX nameplate is 20 years old in 2018.

Continue reading for our driving impressions.

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Price Check: Lexus RX350 vs the Competition

Price Check: Lexus RX350 vs the Competition

How the Lexus RX 350 stacks the cash

Luxury SUVs are expensive and it takes a hefty bank account to afford one, but even wealthy folks love a good deal. After all, saving and spending wisely are critical parts of becoming wealthy, right?

We’re comparing the 2018 Lexus RX350 to a four of its main rivals. These are the Cadillac XT5, Audi Q5, Lincoln MKX, and for a comparison to Lexus’ new three-row version of the RX, the Acura MDX.

Continue reading for the pricing wars.

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Cargo Space: This is how the Lexus RX350 Stacks Up

Cargo Space: This is how the Lexus RX350 Stacks Up

Turns out that sloping roofline has a downside

This week we’re evaluating the Lexus RX 350 luxury crossover. We’ve covered it Enform infotainment system, talked about its price verses it competition, and looked at how it drives. Now its time to compare the Lexus’ cargo-carrying abilities.

Four of the Lexus’ main competitors are the Cadillac XT5, Audi Q5, and Lincoln MKX. These two-row crossovers represent some of the hottest-selling in the luxury crossover segment, which itself is one of the fastest-growing vehicle segments in the entire automotive industry. We’re also including the three-row Acura MDX as a comparison against Lexus’ new three-row version of the RX, the RX L.

Continue reading for more information.

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A Brief Look at the Lexus RX350's Infotainment System

A Brief Look at the Lexus RX350’s Infotainment System

What’s to like and not like

The Lexus Enform system has been around a while, and unfortunately, its age is showing. While I can’t complain that it doesn’t work, the joystick-controlled system just isn’t the most pleasing to use or the most user-friendly. It takes a while to become comfortable with. Enform also lacks modern features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Still, for all its faults, it’s a decent system. It just goes about the whole user-input thing a bit differently than other systems on the market. It’s hard to criticize Lexus for trying something different, right? Maybe, but it seems Enform might be holding Lexus back. Let’s have a look.

Continue reading for more information.

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Quick Specs: 2017 Lexus RX350

Quick Specs: 2017 Lexus RX350

Lexus’ comfy crossover examined

The Lexus RX has been around since 1998, but its most recent iteration came out for 2015. Traditionally a two-row crossover, the RX ventures into new territory for 2018 with a three-row version called the RX350 L. The two extra seats makes the RX L Lexus’ first three-row crossover. Of course, the LX SUV has boasted three rows for quite a while, but with a massive jump in price and less on-road refinement relative to the unibody-based RX.

This week we’re behind the wheel of the 2017 RX 350 in FWD. It’s technically the base model since it doesn’t have the F Sport package, AWD, or the hybrid drivetrain. That’s just fine, though, as Lexus sells a big number of FWD models without the sporty appearance package or expensive hybrid system.

We’re taking a look at the RX 350’s specs – from its 3.5-liter V-6 to its passenger volume. We’ll also be covering several other aspects of the RX, both objectively and subjectively, along with the full driven review. Stay tuned for that.

Continue reading for more information.

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Lexus Outsmarts Gravity to Save Your Day

Lexus Outsmarts Gravity to Save Your Day

The black abyss between the seats has been thwarted!

You know that sinking feeling when your phone or keys fall between the seat and the center console of your car. It’s awful. It means you’ll be pulling over and hunching under the steering wheel or in the back seat trying to fish your phone out without scratching the screen. Almost worse, when a French fry unknowingly falls into the trench and your car smells like fast food for two weeks. Thankfully, Lexus has devised a solution – a foam pad that fills the gap yet allows for movement of the power-adjustable seat.

I’m currently driving a 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport and was reminded of the feature when my iPhone slid from my right front pocket. It would have disappeared if it hadn’t been for the padded blocker.

This ingenious technology isn’t new, however. Lexus has been doing this for as long as I’ve been reviewing cars (since 2013), and likely longer. There are also several aftermarket “As Seen On TV” products that attempt the same thing, though they are not sewn onto the seat and probably sink into the gap themselves. That’s not the case here. It stays put and keeps everything from danger. When it comes time to adjust the seat, the foam pad simply contours around any changing shape in the center console. It’s a simple yet effective means of stopping an age-old problem. Kudos, Lexus. Keep up the great work.

Keep reading for a list of more Lexus GS 200t F Sport coverage.

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2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven

Lexus’ mild-mannered sport sedan

The Lexus GS has been around since 1991, and its latest generation raises the bar for Lexus’ mid-size luxury sedan. The fifth-generation GS debuted for the 2013 model year and underwent a refresh in 2015 as it gained the highly recognizable and polarizing Spindle grille. The refresh also brought the 200t variant and its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. When matched with the available F Sport package, which brings a sport-tuned suspension and more aggressive aesthetics, the GS truly shoulders the role of a proper sports sedan.

I just spent a week behind the wheel of a 2017 GS 200t F Sport covering some 200 miles of mixed driving over familiar Central Florida roads. From the grocery store parking lot to the high-speed Autobahn/demolition derby known as I-4, I put the Lexus through it all. Even the parent pick-up line at the kiddo’s elementary school saw some F Sport action. Here’s how things played out.

Continue reading for my driven review of the 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport.

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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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Is There a Difference Between the 2017 Lexus GS 200t and the 2018 Lexus GS 300?

Is There a Difference Between the 2017 Lexus GS 200t and the 2018 Lexus GS 300?

It’s all in the name…

Look on Lexus’ website for the GS sedan, and you won’t find any mention of the GS 200t. Yet, in my driveway, sits a 2017 Lexus with a chrome 200t badge affixed proudly to its trunk and printed clearly on its Monroney window sticker. So, what gives? Well, someone at Lexus’ marketing department must think “GS Turbo” sounds better, so most everything you’ll find online uses that nomenclature.

Making things even more confusing is the 2018 GS 300. Is it a new 3.0-liter engine in the GS? Nope Rather, Lexus decided to rename the GS Turbo (aka GS 200t) for the 2018 model year. It’s now called the GS 300, but it still comes with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the 2017 GS 200t. Lexus did the same renaming trick with the IS sedan, as well, moving it from the 2017 IS 200t to the 2018 IS 300, despite the IS 300 name already being used on the 2017 IS equipped with the V-6 AWD. Yeah…

But back to the GS. Besides the name, the GS 300’s only updates for 2018 include new 19-inch wheels and a complimentary 10-year subscription to Lexus Enform. Everything else – even down to the 241-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder – remains unchanged from 2017.

I’ll have several articles and a full, driven review of the 2017 Lexus GS 200t in the coming days, so stick around TopSpeed.com for that. For now, check out the growing list of Lexus GS articles below.

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The Lexus GS 200t's Infotainment System is its Weak Point

The Lexus GS 200t’s Infotainment System is its Weak Point

A joystick that doesn’t bring joy

This week has a 2017 Lexus GS 200t in my driveway, and while there are many admirable qualities about this full-size luxury sedan, its infotainment system isn’t one of them. It’s called the Lexus Enform system, and it’s been around for a while. It relies on a joystick-like controller to scroll and click through menus. The system helps guide the joystick to menu buttons and selectable options like the planchette on an Ouija board.

Making the situation worse is the menu layout within the infotainment system due to a cluttered-looking screen with fonts of varying sizes. But the worst grievance by far is imputing addresses into the navigation system. It just takes too much patience and time. Thankfully, voice commands are able to help. On the other hand, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are nowhere to be found.

Continue reading for more information.

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Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car?

Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car?

It’s even a standard feature in many value-based vehicles

There are a few features shoppers tend to expect come standard when buying a luxury sedan. Power window, power locks, leather seats, push-button starting – these have turned from extra-cost options to basic necessities in a vehicle billed as luxury. Apparently, Lexus didn’t get the memo with the GS sedan as heated and vented seats are bundled in the $1,400 Premium Package, along with the power rear sunshade and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

But there’s a logical reason Lexus does this.

The Premium Package is technically only available on the GS 200t and GS 350. It comes as standard equipment on the GS 200t F Sport, GS 350 F Sport, GS 450h, and GS 450h F Sport. In other words, only the base trims come without the Premium Package and its heated and vented seats. That brings up Lexus’ reasoning. Without the added cost of those features, Lexus is able to price the 2017 GS 200t at $47,305, which is well beneath the starting prices of the GS’ main competitors, the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XF, and Audi A6. The base GS with no options provides that luxury car look and feel, but at a more affordable price and without many of the gadgets some folks might not want. It’s all about packages and the base price.

Continue reading for more information.

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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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