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Meet the Lexus LM - A Luxurious Version of the Toyota Alphard You Didn't Know You Wanted

Meet the Lexus LM - A Luxurious Version of the Toyota Alphard You Didn’t Know You Wanted

Sadly, it’s not coming to the U.S.

Lexus introduced its first-ever minivan at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. It’s called the LM, and it’s based on the Toyota Alphard. Actually, unlike other Lexus vehicles, the LM is almost a rebadged Toyota on the outside. Of course, it features more upscale materials, and the cabin was transformed into a comfortable lounge, but it’s still a Toyota under the skin.

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Lexus is Rebadging the Toyota Alphard Minivan So It Can Sell a Luxury Van

Lexus is Rebadging the Toyota Alphard Minivan So It Can Sell a Luxury Van

This is not a bad move if you know what the Toyota Alphard is like

Lexus is joining the minivan segment with the upcoming release of the LM minivan. Yes, you read that right. Lexus, the same company that gave us the LFA supercar, is dipping its toes in the minivan market, proving that automakers will do just about anything to make money these days. The automaker has yet to unveil the LM minivan — that’s happening at the upcoming Auto Shanghai 2019 that kicks off on April 16 in Shanghai, China — but a teaser image of the model has provided clear hints that the model will be largely based on the Toyota Alphard. Yes; the same luxury van that Toyota has been selling in various Asian markets for the better part of 17 years. Production plans for the Lexus LM suggest that we’ll see the minivan hit the road sometime in 2020, though it’s unlikely that we’ll get to see the LM in the U.S.

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The Lexus NX Stunts on the Competition in Shanghai With a New Look

The Lexus NX Stunts on the Competition in Shanghai With a New Look

It even gets some suspension updates too!

Back in the early 2010s, Lexus was missing out on a prime segment – the compact SUV/crossover segment. It had most other SUV segments covered, but was still coming up short. Then, in 2014, the curtain was raised and to our surprise sat the Lexus NX, an all-new SUV that was destined to slot below the RX and give Lexus the fighting chance it needed in the compact crossover segment. As a 2015 model, it went on sale in late 2014 and showcased the usual spindle grille and bold styling that’s normally associated with Toyota’s luxury arm. But, in a world where SUVs and Crossovers are very competitive, you’ve got to keep things fresh. That’s why we’re looking at the model you see here, a refreshed NX with all of the bells and whistles that’ll keep it relevant for the next few years. Highlights include new headlights and taillights, an updated grille with new mesh, an all-new front fascia with larger corner vents and longer LED fog lights and running lights, and some minor updates inside to help keep things fresh there, too.

The interior can now be equipped with a 10.3-inch infotainment display. It’s an option you’ll have to pay for, but is a big deal considering you can only upgrade to a seven-inch unit in the current model. There’s a revamped HVAC control console that is more ergonomic while the analog clock grows a little bit for 2018 and can now adjust to different time zones automatically. Most controls and switches inside now feature a metallic satin finish, providing a more premium look while the touch interface pad has been enlarged a bit for easier use. Finally, the USB ports have been repositioned, and the wireless charging tray has grown because it’s all about cell phones the size of bricks these days, right?

There are some other minor changes to discuss, so keep reading to learn more about that.

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2016 Lexus ES

2016 Lexus ES

The Lexus ES debuted in 1989 for the 1990 model year as the ES 250, which was little more than a badge-swapped Toyota Camry. Lexus quickly regrouped for the 1992 model year with the release of the ES 300, but it wasn’t until the 2002 model year that Lexus began separating the ES from the Camry it was based upon. The ES went through another change with the release of the ES 330 for the 2004 model year, and then Lexus released the ES 350 for the 2007 model year. For the 2013 model year, the ES 350 received a full overhaul, and now with its third birthday on the horizon, Lexus released a refreshed version of the luxury sedan.

The new Lexus ES, which arrived in time for the 2016 model year, debuted at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show. As with most facelifts, visual updates are mild while the drivetrain was carried over from last year’s model. Will this revision help or hinder the best-selling sedan in the midsize luxury segment?

Updated 07/10/2015: Lexus offered details on the North American version of the new ES. As expected, the model will be offered in two version: ES 350 and ES300 h. Both models will be put on sale later in the fall.

Continue reading my review of the 2016 Lexus ES to find out.

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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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