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Car Reviews

Lexus LS 460 A Classy, Capable Cruiser

By Jim Bray

Sunday, January 28, 2007

In 1989, Toyota's new Lexus division set the automotive world on its ear when it introduced its new high-end luxury sedan, the LS 400. It was a quantum leap for Japanese manufacturers in which they dared to go went head-to-head with established luxury makers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar, etc.

The LS 400 (and Infiniti's Q45, which was introduced at the same time) gave the established folk a kick in the pants. Since then, Lexus and its "relentless pursuit of perfection" have remained at or near the top in quality and customer satisfaction surveys.

Lexus GS 350--Upgrading the Relentless Pursuit

By Jim Bray

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Maybe they should call it RX Version 4.

Remember the old Toyota slogan "You asked for it, you got it"? Well, it still applies -- at least as far as Toyota's upscale Lexus division's mid-range GS sedan is concerned.

I liked the Italian-styled original version of the GS, but the second generation left me kind of cold. The current, third generation, is sleek and beautiful, while simultaneously managing to reek "state-of-the-art." It's gorgeous.

Lexus GS 450h:
a Hybrid That'll Detach Your Retinas

By Jim Bray

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Talk about a jaw dropper!

The Lexus GS 450h isn't just a luxurious four door sedan, it's also one of the fastest sedans I've ever driven. And it's a hybrid!

Who'd have thunk?

Not that I've driven anywhere near all of the world's great sedans, of course, but I've driven enough to know that what this Lexus hybrid is accomplishes is amazing. It goes like a bat out of heck and, while it doesn't exactly sip gas, it returns surprisingly good fuel economy as well. All while coddling you in the manner expected from a Lexus.

Popular Lexus SUV Adds Super New Powers

By Jim Bray

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Maybe they should call it RX Version 4.

Since the introduction of Version 1, the RX 300, a few years ago, the Lexus luxury SUV has seen its share of upgrading and refinement. First there was Version 2 (the RX 330) and its addition of a larger engine along with such nifty features as a power operated tailgate. Then came Version 3, the hybrid RX 400h introduced in 2005.

Lexus Redefines the Meaning of "IS"

By Jim Bray

Monday, January 2, 2006

I think I may have a new favourite car.

Once in a long while I find a vehicle that almost seems as if the manufacturer took my measurements and built the car to fit me specifically. My old 1983 Toyota Supra was like this, as was my 1972 Datsun 240z. Infiniti’s M35x comes very close, as does the Acura TSX. They’re cars I could easily drive the daylights out of for many happy years, and in the case of the Supra, I did exactly that for 20 years.

And Lexus’ new IS 250 luxury sport sedan sure feels like the real deal. Admittedly, it isn’t the rocket that the M35x is, nor does it give the athletic rush of the TSX. But when I parked my posterior in the 2006 IS 250 I felt right at home immediately, and my week with it was a marvelous experience despite the weather not having allowed me to drive the car properly — by which I mean I couldn’t wind it out with abandon the way I’d have liked.

Lexus GS 300 — Relentlessly Pursuing Passion?

By Jim Bray

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Lexus, and to a lesser extent Infiniti, really set the car world on their ears when they first burst onto the market about 15 years ago. Since then, the premium Japanese brands have been serious contenders for the dollars of the reasonably well heeled.

Over the course of that decade and a half, Lexus has changed its marketing from relentlessly pursuing perfection to passionately pursuing perfection. And they continue to make excellent cars that are often considered to be as perfect as a car can be.

The latest in their stable are the 2006 GS 300 and GS 430, the third generation of the sporty sedan that sits below the LS 430 flagship and above the ES 330 and IS 300 entry level sedans. "Sporty" and "entry level" being relative terms, of course.

The third generation looks sharp — in fact to these eyes it’s easily the most attractive of the GS series to date. I liked the Italian-styled original, but the second generation kind of left me cold. This new one is a work of art, though, sleek and beautiful and reeks "state-of-the-art." It's gorgeous.

New Lexus RX Blends Power, Luxury, and Economy

By Jim Bray

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Coming to a Lexus dealer near you, the world’s first luxury hybrid SUV.

It’s the 2006 RX 400h, the highest-tech and newest version of the popular RX 330 (nee RX 300) that has been selling oodles of copies since its introduction.

Lexus says the new hybrid version of the SUV gives V8 performance with the fuel economy of a compact car. Those are pretty impressive claims — almost like proclaiming you’ve built a perpetual motion machine — and if Lexus can’t back them up there are sure to be some people looking to make hay from the fact that the company fell short in its relentless pursuit of perfection.

I don’t think Lexus needs to worry about that, however, if my brief test drive of the RX 400h at an introduction of the vehicle to the media is any indication. It truly does perform, pulling smoothly (ultra smoothly, in fact) away from stop lights or slower traffic (Lexus claims a 0-60mph time of under 8 seconds) and during my hour and a half behind the wheel (of mostly urban driving) the gas gauge never left full.

Lexus GX 470 Adds Luxury To Off Road Capability
by Jim Bray
January 7, 2005

Toyota’s 4Runner has been an excellent example of the mid-sized SUV species for many years, and when the company unleashed its latest version it saw an opportunity to not only redesign it but to push it up market as well.

Hence the Lexus GX 470, a luxury SUV based on the popular 4Runner that gives you the formidable capabilities of its Toyota sibling but with all the coddling and technology you’d expect from the Lexus name.

My review unit was from the 2004 model year, and coming as it did just ahead of the 2005 model’s new engine, it provided a wonderful opportunity to get to know the vehicle, and then try the supposedly new and improved model for comparison when it comes by.

Not surprisingly, the GX 470 proved to be an extremely pleasant ride in virtually every respect. It also displayed some pretty wooly thinking for a state of the art luxury vehicle for the 21st century, though in admittedly nit picky ways.

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