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Three New Cars That Achieve 40 MPG

Tuesday April 26th, 2011 at 11:44 AM
Posted by: AKramer

Lexus CT 200h - Chevy Cruze Eco - Ford Focus SFE

By Alex Kramer

Here we go again. Gas prices are climbing ever higher, but unlike a few years ago, they will probably stay sky high this time around. Luckily, the American car buyer now has an impressive array of choices when it comes to maximizing every gallon. From pint-sized sub-compacts to high-tech hybrids, there are plenty of ways to achieve 40 mpg, and some of them are even quite fun to drive.

We recently had the opportunity to test three of the newest entries into the gas saving game at the WAJ Media Days event held last month: the new Ford Focus SFE, Chevy Cruze Eco, and Lexus CT 200h. After an afternoon of test driving, we can honestly report that these three are the real deal, providing both excellent fuel efficiency and a surprising amount of driving excitement.

Click the image or navigation link below to read more details about each car.

2011-lexus-ct-200h-driving-modes-thumb

2011 Chevrolet Cruze ECO

Ford Focus EcoMode

LEXUS CT 200h CHEVROLET CRUZE ECO FORD FOCUS SFE

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Posted in Chevrolet, Expert Reviews, Ford, Lexus |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , || No Comments »


Exclusive Lexus Culinary Team to Debut at Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Thursday March 31st, 2011 at 1:33 PM
Posted by: Derek

2011_Lexus_Culinary_MasterSix World-Renowned Chefs to Partner with Luxury Automaker

TORRANCE, Calif. (March 30, 2011)—In a first of its kind, Lexus is teaming up with six of the world’s most distinguished chefs as it unveils its Lexus Culinary Masters team. The team will partner with Lexus on multiple initiatives, including Lexus customer appreciation programs, charitable outreach, and multimedia productions. Details on future programs will be announced later this year.

The Lexus Culinary Masters debut lineup includes:

  • Chef Daniel Boulud – Chef/Owner of several restaurants, including DANIEL
  • Chef Michael Chiarello – Chef/Owner, Bottega
  • Chef Dean Fearing – Chef/Partner, Fearing’s Restaurant
  • Chef Christopher Kostow – Executive Chef, The Restaurant at Meadowood, Meadowood Resort Napa Valley
  • Chef Masaharu Morimoto – Chef/Owner of Morimoto restaurants
  • Chef Michael Symon – Chef/Owner of several restaurants, including Lola Bistro

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Posted in Lexus, Press and News |Tags:, , , || No Comments »


Hot Lapping the Lexus LFA at Infineon Raceway

Thursday March 3rd, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits

  • Acoustically tuned F1 exhaust note more inspiring than the London Philharmonic
  • Telepathically enhanced electric power steering
  • Carbon ceramic discs stronger than a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin headlock

Misses

  • Exclusive price tag
  • Personal high performance driving instructor not included with purchase
  • Lacks storied racing tradition

The Lexus LFA is, without doubt, the hottest ultra supercar to fly down the Autobahn since Audi introduced the R8 several years ago. The 552 hp, composite monocoque two seater is a complete aberration for Lexus, the buttoned-down purveyor of conventional luxury cars renowned for quality, silence and longevity. Why the sea change in Lexus strategy? The company is going after the lucrative sports sedan market currently owned by Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Lexus sedans have always been perceived as somewhat stodgy alternatives to the German Big 3. Consequently, the Japanese company has decided to launch an all-out assault on the sporting opposition by building the LFA as a halo car for their revamped F-line cars and parts.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Lexus |Tags:, , , , , || 2 Comments »


2011 Lexus LFA Photo Gallery

Saturday February 26th, 2011 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: Derek

Lexus LFAThe first Lexus LFA supercars arrived in the U.S. in January 2011 and CarReview was invited to a Lexus driver development program with the opportunity to drive the 552 horsepower LFA in its element at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.

To sum it up, the rear-wheel drive LFA is a dynamically styled supercar powered by a sophisticated new high-revving 4.8-liter V10 engine that generates 552 hp (412kW/560DIN hp) and 354 lb-ft (480Nm) of torque for adrenaline-fuelled 202 mph (325km/h) performance. This specially-developed powerplant is hooked up to a unique six-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox (ASG) with paddle shifters for ultimate driver control. Linked by a rigid torque tube for excellent drivetrain integrity, the ASG is located in a transaxle layout over the rear axle for an optimal 48:52 front-to-rear weight distribution.

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Posted in Lexus, Press and News |Tags:, , || No Comments »


2011 Lexus IS F First Impressions Review

Thursday February 24th, 2011 at 11:22 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits

  • Stealth rocket
  • Vastly improved computer traction control
  • Revised suspension settings ideal for aggressive driving

Misses

  • Could do with a good tarting up in the looks department
  • Restricted legroom for back seat occupants
  • F resale has not been strong to this point

The “F” in the nomenclature of this Lexus stands for Fuji, Toyota’s home race track. More specifically, the shape of the letter F replicates the first turn at Fuji, because turns at speed are what the IS-F is all about. For 2011, this Lexus hot rod has undergone a truly remarkable transformation from tentative chrysalis stage to full adult incarnation.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Lexus |Tags:, || 1 Comment »


2011 Lexus HS 250h Hybrid First Impressions Review

Friday February 18th, 2011 at 3:22 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Hits

  • Highly evolved hybrid system operates almost seamlessly
  • Customary Lexus craftsmanship and detail attention
  • Stealth looks avoid typical hybrid cynosure

Misses

  • 225/45R18 Toyo Proxes A20 tires squeal at the merest hint of a turn
  • Middling acceleration can disappoint in the clutch
  • Dash-pad mounted mouse is disconcertingly large, shift lever too small

Lexus introduced this hybrid in January, 2008 at the Detroit Auto Show, some 6 years after the first hybrid Lexus, the RX 330h went into production. The HS is the smallest and least expensive hybrid in the company’s present lineup, with a base price of $34,200. That’s a $10,000 slug more than the parent company’s similar $22,000 Toyota Prius, but as you might expect, the HS, being a Lexus, is a far more luxurious vehicle.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Lexus |Tags:, , || 3 Comments »


2011 Lexus IS 350 AWD Review

Thursday January 6th, 2011 at 8:11 AM
Posted by: Derek

By Derek Mau

Pros:

  • Sharp steering and disciplined handling
  • The most entertaining driver’s vehicle in the Lexus line-up
  • AWD system distributes power from the 306 hp V6 engine uniformly

Cons:

  • Manual gearbox only offered with the lesser IS 250
  • Cramped back seat room
  • Onscreen interface and graphics are past due for an update

Ruling: A luxury car with some sport pretensions, the 2011 Lexus IS 350 is very satisfying to drive.
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Posted in Expert Reviews, Lexus |Tags:, , || 4 Comments »


2011 Lexus IS 250 First Impressions Review

Friday December 10th, 2010 at 11:1212 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Pros:

  • Revised airflow nets 0.28 cD and helps improve fuel economy
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Wheel and tire upgrade package transforms handling from ho-hum to almost exciting

Cons:

  • Mo’ money for “F Sport” performance goodies
  • Rear seat space only comfortable for munchkins and smurfs

Just what is entry-level luxury, anyway? If you pony up $34,627 for a base model Lexus IS sedan, what do you get above and beyond having your basic transportation needs met? Since it’s based on the Toyota Camry platform, is an IS 250 worth the Lexus surcharge?

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Lexus |Tags:, , || 4 Comments »


Best Hybrid and Green Cars of 2010

Monday November 1st, 2010 at 8:1111 AM
Posted by: AKramer

CarReview_Best_Green_Car_2010By Alex Kramer

What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago gas was cheap, the SUV was king, and fuel efficiency was one of the last things car buyers were concerned about. Surprisingly, it was also ten years ago that Honda and Toyota introduced a seemingly radical technology that involved strapping batteries and an electric motor to a gas engined car, creating the first hybrids.

Fast forward ten years and the traditional SUV has all but died out, gas is $3 per gallon, and hybrids are as common as apple pie. More importantly, awareness of global warming and our dependence on foreign oil, along with a depressed economy, has made fuel efficiency a far more important criteria for car buyers. This, in turn,  has spurred the automotive industry to pursue smaller, cleaner and more efficient designs. The result is a plethora of choices for buyers seeking a more fuel efficient, greener set of wheels.

Although hybrid cars are perhaps the most effective way to significantly increase fuel efficiency, with 9 out of the top ten most fuel efficient cars featuring a gas electric drivetrain, not everyone will be happy with the increased cost and performance sacrifice that often comes with hybrid ownership. Luckily we now also have a new generation of clean diesels that are nothing like the noisy, smoke belching diesels of the past, instead providing excellent performance along with hybrid worthy fuel efficiency. And for those who are wary of all of this alternative technology, there are finally plenty of efficient, well made small cars available in America.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Ford, Lexus, Mercury, Toyota, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , , , , || 4 Comments »


2011 Lexus CT 200h First Impressions Review

Friday October 29th, 2010 at 5:1010 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By Contributing Editor David Colman

Pros:

  • A hybrid car to match your different moods (or modes)
  • Thoroughbred inspired tuned racing suspension
  • Function and utility of a hatchback

Cons:

  • Back seat comfort was left off the drawing board
  • 0 – 60 time of 9.8 seconds is no better than a Prius

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Expert Reviews, hybrid, Lexus |Tags:, , || 6 Comments »


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