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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


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

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

2010 Lexus HS 250h Hybrid Review

Wednesday December 30th, 2009 at 10:1212 AM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Lexus HS 250h Hybrid
By Derek Mau


  • Front passengers get heated AND cooled seats
  • Fundamentally a good daily commuter car with luxury appointments
  • 34 miles per gallon overall
  • Smothered with safety-features


  • EV mode only good for golf-cart speeds
  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA) ineffective when roads are wet
  • Sound dampening is not up “luxury” car expectations
  • Limited headroom for passengers front and rear
  • small trunk space

Ruling: a small, classy car with a softer, quieter ride that is noticeably quicker than the Prius.

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

CarReview's Best Car Choices of 2009

Monday November 23rd, 2009 at 3:1111 PM
Posted by: ggaillard

New Year 2009-2010 SignpostContributing editors: Greg Gaillard, Alex Kramer, Kurt Gensheimer, Derek Mau

Despite 2008′s desperate measures to help auto manufacturers hold on to business as usual, 2009 brought only radical change leaving many old business practices and brands behind.

We have been spectators in this year of turmoil and watched the industry struggle to reinvent itself.  Two of The Big Three went bankrupt; one emerged with a global partner, the other became lean and focused.  Diesels are now faster than their gasoline counterparts. Nine out of ten EPA mpg champs are hybrids. VW bought Porsche while Porsche was buying VW.  Overall sales were millions of units short of expectations. Manufacturers now pin their hopes on the Chinese market, while Americans pray that the Volt is half as good as it needs to be. Somehow, during all of this turmoil Kia became cool.  What was once unthinkable has happened.

Amidst the mayhem consumer conservatism has redefined value to mean more than MSRP, monthly payments and residuals. Cars had better be good at what they do or people won’t buy them. The industry must meet the new expectation of great cars and real innovation. Tricky marketing and trend analysis will not build the product portfolios of the future.

While the industry was being shaken to its core, 2009 was a banner year for new technologies and remarkable products.  Read on to find out which cars persevered as CarReview’s best choices of 2009

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Posted in Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, Feature Articles, Ford, Honda, hybrid, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , || 3 Comments »

Lexus GX 460 Makes Its First Appearance in China at Auto Guangzhou 2009

Wednesday November 18th, 2009 at 5:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Lexus GX 460

Tokyo – TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announces it will display 45 concept and production vehicles, in separate Toyota and Lexus brand booths, at the 7th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition (also known as Auto Guangzhou 2009), to be held at the Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center from November 23 to 30. The theme for the two booths is “The Environment, Safety, and the Future”.

The Lexus “GX 460”, a midsize SUV, will make its world premiere at a press briefing scheduled for November 23. The SUV is expected to have Toyota’s new 4.6-liter V8, which is rated at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque in the Toyota Tundra and Sequoia. Also on display for Lexus will be the “ES 240” and other models. The Toyota display will include the new “Crown”, which will go into production and go on sale in China in December this year, the third-generation “Prius” and the “Camry Hybrid”.

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

2010 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid Review – A Little Technology for the Geek in All of Us

Friday November 6th, 2009 at 8:1111 AM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid
By Derek Mau


  • Excellent for around town driving and taking care of all the necessary family functions
  • The benefits of a hybrid without sacrificing luxury amenities
  • Conservative styling upgrade easily blends in with the thousands of other Lexus RX’s on the road today
  • More technology gadgets but with less driver distraction


  • Batteries and electric motors add up to a serious weight penalty with regards to braking and cornering
  • Electronic steering control is good for mothers on their way to PTA meetings, but not so good for relaying feedback from the road
  • Horrific blind spot
  • No towing capacity

The new generation Lexus RX blends the geekiness of high technology with the green consciousness of driving a hybrid car. Launched in the summer of 2009 as a successor to the RX 400h, Lexus’ new RX 450h builds on the success of the company’s first luxury hybrid SUV. Visually similar to the RX 350, the 450h has a few of its own unique styling features, including an exclusive grille, hybrid badging with blue-trimmed Lexus logos, unique front bumper, special 19-inch wheels, blue-tinted headlamps and taillamps, and optional LED headlamps.

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

CarReview's 2009-2010 Hybrid Buyer's Guide

Monday October 26th, 2009 at 7:1010 AM
Posted by: ggaillard

Honda CR-Z

By Greg Gaillard

Hybrids Come of Age

Just 10 years ago Honda released the Insight as the first US mass market hybrid combustion/electric car.  Its two seat aerodynamic teardrop shape, light weight and focused engineering delivered spectacular fuel economy that generated quite a bit of media attention.  In the real world however, the Insight represented significant compromises in terms of utility, performance and perceived safety.  Launched at the height of the SUV boom alongside inexpensive gasoline, sales weren’t significant and to many people the Insight was another Honda engineering experiment; a car that Honda’s Asimo robot might drive, but not something American families would put in their garage.

What a difference a decade makes.  Last week the EPA released its annual Fuel Economy Guide for 2010 and hybrids swept the podium with 9 out of the top 10 MPG scores.  At least in terms of EPA ratings, hybrids are the drivetrain technology of the moment.  Perhaps more important than MPG is how the technology has evolved into a variety of solutions that can be used across a range of body styles without many of the original Insight’s compromises.

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Posted in Chevrolet, Feature Articles, Ford, GMC, Honda, hybrid, Lexus, Mercury, Toyota |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , || No Comments »

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