V8 car cookout: Bratwurst (Audi S5), Beef Teriyaki (Lexus IS-F) or Bacon Cheeseburgers (Challenger SRT-8)?

Friday November 21st, 2008 at 6:1111 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT82009 Audi S52009 Lexus IS-F

By Kurt Gensheimer

Horsepower. Raw, tire-melting horsepower. Every man worth his chest hair can’t deny it’s one of the first criteria for buying a car powered by a V8. Typically, the more the horsepower and the lower the MSRP, the more attractive it looks. It was the formula that made the muscle car era a piece of American history. But nowadays, American automakers aren’t the only ones making rear-wheel-drive radial roasters; Japan and Germany have also gotten in on the unmitigated horsepower wars, albeit with a little more luxury and refinement.

We recently had a Bridgestone bar-b-que with three fire-breathing, rear/all-wheel-drive V8s representing each of the three respective automaking countries. Japan arrived respectfully in the Lexus IS-F, Germany showed up to the cookout well dressed in the Audi S5, and the United States arrived rockin’ a mullet and Miller Lite in the Dodge Challenger SRT8. Three different V8s, three different countries, and three very different cars.

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Posted in Audi, Dodge, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Lexus |Tags:, , , , , , || 4 Comments »

2008 Lexus GS 450h Hybrid Video Review

Thursday March 13th, 2008 at 2:33 PM
Posted by: Derek

The 2008 Lexus GS 450h hybrid is a 4-door, 5-passenger luxury sedan, available in one trim only, the Sedan. The GS 450h has a VAR speed automatic transmission, 3.5-liter, V6, 340-horsepower, hybrid engine, and is equipped with a completely new Lexus hybrid powertrain which has 80 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new car.

“From a stop, acceleration and low speed is all electric power. It’s silent. It’s eerily silent. Sometimes you think the car isn’t running, but once you get going, the transition between the electric and gas [motors] is very smooth…”

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2008 Lexus GS 450h Review – Hybrid Power Without Compromise

Wednesday March 12th, 2008 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: John G.

Lexus GS 450h Hybrid
By John G.

Hybrid Power Without Compromise – Lexus GS 450h


  • Luxurious yet not ostentatious, inside and out: that’s the Lexus way
  • Ridiculous torque makes passing easy and high-speed cruising a pleasure
  • Hybrid drive means a performance car that doesn’t feel silly stuck in traffic
  • Keyless entry and exit done right


  • “Quick start guide” is 58 pages long
  • Weighs over two tons and it isn’t even AWD
  • Map lights are really dim, light switches are hard to find in the dark
  • Batteries for the hybrid drive don’t leave much trunk space


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

2007 Lexus RX 400h Video Review

Tuesday January 22nd, 2008 at 11:11 PM
Posted by: aquadog

The 2007 Lexus RX 400h is the first luxury SUV to feature a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain. The 2007 Lexus RX 400h has luxury and quality throughout. So if you’re in the market for an SUV and are environmentally conscious, the Lexus could be a perfect choice!

Watch the video review as Alex sums up the character of this environmentally friendly, luxury SUV.

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2007 Lexus RX 400h Review – Bringing luxury and performance to the world of hybrid technology

Tuesday January 22nd, 2008 at 11:11 PM
Posted by: AKramer

Lexus RX 400h Overview Lexus RX 400h Specs
Consumer Reviews of RX 400h Lexus RX 400h Photo Gallery Lexus RX 400h Video Review

by Alex Kramer

2007 Lexus RX 400h


  • Excellent acceleration
  • Lexus luxury and quality
  • Silky smooth ride
  • Seamless hybrid powertrain


  • Overly cautious handling
  • All that hybrid technology sure is pricey
  • Not a true fuel sipper

The Lexus RX 400h brings Toyota’s award winning hybrid technology to the realm of luxury SUVs. While most hybrids sacrifice some performance for increased fuel efficiency, the RX 400h is one of a few hybrids to offer not only increased fuel-efficiency, but also increased performance over it’s gas only siblings. Add to that the fact that all this technology is mated to the best selling mid-size luxury SUV on the market, and the result is another winning effort from Lexus.

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Lexus Introduces All-New 2008 LX 570 Full-Size Luxury Utility Vehicle

Monday December 24th, 2007 at 11:1212 AM
Posted by: Derek

2008 Lexus LX 570

December 20, 2007 – Torrance, CA – Lexus introduces the all-new, more powerful, more capable and more luxurious 2008 LX 570 premium luxury utility vehicle. With a host of technological advancements and a new high-strength chassis, the third-generation LX offers significantly increased performance and new safety features over the LX 470 model it replaces. The all-new roomier eight-passenger LX 570 casts about the same footprint as its award-winning predecessor.Lexus established the paradigm for full-size, full-capability luxury utility vehicles when it debuted the original LX in January 1996. Since that time, the LX has won a multitude of awards for quality and value. For the third generation LX, Lexus retained the basic formula of the previous model, amplifying and enhancing its core attributes. The new LX 570 offers perhaps the most compelling combination of luxury, safety, on-road smoothness and off-road performance of any vehicle in its segment. Read the rest of this entry »

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2007 Lexus ES 350 Video Review

Saturday October 6th, 2007 at 10:1010 AM
Posted by: Derek

The Lexus ES 350 is all new for 2007. Offering more comfort, safety and performance features, the ES 350 is no longer just an upscale Camry. Upon introduction, the ES 350 is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter, V6, 272-horsepower engine that achieves 21-mpg in the city and 30-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

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2007 Lexus ES 350 Review – Please, No More Camry Comparisons

Saturday October 6th, 2007 at 10:1010 AM
Posted by: John G.

Overview Specs
Consumer Reviews Photo Gallery Video Review

by John G.

2007 Lexus ES 350


  • -Disturbingly smooth and pleasant driving experience
  • -Subtle yet strong styling, much improved over previous generations
  • -Very quiet interior, great sound system
  • -Strong motor and transmission perfectly set up for freeway duty
  • -Doesn’t feel like the “cheap” Lexus at all


  • -This is not the car for pushing limits
  • -Visor and low roofline get in the face of tall drivers
  • -Computerized climate and navigation controls take a while to figure out


  • -Luxury package is basically mandatory
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    Posted in Expert Reviews, Lexus |Tags:, || 4 Comments »

    2007 Lexus LS 460 L Review – The Lexus flagship steams into port at full throttle

    Tuesday September 25th, 2007 at 2:99 PM
    Posted by: natasha

    By Natasha M.


    • Responsive handling, yet smooth as a limousine ride
    • Super luxurious interior design
    • Innovative features (i.e. 8-speed auto-transmission, Advanced Parking Guidance System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control)


    • Exterior styling – more subtle, less “flashy” than its competitors
    • Does not fit in those compact car parking spaces
    • You might get a speeding ticket!

    The Lexus LS 460L has the look and comfort of a luxury sedan, the energy of an SUV and the heart of a sports car. And what I enjoyed most was that it evoked euphoric feelings instantaneously by doing exactly what I wanted it to do and with such ease. Whether it was to quickly reach high speeds at a moments notice or cruise quietly with grace and style, the LS 460L definitely reminds you that cars can really have great physical and expressive design that is so desirable by any discerning car lover. Add to that a reputation of reliability and safety, and then you really have something that’s really close to perfection.

    2007 Lexus LS 460

    Exterior Style

    Approaching the car from a distance, I saw the attractive new L-finesse design cues that create a long, sleek silhouette. Then as you come within reach of the LS 460L you’ll see how substantial in size it actually is. I knew instantly that meant there would be plenty of room for all occupants. Lexus ensured a solid design with its ultra deep drawn fenders, crystal lens headlamps, stylish front low grille, and 18” aluminum alloy wheels. The one touch power open/close button for the spacious trunk was a nice detail to mention. I believe the exterior design also has subtlety to it, a quality I think will attract (or detract) certain buyers. I assume that all depends on how much “flash” you want to show.

    Performance and Handling

    The Lexus LS 460L features (the first of its kind) an eight-speed automatic transmission that can bring you from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. Feel free to test that number because like I said, this car can move! We gave it a go, uphill for that matter, and it was just under or right at 5 seconds. What a thrill that was! The 4.6-liter V-8 engine is an all-new design that generates up to 380 hp and 367 pounds-feet of torque. You will feel that pull back into your seat as it goes.

    Normally, a high-output V8 engine translates into fewer miles per gallon. This is not the case with the LS 460. The new LS 460 features the world’s first electric-motor driven Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and Electronically controlled intake cam (VVT-iE). Combine the powerplant with an innovative 8-speed automatic transmission and the 4.6 liter, 8-cylinder engine gets a combined fuel economy at about 22 miles per gallon. Performance highlights of this new V8 engine include a dual fuel-injection system that increases efficiency and a semi-dual exhaust manifold that carries the exhaust gas in a smoother, more economical fashion.

    2007 Lexus LS 460 L

    In the future, the LS 600h hybrid version will deliver the equivalent power of a 6.0-liter V-12 while consuming the fuel equivalent of a V6. So that is another fine option worth considering. But you’ll typically get around 19 MPG city and 27 MPG highway with an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV II) rating for the V8 according to EPA testing.

    Just as important as its performance, the handling was awesome. The brakes are super smooth and highly responsive. I was also pleased that it had great shock absorbency and minimized the vibration due to uneven road conditions. The LS 460 uses a front and rear multi-link suspension system that adapts to unevenness in road surfaces. An optional air suspension control system can smooth the ride even further by minimizing road vibrations and roll sensations due to rough road conditions. Overall, the ride was very comfortable and silky-smooth.


    I thoroughly enjoyed the interior design during my test drive. The standard and optional features are excellent and one of the Lexus LS 460L’s biggest triumphs. The Mark Levinson audio system features 19 speakers and has a hard drive that holds 2,000 songs. XM® factory-installed satellite radio is great for more variety along with its coverage of live traffic reporting. The 6-CD changer, DVD player and auxiliary audio input are also available and again all adjustable by the touch screen. I even noticed the slight vibration in my rear view mirror from the subwoofers that deliver near flawless audio sound.

    The Gen 5 Lexus Navigation system (voice activated HDD navigation system with backup camera, Bluetooth® technology, XM NavTraffic) itself has a simple user interface that is easy to learn and use. The driver can choose to listen to the voice prompts or read the map on a large and bright touch screen display. The console is beautifully balanced and laid out in a sensible manner, within arms reach and with such ease of use.

    Lexus LS 460 interior Lexus LS 460 - 8-speed automatic transmission Lexus LS 460 - 8-speed automatic transmission

    For the driver, it has climate control front seats, heated steering wheel with wood and leather trim, 3-position driver memory system, power seatbelt shoulder height adjuster (also available for passengers), and with the navigation system, the driver has access to all the info for general car maintenance. The sunroof has a one-touch button to open and close. Most impressive is the rear back-up camera that turns on automatically once you put the car in reverse.

    Lexus LS 460 - Navigation System Lexus LS 460 - door panel

    For passengers it offers heated rear seats with a very cool power rear sunshade. The rear seat passengers will really thank you for a tranquil and spacious ride with its extra roomy leg space due to the 460L’s long-wheelbase that provides an added space of 4.8 inches. Rear-seat passengers can also enjoy reclining seats and an optional cooler to keep drinks chilled. Lexus designed the 460L as a chauffeured vehicle allowing that special VIP to recline up to a 45 degree angle with its available ottoman option and massage function (for the right-side rear seat only). The advanced climate control system even has infra-red sensors that measure both the cabin temperature and body temperature of the occupants (along w/ outside temp).

    (Continued on page 2)

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

    2007 Lexus LS 460 L Video Review

    Tuesday September 25th, 2007 at 11:99 AM
    Posted by: Derek

    The all-new flagship from Lexus boasts a 380 HP V8 engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Watch the video as Alex covers some notable features of the 2007 Lexus LS 460 L brought to you by www.CarReview.com.

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