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    Wednesday
    Sep132017

    Review: 2017 Lexus ES 350 vs 2017 Acura TLX

    Review: 2017 Lexus ES 350 vs 2017 Acura TLX

    San Jose residents comparing models of luxury sedans have some work ahead of them because the segment is highly competitive as automakers work to meet drivers’ high expectations. Luckily for us, Lexus has been ahead of the game for some time.

    When you compare the classic 2017 Lexus ES 350 to a relative newcomer like the 2017 Acura TLX, the cracks start to show in Honda’s luxury brand. Read our one-to-one comparison, then come in for a visit to see for yourself why Lexus is an everlasting favorite:

    Safety and Tech

    Lexus ES 350

    The 2017 Lexus ES was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and received a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    The ES 350 comes standard with exclusive Lexus technology, including Display Audio with color multimedia display and Scout GPS Link navigation, and the Lexus Enform suite of apps: Service Connect, Safety Connect, and Remote. It also comes equipped with a backup camera, LED daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers, and subscription-free traffic and weather.

    You can opt to add a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Intuitive Parking Assist as individual items, and the Navigation Package gives you the Remote Touch control pad, a premium Navigation System with voice command, and the Lexus Enform Destinations app.

    Acura TLX

    While the 2017 TLX also earned a 5-Star Overall Rating from the NHSTA, it failed to make the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick ranking after losing points in small overlap front impact tests.

    The Acura TLX includes a standard Multi-View Rear Camera with Dynamic Gridlines, but all other active driver assistance and technology are available only on upper trims or via add-on packages. The Technology Package gives you Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Information System, rain-sensing wipers, and navigation. Upper trims are available with Head-Up Warning and Road Departure Mitigation. The TLX does not come with an equivalent to the Lexus Enform suite of apps.

    Performance

    Lexus ES 350

    The 2017 ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that churns out 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission and has standard front-wheel drive. Additionally, the 2017 ES comes with a hybrid option, the 300h, which has a net 200 horsepower output and gets up to 40 MPG.

    Acura TLX

    The base TLX comes with a 2.4-liter inline-4 that makes 206 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque, with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can also upgrade to a 3.5-liter V6 with 9-speed automatic transmission that makes 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. The TLX does not come with a hybrid option.

    If you spend the money to upgrade with the Technology Package and add the V6 engine, the TLX costs about $39,500 MSRP, pushing its total MSRP beyond that of the Lexus ES 350, which comes standard with a range of premium features.

    Pricing

    Lexus ES 350

    Starting at $38,900 MSRP

    Acura TLX

    Starting at $32,000 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Sep062017

    Comparison: 2017 Lexus GS 350 vs BMW 540i 

    Comparison: 2017 Lexus GS 350 vs BMW 540i

    Drivers in Los Angeles who need a safe, reliable luxury sedan often want to know how the GS 350 compares to the competition. Lexus prides itself on safety and technology, so it’s a major contender if driver assistance technology is a must on your list.

    When comparing the 2017 Lexus GS 350 to the BMW 540i, we found that there are some major differences between the two models – namely, that BMW, in general, isn't quite up to speed on safety tech. Read our one-to-one comparison, then come take the GS 350 for a test drive:

    Safety and Tech

    Lexus GS 350

    Each model of the 2017 Lexus GS comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high-beam headlamps, Lane Keep Assist, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. Additionally, all models are equipped with Lexus Enform Safety Connect, LED headlamps and daytime running lights, and a backup camera. The GS 350 is also available with Intuitive Parking Assist, premium triple-beam LED headlamps, an Adaptive Front Lighting System, and Heads-Up Display.

    BMW 540i

    The 2017 540i comes standard with programmable LED daytime running lights, BMW Assist eCall, and an Active Protection System that prepares cabin features (seatbelts, windows, etc.) for collision. But it does not come standard with any active driver assistance technology – not even a rearview camera – which is unusual for a car in the luxury segment. Further, the tech that it does offer isn't an all-inclusive package.

    For instance, the Driving Assistance Package ($1,800) adds a Head-Up Display, rearview camera, and active park distance control, while the Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1,400) adds Parking Assistant Plus and Surround View with 3D view. To get the same level of safety tech as the GS 350, you’ll easily add $5,000 to the BMW’s already-high sticker price.

    Performance

    Lexus GS 350

    The GS 350 and the 540i have comparable engines and fuel efficiency. The Lexus has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive models have an 8-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel drive sedans have a 6-speed automatic transmission. According to EPA estimates, the GS 350 gets up to 29 MPG.

    BMW 540i

    The 2017 540i has a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine with 8-speed automatic transmission that makes 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. It comes available with all-wheel drive, and gets up to 30 MPG.

    Eco-conscious drivers may want to note that the 2017 Lexus GS comes with a hybrid option (the 450h) while the BMW 5 Series does not.

    Pricing

    Lexus GS 350

    Starting at $50,365 MSRP

    BMW 540i

    Starting at $56,450 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Aug232017

    Review: 2018 Lexus LC 500

    Review: 2018 Lexus LC 500

    In Silicon Valley, early adopters get all the glory. Whether you’re the first to use a groundbreaking new app or you’re investing seed money in a promising new venture, being at the head of the pack means you’re winning. So, don’t you want a car that reflects you’re in-the-know?

    The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and getting behind the wheel is further proof that we’re entering the next frontier of luxury coupes. It’s smart, innovative, and within your reach. Check out our full review, then come take one for a test spin:

    Performance

    Built on an entirely new platform, the front-engine, rear-wheel drive LC 500 is as grounded and powerful as a naturally aspirated engine gets. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine mated to a 10-speed electronically controlled direct-shift automatic transmission. It makes a head-turning 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, and the sport coupe goes from zero to 60 in just 4.4 seconds.

    All models of the LC, including the hybrid LC 500h, come with Adaptive Variable Suspension, Drive Mode Select with Sport S+ mode, Active Sport Exhaust, aluminum pedals, magnesium paddle shifters, and LFA-inspired instrumentation, including a G-meter. Your Lexus Stevens Creek rep can get into the details with you, including the available Sport and Performance packages, as well as the TORSEN limited-slip rear differential.

    Styling and Interior

    It’s clear to see that the all-new LC 500 is a work of engineering perfection. With premium triple-beam LED headlamps and dimensional rear combination taillamps, its stand-out lighting helps you see and be seen. Flush exterior door handles with illumination both improve its aerodynamics and give it a futuristic feel, while a glass roof with sunshade rounds out the sleek silhouette. Of course, it maintains Lexus's signature spindle grille, but in a black mesh that lets the rest of the design shine.

    Inside, you have the option of Black, Toasted Caramel, Rioja Red, or Bespoke White leather seating. The LC 500 comes standard with dual zone climate control with Climate Concierge, as well as heated and ventilated front seats. It’s also available with a heated leather-trimmed steering wheel, semi-aniline leather-trimmed front seats, and an Alcantara headliner.

    Safety and Technology

    All models of the 2018 Lexus LC come equipped with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes intelligent high beam headlamps, Pre-Collision System, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist. Additionally, it comes standard with a backup camera, Remote Touchpad controls, Lexus Navigation System with 10.3-inch screen, voice command, and a 12-speaker premium audio system. The LC 500 is available with Intuitive Parking Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Heads-Up Display, and a Mark Levinson 13-speaker Surround Sound Audio System.

    Pricing

    Starting at $93,000 MSRP

    Friday
    Aug182017

    LC 500 Launch, A Night to Remember 

    On August 15th, Lexus Stevens Creek hosted an exclusve viewing of the all-new 2018 LC 500. We had 200 guest who enjoyed an evening of live music from Valley Christian High School Band, wine from Joseph George Wines and hors d'oeuvres from Le Papillon.

    Interactive booths made it for an eventful night, such as a virtual reality configulator of the upcoming reimagined 2018 LC 500, Technology Center by Matt Esparaza (Master Certfified Lexus Technology Specalist) and Technician Corner with Steve Vergano (Master Certified Digangostic Specialist) for the LC 500. The night ended with special donation presented to community partner Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Silicon Valley for their Student Series and STEM programs. Overall, a great night with great guests.

    To see all event photos, check out our Facebook album.

     

     

    Wednesday
    Aug162017

    Comparison: 2017 Lexus ES 300h vs 2017 Mercedes-Benz C350e

    Comparison: 2017 Lexus ES 300h vs 2017 Mercedes-Benz C350e

    San Jose drivers in the market for an efficient luxury vehicle may be weighing the differences between hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Deciding which is better will depend on your needs, and it helps to directly compare models so you can find one that meets your requirements.

    Here, we’ll look at the 2017 Lexus ES 300h to the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C350e. The former is a hybrid, while the latter is a plug-in hybrid. Here’s how they compare:

    Hybrid Technology

    Lexus ES 300h

    A hybrid vehicle combines a traditional gasoline combustion engine with an electric motor whose power is generated on board, meaning you don’t need to use an external source of energy such as an outlet or generator. As such, a hybrid model like the Lexus ES 300h might be ideal if you plan on taking frequent road trips without having to stop and charge your vehicle.

    The 2017 ES 300h combines a 2.5-liter inline-4 Atkinson-cycle engine and an electric motor, and utilizes the advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive system to optimize power between the two sources for the most efficient use of energy. It gets an EPA-estimated 40 MPG city and 39 MPG highway, and makes a net 200 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque.

    Mercedes-Benz C350e

    A plug-in hybrid isn’t as convenient as a hybrid, but does offer some advantages. While you’ll need to plug it in regularly to charge it, a plug-in gives you an electric-only range and thus usually offers better fuel economy on trips of less than 100 miles.

    The C350e has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine combined with a 60 kWh electric motor. A full charge takes at least two hours with a 220-volt outlet, and the model has an electric-only range of about 20 miles. Mercedes reports that it gets up to 45 MPGe city 61 MPGe highway, and makes a combined 275 horsepower.

    While the Benz plug-in does offer better fuel economy, you may want to take into account any potential increase in home energy use from plugging it in, as well as the higher MSRP.

    Interior and Features

    Lexus ES 300h

    Both the ES 300h and the C350e have seating for five passengers, but the Lexus offers more space than the Mercedes. The ES features 12.1 cubic feet of cargo volume, 41.9 inches of front leg room, 57.5 inches of front shoulder room, and 40 inches of rear leg room.

    All models of the 2017 ES have Lexus Display Audio with Scout GPS Link navigation, a Premium Sound System with 8 speakers, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, Bluetooth wireless technology, subscription-free Traffic and Weather, and the Lexus Enform suite of apps, including Safety Connect, Service Connect, and Remote.

    Mercedes-Benz C350e

    The 2017 C350e has 13.8 cubic feet of cargo space, 41.7 inches of front leg room, 54.7 inches of front shoulder room, and 35.2 inches of rear leg room.

    The Mercedes C-Class comes standard with AM/FM Radio Seek and Scan, COMAND infotainment, 5-speaker audio system, and CD and MP3 players. Both the Lexus and Benz offer voice-activated navigation as a standard feature.

    Pricing

    Lexus ES 300h

    Starting at $42,820 MSRP (or $45,670 fully equipped)

    Mercedes-Benz C350e

    Starting at $46,050 MSRP (or $52,140 fully equipped)