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    Wednesday
    Aug102016

    REVIEW: 2016 LEXUS LS 460

    Lexus LS 460

    The all-new Lexus LS 460 is the ideal ride for drivers who want class, comfort, and performance without all the noise. Some of its competitors, the Mercedes S-Class or the BMW 7 Series, may seem like the sexier options, but taking a closer look will reveal that the classic Lexus sedan is luxury defined - and at a much better price.

    If you are looking for a timeless car that performs the way a luxury car should, take a deep dive into the Lexus LS 460.

    Safety Features

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the all-new Lexus LS 460 best-possible scores in tests for moderate frontal crash and seating and head restraints.

    The classic luxury sedan comes equipped with a suite of safety features to ensure that your ride is as safe as it is opulent. Airbags on all sides, anti-lock brakes, automatic brake assist, electronic stability control, daytime running lights, integrated turn signal mirrors and night vision are all features you may not even notice but lend a lot to the safety of the vehicle.

    Plus, drivers benefit from a rollover protection system, blind spot monitor, and lane departure warning.

    Entertainment

    The all-new LS 460 has all the entertainment features you want and none of the bells and whistles that will only slow you down. A standard 12-inch infotainment display, 10-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity and satellite and HD radio ensure you never skip a beat.

    Looking for more? Premium options include the Mark Levinson surround sound with 19 speakers, rear-seat entertainment and Lexus Enform Remote smartphone integration system.

    New Styling

    Sure, the LS 460 is comfortable because of its smooth ride and plush seats, but it also has one thing the competition doesn't: an available long wheelbase that allows for ample legroom in the front and rear. Upgraded suspension and steering also contribute to a smooth, controlled ride that's become a signature of Lexus' flagship model.

    New Technology

    If you're looking for an in-cabin system that ensures you'll never get lost and always have the latest news and reports at your fingertips, search no more. The LS 460 comes available with a navigation system, Lexus Remote Touch and a Siri-enabled control system for iPhone. Drivers may also add a power ottoman and rear DVD entertainment system for long family trips.

    Pricing

    Starts at $72,520 MSRP

    Friday
    Jul292016

    COMPARISON: 2016 LEXUS IS200t vs. 2016 AUDI A4

    “Lexus

    Entry-level luxury sedans aren't all created equal. But if any two cars are worth comparing, it would be the Lexus IS 200t and the Audi A4.

    Both the IS 200t and A4 are comfortable, spacious, stylish and feature quality materials on the inside. In this regard, they are more or less neck and neck. Even their fuel economy is essentially matched.

    And as far as entertainment and technology go, both cars come equipped with some great features.

    So how do the cars stack up? Is one better than the other? Here is our comparison of the IS 200t and A4.

    Safety

    Lexus IS 200t

    Luxury sedans are powerful. But safety-conscious drivers want to know that they aren't in harm's way as they are riding in style.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 IS 200t a best-possible rating of 5 Stars Overall. The sedan has not yet been evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

    The IS 200t's features are quite robust and are a testament to its dependability. It comes standard with rigid body structure with crumple zones, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) with sport mode, Enform Safety Connect, HID headlamps, LED taillamps, brake system with Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), 10-airbag system, Smart Stop technology and Tire Pressure Monitor System.

    Optional features include LED headlamps, Pre-Collision System (PCS), rain-sensing wipers, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, backup camera with dynamic gridlines and Intuitive Parking Assist.

    Audi A4

    The 2016 Audi A4 earned a "Good" rating in all crash tests, except the small overlap front test where it got a "Poor" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

    With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the A4 earned a five out of five rating, which suggests it is on par with the IS 200t.

    The A4's safety features include airbags, 4-wheel ABS, remote anti-theft alarm system, emergency braking assist, daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, front fog/driving lights, auto delay off headlamps, dusk sensing headlamps, Xenon high intensity discharge headlamp, stability control, traction control, post-collision safety system and tire pressure monitoring.

    Features

    Lexus IS 200t

    The 200t's spacious interior comes packed to the rafters with technology.

    In terms of entertainment, the IS 200t comes standard with Siri® Eyes Free, subscription-free traffic and weather via HD Radio™, color multi-information display, HD Radio™ with iTunes® tagging, SiriusXM® satellite radio and a premium audio system. Optional features include the Enform App Suite, Fuel Guide, Sports and Stocks, voice command and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson® premium surround sound audio system.

    As far as other tech goes, the 200t also comes with HomeLink® universal transceiver, Enform Remote, Enform Service Connect, navigation system with voice activation, center-console controller, and illuminated entry system. If you're looking for more tech, you might consider springing for the F Sport upgrade.

    Its interior is equipped with leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, Dual-zone Climate control with smog sensor, Lexus Personalized Settings, power-adjustable sport seats, and a NuLuxe interior trim.

    Its exterior comes with variable intermittent wipers, rear defogger, power glass sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels and 225/45R V all season tires.

    Audi A4

    Looking to be entertained on your commutes? The A4 comes with a 10-speaker audio system, AM/FM stereo, satellite radio, speed sensitive volume control, auxiliary audio input and USB external media control and a memory card slot.

    Additional technology includes Bluetooth® wireless data link for hands-free phone, three-zone climate control, audio controls on steering wheel, and universal remote transmitter.

    On the inside, you'll find bucket seats, leather interior, cruise control, electric power steering and tilt and telescopic leather steering wheel.

    On the outside, the A4 features variable intermittent rain sensing wipers, rear defogger, power glass sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, and 245/45R17 all-season tires.

    Fuel Economy

    Lexus IS 200t

    22 MPG city / 33 MPG highway / 26 MPG combined

    Audi A4

    24 MPG city / 31 MPG highway / 27 MPG combined

    Pricing

    Lexus IS 200t

    Base: Starting at $37,325 MSRP

    Deluxe – 350 F Sport: Starting at $44,025 MSRP

    Audi A4

    Base: Starting at $35,900 MSRP

    Deluxe – 2.0T Premium Plus Quattro Sedan: Starting at $40,100 MSRP

    Friday
    Jul222016

    REVIEW: 2016 Lexus GS200t

    “Lexus

    The 2016 Lexus GS200t is a comfortable, high-tech sedan. The four-cylinder turbocharged midsized luxury car has arrived on the scene as the most affordable in the GS line and has the competition turning their heads.

    A new addition to the GS line, the 200t is just as stylish and more affordable than its counterparts. It's competitive performance, and beautiful interior make it an obvious choice for those in the market for a luxury sedan.

    Here's why the 200t might be just the car you've been waiting for.

    Safety Features

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2016 GS series the best-possible scores in all safety tests, proving that it's a reliable choice.

    The GS200t comes packaged with stability and traction control, airbags, antilock brakes, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a rearview camera, and the Enform Safety Connect system.

    For those who want to take extra precautions, you might choose to add front and rear parking sensors and the Safety System Plus package, which comes with lane-departure warning, front collision warning system, and automatic braking.

    Entertainment

    The technology that comes bundled with the GS200t might be exactly what you've been waiting for. With the 200t, drivers can enjoy Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, 8-inch central display, a 12-speaker surround sound audio system, satellite and HD radio, and Siri Eyes Free integration.

    The 200t is already high-tech, but you can also add the 17-speaker premium Mark Levinson® audio system, a 12.3-inch navigation display, and Enform smartphone app suite to amp up the excitement.

    New Styling

    The GS200t is a new addition to the GS line but upholds the Lexus name in terms of its styling. In most ways, it doesn't actually differ that much from other GS cars.

    The 200t comes with 17-inch wheels, heated auto-dimming side mirrors, sunroof, synthetic leather upholstery, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, ambient lighting and matte wood trim. Some options are available with the Cold Weather and Premium packages, but they vary from region to region.

    New Technology

    The 200t comes with a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 8-inch central display, 12-speaker surround sound system, satellite and HD radio, and Siri Eyes Free for select iPhones.

    If you're looking to upgrade, you can also gain access to 18-inch wheels, lane departure intervention, Dynamic handling with rear steering, the 17-speaker Mark Levinson® sound system and navigation system.

    Pricing

    Starting at $45,615 MSRP

    Monday
    Jul182016

    Lexus Hybrid Drive

    “Lexus

    Today, there are more hybrid cars on the market than ever before. However, not all hybrid systems are created equally.

    “Hybrid" has come to refer to any vehicle that features two or more sources of power. What you may not know is that there are effectively three different variations of hybrid configurations.

    The Lexus Hybrid Drive technology is what has made Lexus cars so fuel-efficient from 2006 onward.

    So how does this technology work? What makes it different from other hybrid systems? Let's take a look.

    What Is Lexus Hybrid Drive?

    Lexus Hybrid Drive is considered a full hybrid system. The high-output electric motor and gas engine are discrete and separate from each other, which means that they both have the capacity to power the car individually, though their power can be – and sometimes is – combined.

    The Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) allows the electric drive motor and gas engine to adapt to the present needs of the driver, allocating power in the right ways at the right time. The Hybrid Drive technology was originally derived from Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, which allows a car to run on the electric motor alone. Toyota, of course, is Lexus' parent company.

    The Lexus hybrid collection includes the CT 200h and ES 300h hybrid sedans, GS 450h performance sedan, LS 600h L luxury sedan, and RX 450h and NX 300h hybrid SUVs.

    How Does Lexus Hybrid Drive Work?

    As we've already seen, a Lexus hybrid vehicle is powered by an electric motor and a gas engine, which is considered a full hybrid system. The car can be powered by one or both sources at the same time.

    According to Lexus Europe, at lower speeds, the car uses just the power of the electric motor, leaving no ecological footprint. Most other hybrid vehicles are not capable of this feat. This feature also allows for a quiet and smooth takeoff. When a more powerful launch is required, the electric motor and gas engine work together to create the necessary power.

    As the speed picks up, and the car begins to cruise, the gas engine starts to take over using the gas power at optimal efficiency. The electric motor provides extra power for hill climbing and passing. When the car brakes, the hybrid system uses the motor to convert the energy to keep the hybrid battery charged. The gas engine is suspended during deceleration, and when the car is stopped, minimizing fuel use and emissions. The electric motor, meanwhile, stays active and remains ready for takeoff at all times.

    Available Hybrid Models:

    CT Hybrid
    Starting at $31,250 MSRP**

    NX Hybrid
    Starting at $39,720 MSRP**

    ES Hybrid
    Starting at $41,020 MSRP**

    RX Hybrid
    Starting at $52,235 MSRP**

    GS Hybrid
    Starting at $63,080 MSRP**

    LS Hybrid
    Starting at $120,440 MSRP**

    Friday
    Jul152016

    Breaking Records, One Furry Friend At A Time

    It’s that time of year again! For the months of May and June, Lexus of Stevens Creek partnered with the Humane Society Silicon Valley for their featured service promotion. Lexus of Stevens Creek Service Center filled three one hundred and seventy gallon bins with pet food, toys, blankets, and beds.  “It’s great to partner with the Humane Society Silicon Valley again this year,” Community Relations Manager Cipriana Huerta states. “They really go over and beyond to help animals in need in our community, and they really do service so many! It’s nice to know that we can help out in this small way, and give back to the fury friends we love so much.”

    “Lexus of Stevens Creek and their donation drive exceeds our expectations every year,” states Joanna Wlodarzewska, Director of Development at HSSV. “This year we not only received a truck load of invaluable supplies for our animals – food, litter, treats, toys, beds, and carriers – but additionally Lexus of Stevens Creek also helped us raise over $800 towards our life-saving programs. This help is especially needed during summer months, when we get an influx of kittens and puppies, and our costs for taking care of these animals increases dramatically. Our organization would not be able to fulfill its mission of saving and enhancing lives - both two-legged and four-legged, if not for the generous support of our community. We are lucky that Lexus of Stevens Creek is part of this community. “

    The Humane Society Silicon Valley is on a mission to save and enhance the lives of animals in our community. Since HSSV was founded in 1929, the group has adopted more than 500,000 animals into permanent, loving homes.

    To learn more about how you can get involved, visit www.hssv.org.