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    Wednesday
    Mar142018

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus LC 500 vs Porsche 911 Carrera

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus LC 500 vs Porsche 911 Carrera

    Silicon Valley knows a thing or two about disruption, which is why the introduction of the new Lexus LC made such an impact. But naturally, San Jose drivers want to know how the luxury coupe compares to the European brands.

    In our one-to-one comparison of the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and the 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera, we’ll detail how these high-end grand tourers compare in terms of value, performance, and features.

    Check it out below, then visit Lexus Stevens Creek for a test drive of the groundbreaking LC 500.

    Engine and Driving

    Lexus LC 500

    The LC is Lexus’s most powerful creation, so it competes among the best. Under the hood, it has a 5.0-liter V8 engine connected to a newly designed 10-speed electronically controlled direct-shift automatic transmission. Its engine makes 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, and has a zero-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds. If you prefer an eco-friendly alternative, the LC has a hybrid model.

    In addition to a fresh new engine, the LC 500 is built on a state-of-the-art rear-wheel-drive GA-L platform that has a low center of gravity and intuitively distributes weight to reduce shifting and give you an effortless yet dynamic drive. All models of the 2018 LC include Adaptive Variable Suspension, aluminum pedals, magnesium paddle shifters, Active Sport Exhaust, and the option for a TORSEN limited-slip rear differential. The Performance Package adds Active Rear Steering, Variable Gear-Ratio Steering, an active rear wing, Alcantara headliner, and carbon fiber scuff plates.

    Porsche 911 Carrera

    The Porsche 911 lineup is wide-ranging, from the $91K base model with a flat-6 engine to the nearly $300K GT2 RS that churns out 700 horsepower. Since we’re comparing apples to apples here, this review will focus on the base model that has a comparable MSRP to the LC 500.

    The 2018 911 Carrera has a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 boxer engine mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. If it’s important to you, the Porsche also has the option for a manual transmission and all-wheel drive. The powertrain makes just 370 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, but it’ll take you from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds or 4 seconds with the manual.

    Features and Interior

    Lexus LC 500

    If you’re shopping for a luxury coupe for everyday use, the LC is your best bet because it comes equipped with everything you need for a comfortable ride. All models feature heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, a glass roof with sunshade, and the choice between leather or semi-aniline leather seating. For your convenience, it also features Voice Command, rain-sensing wipers, a Navigation System with a 10.3-inch display, Remote Touchpad controls, and Lexus Enform Apps.

    The Lexus Safety System+ is a suite of driver assistance technology that’s standard on all LC models. Additionally, you have the option to add a Heads-Up Display, Intuitive Parking Assist, and a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

    Porsche 911 Carrera

    The 911 Carrera is no budget car, so it also comes standard with luxe features, including leather seats, dual-zone climate control, power front seats, a sport leather steering wheel, and day-night rearview mirror. However, it doesn’t have the option for a glass roof, semi-aniline leather seating, or carbon fiber accessories.

    Standard equipment includes Porsche Communication Management with navigation, Sirius XM Radio, Apple CarPlay, and Car Connect Services. However, its navigation screen is smaller than that of the LC, and it’s not available with Mark Levinson audio, Remote Touchpad, voice-activated navigation, or an equivalent to the Lexus Enform apps.

    Pricing

    Lexus LC 500

    Starting at $92,00 MSRP

    Porsche 911 Carrera

    Starting at $91,100 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Mar072018

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus NX 300 vs 2018 Infiniti QX30

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus NX 300 vs 2018 Infiniti QX30

    San Jose drivers shopping for a new luxury crossover usually want to know how Lexus models compare to the high-end competition. For those doing their homework, we’re here to help you out.

    Below, we’ll compare the 2018 Lexus NX 300 to the 2018 Infiniti QX30, looking at objective factors like specs and third-party safety ratings.

    See which luxury crossover comes out ahead, then visit us in San Jose for a test drive of the NX 300:

    Safety Ratings and Tech

    Lexus NX 300

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 NX 300 a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating and has not reported any recalls, complaints, or investigations. Also, the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the NX a 2018 Top Safety Pick, awarding it perfect scores in all crash tests and systems evaluations.

    Each model of the 2018 NX comes equipped with the Lexus Safety System+ (Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Intelligent High-Beam Headlamps) as well as a backup camera, Vehicle Stability Control, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect. Options include premium triple-beam LED headlamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Intuitive Park Assist with Automatic Braking, and a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (included with Comfort Package).

    Infiniti QX30

    While the NHTSA hasn’t rated the QX30, the federal organization has reported at least one complaint related to the crossover's structure and one recall due to inadvertent driver airbag deployment. The complaint, which has not resulted in any injury, states that the rear door doesn't latch properly. The QX30IIHS has not rated the 2018 QX30.

    The 2018 QX30 comes standard with Brake Assist, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a rearview camera, but if you want to add any other safety equipment, you’ll need to upgrade. Available safety features include front and rear parking sensors, an Around View Monitor, Intelligent Park Assist, Blind Spot Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning.

    Performance and Cargo Specs

    Lexus NX 300

    The NX 300 has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine mated to a 6-speed electronically controlled transmission, with available all-wheel drive. The capable powertrain makes 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The NX is also available with a hybrid engine.

    Behind the rear seats, the NX 300 has 17.7 cubic feet of space, and when all seats are folded you get 54.6 cubes, so the NX is a convenient and practical choice for drivers in San Jose.

    Infiniti QX30

    The 2018 QX30 has a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The powertrain makes 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Infiniti crossover is not available as a hybrid model.

    The QX30 features comparable cargo space behind the rear seats, with 19.2 cubes. But while folding the second row gives you more room to stow luggage and equipment, it has maximum capacity of 34 cubic feet – more than 20 cubes less than the NX.

    With poorer safety ratings and less horsepower and cargo space than the NX, the QX30 has some work to do if it wants to compete with Lexus. Visit us today for a test drive.

    Pricing

    Lexus NX 300

    Starting at $35,985 MSRP

    Infiniti QX30

    Starting at $29,950 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Feb212018

    Review: 2018 Lexus RX 350 

    Review: 2018 Lexus RX 350

    Drivers in Los Angeles who need a midsize luxury SUV that’s as heavy on style and comfort as it is performance and safety will want to get behind the wheel of the 2018 Lexus RX 350.

    With top safety ratings and standard driver assistance features, the RX is more practical than its adventurous styling would suggest. You’ll need to see it in person to get the full experience, but below we’ve detailed all the features you can expect from one of California’s best-selling luxury SUVs:

    Comfort and Convenience

    The RX 350 comes standard with black or stratus gray NuLuxe interior trim or optional with leather seating, ranging in colors from Black to neutral Parchment to bold Rioja Red. The two-row, five-seat SUV is also standard equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter, a power tilting/telescoping steering wheel, leather-trimmed wheel and shift knob, power rear door, power-adjustable front seats, and 40/20/40 split-folding and reclining rear seats.

    An auto-dimming rearview mirror and rain-sensing windshield wipers – both standard on all RX models – automatically react to external events so you can concentrate on the road ahead, while Drive Mode Select lets you choose an optimal performance mode according to the weather or terrain. Your RX will also come equipped with Lexus Display Audio with Scout GPS Link navigation, voice command, Bluetooth tech, Siri Eyes Free, and the Lexus Enform suite of apps.

    Individual options include a panorama glass roof or power moonroof (both with aluminum roof rails), Touch-Free Power Rear Door, heated and ventilated front seats, heated front seats, power-folding 60/40 split heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. Additional luxury features, such as seat memory, heated wood-and-leather steering wheel, and aniline leather interior trim, are available when you add the Premium or Luxury Package.

    Safety and Technology

    The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the RX 350 a 2018 Top Safety Pick, earning best-possible ratings in all crashworthiness categories. Additionally, the SUV’s front crash prevention system won a Superior rating, and its child seat anchors were reported very easy to use.

    Each model of the 2018 RX comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high-beams, Lane Departure Alert, and Lane Keep Assist. Options include premium triple-beam LED headlamps with dynamic auto-leveling, a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Breaking, Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking, and a Heads-Up Display.

    Performance and Fuel Economy

    The 2018 Lexus RX 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, making 296 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive models get 20 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, while all-wheel drive models get 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway.

    The RX 350 is available with the F Sport Package, which adds sport-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension with Sport S+ drive mode, sport-tuned Electronic Power Steering, paddle shifters, a Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System, and a range of high-end exterior and interior styling features.

    Pricing

    Starting at $43,270 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Feb142018

    Review: 2018 Lexus GS F

    Review: 2018 Lexus GS F

    As the best performing luxury sedan in its class, the 2018 Lexus GS F melds racecar behavior with high-end styling and intuitive tech to give you the ideal ride for Los Angeles drivers.

    Get in touch today to talk about reserving your own GS F, or keep reading to get all the details on California’s top-selling luxury sport sedan.

    Performance

    The 2018 Lexus GS F has a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft of torque, taking you from zero to 60 in just 4.5 seconds. The engine is mated to an 8-speed Sport Direct-Shift transmission with paddle shifters and a Manual-mode torque-converter lockup.

    Additionally, the GS F comes equipped with Torque Vectoring Differential to keep you grounded during turns and maneuvers, as well as F-Adaptive Variable Suspension, which monitors and controls damping force for a smooth, stable ride and easier handling. You’ll also love the GS F’s LFA-inspired instrumentation (including G-meter and lap timer), Drive Mode Select with S/S+ and Custom modes, and orange brake calipers with F logo (available as an option). Buyers also have the option between regular or hand-polished split-10-spoke forged 19-inch alloy wheels.

    Styling

    When you go the extra mile and choose the Lexus GS F, everyone on the road will know it’s no ordinary luxury sedan. That’s because it comes equipped with Premium Triple-Beam LED headlamps and LED tail lamps, hovering over quad-tip exhaust that commands attention with a throaty growl. The GS F has an aerodynamic body with wide, flared front fenders and large vents in the front fascia to let the engine breathe.

    The carbon fiber rear wing provides some foreshadowing for what’s inside, as the cabin is adorned with carbon fiber accents and racecar-inspired features for a track-worthy driving experience. You have the option between black or Circuit Read leather interior, and all high-back sport seats feature the F badge and stitching that’s as functional as it is beautiful, giving you added support during high G-force scenarios. Additionally, the GS F has heated and ventilated power front seats, a power moonroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter and smog sensor.

    Tech and Features

    The GS F isn’t just a sports car, it’s suitable for the whole family, thanks to the Lexus Safety System+. This suite of driver assistance tech is standard on all models and includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and intelligent high-beam headlamps.

    Additionally, the GS F includes auto-dimming mirrors, SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop, voice command, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth tech, a backup camera, Navigation System with a 12.3-inch screen, subscription-free traffic and weather, Remote Touch controls, and the Lexus Enform App Suite. Available options include a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System and a Color Heads-Up Display.

    Pricing

    Starting at $84,350 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Feb072018

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus IS 350 vs 2018 Audi A4

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus IS 350 vs 2018 Audi A4

    When comparing entry-level luxury sedans, too many consumers rely mainly on price differentiation and styling preference. But you live in Los Angeles, you’re probably ahead of the curve and know to dig a little deeper.

    For instance, look at the 2018 Lexus IS 350 and the 2018 Audi A4 and you’ll see two similarly sized compact sedans in the same price range. Examine each vehicle’s engine performance and safety technology, and you’ll start to notice the differences.

    Below, we'll give you the full details on these top-selling luxury sedans so you can make an informed decision. When you're ready, see us in El Monte to test drive the IS 350.

    Performance

    Lexus IS 350

    The 2018 Lexus IS 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine, making 311 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with rear-wheel drive or optional with all-wheel drive. AWD models have a 6-speed automatic transmission, while RWD models have an 8-speed automatic. The latter will get you from zero to 60 in 5.6 seconds.

    The IS comes standard with Drive Mode Select and available with the F Sport Package, which includes F Sport suspension tuning, Adaptive Variable Suspension with Sport S/S+ modes, a limited-slip rear differential, and deluxe interior and exterior styling features.

    Audi A4

    The 2018 A4 comes with the option between two 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engines mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The base makes 190 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque (front-wheel drive only) and the upgrade makes 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, with the option for all-wheel drive and manual transmission.

    The Audi sedan is not available with rear-wheel drive, which is one reason why it can’t match the performance of the IS 350. Most sports cars are built with RWD because by routing power to the rear wheels and steering to the front, the work is more evenly distributed between tires, allowing you to maintain speed and control even through turns.

    The A4 base model is not available with performance-enhancing features, but the Premium Plus trim comes with the option for a Sport Plus Package. The package includes sport adaptive damping suspension, dynamic steering, performance tires, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel, and styling features.

    Safety Ratings and Tech

    Lexus IS 350

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the IS 350 a 2018 Top Safety Pick, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating. Additionally, the IS comes standard equipped with a range of driver assistive technologies.

    The Lexus Safety System+ gives you a Pre-Collison System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high-beam headlamps, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. The IS also comes standard with a backup camera, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect for 10 years. Available features include a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, auto-dimming outside mirrors, Intuitive Parking Assist, and an Adaptive Front Lighting System.

    Audi A4

    The IIHS and NHTSA gave the 2018 A4 the same ratings as the IS 350, except the Audi received a slightly lower rating for front crash prevention. Additionally, the Audi’s list of standard safety tech is not as robust as that of the IS 350.

    The A4 comes standard with Audi pre sense basic and city, which are front crash mitigation systems. If you want additional tech, the Premium Plus trim adds Audi side assist, rear cross traffic assist, vehicle exist assist, and a parking system plus. The Prestige trim includes adaptive cruise control, turn assist, collision avoidance assist, a head-up display, high-beam assist, and active lane assist.

    Pricing

    Lexus IS 350

    Starting at $41,830 MSRP

    Audi A4

    Starting at $36,000 MSRP