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    Entries in hybrid (34)


    Review: 2017 Lexus RX 450h

    Review: 2017 Lexus RX 450h

    We love serving Silicon Valley because its residents know what they want and refuse to compromise, making Lexus stop No. 1 for San Jose drivers. Our roster of luxury cars and SUVs ensure that there’s something for everyone, whether it’s techies looking for the latest in entertainment and convenience or eco-conscious buyers seeking a next-level hybrid.

    In the case of the 2017 Lexus RX 450h, you’ll find modern features, a hybrid option that delivers on performance, and so much more. Read our full comparison to see all the reasons why it’s the perfect ride for San Jose drivers:


    The RX 450h is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine combined with a 123-kW electric motor mated to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. All-wheel drive is standard on this model, and the powertrain makes a net 308 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque, letting the RX 450h go from 0 to 60 in 7.9 seconds. According to EPA estimates, this RX model gets 31 MPG city, 28 MPG highway, and 30 MPG combined.


    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2017 Lexus RX a Top Safety Pick+, as the SUV scored best possible ratings in all crash tests, including small and moderate front overlap, side impact, rear crash, and roof strength. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded it a 5-Star Overall Rating.

    The 2017 RX 450h comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Keep Assist, and intelligent high beams. Other standard safety features include a backup camera, bi-LED headlamps, LED foglamps and daytime running lights, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect for one year.


    The RX 450h comes standard with the Navigation Package, providing Remote Touch controls, Navigation System with 8-inch color multimedia display, 12-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System, DVD and CD player, dual-zone climate control with smog sensor, Lexus Enform App Suite, and Lexus Enform Destinations. It also has standard Lexus Display Audio with Scout GPS Link, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, subscription-free traffic and weather, and Siri Eyes Free.

    Comfort and Convenience

    Each RX hybrid is equipped with the Premium Package, which includes rain-sensing wipers, Lexus Memory System for driver's seat and mirrors, power-folding electro chromatic exterior mirrors, aluminum roof rails, interior leather trim, and the option between Espresso Walnut, Matte Bamboo, or Matte Linear Dark Mocha wood trim.

    Additionally, all RX models have standard SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop, power rear door, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, and power-adjustable front seating. It’s also available with a panorama glass roof, heated and ventilated front seats, power moonroof, and Heads-Up Display.


    Starting at $53,035 MSRP


    Review: 2017 Lexus CT 200h

    Review of the 2017 Lexus CT 200h

    Drivers in San Jose love the Toyota Prius, and while this flagship hybrid set the bar for all others in its class, it leaves something to be desired for those seeking a luxury experience. Always the problem solver, Lexus stepped in with the CT 200h, a luxury hybrid built on the Prius platform with a refined interior and styling.

    When you take the 2017 Lexus CT 200h out for a test drive, you’ll notice the difference. But before you take one out for a spin, check out our full review:


    Powered by the Atkinson Cycle Engine plus Lexus Hybrid Drive, the 2017 CT 200h gets an impressive 43 MPG city and 40 MPG highway, for a combined fuel economy of 42 MPG. Under the hood, it has a 1.8-liter inline-4 engine combined with an AC 650-volt permanent-magnet motor. Together, they make 134 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a smooth electronically controlled CVT, while each model is also equipped with Drive Mode Select for fuel and performance optimization.


    The 2017 CT 200h has enough standard features to keep any driver happy. Each model includes SmartAccess key fob with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration, Bluetooth connectivity, USB input, steering wheel-mounted controls, Sirius XM radio, and deluxe audio.

    Additionally, each model has available 10-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System, 3-D Navigation, voice command, HomeLink remote transmitter, Siri Eyes Free, Remote Touch controls, HD Radio, and subscription-free traffic and weather. The available Lexus Enform App Suite gives you access to all your favorite apps for entertainment or convenience, right in your cleanly designed center stack.


    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2017 CT a Top Safety Pick+ after it earned perfect scores in all crash tests, including moderate and small front overlap impact, side impact, rear crash, and roof strength.

    The CT 200h features standard power-assisted brakes, SmartStop Technology, tire pressure monitoring system, eight airbags, vehicle stability control, traction control, whiplash injury lessening front seatbacks, rigid body structure with crumple zones, and Vehicle Proximity Notification System that emits a sound to notify nearby pedestrians and cyclists. Additionally, you can opt for LED headlights and taillights, Pre-Collision System, Intuitive Parking Assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and backup camera with dynamic gridlines.


    Inside, the 2017 CT 200h has high-quality materials and detailed craftsmanship, with supportive seating and bright, high-tech displays and gauges. It features eco-friendly NuLuxe interior trim, cargo-area tonneau cover, leather-wrapped steering wheel, bamboo speaker frames, and accessories and trim made from 30% plant-based materials. Those looking for more luxury can add heated front seats, a moonroof, and leather-trimmed interior.


    Starting at $31,250 MSRP


    COMPARISON: 2017 Lexus ES 300h vs BMW 330e

    Silicon Valley Comparison of the Lexus ES 300h vs BMW330e

    The luxury hybrid sedan fits in perfectly in Silicon Valley, where drivers want style and performance while maintaining a low carbon footprint. While the Lexus ES has been a perennial favorite, the BMW 3 Series’ hybrid option has drawn some eyes as well.

    However, there are real differences between these two vehicles, so check out our side-by-side comparison of the 2017 Lexus ES 300h vs the BMW 3 Series Hybrid.


    LEXUS ES 300h

    The 2017 ES earned the title of Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after it scored perfect results in all crash tests. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating.

    Results like these don’t happen by chance. Lexus outfitted each model of the new ES with the Lexus Safety System+, a package of features that would normally cost extra. It includes pre-collision system, lane-departure alert, steering assist, intelligent high-beams, and dynamic radar cruise control.

    BMW 330e

    While the 2017 3 Series did earn a 5-Star Overall Rating from the NHTSA, it has not yet been evaluated by the IIHS.

    The BMW sedan has standard safety features like airbags, head restraints, and impact sensors (as does the ES). However, driver assistance technologies similar to those found standard on the ES will cost extra, and do not come in an integrated package like the Lexus system.


    LEXUS ES 300h

    The 2017 ES 300h is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine combined with hybrid electric motor and nickel-metal battery module. It gets an EPA-estimated 40 MPG city and 39 MPG highway, and has a continuously variable transmission.

    The front-wheel drive Lexus ES is lighter than its BMW competitor, so it has a more effective power-to-weight ratio – in other words, it has better acceleration despite having less horsepower.

    BMW 330e

    The 2017 3 Series plug-in hybrid option is powered by a turbocharged inline-4 engine combined with an electric motor. It gets an EPA-estimated 30 MPG combined, and has either a manual or automatic transmission.


    LEXUS ES 300h

    An excellent package of standard features extends beyond safety, as the new ES is also equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, moonroof, push-button start, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated exterior mirrors, 10-way power adjustable front seats, rearview camera, HomeLink garage door opener, and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s also equipped with the Lexus Enform infotainment system, Sirius XM Radio, voice command, and Siri Eyes Free.

    BMW 330e

    The 2017 3 Series has standard faux-leather seating, manually adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and entertainment system with 9 speakers, 6.5-inch LCD screen, USB ports, and Bluetooth connectivity.


    LEXUS ES 300h

    Starting at $41,820 MSRP

    BMW 330e

    Starting at $44,100 MSRP


    Lexus Hybrid Drive


    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**


    Lexus ES & RX 450h Win 2013 Auto Pacific Ideal Vehicle Awards 


    The Lexus ES & RX were honored today in the annual AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Awards, taking top spot in their respective categories.

    The Lexus ES was named ideal luxury mid-size car and the Lexus RX 450h was honored with ideal hybrid crossover.  

    The Ideal Vehicle Awards are based on responses from more than 52,000 vehicle owners across all manufacturers, and are meant to reveal the vehicles that best meet the owners’ demands. 

    Read more about the Ideal Vehicle Awards