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    Entries in hybrid (36)

    Wednesday
    Dec202017

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus ES 300h vs 2018 BMW 530e

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus ES 300h vs 2018 BMW 530e

    In Silicon Valley, innovation is key to becoming the next big thing. This is why models with the Lexus Hybrid Drive are so popular among drivers in the greater San Jose area, as the unique system maximizes energy use with regenerative braking and eliminates lag with increased torque. But, how do Lexus models compare to the competition?

    In the battle between the 2018 Lexus ES 300h and the BMW 530e, one main difference is that the BMW is a plug-in and the Lexus is a regular hybrid. Below, we’ll cover what that means for car owners and how to choose the best model for you.

    Performance and Efficiency

    Lexus ES 300h

    The 2018 ES 300h has a 2.5-liter inline-4 combined with an electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery module, making a net 200 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. According to U.S. Department of Energy estimates, it gets 40 MPG city and 39 MPG highway.

    The agency also reports that the ES 300h’s annual fuel cost is around $950 and that drivers save about $2,250 on fuel over five years, versus the average new car. Also, you can go 688 miles on a single tank, making this Lexus hybrid an ideal ride for trips up and down the California coast.

    BMW 530e

    The BMW 530e has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine combined with an AC synchronous electric motor. The plug-in makes a combined 248 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, which is more power than the Lexus, but that’s where the favorable numbers end for the Beemer.

    Unlike a regular hybrid that optimizes fuel and kinetic energy to power its motors, a plug-in relies on your electrical outlets to gives its battery pack a boost – and that can add up. The U.S. DOE reports that on gasoline only, the 530e gets 29 MPG, and combined with electric energy, it gets 72 MPGe. That last figure sounds impressive, but is it?

    According to the DOE, it costs $1,300 in fuel and electricity to drive the BMW 530e, which is a savings of $500 every five years when compared to a traditional new car. Not bad, but the numbers pale in comparison to the ES 300h. Plus, you’ll only go about 370 on a full tank, and the electric-only range is just 16 miles.

    Driver Assistance Tech

    Lexus ES 300h

    While both the 2018 Lexus ES and the 2018 BMW 5 Series earned top scores from both major safety organizations, only Lexus includes standard driver assistance technology on every model. The ES comes equipped with the Lexus Safety System+, including a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and intelligent high beams. Additionally, it’s available with a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Intuitive Parking Assist.

    BMW 530e

    The BMW 5 Series comes standard with Dynamic Cruise Control, and that's about it for standard models. Adding a blind spot monitor, parking aids, automatic high beams, or side collision avoidance system to your BMW will cost extra – and that's in addition to the higher energy costs and substantially higher base price.

    Pricing

    Lexus ES 300h

    Starting at $41,820 MSRP

    BMW 530e

    Starting at $52,395 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Dec132017

    Review: 2018 Lexus NX 300h

    Review: 2018 Lexus NX 300hThe Lexus NX is one of the best-selling vehicles in California, so it makes sense that its hybrid variant is one of San Jose’s favorites.

    The 2018 Lexus NX 300h is a luxury crossover SUV that has it all, including drivability, fuel efficiency, contemporary styling, and a cabin so luxe you won’t want to leave.

    See our full review below, then visit our convenient location to get behind the wheel:

    Performance and Fuel Economy

    Under the hood, the NX 300h has a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4 engine combined with an electric motor, controlled with the Lexus Hybrid Drive system that optimizes energy use and ensures a smooth, sporty ride with zero lag thanks to enhanced torque and an electronically controlled continuously variable automatic transmission. The system makes a net 194 horsepower and goes from zero to 60 in 9.1 seconds.

    According to federal estimates, the NX 300h gets 33 MPG city and 30 MPG highway, which saves you $1,000 over five years (when compared to a gas-only vehicle). The annual fuel cost associated with this model is $1,200.

    Comfort and Convenience

    The 2018 Lexus NX seats five passengers and comes standard with NuLuxe seating, dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob. You can also opt for leather or perforated leather seating, heated front seats, a power moonroof, heated steering wheel, Touch-Free Power Rear Door, auto-dimming interior mirrors, the Lexus Memory System, and power-folding and reclining rear seats.

    Standard entertainment and connectivity features include Lexus Display Audio with 8-inch screen, Scout GPS link navigation, Remote Touch controls, a backup camera, 8-speaker premium audio, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth tech, and subscription-free traffic and weather. The Navigation Package adds a Navigation System with Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0, 10.3-inch high-res display, Enform Destination Assist and Dynamic Navigation, 10-speaker audio, HomeLink universal transceiver.

    Safety and Tech

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Lexus NX a perfect 5-Star Overall Rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2017 model a Top Safety Pick+. (The IIHS has not yet evaluated the 2018 model.)

    New for 2018, the NX comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+. This suite of driver assistance technology was developed in-house by Lexus engineers, and each feature has a unique potential to prevent or mitigate accidents. Features include 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 NX 300h comes available with a Panoramic View Monitor, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect for 10 years.

    Pricing

    Starting at $38,335 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Apr262017

    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:

    Engine

    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.

    Safety

    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.

    Technology

    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.

    Pricing

    Starting at $53,035 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Mar082017

    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:

    Engine

    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.

    Features

    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.

    Safety

    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.

    Interior

    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.

    Pricing

    Starting at $31,250 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Jan042017

    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.

    SAFETY

    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.

    ENGINE

    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.

    FEATURES

    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.

    PRICING

    LEXUS ES 300h

    Starting at $41,820 MSRP

    BMW 330e

    Starting at $44,100 MSRP