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    Entries in luxury sedan (3)

    Wednesday
    Mar222017

    Review: 2017 Lexus IS Turbo

    Review if the 2017 Lexus IS

    Silicon Valley is a place where technology and innovation rule, so it comes as no surprise that San Jose drivers eschew European sports cars with sky-high price tags for more modern options that deliver performance while staying within budget.

    Case in point: the 2017 Lexus IS Turbo, a compact luxury sedan with advanced turbocharger technology and advanced driver assistance features, starting at less than $40K. Check out our full review, then visit Lexus Stevens Creek for a test spin:

    Engine

    The 2017 IS Turbo features a specially designed turbocharged engine developed in-house by Lexus engineers, so you won’t get anything like it with other automakers. The twin-scroll turbo technology gives the IS power and low-end torque for a responsive drive and a zero to 60 MPH time of 6.9 seconds. The drivetrain is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine mated to an 8-speed Sport Direct-Shift transmission with paddle shifters, making 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This rear-wheel drive model gets 22 MPG city and 32 MPG highway, making it the most fuel efficient of the IS models.

    Styling and Interior

    The 2017 IS received a few updates since last year’s model, with a redesigned front and rear, featuring the Lexus signature spindle grille, LED lighting, and chrome accents. Each model of the IS comes standard with LED headlamps and daytime running lights, power moonroof, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, NuLuxe interior trim, power-adjustable front seats, and available rear sunshade.

    If you’re looking for a little more luxury, there’s also an available heated steering wheel, leather interior trim, wood and aluminum accents, heated and ventilated front seats, power tilting and telescoping steering column, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

    Features

    Standard tech includes the Lexus Display Audio with color multi-media display and Scout GPS Link, subscription-free traffic and weather, Bluetooth connectivity, USB/smartphone input, 8-speaker audio system, and 7-inch VGA dashboard display. Additionally, all models come with one year of Lexus Enform Safety Connect, Service Connect, and Remote app for convenience and support whenever you need it.

    The Navigation Package of features includes Navigation System with Lexus Enform App Suite, 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display, Remote Touch controls, voice command, and Lexus Enform Destinations for one year. The Navigation/Mark Levinson Package adds the Mark Levinson Surround Sound Audio System, 15 speakers, inverted-motor subwoofer, 835-watt 12-channel Class-D amplifier, 5.2-channel surround sound, and aluminum control knobs.

    Safety

    The 2017 IS received a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, each model comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+, featuring a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and intelligent high-beam headlamps.

    Pricing

    Starting at $37,825 MSRP

    Wednesday
    Feb082017

    Comparison: 2017 Lexus IS vs 2017 BMW 3-Series

    San Jose Comparison Lexus IS vs BMW 3 Series

    If you live in San Jose and are in the market for a luxury sedan with distinctive design, a full suite of features, and a sub-$40K price tag, you’ve got a few solid options. Add to your requirements a standard turbocharged engine, and the choices narrow a bit.

    In the battle between the 2017 Lexus IS and the 2017 BMW 3-Series, one clearly stands out as a better value when you take into consideration standard versus add-on features. Read on for our full review to see which comes out ahead:

    Features

    Lexus IS

    While the IS has a slightly higher MSRP than the 3-Series, it more than makes up for it in standard entertainment and safety features. Each model is equipped with power adjustable seats, moonroof, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights and fog lights, push-button start, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, and Siri Eyes Free Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Lexus Enform infotainment system includes a 7-inch VGA screen, USB and auxiliary inputs, and an 8-speaker audio system. You can also choose from a number of premium features that include navigation, 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio, heated steering wheel, and leather interior.

    BMW 3-Series

    The 2017 3-Series has standard faux leather seating, manually adjustable front seats, climate control, and infotainment system with 6.5-inch screen, USB port, Bluetooth, HD radio, and 9-speaker audio system. Available features include surround-view camera, and hands-free trunk.

    Safety

    Lexus IS

    Lexus equipped many of its 2017 models, including the IS, with the Lexus Safety System+. This suite of active driver assistance technologies has been honed over the years by Lexus engineers. While similar systems are usually available on luxury automobiles, they also tend to cost extra, but not when you choose the IS. You and your family will appreciate the Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

    BMW 3-Series

    Surprisingly, the 3-Series does not have an option for driver assistance technologies. It does feature airbags, active head restraints, and post-collision sensors that turn off electrical systems in the event of a collision. However, the IS comes with most of these features, in addition to a suite of accident prevention tech.

    Engine

    Lexus IS

    The 2017 IS has a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The base engine makes 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and gets up to 32 MPG.

    BMW 3-Series

    The 3-Series also has a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine, with the choice between a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. The base powertrain only delivers 180 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque.

    Wednesday
    Jan252017

    Review: 2017 Lexus GS 350

    San Jose Review 2017 Lexus GS350

    Drivers in San Jose are smart. They’re not fooled by luxury European brands that are all style and little substance (that is, unless you’re willing to pay for several packages of add-ons).

    That’s why residents of Silicon Valley love the 2017 Lexus GS 350, a luxury sedan that has the latest in tech, a powerful engine, and classic styling from the Japanese automaker – all at a price starting around $50,000. Take one out for a test drive, but first, read our full review:

    Features

    The Lexus Enform infotainment system has become one of the best available systems, and it’s standard on each model of the GS. Better yet? That includes the Enform App Suite, Service Connect, Safety Connect, and Remote. Your tunes have never sounded better than when you listen through the 12-speaker premium audio system, and you’ll have everything at the tips of your fingers with AM/FM radio, HD radio, MP3, Bluetooth, and smartphone connectivity. Always know where you stand with the voice-activated navigation system with 12.3-inch display, which gives you traffic and weather updates, 3D city views, and views of approaching highway junctions.

    Optional features include heated and ventilated front seats, rear audio and climate controls, semi-aniline leather seating, 16-way driver's sport seat, navigation, power trunk release, and 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio.

    Safety

    Lexus knows how to prioritize, so this year every model of the GS has standard Lexus Safety System+. This package of features includes pre-collision system, lane departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beams, and high-speed dynamic radar cruise control. Additionally, all models have 10 airbags, Lexus dynamic handling system with dynamic rear steering, backup camera with gridlines, blind-spot monitor with gridlines, hill-start assistance, anti-lock brakes, LED taillights, rain-sensing wipers, and a rigid body structure with crumple zones.

    Styling and Interior

    This Lexus sedan is not for those who like to blend it. It has bold styling that give it an aggressively sporty look, with oversized grille, deep chin spoiler, and narrow (but powerful) headlights. Its low stance and 18-inch alloy wheels make it fun to zip around the Bay Area in style. The GS 350’s cabin is a feat of technology and design, with standard leather seating, wood and metallic accent trim, power moonroof, and multi-function steering wheel. Plus, you’ll love the supportive and comfortable 10-way power adjustable seats, LED ambient door and console lighting, and beautiful instrument panel with analog Optitron gauges.

    Engine

    The 2017 GS 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 311 horses of power and 280 lb-ft of torque. It has dual variable-valve timing with intelligence and direct fuel injection, and great fuel economy at up to 29 MPG. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and drivers have the option for all-wheel drive.

    Pricing

    Starting at $50,695 MSRP