A very, very well-insulated, beautifully equipped Prius, mind you, but a Prius nonetheless. The roads varied from two-lane highways to winding canyon roads, with briefer stretches of wide-open four-lane highway driving. Normal mode has an essentially linear throttle action that gives natural progressive power. When you're in a hurry, hit the Power mode to sharpen the performance for better acceleration at the expense of a few mpgs. Trade in was fair, and Gene in finance helped us secure the best rate. It's a safer system, one that leaves no fingerprints on the Navi screen. Plus, we like the controller's ergonomic positioning.
Unlike many plastics used in the automotive industry, bioplastic is carbon-neutral and does not create a disposal problem when the life of the car is over. A second front-mounted camera is part of the Intelligent High Beam system, which monitors the road ahead for headlamps and taillights and dims the high beams so as not to dazzle other drivers. Lack of panel gaps, leather surfaces, and solid construction are all present as expected in a Lexus. It's a trend we're seeing throughout the auto industry, as the newest cars use ever-higher percentages of recyclable materials. When driven a little more conservatively, our tester almost reached 35 mpg.
Inside, there is a high level of standard equipment. At speed, it's reasonably firm and on-center, and around town it has the ease and quickness of a luxury car. Optional front and rear cameras help with tight parking, and the heads-up display keep speed and navigation instructions within your line of vision. If you really floor it, the Hybrid Synergy Drive delivers enough power to get you out of trouble. The affected vehicles were previously recalled under 13V-383, but did not have both rear suspension arms replaced at that time.
Gas saving seems to be not what our Northern C. Like any other mouse, it can be adjusted for sensitivity. The Lexus systems are a modular technology and can deliver any mix of the two. Infared-reducing windshield glass reflects heat, helping to reduce the air conditioning workload for better mileage. If you purchase the fully loaded model, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Lexus is moving in the right direction with a hybrid optimized for fuel economy rather than performance.
Merging onto or passing while on said freeways, however, leaves one relying more on the power of prayer than the power of the car itself. Although Lexus' system is hard drive-based, there is no jukebox function that lets users rip their music to the hard drive. This made me wonder, is this really a Lexus? A continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive round out a drivetrain that promises to be competent, if none too thrilling. I do love the leather on the seats though — very rich feeling. All owners will receive notification of the recall, with most receiving second notifications when parts are available in their area.
Blame the for that one. With a little more pressure, they quickly transition into a power-stop mode. A Touring Package includes sport suspension tuning and 18-inch alloys, firming up responses somewhat. Everything the driver needs to look at is mounted high on the dash, so it can be addressed at a glance. Despite these minor glitches, we were happy to have the system on our favorite narrow two-lane parkway, where cops lie in wait as Range Rovers joust with battered Volvo station wagons. Pedal feedback is smooth and progressive, encouraging the kind of long, gradual braking intervals that are most efficient at converting momentum into battery power. The hybrid system in this car takes a few hours of driving to fully understand and appreciate.
There are also heated and cooled seats, a Mark Levinson audio system, adaptive front lighting, a head-up display, and an OnStar-like concierge service called Lexus Enform. Performance Because the car is so well-insulated--and a staggering 600 pounds heavier than the 2010 Toyota Prius--it gathers speed deliberately, somewhat like an ocean liner. I've never changed my rear brakes. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331. As long as you remain behind that car, your speed is checked. The Remote Touch controller takes some getting used to, but quickly becomes second nature.
Wood accents trimmed the doors, and a plush headliner felt rich to the touch and looked good. The choice is either glaring sun despite heavy tinting or no light at all. Inside, the car is very well appointed. First is Lane Keep Assist. The steering wheel does a pretty good job of communicating what is going on between the tires and road, though the electric system does filter out a lot of feedback. Traditional gas-engine cars usually offer their best efficiency on the government's City test, but the electric motors come into play on the hybrid-powered car for substantially improved fuel economy in slower, stop-and-go city-type driving.
Some of that can be attributed to the independent multi-link rear suspension, as opposed to the torsion beam axel on the Prius. All of those hybrids shared a similar philosophy: They prize performance first, often out-accelerating their non-hybrid counterparts, and put fuel economy second — although they usually have managed to provide better-than-average mpg numbers as well. It's used in the trunk carpeting and parts of the interior upholstery, covering about 30 percent of the area. The new mouse-like control system is the best thing about this car. It's the car you move up to if you're a rabid Prius fanatic but want more leather, more luxury, more sound deadening, and more electronic gadgetry. This is the first hybrid-only car for Lexus, and the first Lexus with a four-cylinder engine. However, we'd recommend that you figure out what you want to hear before you hit the road for minimal frustration.