2015 Toyota Camry Video

The thought of an updated Toyota Camry might not be sexy, but in the case of the 2015 model, it certainly is Lexy. That's based on what Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays saw at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The best-selling sedan's thousands of new parts look a lot like they came from Toyota's luxury division, Lexus. From the spindle grille all the way to the rear, Mays says, "You could put an 'L' badge on this and people might not know the difference." See for yourself in the video above.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Best Hybrids for the Money 2014

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Gas prices remain historically high and volatile, and one of the most successful ways automakers and American motorists have adapted is by embracing hybrid technology. Though a few full-size hybrid trucks from GM have been discontinued, 2014 sees as many models as ever. No matter why you may want a hybrid, you might want to know how well it meets its mission.

More Alternative Fuels News

To determine if a hybrid's added expense is worth the cash, we devised an efficiency-cost rating. It's simply the EPA's combined mpg rating divided by the base price (meaning MSRP plus destination charge). We then multiply that result by 1,000. This formula can be applied to any type of vehicle, hybrid or not. A high mpg rating and low price provide a high efficiency-cost rating. A higher score is the better score.

We don't account for equipment levels, quality judgments, cost of ownership or any variances from EPA mileage estimates. The goal here is to pay the least for the most mileage, barring all other considerations.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 14, 2014 | Comments (10)

2015 Lexus NX: First Look

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Competes with: Infiniti QX50, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3, BMW X1

Looks like: Lexus developed a design around the grille

Powertrain: Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or hybrid powertrain

Hits dealerships: Late 2014

If there is one sure trend in the luxury-car marketplace, it is the development of the compact luxury SUV. Lexus is officially joining the club with the just-introduced production model NX.

The company has debuted concept versions of the NX a few times, with the most recent being a radical-looking design at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 2013. The 2015 Lexus NX 200t and NX 300h are toned down from the concept but signify a big move by the brand.

The NX is debuting at the Beijing Auto Show next week and will not be at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, which is running at the same time.

 

By David Thomas | April 11, 2014 | Comments (12)

2014 Lexus ES 350 Video

Deviating from the small-and-sporty tendency of its entry-level luxury peers, the 2014 Lexus ES 350 instead emphasizes the roomy-and-comfortable. Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek notes that the sedan's spaciousness comes from its switch to the Toyota Avalon platform from the Camry, and the result is legroom your backseat passengers just won't get with competitors. Front-seat comfort and interior material quality were debatable for our editors, and the lack of optional all-wheel drive is unfortunate, but Bruzek says under normal driving conditions, the ES 350's muscular 268-horsepower V-6 won't disappoint. Watch the video.

2014 Lexus ES 350: What’s Changed

By Matt Schmitz | April 8, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Lexus ES 350 Review

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The 2014 Lexus ES 350 is far from the automaker's most expensive car and nowhere near the priciest in the class. Still, Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek says if you seek a high-end car that lets you stretch out in plush comfort, you needn’t reach any deeper into your pocketbook than Lexus' midsize ES 350 sedan. Backseat legroom trumps the flagship LS 460's available space, while the cabin is dressed in classy, high-grade materials. Moreover, despite competitors' emphasis on sporty performance, Bruzek appreciated the ES 350's leisurely attitude. Read the review below.

2014 Lexus ES 350 Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

By Matt Schmitz | April 7, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Lexus GX 460 Real-World Cargo Space

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From the outside, it doesn't look like the 2014 Lexus GX 460 can seat seven occupants on three rows of seats. Some three-row SUVs are appropriately massive looking, but the GX doesn't look like it should have enough room for three rows. It does, but just barely.

2014 Lexus GX 460 Expert Review

Behind the third row is a skimpy 11.6 cubic feet of cargo room. Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley says the cargo room behind the third row isn't very usable because the third row nearly touches the rear window. There's not much space for taller objects since the third row and window almost meet. Folding the third row uncorks 46.7 cubic feet on its way to a maximum 64.7 cubic feet of cargo space.

By Joe Bruzek | April 3, 2014 | Comments (1)

Which Luxury Cars Don't Recommend or Require Premium Gas?

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Want a luxury car without having to pay for premium gas? We can't blame you. As of March 21, a gallon of premium averaged $3.87 nationwide, according to AAA. That's 35 cents more than a gallon of the cheap stuff. Drive 15,000 miles a year at 25 mpg, and the premium, er, premium adds up to $210.

Premium Gas: Do I Have to Use It?

Luxury brands often charge extra — sometimes absurd amounts — for premium extravagances, and gas is no exception. Most luxury-car owners are accustomed to paying extra for premium fuel, which higher-compression engines often prefer. Still, most engines today can adapt ignition timing to account for less-than-premium gasoline at a slight cost to performance. That's why makers of many luxury cars that take premium gas merely recommend it for full power. Unless yours requires it — something that relatively few stipulate, even in the luxury crowd — you won't damage the engine by filling up with 87-octane.

But what if you want a luxury car that makes all its advertised power without any premium preference? We talked to company representatives, combed through specs and downloaded more owners manuals than we can count. And yes, we found a handful of luxury cars that actually recommend the cheap stuff.

Here they are:

By Kelsey Mays | March 31, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Lexus GS 350: Car Seat Check

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The Lexus GS' impressive blend of nimble handling, quiet road manners and intriguing looks might make it appeal to a wide range of shoppers, but families may not be as impressed. Although Lexus' GS 350 sedan is in the midsize class, we had some trouble installing child-safety seats into its backseat. Heavily bolstered rear seats, less than optimal legroom and difficult-to-access Latch anchors complicated installation.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Geiger | March 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Lexus ES 300h Review

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Lexus' midsize hybrid sedan was new for 2013 and got some minor updates for 2014, but they didn't really make the ES 300h more likable, says Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley. Hanley says the sedan is still disappointing this year, with a firm ride, distracting controls and uncompetitive fuel economy.

2014 Lexus ES 300h Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | March 21, 2014 | Comments (6)

Lexus' Pre-Programmed Texts Are More Than 'Yes' and 'No'

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Automakers integrating text message functionality into new cars is a trend cropping up in everything from Cars.com's former 2013 Honda Civic long-term tester to the 2014 Lexus ES 350 we recently tested. Even though the level of distracted driving while using such systems is still being debated, the connectivity is proliferating quickly.

AAA Study: Hands-Free Isn't Risk-Free

You probably know the basics: Drivers can listen and respond to incoming text messages through the car's multimedia and Bluetooth system via voice commands or preprogrammed reply messages. We're used to seeing "Yes," "No" and "I'm driving" responses. The ES 350's SMS Text-to-Speech With Reply feature takes preprogrammed responses to another level with 15 available replies.

By Joe Bruzek | March 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

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