It's no secret that Lexus is a division of Toyota and that many of its vehicles are based on more plebian Toyota products. So it stands to reason that when a new Toyota model bows, its Lexus equivalent will soon follow suit. Such is the case with the new ES 350. Based on the new Toyota Camry introduced last year, the all-new 2013 ES builds on this proven platform with oodles of luxury features and the refinement you'd expect from a Lexus. Now in its sixth generation, the new ES features edgier styling outside and standard NuLuxe synthetic leather inside. The real stuff is also available, as are a number of luxury option packages. Feeling green? Then go for the new Lexus ES 300h hybrid, for an EPA estimated 40 mpg city/39 mpg highway.
Lexus pulled the veil off its new ES today at the New York International Auto Show. There will be two models offered, the ES 350 and ES 300h. The ES 350 is powered by a gasoline 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i that produces 268 bhp. It comes mated to Lexus’ electronically controlled transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) that’s been designed to deliver good performance, smoother shifts and improved fuel efficiency through use of low friction materials. The ES 300h is a hybrid version of the sedan that features a new low-friction VVT-i-equipped 2.5-liter inline-4 Atkinson-cycle engine that utilizes a sophisticated power management system and has a 12.5:1 compression ratio. This engine, combined with a beltless electric motor, is designed to improve fuel economy and durability, and a near zero evaporative fuel system helps reduce emissions. Power will be 200 hp combined. The ES 300h hybrid offers four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV, the last allowing short drives at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favors fuel economy. Sport mode increases performance and responsiveness. Lexus says the ES 300h will get 39/40 mpg city/highway.
The new ES ought to handle better than its predecessor, thanks to suspension and steering changes and a stiffer body. Opposite-wound coil springs on the front suspension enhance straight-line stability, while revised rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping characteristics enhance ride comfort. A reduction in the steering gear ratio delivers better steering feel. Increased body rigidity is achieved through lightweight, high tensile strength steel, added bracing and additional spot welds. Despite the car’s larger size, the weight of the new ES is reduced by almost 90 pounds.
The ES will be equipped with standard 215/55R-17 low rolling resistance tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, and for the first time, available 18-inch high-gloss alloy wheels.
The car’s exterior design adopts the new Lexus signature “spindle” grille, making it look remarkably similar to the new GS sedan, but this isn’t a bad thing. The new ES features a lower, progressive profile and clean, continuous styling lines from front to rear. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by just one inch, resulting in a more spacious interior. Look for the new ES to reach dealer showrooms in August of this year.
With fresh styling and innovative interior packaging, the Rogue is a leading entry in the compact crossover segment.
The Rogue is available in S, SV, or SL trims, with front or all-wheel drive. A 170-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and Xtronic CVT transmission send power to the wheels. The Rogue can seat up to 7 passengers with its available 3rd row seat. Features such as air-conditioning, bucket seats, power window and remote keyless entry are standard. Standard safety fare includes; four-wheel anti-lock brakes with panic assist, stability control, traction control, front seat side-impact and all row side-curtain airbags.
The Rogue has been completely redesigned for 2014. A rearview monitor and LED daytime running lights are now standard.
The Outback is now in its fourth-generation of what Subaru likes to call the world's first sport utility wagon.
The Outback is available with a 173-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission (or optional six-speed CVT), or a 3.6-liter six-cylinder with a five-speed automatic transmission. The CVT and automatic transmissions feature a manual mode with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Standard safety features on all Outback models include eight-airbags, vehicle stability and traction control systems, anti-lock brakes, active front head restraints and a tire-pressure monitor. Available features include leather seating, a 440-watt nine-speaker harman/kardon audio system and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Times are tough, and money's tight. What better time to buy just one vehicle that can do it all? Years ago, Acura's MDX set a new standard for truck-like utility and sports sedan handling, and then raised the bar with its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, which directs power front to rear as well as side to side for supreme traction and control. The well-equipped base package includes features like a power moonroof, HID headlights, 18-in. wheels, leather-trimmed interior, tri-zone climate control and Bluetooth telephone interface. Three available option packages-Technology, Advance and Entertainment- pile on features such as a backup camera, navigation, adaptive cruise control, active suspension, a rear entertainment system and more.