2018 Chevrolet Traverse Redline Edition

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2018 Chevrolet Traverse Redline Edition

2018 Chevrolet Traverse Red Line Edition 

2018 Chevrolet Traverse Red Line Edition 

Written By : Tommy Zondervan 

Photographs by : Kate Boekholder

Here we have the brand the newly re-designed 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Red Line Edition.  There has been a few models in the Chevrolet line up that was in need of a redesigned and this for sure was one of them.  One of the top selling mid size 3rd row vehicles the Traverse has been falling behind with all the modern technology and drivers convenience.  

Above you can see the difference in the two.  Left is a 2017 model and the right is the newly re-designed 2018 model.  You can see significant amount of difference in the two.  First of you can see the longer wheel base.  This allowed more passenger leg room and as well you can see the back end of the vehicle with more headroom.    

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Lot's of new interior features has been added.  Continuing with 4G LTE wifi, Onstar and Satellite Radio.  Big addition to the redesigned is the Apple Car Play/Android Auto smartphone pairing.  This has been such a popular and very convenient feature that you can plug in tour phone in the USB slot and have a window image on approved apps on the screen of the vehicle.  Biggest app is your map.  Apple uses Apple maps where Android Google maps.  This is standard on all models.  

The model we test drove is the 3LT Redline edition.  Well equipped with all your bells and whistle.  Added many features that other manufactures offers including surround vision camera, standard keyless entry with push start, Standard 7-inch radio system (8-inch on Convenience Package), twi-zone climate control, 4.2-inch drivers informational screen, forward collision warning, blind side detection, back up camera, lane assist, adaptive cruise control, front pedestrian detection, following distance indicator to name a few.  The base models do come well equipped.  One of my favorite is the wireless charging pad.  This has been a features thats been in several other models but NOW for those you have a iPhone Plus and larger Android phones it now fits!  

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Increase in 2nd and 3rd seating.  Passenger side 2nd row seat folds up making it easier to get in and out from the 3rd row seating.  No more squeezing in between the middle captains seats.  2nd row bench is standard on the LS models and higher trims you'll get the split second row.  Tri-zone automatic climate control is standard on all models.  Several USB charging stations including 1 120v 3 prong.  

Increase cabin space and more cargo room with 3rd row seat up than the Tahoe.  In rear you have a deep storage compartment where you can store good amount of items including 3 basketballs easily.  On both ends there remove the screws and your spare tire is located directly under it.  

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Comes in two engines.  a 2.0L 4cyl Turbo 255hp with averaging 20 city/25 hwy or a 3.6L V6 310hp averaging 18 city/27 hwy.  The 3.6L you can get in a awd.  Vehicle this big I would personally go with the larger engine.  3.6L is only one available to be able to tow up to 5000 pounds with trailer package.  

I really like all the cosmetic changes made interior and exterior.  You can certainly see and feel the difference.  Rides very well, quiet and most importantly plenty of room for all.  This is a Redline Edition with limited amount being made.  Make sure to visit your nearest dealer for more information.  

Like to thank Scoggin Dickey Chevrolet for the opportunity to spend some time with the newly re-designed 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Redline Edition.  

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2018 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE SPECIFICATIONS

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

City

3.6L FWD: 18
3.6L AWD: 17
2.0L: 20 (FWD – GM-est.)

Highway

3.6L FWD: 27
3.6L AWD: 25
2.0L: 25 (FWD – GM-est.)

 

FUEL TANK CAPACITY (gallons / liters)

19.4 / 73 (FWD)
21.7 / 82 (AWD_

 

ENGINES

 

3.6L DOHC direct injection

Bore & stroke
(in / mm):

3.74 x 3.37 / 95 x 85.8

Block material:

Cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners

Cylinder head material:

Cast aluminum

Valvetrain:

Dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing

Fuel delivery:

Direct, high-pressure fuel injection with electronic throttle control

Horsepower
(hp / kW @ rpm):

310 / 231 @ 6800

Torque
(lb.-ft./ Nm @ rpm):

266 / 360 @ 2800

 

2.0L turbo DOHC DI

Bore & stroke
(in / mm):

3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86

Block material:

Cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners

Cylinder head material:

Cast aluminum

Valvetrain:

Dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, continuous variable valve timing

Fuel delivery:

Direct, high-pressure fuel injection with electronic throttle control

Horsepower
(hp @ rpm):

255 / 190 @ 5500 (est.)

Torque
(lb.-ft./ Nm @ rpm):

295 / 400 @ 3000 (est.)

 

TRANSMISSION & AXLE

Type:

Hydra-Matic 9T65 nine-speed automatic (3.6L and 2.0L)

Final Drive Ratio:

3.49 (3.6L and 2.0L)

 

CHASSIS & SUSPENSION

Front Suspension:

MacPherson strut independent with hydraulic control arm ride bushing and hollow stabilizer bar

Rear Suspension:

Five-link independent with auxiliary spring aids and hollow stabilizer bar

Steering Type:

Electric variable-effort power steering with Active Return Assist

Turning Circle
(ft. / m):

39 / 11.9

Brake Type:

Four-wheel-disc, variable brake system with power assist; Duralife brake rotors and low-drag brake calipers

Brake Rotor Size
(in / mm):

TBD

Wheel Size:

18-in. aluminum (L, LS, LT Cloth)
20-in. aluminum (LT Leather, RS, Premier and High Country)

Tire Size:

P225/65R18 ALS
P255/55R20 ALS

 

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase (in. / mm):

120.9 / 3071

Overall Length
(in. / mm):

204.3 / 5189

Overall Width
(in. / mm):

78.6 / 1996

Overall Height
(in. / mm):

70.7 / 1795

Track (in. mm):

67.3 / 1709 (front)
67 / 1702 (rear)

 

INTERIOR DIMENSIONS & CARGO VOLUME

Headroom (in / mm):

front: 41.3 / 1049 (without sunroof)
2nd row: 40 / 1016 (without sunroof)
3rd row: 38.2 / 970

Legroom (in. / mm):

front: 41 / 1042
2nd row: 39 / 990
3rd row: 33.5 / 850

Max Cargo Volume (cu. ft. / L):

23 / 651 (behind third row)
58.1 /1645 (behind second row, third row folded)
98.2 / 2781 (second and third rows folded)

 

WEIGHTS & CAPACITIES

Curb Weight
(lb. / kg):

4362 / 1978 (base)

EPA passenger volume (cu. ft. / L):

157.3 / 4454

Trailering Capacity
(lb. / kg):

5000 / 2268 (3.6L with avail. trailering pkg.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2017 Toyota Sienna Limited AWD

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2017 Toyota Sienna Limited AWD

2017 Toyota Sienna Limited Premier AWD (Staff Photo)

2017 Toyota Sienna Limited Premier AWD (Staff Photo)

Writer : Bill Boekholder - Photos : Toyota USA

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the new 2017 Toyota Sienna minivan for a working trip up north to Battle Creek Michigan. This being a 4.5 hour trip, one way, I knew I would be able to use most, if not all the bells and whistles this minivan provided, and I was correct for the most part, but yet, it was a minivan

Photos provided by Toyota USA

Photos provided by Toyota USA

First impressions where, it’s a minivan, another young couple (with kids) or older persons (with grandkids) mode of transportation. To say the least, I wasn’t happy because I was expecting a vehicle with a little more pop and pizazz, some flash, some cool rims and a kicking stereo, not a minivan. It didn’t take long for me realize how nice a vehicle it was to drive and relax in.

Let’s talk a little about the nuts and bolts of this minivan. The 296 horsepower, 3.5 litre V6, AWD, makes it more than a minivan. This vehicle has a lot of get up and go, something I was seriously surprised by. For just putting around the town it does seem a little lacking in power, as it should, you’re just going to get groceries or pick up the kids from soccer. Once you get it out on the highway, the surprise comes the first time you go to pass a vehicle and you smash the gas pedal down. It might not be necks snapping speed, but it did get my attention and put me back in my seat a bit. Combined with the AWD, this so called minivan, handled like a sports car on rails. Power was there, steering was tight and neutral. It got around cars and trucks with no problems at all running at the speed limits provided and all with the giddy up and go of a smaller car or a luxury sedan.

Photo provided by Toyota USA

Photo provided by Toyota USA

The exterior was typical minivanish, solid color paint job; maybe a two tone paint or body strip would break it up a little, boring rims are just that, boring. What I liked was coming up on the van at night and pressing unlock on the key fob. The exterior lighting for the driver and passenger side lite up the side door areas real well. The passenger back doors take a little getting used to; I’m not used to using door handles with a delay in the door actually opening. The same can be said of the rear hatch style door. It would be nice if it was motorized like the side doors are when you manually opened it. It’s not a heavy door and is motorized, but if you don’t use the key fob to open it, it can be a little awkward. The roof rack really needs to have some cross bars to help with the various attachments you might need to haul a kayak or maybe some bikes. The two sun roofs are both adequate in size and are a nice feature for the passengers in the back to have their own.

The interior is spacious and accommodating. The third row of stow and go seats are easy to store and just as easy to put back up. The second row of seats move all the way up for easy entry and egress from the third row. With the second row seats all the way up, you have massive amounts of room to put stuff in the back. Since the seats move independently of each other, you can still haul one person and have plenty of room to haul stuff. The front seats are comfortable with plenty of electric adjustments to fit virtually anyone. The nice feature of two preset positions for the driver seat will definably come in handy if you are 6’ 2” and your wifey is 5’4”.

Photo by Toyota USA

Photo by Toyota USA

Sitting in the driver’s seat is like sitting in your own little world of funness. The gauges and controls are strikingly easy to read and operate. Nothing seems out of reach of any driver of any size. Knobs, buttons and the touch screen are well marked and easy to operate. I had to reset the clock because of the time zone changes; it was an absolute snap to do, just like the rest of the controls. The rear doors and rear hatch buttons are in their own little overhead console, combined with the sun roof controls, make this a nice feature. The steering wheel controls are also easy to use, but I wish they would put the cruise control on the steering wheel as well. My only complaint about anything is the location of the cruise control stalk, it’s awkward to use and when you’re on the highway and have to constantly use it, it becomes a bit annoying. The driver’s cockpit is generously equipped with the usual collision avoidance switches that are easy to turn off and on if they become a bother. The headlights are bright, maybe too bright as I was flashed at a couple of times while the lights where on low beam, but they did what they were supposed to do and that is to light up the road.

My only complaints were the cruise control, which I feel Toyota could and should do better. The other would be the outlets for plugging in 12 volt chargers and such. The middle passenger had none in the back of the center counsel or on the sides. There are plenty up front and in the rear of the vehicle. The 110/120 volt plug in the back area would be much more useful if it was a three prong grounded outlet. The USB ports are easily accessible and there are enough to go around, except for the middle seated passengers.

Overall I thought this was a well-equipped and well laid out vehicle that would suit any number of people. If I were to scale it, I would give it a solid nine out of ten. It was pleasant vehicle to drive and it didn’t disappoint me, my passengers or my equipment.

Like to thank Toyota USA for the opportunity to review this vehicle.  Any questions please contact your nearest dealership. 

 

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2016 Lexus GX460 Luxury

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2016 Lexus GX460 Luxury

2016 Lexus GX 460 Luxury

List Price $ 61,515

Price as tested $ 68,765

 

We had opportunity to spend some time with the new Lexus GX 460 Luxury.  This certainly is a BIG vehicle and can only imagine the LX.  This is second to the top model in the Lexus suv line up below the LX and above the NX & RX models. 

 

Taking delivery took me slightly by surprise.  It’s mammoth front grill seem very intimidating that looks good on the lower models but due to how big the vehicle is, I think it’s trying to hard to look like a IS/GS models. It’s a large sport utility vehicle with 3rd row seating.  Something about it didn’t fly well with me but then again Lexus with it’s success in the IS and NX line up has dropped there age geographic. 

 

Vehicle is equipped with a 4.6L 32 valve V8 pushing just over 301hp.  I would have thought it have more power to tow more but it’s enough to pull your small watercraft and or atvs.   This model equipped with crawl mode for those who enjoy taking it to the extreme off roading.  The ride height adjustability is a nice feature too.  I wouldn’t suggest taking it off roading but for those family in bad climate it’s a nice feature.  We were able to take it out of rough roads and did very well.  Vehicle felt under powered and sluggish during acceleration.  

 

The interior is no different than standard Lexus interior.  Small additions to accommodate the extra off roading features and air suspension.  The center dash looks very plain and standard.  Nothing really sticks out to me from other vehicles.  The 8” monitor is easy on the eyes making it effortless on making adjustments.  The suspension controls are just right of the shifter and notifies you on the dash.  Buttons area big and easy to locate which is a plus for those who aren’t tech savvy.  Overall it gets the job done and thats what matters. 

 

The back seats have decent room but in my mind this should have more room but it’s enough for a 6ft tall person to be comfortable.  This model is equipped with rear entertainment monitors located just behind the headrests.  It’s not located in the headrests just in front of it.  Nice that it doesn’t take away from any leg room to the rear passengers.  One thing I did find that those with infant back facing car seats to be careful in reclining the front seats to far.  The back of the infant seat is just leveled to the middle of the rear monitors.  Recommend having a blanket and or cushion to prevent it for rubbing.  

 

The 3rd row seat is motorized.  Easy to control from the rear or side.  There isn’t much room for an adult to sit back there but perfect for kids.  Like most 3rd row vehicles there isn’t much room behind the 3rd row once it’s up.  I sat back in 3rd row and head was hitting the roof.  Might be a rough ride if taking a long trip.  I did have trouble securing the 3rd row tonneau cover.  Once the 3rd row seat is up you can collapse the ends to fit on the floor tide down to floor by straps.  This takes good amount of room. Thought they be a way to secure it under floor board but guess not.  

 

Overall it’s a basic suv.  Nothing really impressed me other than the crawl mode but honestly how often will you be using it?  This particular vehicle will probably never see off roads and used to haul family around the burbs.  Have many great features like lane departure, dynamic radar cruise control, pre-collision sensors and high power audio system by Mark Levinson.  Vehicle drove great around town.  Suspension is really soft but stiff enough for when and if you go of roading.  Gas milage was average.  Did close to what they advertise with 12 mpg in city and 17 on highway.  For the price honestly it’s fair. You are getting a lot of features with an luxury appearance package.  

 

Like to thank Lexus USA for the opportunity to spend time with this vehicle.  For more information please visit your nearest Lexus dealership.

 

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2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD

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2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD

2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD

2.0L i4 EcoBoost Engine

Starting Price - $ 37,595

Price as tested - $ 43,190

My wife and I have been eyeing the new Ford Edge for some time and were hoping to have the chance to spend some quality time with one.  Eventually we will upgrade from our mid-size sedan to an SUV, and we’ve always though the Edge would be a perfect fit for us.  As luck would have it, we were able to review a 2015 Ford Edge Titanium AWD recently.  Though it was not a 2016, I would say there is no significant difference between the model years based on the research I’ve been able to do.    

I was delivered a beautiful Magnetic Metallic 2-15 Ford Edge Titanium AWD.   This is the 2nd generation of the Ford Edge, which was first introduced in 2006.  The Edge falls between the Escape and Explorer in the Ford SUV lineup.  I previously reviewed a 2014 model and I immediately noticed the 2015 had a definite upgrade in appearance.  The exterior presents with a whole new modern, sleek look. Though subtle, there is a bit more of a sport feel to it as well, which is a nice change in design.    

For 2015, Ford introduced a whole new exterior.  The sleek headlights nicely wrap around the fenders.  The grill was made slightly smaller to accommodate added accent lighting along the area where the fog lights would be.  The taillights also wrap around the rear fender and across into the rear tailgate.  This gives more visibility for drivers following behind you in inclement weather.  It also looks bigger, as Ford added about 4” to the wheel base, allowing more room for passengers and cargo space. 

The interior received a facelift as well, making it more driver friendly with upgraded technology, convenience features, and storage space.  Ford kept it simple for the dash by using push buttons to easily navigate through the settings.  Near the top of the dash is a nice sized display screen that both the driver and passengers can easily see.  The format is nicely laid out, and the touch screen allows for quick adjustments to climate, sound, etc.  It was very easy to figure it out and use on the road.  The steering wheel is wheel equipped with all your driving options right at the tip of your fingers, as well as the option to customize what pops up on the dash.  The seats felt really comfortable and overall the cabin felt very roomy.  One thing I did notice was how much storage space you have.  No lack in keeping valuables hidden.  I especially like the small storage tray just underneath the center dash.

Adding 4” to the Edge is nice for providing more room for the back passengers.  Having two children (1 & 4 years old) it makes it so convenient not having to fight to put in the toddler and infant baby seats.  Most of time front passengers tend to lose leg room with the seats installed, but there has been a trend around the crossover market in making the back seats with more room to accommodate those with children.  It’s very open and has a good amount of head room for those tall passengers.  I love seeing the option to charge whatever device you like.  If you’d like to charge your phone or your laptop, you can without messing with adapters.  I don’t know why manufacturers don’t just go ahead and add this great feature on vehicles that are ideal for long travels.  The rear seats recline and also fold down in a 60/40 split, giving you a massive amount of room.  For convenience, there are two release buttons that will automatically lower either of the rear seats down without having to manually go in the back seat and do it.  

The only real problem I had with the Edge was when it came time to install the toddler car seat.  The infant seat was fine as it used the traditional LATCH system like I use in other cars.  Our toddler seat is a Britax Frontier Click Tight (an amazing seat btw).  The seat has a flip up component that allows the shoulder belt to be fed through, then latches down to lock the seat belt and seat in place.   The problem arose when I noticed that the seat belt was equipped with air bags ON the shoulder belt.  Clearly that would not work with the seat, as an accident would cause it to inflate and push my son out of the seat or crush him between his seat and the front seat.  I was thinking I could use the LATCH for this seat as well, but then I remembered that the Britax rep who sold me the seat said the LATCH was only good for up to 40 pounds. The seat weighs 25 alone, and our son is around 35, so we are over the limit.  The other issue with the seat belt is that it keeps slack until the brakes are applied, so the car seat is never truly secured.  I was not comfortable using the seat in the truck so I didn’t take him on a ride.  I am sure that there is a solution, but my recommendation would be to decline the shoulder strap airbag option if you have a seat with the internal locking mechanism like ours.  

Moving under the hood.  Not only did Ford redesign the Edge, but they also added a new more efficient engine to its line-up.  The Edge I reviewed has a 2.0L 4 cylinder Eco-boost pushing out 245hp.  This is quite a bit of power from a small motor.  At first I thought it would be too small of a motor to push this SUV around, but I was wrong.  It did great and was easy to drive around.  You can upgrade to a 3.5L V6 with 280hp, or purchase the Sport model with a 2.7 Twin Turbo V6 with 315hp.  All models have a 6 speed automatic transmission that really shifts smoothly.  Suspension was smooth driving around in the wonderful roads Chicago has to offer.  The sporty 19” premium wheels on 245/55/19 tires really gripped the road and provided great handling, though it was a little loud at times in heavy acceleration.  I wasn’t getting the best gas efficiency, averaging about 15mpg in city and 24mpg on the highway.  I do live in downtown Chicago though, so gas mileage usually on the low side.  I would have liked to get a little more out of a 4cyl, but it is a heavy SUV and you typically need to give it little more gas to get up and going.  

Overall this is a nice truck.  I did enjoy driving around but the shoulder airbag in the backseat threw me for a loop.  I didn’t install my toddler seat but did drive with my infant running errands around town.  Personally I would prefer to purchase the bigger V6 motor.  I do love all the safety and technology upgrades that went into this generation.  Adaptive cruise control, blind spot sensors, parking assist and my favorite, it can park itself.  Not only parallel but also backs in.  If you are concerned with pulling out of a parking spot, no worries it can do that for you too.  This is a huge improvement from previous generation in a very competitive market.  This model will compete with Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Nissan Murano, and the Chevrolet Traverse to name a few.  I’d like to thank Ford for the opportunity to review this vehicle.  

 

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2016 Lexus RX 450h AWD F Sport

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2016 Lexus RX 450h AWD F Sport

2016 Lexus RX 450h AWD F Sport

Starting price - $ 57,045

Price as tested - $ 60,015

The newly redesigned Lexus RX 450h AWD F Sport was first revealed in 2015.  Since then, there has been a lot of talk regarding the fresh new look.  Since the first crossover model was revealed in 1998, Lexus has really set the bar high for the luxury crossover market.  Four generations later, the Lexus RX has become one of the top selling vehicles in its class.  Lexus was sure to provide everything that one needs for everyday driving, from performance to traveling with a family.  Further enhancing the experience is the hybrid motor, which has increased efficiency and reliability since the first one was produced in 2005.   

At first look, you can certainly recognize the new styling Lexus has introduced during the redesign of its lineup.  From the IS to the RX, the massive grill has become an instant identifier of the newer Lexus models.  The RX received a facelift in its redesign, as well as 5” in additional body length.  We were able to review the F Sport model, which has additional features to contribute to the upgraded performance look, such as 20” aluminum alloy wheels.  It also has a tighter suspension than the traditional model, but I don’t really think it makes a huge difference.  The F-Sport designation doesn’t necessarily mean it’s faster, just has a sportier look and badging.  Perhaps most noticeable, the grill on the F-sport model is different.  The standard models have a straight grill where the F-Sport model has the honeycomb look.  The front has a lower front defuser and small aero trim along the edge.  The back, since this is a hybrid the exhaust is slightly hidden.  On non-hybrid models you’ll have a dual chrome tip exiting the back. 

The interior received a massive make over, for which I give big applause.  In previous models, I was never too thrilled about the small dash screen being hidden far back into the dash.  Immediately I noticed bigger 12.3” monitor that is way more visible than previous models.  The dash has been lowered giving a cleaner look than a bulky rounded off dash.  Sitting in the driver’s seat is so much better...you really feel like you’re in a sports car rather than an SUV.  It really wraps around the driver with all everyday needed controls right at your fingertips.  Everything looks easy to navigate through and flows very well.  The center console might be my favorite part of the interior. 

To control the display, Lexus moved away from the mouse pad and returned to the control mouse.  I personally like it better than the pad, my wife absolutely hates it.  Where your palm would normally rest, on both sides of the mouse you have an enter button to quickly accept setting changes.  There is also a small compartment where you can store keys, chapstick, a stick of gum, etc.  One of the coolest features is in the cup holders.  Don’t you hate when the cup holders are too shallow for a water bottle and it is always in danger of tipping over?  Well now you can adjust the depth of the cup holder to match the beverage you have with a touch of a button.  Really creative.  Lexus still has the signature grandfather time clock on center dash but also added a digital clock on the driver’s instrument panel.  Really, everything is completely redesigned.  Depending on model you get, you will have your heated and cold seat options just in front of the shifter.  If you take a look at a close up of the driver’s seat, you’ll think you are seeing a picture of the RC sports coupe interior. 

As I mentioned earlier, the vehicle was stretched out by 5”, which means the already roomy back seat of the previous model RX models just got bigger.  You can have the front seats all the way back and still fit a tall person in the back.  I am 6’ tall and sitting in back I still had about 4-5 inches from my knees to the back of the seat.  The back seat still reclines and slides forward.  You do have an option to add motorized back seats so it will fold down and up automatically.  Cool, but I don’t think it’s really needed (and it’s slow).  Having the extra room in the back seat is so nice, especially with kids as there is no more sacrificing front seat leg room to accommodate massive infant or convertible car seats.  The back really feels gigantic with the leg and head room, and a large cargo area.  Though you lose a bit of room towards the rear with the way the body curves, it’s still larger than a BMW X3 or Mercedes GLX.  You also have option to add two monitors to the back of the front seats for an additional $2,000.  I don’t recommend it if you plan to use an infant seat as the back of the infant seat is perfectly leveled to the screen and can possibly damage it.  Otherwise, you are all set.  It’s a pretty large monitor and you can easy navigate through the on screen settings. 

I live in downtown Chicago.  So being a hybrid, I was really curious to see how it will do in the stop and go traffic we have 24/7.  Most hybrids don’t do anywhere close to what the advertised mpg ratings are.  This Lexus is equipped with a 3.5L 24 valve DOHC V6.  The combination of the engine and electric motor produces 309 horsepower.  Lexus advertises 30mpg in city and 28 mpg on highway giving you an average of 30mpg.  I was averaging 26mpg in the city and about 29mpg on highway.  I have to say I was impressed with the mpg I was getting in the city from a big heavy SUV.  I was driving it pretty aggressively and it still gave me that average.  You have 4 power options you can choose from.  Eco, normal, Super & Super+.  Nothing too crazy but it’s nice to have the option to have the power to your liking.

The RX 450h AWD drove great throughout the wonderful roads that Chicago has to offer.  Being an F-Sport model, it is equipped with a tighter suspension and low profile tires, but honestly it was still a smooth ride.  The turning ratio is average being an AWD vehicle.  This is an electronic AWD, meaning this vehicle is designed for inclement weather and not for off roading.  Most of the power is towards the front wheels, but you can still tow up to 3,000 pounds.   It’s really not a car designed to be a workhorse but it’s definitely enough to haul your wave runners, motorcycles and small trailers.  The cabin is well sealed and really reduces a lot of the outside noise.  I really like the heads up display for the driver.   One of my favorite features is the 360-degree view of your surroundings on the dash display.  It is great for parking and maneuvering in small areas.  I have seen various models with this feature but I really like it on this one.  It also has all your basic needs with blind spot warning, park assist, brake assist and my favorite proximity cruise control, something my wife not a fan off. 

Overall, in the past I don’t think we would have considered purchasing an RX, but after having spent time with this one we have changed our minds and were sad to give it back.  I like that you really don’t feel like you’re driving a cross over.  It feels and looks very sporty.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stopped asking me questions about it.  Everywhere I drove people would point and just stare.  I liked everything about it, though ideally it would have the addition of a power inverter to plug in a 2 or 3 prong plug, rear heated seats and more aux charging plugs.  This model could also use a rear passenger climate control.  Being the 4th generation I am sure eventually they may add these options.  Oh, and last I can’t forget mentioning about the massive panoramic sunroof.  Not only does it have a massive glass roof, but you can have the sunroof in tilt mode and still have half the sunroof covered by the shade, preventing sun getting to the kids in the back seat.  Big plus!!!  Thank you Lexus.  Little things like that are what I look for when having children on board.  Who doesn’t like a sleeping child during long trips?  Please make your way to your nearest Lexus dealership if you’re in the market for a cross over.  You won’t be disappointed on the new models.  I’d like to thank Lexus USA for the opportunity to review this vehicle. 

Click on Image to be redirected to full photo album

Click on Image to be redirected to full photo album

Photographs taken by Chris Chavez Photography

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