Lexus CT 200h — Hybrid mileage in luxury clothes

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Lexus’ second attempt at a pure hybrid vehicle, the 2011 CT 200h, is a step forward from its first effort, which came to market in the 2010 model year and sells as the HS 250h.

But the tuned suspension in Lexus’ newest effort, pointing toward the sporty side, is virtually lost in the typical hybrid performance, which is tepid at best even in what is optimistically called the sport mode.

Lexus LS 460 — Carries on its luxury tradition

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The Lexus LS 460 has been rather derogatorily called soft and unexciting — devoid of passion and driving dynamics — when compared to the more sports-orientated luxury cruisers such as the Jaguar XJ, BMW 7-Series and the Mercedes S-Class.

As members of the automotive writer clique we find ourselves among the ranks of the BMW 7-Series and Jaguar XJ aficionados who enjoy a more engaging ride. That’s 180 degrees from the average Lexus customer who cries out for powerful, plush, soft and quiet.

Lexus LX 570 — Rugged, comfortable and expensive

 By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We were pleased when word came that we would be piloting a 2011 Lexus LX 570 over the winter holidays. The LX, we mused, would provide a perfect luxury atmosphere for four adult passengers on a 140-mile round trip with plenty of cargo capacity large enough for our luggage and a load of gifts.

What we didn't know ahead of time was that a winter storm would necessitate negotiating 10-inches of new-fallen snow on the highways. In fact, a good-old fashioned northern snow storm wasn't even remotely anticipated because the southeastern section of North Carolina seldom sees the white stuff, and when it does it's usually nothing more than a dusting.

2011 Lexus CT 200h

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Lexus is finally accomplishing with the new CT 200h what it set out to do with the 2010 HS 250h, build a luxury level hybrid. The 250h has proven to be a bit of a bloated albatross for Lexus.

Lexus IS 350 C — Fulfilling a wish

 By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

You have always wanted just one convertible experience in your life, but for a variety of reasons you were never able to make the purchase, but you still have a passion for an open-air machine even as you figure the time for such extravagance has slipped away.

Lexus ES 330 marks years of entry-luxury success

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The ES mid-sized sedan has been the volume leader in the Lexus automobile fleet since it reached the market in September 1989, instantly becoming a sales success, giving buyers the opportunity to enjoy an entry-level luxury sedan at an affordable price.

Nothing much has changed over the years (other than the emergence of sport utility vehicles but more on that later).

Lexus GS 300 has new spunk and style

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The new 2006 Lexus GS sports sedan is loaded with the latest in technological innovations, as you might expect with an all-new entry from Toyota’s premium brand.

Lexus RX 350 – still leader of the pack

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Competition has exploded since Lexus invented the car-based luxury sport utility in 1998 with the breakthrough RX300.

Eight years ago, the RX300 was the only player in a segment known today as premium crossover. The Lexus set the standard for a slew of vehicles that followed with a pleasant ride, a luxurious and Lexus-quiet interior, bad-road capability and a smooth and powerful drivetrain. Darn good if not inspiring.

Lexus LS 460 – unencumbered luxury

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

While sitting behind the wheel of the 2007 Lexus LS 460 for the first time we were amazed at the absence of a joystick control knob, an item that has become fashionable on nearly every European and Japanese vehicle that dares to proclaim it a member of the luxury elite.

We have become programmed to believe that it’s necessary to complicate previously simple tasks in our rapidly changing technology-driven environment.