Luxury vs SportBy Jason K. Ang
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Lexus has built its reputation on selling luxury cars that, with all the electronic features on board, retains reliability and ease of use: the essence of Japanese luxury items. The RX is a case in point, as it is priced quite well versus its German rivals, yet is easily a size bigger, particularly where it counts-inside. Yet Lexus is trundling to the sport side of the luxury equation, adding things like the derivative “spindle grille” and going to a harsher ride with cars like the CT200h. That may be where the market is headed, but Lexus may be losing out on some of its identity. The RX is planted somewhere in between, having been introduced when Lexus was more on the luxury side of the equation. Some points to consider in the facelifted RX as it goes sportier:
The new grille does add a bit of menace to what is an otherwise very friendly exterior: think Winnie the Pooh with a Darth Vader mask. Strangely, the combination works.
Power speaks volumes, and the RX has 274hp worth. With the six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive system, it should be harnessed quite well. The RX should make quick work of getting to school on time (safely, of course).
With leather on the Premium version, power everything, and a nicely-trimmed dashboard, the RX doesn’t skimp. The Lexus nine-speaker audio system should make getting stuck in traffic much more pleasant.
Chassis: Luxury and Sport
MacPherson struts up front and double wishbones imply a comfortable, plush ride. Yet there are sporty features as well, like two-piston front brake calipers, and 55-series tires on 19-inch alloys on the Premium version.
All too often, a sparsely-equipped cabin can be sold as being “sportier.” Not so the Lexus, which includes as standard many features that are pricey options on its rivals. The entry-level model, while lacking leather seats, does come down in price, giving better value-something sorely needed even in the luxury car segment.
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