The sales experience was no-nonsense and very above board. Great cabin electronics -- easy to operate. Dealer will only fix when the problem is evident. It has all the basic features, such as navigation and cell phone integration, but none of that really stands out compared with what's on the market today. Anticipating this long trip, we looked at our entertainment options. However, the electronic boost of its power steering and the regenerative circuitry used on the anti-lock disc brakes impart a somewhat artificial feel to both systems. While the hybrid does give up two gallons of fuel capacity, its 17.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-255-3987 -. It's quiet, and you begin to hear things that are normally drowned out by an engine. Excellent gas mileage -- almost as advertised on the sticker. Both the navigation and phone systems handle their basic tasks well, but don't offer the advanced features we've seen in a few other cars. The gas engine can propel the car or recharge the batteries.
Verdict These are vehicles designed strictly for coddling their occupants through the urbs and burbs, and they perform this function very well indeed—they are quiet, cushy, beautifully appointed, and reasonably fuel thrifty by the standards for this class. On slight downhill grades, I feel a trailer-hitching effect, perhaps the outcome of the motors and engine trying to figure out which dominates. As such, the cabin tech is fairly limited. The result is very clear sound that lacks punch, making it good for acoustic and symphonic pieces. On more than one occasion it registered a slower car cutting into our lane and hit the brakes quickly enough to avoid a collision and match speeds. The seats are great, and the important radio controls volume and seek are on the driver's side and are big.
I could not re-start the car. Part of that mileage is a 275-mile trip to Phoenix with speeds of 80-plus on the interstate. To many drivers the transition from purely electric to gas and electric power wasn't always smooth, and the amount of added power delivered was unpredictable. We learned that even light rainfall removes most of the thin, latex-like film at highway speeds. The driver can also monitor gas-electric power distribution on the multi-function display, which dominates the center stack and serves as the navigation screen in vehicles so equipped.
Similarly, we like the design of both the cabin tech interface, which is intuitive, and the overall look of the car. Adding to the effect is the potent 3. The 400h models without a towing package sport a blue hybrid badge on the front, and the rear spoiler is color-keyed. The optional navigation system is one of the best. Its shape is defined by radically raked, body-colored pillars at the four corners of the cabin, with window frames blacked out to blend into the ovoid shape of the side windows. Getting more miles per gallon and going quicker from 0 to 60 mph is the kind of thinking we like.
I have owned it for three months, it is solid. A low first gear offers quicker response off the line, useful when you need to merge into traffic from a standing start. I have towed a boat before and it did pretty good, but that is out of my comfort zone for my skillset. The paint has chipped very easily. Okay, sounds weird, we know. Its door handles are of the reach-through type, which are generally more hand-friendly than the fingertip pull-up type, with less opportunity to break long fingernails or snap away from your fingers when you're in a hurry. Brake feel remains a problem: 3000 miles into this trip, I'm just beginning to predict pedal travel versus stopping power.
It accelerates as quickly off the line which is quite quick , and more quickly at certain speeds. The advantages are in handling response and fuel economy, but neither model has much appetite for rugged off-road use and offers only limited towing capabilities, in this case 3500 pounds. The second aids the gas engine by adding torque to the front transaxle and can power the vehicle on its own as well as replenish the batteries as a second generator. Better yet, the transition when the engine kicks in is nearly seamless. Break out the spreadsheet, because this is where it gets confusing. A second dirt-road test proved that Shield is no match for small pebbles. This is not intuitive because we're all accustomed to hearing and feeling an engine running before shifting into drive.
A Mark Levinson premium audio system is available with or without a voice-activated navigation system that includes Bluetooth connectivity and a rear backup camera. Hybrid drive system is very clean - this emits 75% less than a typical sedan, and Lexus hybrids can run up to 40mph completely on electric. The second electric motor which drives the rear wheels ices the cake by adding a further 67 hp and 96 lbft of torque between zero and 610 rpm. Only 71,000 miles on it and water pump design changed on 2009 models. A voice-activated navigation package includes Bluetooth connectivity and a rear backup camera. There are two areas for which I am disappointed with the vehicle. We don't recommend driving with your head buried in the navigation screen, but we really like this product because if we had a passenger, he could enter a destination on the fly.