|Reviewed By||Chad Tyson|
|Price as Tested||$56,475; 3.5-liter V6, 8-spd auto, AWD|
The ride is quiet and smooth enough. Driver comfort was a focus of the design teams, and they earn high marks for their efforts. 10-way adjustability for the driver’s seat in addition to the tilt/telescoping wheel will get your butt in the right spot. The audio system, enhanced by the ($995) Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound option, will drown out most any noise going on around you.
Without a third-row seating option, the SCM team had ample space for loading up gear for working promotional booths. There’s plenty of leg room in the back when adult-sized people need to be in the same vehicle as you. The seat-release handles at the rear of the vehicle are a useful trick.
With eight speeds, I expect faster acceleration — especially when Lexus claims the F Sport “is designed for drivers who want to get the most out of every curve.”
I don’t get the point of the F Sport. It appears to be a $6,290 transmission upgrade with some exclusive body plastic (maybe it’s cladding at this price), interior trim and a moonroof. Paddle shifters belong on racecars and the street/track toys they inspire; not in the parking lot of Crate and Barrel.
The “mouse” used to navigate the infotainment system is slow at best, and usually twitchy and unpredictable.
These small SUVs are the automotive Swiss Army knives that wagons used to be, but with better clearance and towing capabilities. They don’t do any one thing particularly well, but they are a shinier and prettier knife than most others in the drawer.
But a smaller car would be more efficient, a larger SUV/truck could tow, and a sports car would be more appropriate for paddle shifting.
With competitors such as the BMW X3, Acura MDX and Audi Q5 to fill up premier shopping destination parking lots all around the country, Lexus offers an entry that is higher-priced but better-equipped.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
Jan 31, 2014