Lexus or Jaguar: Rakish Design Versus Subdued Elegance

Lexus RX 450h

Allow me to take you back in time. Let’s go to the early 1990s and stroll right on up to 2015 or so.

I want us to take a look at luxury cars during our journey. Specifically, let’s focus on Jaguar and Lexus.

Lexus was still new to America after being introduced in 1989 with the LS 400 sedan. The company took pride in creating a luxury car that was high in comfort while possessing a certain understated elegance.

Lexus appealed to people with similar qualities. Conservative older folks flocked to Lexus because it provided the reliability and unassuming looks of Toyota with the comfort and interior class of traditional German luxury brands.

Other luxury makers, including BMW and Jaguar, touted performance and unique design as selling points. Lexus buyers wanted none of that and enjoyed decades of low-profile luxury motoring.

Those days are gone. Continue reading >>>

Own a Land Yacht? Get a Dinghy Instead

1988 Honda Civic

Three cars sat in the driveway, and there was only one that I desperately wanted.

We were high in the Sierra Nevada mountains somewhere just south of Lake Tahoe. My aunt lives in the area, and in her driveway sat a Lexus RX 350, an Audi Q7, and a 1988 Honda Civic.

The two luxury utes looked like behemoths next to the diminutive Honda, but that’s the one I would’ve loved to take home.

Here’s why.

Continue reading >>>

The 10 Best Vehicles for Snow and Ice

Toyota_tacoma

I’ve driven a lot of cars in the snow and am surprised at how much difference I’ve seen even in vehicles that otherwise are comparable to each other.

As winter begins to set in across the country, we figure it’s a good time to create a list of the best cars, trucks and SUVs for plowing through deep snow and easing over slippery ice. Here are my top ten, but feel free to drop a comment and let us know what you drive in the snow and how it does.

Toyota 4Runner/ Tacoma

Throw any weather situation at either of these Toyotas and you’ll make it through just fine.

Audi A6 Quattro

I had a boss once who loved his A6 so much he’d take me out on snowy mornings and speed through the twisties, trying to make his car come unstuck. He succeeded only once, and broke an axle for the effort.

Honda CR-V

I chose this over the Pilot because it’s lighter. The Pilot gets a little top-heavy, which makes going down icy hills a heart-racing experience, while the smaller CR-V crawls easily to the bottom.

Subaru Forester

A low center of gravity and all-wheel drive combine to make the Forester a winner in the snow and cold.

Jeep Wrangler

If you’ve got a hard top and doors on your Wrangler, nothing should stop you from reaching the top of the mountain.

Volvo XC90

Lots of ground clearance, lots of weight, but a low center of gravity make the AWD version of the XC90 a great winter car.

Suzuki SX4

Being a 2,500-pound small car, this thing stays planted. And with the ability to choose AWD or lock it into 4WD, the SX4 is a great commuter car for snowy highways. Just don’t take it on the trails.

Lexus RX

As long as you’re not running low-profile 18-inch summer tires, this little Lexus will serve you well through any winter storm.

Porsche Cayenne

This is for those who want a little extra flashiness in the their snowy commutes, plus the added benefit of the residual heating function, which will keep the Cayenne heated for up to 20 minutes after shutting the engine off.

BMW 328i xDrive

With dynamic stability control and intelligent all-wheel drive, what else do you need in a winter car? Oh… headlamp washers? Okay, you get those, too.

What do you drive in the snow?

-tgriffith

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