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Apr 23, 2014

5 Reasons you Need to Read ElectricNick.com

Plug In Day 2013

Nicolas Zart gives a thumbs up to the Fiat 500e

Some of our CarNewsCafe readers might not know this but Nicolas Zart, one of our co-founders and editors, has been a big deal in the electric car space for many years.  This all started back with his original site ElectricNick.com which was started in the early days of the electric car revival, in 2008.  It started small but grew into a well know…

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Apr 22, 2014

Happy #EarthDay Everyone!

earth day

Just wanted to wish all of our CarNewsCafe fans and readers a Happy Earth Day!  If you have any special plans for Earth Day or Earth Week let us know.  Planning to buy an electric or green car?  Make sure to check out our car reviews section to and see all of our awesome reviews.

You can also do smaller things to celebrate Earth Day like changing out inefficient lightbulbs to CFL (compact…

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Apr 22, 2014

Aaron’s Nissan Rogue road trip

Aaron’s Nissan Rogue road trip

Nissan Rogue

Nissan Rogue

One of the greatest thing we get to do as automotive journalists is to test drive cars. That much, you already know. But another secret part of our activities is that sometimes we take these cars on long drive.

Aaron takes a Nissan Rogue for a long drive

Our very own Aaron Turpen is taking wife, kids, luggage and a Nissan Rogue on long trip. They started in Pine Bluffs, WY and are…

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Apr 22, 2014

MG EV Dynamo concept, are Euaropeans ready?

MG EV Dynamo concept, are Euaropeans ready?

MG Dynamo EV Concept

MG Dynamo EV Concept

MG is unveiling an electric vehicle (EV) called the EV Concept.

Is the European market ready?

Strangely enough, Europe, the continent known for small cars hasn’t embraced EVs as much as expected. Even stranger, plug-in hybrids (PHEV) have fared much better than their pure electric cousins. While this can be explained by the amount of available small cars performing very well,…

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Apr 21, 2014

Cool the Earth, Earth Day and a cool electric car rally

Cool the Earth, Earth Day and a cool electric car rally

Cool The Earth, EV rally

Cool The Earth, EV rally

An electric vehicle (EV) rally is the best way to celebrate Earth Day this year. Cool the Earth is doing that with an EV rally across the North Bay.

Cool electric cars!

With over 35 EV registered to drive through Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties ending at the Finish Line Reception at the beautiful LEED certified Bardessono Resort in Yountville, California on Saturday April…

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Apr 21, 2014

KBB names 10 Best Green Cars of 2014

KBB names 10 Best Green Cars of 2014

The 10 Best Green Cars of 2014 have been announced by Kelley Blue Book. The list is a decent one and we here at CarNewsCafe largely agree with it, though we might have changed the ranking on a few of the cars a bit.

KBB’s list reads:

#1 – BMW i3

#2 – Nissan LEAF

#3 – Toyota Prius

#4 – Honda Accord Hybrid

#5 – Tesla Model S

#6 – Chevrolet Volt

#7 – Ford C-Max Hybrid

#8 – Honda Civic CNG

#9 – Lexus…

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Apr 21, 2014

Aston Martin has triple podium at Silverstone opener

Aston Martin has triple podium at Silverstone opener

The FIA World Endurance Championship began the season with the Six Hours of Silverstone this weekend. Aston Martin Vantage GTEs crossed the finish line to take podium positions in both the GTE Am class and the GTE Pro class.

feabe992-1c26-4edb-9e84-9b7109cecc56

Young Driver Vantage GTE #95 debuted their second season with a first place win in the GTE Am class. Close behind was #98 NorthWest with their Vantage GTE pulling a close…

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Apr 21, 2014

The 2014 Lexus LX570 is a unique vehicle in that it is one of those few luxury sport utilities that aims for capability followed by luxury. As such, it is not as luxurious as most of the competition on the market, but it is one of the most capable offroad machines you can get that happens to have a luxury interior. This SUV has won the Baja 1000 two years in a row, and for good reason. 2014 Lexus LX570 - bigsky - AOA1200px

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Lexus
  • Year, Model: 2014 LX570
  • Class: Luxury SUV
  • Powertrain: 5.7L V8, 6spd auto
  • Base Price: $81,780
  • MSRP as tested: $88,645
  • Availability: Now

Overview

The LX570 is difficult to explain to some luxury buyers. It’s not truly a luxury SUV in the same sense that other luxury utes might be. While the interior appointsments are very luxurious, the 2014 LX570, as a whole, is not as luxurious or comfortable as others might be. Despite this interesting quirk, the LX570 has a strong global following.

It sells very well in some parts of the United States, South America, and extremely well in the Middle East. This is because of all of the luxury SUVs you can name, the 2014 Lexus LX570 is likely the most offroad-capable. In a nutshell description, the 2014 LX470 is a Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition (review coming soon) with luxurious interior components and unique exterior treatments.

This is not to downplay the fit and finish of the LX570, however, it is to play up its extreme capability.

Off the Road In the 2014 LX570

2014 Lexus LX570 - offroad3 - AOA1200pxCompared to other luxury sport utilities, the 2014 Lexus LX570 is far more offroad capable than most. In some parts of the world, Toyota products are legendary for their capability and endurance and the LX570 lives up to that reputation.

This luxury SUV is more than capable of climbing, digging, and sloughing. Although many may question why someone would purchase a $90,000 luxury SUV to go offroad, there is a definite market for this style of vehicle and the Lexus dominates it. It passed all of our tests admirably, showing it was as capable as the 2014 4Runner Trail we used as a baseline.

On the Road in the 2014 Lexus LX570

On the highway and in the city, however, the LX570 is not as comfortable in comparison to some of its competition. Made for offroad and rough driving as its core mission, the 2014 LX570 is less smooth when put on pavement. It is very comfortable, of course, but in a class where comfort is everything, it falls short.

In town and on the freeway, it’s greatest strengths are its fast acceleration and powerful stance, but ride quality is low and noise level is not as good as might be expected from an SUV at this price point.

Inside the LX570

The leather interior of the LX 570 is beautifully-stitched and seating is soft and very adjustable, even in the third row. Space inside the 2014 LX570 starts with an overall feeling of expansiveness and delivers on that with good seating arrangements that result in a feeling of roominess.

2014 Lexus LX570 - interior2 - AOA1200pxThe third row is functional and as comfortable as can be expected, though the fold-out process is clunky and only partially automated. Cargo room is decent, but may be some of the smallest in this class thanks to the way those third row chairs fold up against the sides of the cargo space rather than down flat. This is odd given that the second row does fold flat and the 2014 Toyota 4Runner Limited with its third-row option also folds the third row flat.

From the second row, however, the 2014 Lexus LX570 is very comfortable and the optional Dual Screen entertainment system is good, but beware that toddlers in their safety seats can kick the screens if the front seat is most of the way back. The entertainment system includes quality wireless headphones and a remote control tucked into the center armrest of the second row.

In the driver’s seat, though, the whole interior comes together. The combination of beautiful dash treatment, soft leather (including partial aniline in our test model) and the lovely use of real wood inlay finishes the cabin well. The center console in our test model housed a small refrigerator for beverages while the infotainment system, thanks to the Lexus up-treatment on the Toyota system, was easy to use and not nearly as clunky as expected.

2014 Lexus LX570 - interior4 - AOA1200pxSmall touches like double visors and easy-reach controls make it an easy drive. Because the LX570 is all about offroad, however, there are a lot of extra switches and not all of them are well-placed. The center console, for example, sports offroad controls in toggles that are easy to bump and a little confusing, requiring the driver to look down to see which one to select. This odd placement belies the otherwise well-done cockpit.

It’s easy to enjoy the ride in the 2014 LX570, though, despite these quirks. The wooden steering wheel is a nice touch and the instrument cluster is easy to view without distraction. Finally, the air ride system allows the driver to adjust the height of the LX 570 off the road as well as automatically lower it when the vehicle is parked to make entry and egress for this tall SUV far easier.

Under the LX570′s Hood

The heart of the 2014 LX570′s driving experience is in the tuning and engine. The 5.7-liter V8 comes straight out of Toyota’s Tundra pickup truck and gives more than ample power to this big SUV. It’s mated to a well-conceived six-speed transmission and a TRD-based offroad drivetrain. The V8 puts out 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque and a combined 14 mpg EPA rating.

Steering is far less truck-like than it is in similar Toyota offerings, though maneuverability in a beast the size of the LX570 is rarely easy. That’s augmented by some driver-assist electronics, however, with a good backing camera and smart radar system for noting obstacles.

Competition

Key competitors to the 2014 Lexus LX570 are the GL-Class from Mercedes-Benz, the Infiniti QX80 (reviewed here, comparison coming soon), and the high-selling Cadillac Excalade. Of these, none are as off-road ready as is the LX570 when it comes to extreme capability. Yet all of them, with the possible exception of the Cadillac, beat the Lexus for interior fit and finish and ride comfort. The QX80 is larger, the GL-Class is more luxurious, and the Escalade is a smoother ride at a lower cost. 

Yet comparing the LX570 to these others is not really apples and oranges, as the Lexus is a beast all to itself that really doesn’t match the market aims of the others. It’s not for everyone, of course, but it’s definitely unique and fits a sure niche.

Strong Points

Very offroad capable and ready for anything you can throw at it in terms of mud, rocks, sand, and more.

The powerful engine is extremely muscular in its response, giving a sure feeling of confidence when driving the LX570.

Weaknesses

Very pricey for the segment when comparing fit and trim level.

Cargo room is not exceptional and the clunky third-row fold-down and halfway automation is not impressive at all.

Conclusions

To pull it all together, the 2014 Lexus LX570 is a capable, very well-appointed luxury SUV whose primary strengths are in its go-anywhere abilities and its strong Toyota heritage for durability. It’s an unusual luxury SUV in that it aims primarily for offroad prowess, often at the expense of some comfort, but still manages to deliver some very compelling appeal.

Test Period Length and Limitations
Vehicle was a press loan from the manufacturer. A total of 290 miles were put on the LX570 in a mixture of highway, town and city driving as well as some light and medium offroad.

Gallery

2014 Lexus LX570 – offroad just got luxurious The 2014 Lexus LX570 is a unique vehicle in that it is one of those few luxury sport utilities that aims for capability followed by luxury.
Apr 21, 2014

RK Motors debuts 800+ horsepower 1967 Shelby GT500

RK Motors debuts 800+ horsepower 1967 Shelby GT500

At the Mustang’s 50th anniversary celebration in Charlotte, North Carolina this month, RK Motors announced that they would unveil the RK527, an 800-plus horsepower tribute car based on a 1967 Shelby GT500. The wraps were pulled from the car at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday.

The vehicle’s debut also came with the announcement that Rob Kauffman, RK Motors owner, will drive the RK527 in the…

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