TechnoFile drives the Lexus RX 450h and Mazda MX-5

10 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on TechnoFile drives the Lexus RX 450h and Mazda MX-5
Lexus RX 450h

and Mazda – maintaining an even

By Jim Bray

August 16, 2013

aren’t new for 2013, and they even changed a lot from the years’ models, but Lexus’ popular SUV and Mazda’s little of joy both continue to offer audiences fine vehicles do exactly what they’re to.

And how can one complain about that?

On the one you have a luxurious and reasonably SUV – the Lexus RX 450h – that hybrid performance to the regular RX And on the other, you have a rippin’ fun roadster – the Mazda MX-5 Miata) – that for more two decades now has offered drivers as much fun on a reasonable budget as can wish for.


Let’s start at the top of the line, the Lexus. The RX has traditionally been best selling model and good reason for this. all, SUV/Crossovers are an incredibly segment of the market, mainly they offer wagon/hatchback with a high-mounted view a real boon when because they let you see what’s on around you better.

The Lexus all this well – unless you a third row of seats – while you in the lap of luxury and giving you all wheel stability. And with this version, you might be able to yourself some money on gas you’ve paid the hybrid up front) and feel better your non-hybrid-driving neighbors who to ravage Person Nature.

Of course, if you bought it to save the perhaps you should be walking so as not to risk being perceived as a

Toyota – Lexus’ corporate – says that hybrids for one out of every five Lexus sold, which is a pretty achievement, as well as possibly a sign that P. T. Barnum was The 2013 edition of the RX 450h with new technology upgrades, the new second generation of the company’s Touch mouse-like interface works fine and seems neat in concept but which in may have you taking your off the road more than like.

There’s also a new mode select system, Sport, Eco and Normal driving – and guess which is the most

Outside, the 2013 RX (not the hybrid) has had the Lexus signature grille inflicted on its nose, as as new headlights with LED’s, taillights (featuring vortex an updated rear license garnish, new front fascia and a fog lamp bezel. Other the grille, it’s basically a of subtle upgrades to an already design.

Inside, Lexus has the garage door opener from the overhead console (in of the sunroof) to the rear-view mirror you can actually see them!). There are storage compartments in the center a pen holder in the lid (in case you’re the great Canadian novel driving), and the box now opens wider and can such stuff as a tablet (so you can surf and drive!).

Lexus has also given access to the USB audio interface as usual the Bluetooth interface is convenient as long as you don’t battery drain on your a bigger back-up camera in the rearview mirror and – now as standard – a Vehicle Proximity Notification which appears designed to oblivious drivers and/or that you’re about to mow down.

One other handy – or perhaps downgrade is a better – is that Lexus claims the RX is nearly three grand than the 2012 model, yet with extra stuff.

One they haven’t tweaked is the Mark Levinson audio which sounds great but since Day One has refused to play the 5.1 surround version of The Who’s Time was when it stripped out the making the disc sound karaoke, but a tweak a couple of ago changed that. Yep, now it play the disc at all! it gives you a few seconds of a track, repeats it ad nauseam.

Heckuva to spend the extra, eh?

Most won’t notice or care, but it make one wonder about the relentless pursuit of perfection…

The comes with a 3.4 liter six cylinder engine mated to the stuff and it gets its power to the via a continuously variable transmission a sequential manual shift that’s about as enjoyable as At least the RX has plenty of sound to tame the CVTВ  howl, when you tromp on the gas it still through a tad.

Three option packages are for the RX 450h. The Touring Package, to Lexus’ media website, P235/55R19 tires on 18 inch alloy wheels – which be pretty interesting (since the spec has the tires an inch in circumference than the wheels!), during the test period we notice any whup whup from tires that are around. Guess the spec have been a misprint…

package also includes a 12 premium audio system a rear subwoofer and a single DVD player. You also get a wallet-size card key, voice-activated HDD system, the remote touch thingy and power folding side mirrors.

The Ultra Package 1 adds a heated steering wheel, the above-dumped 15 speaker Mark Levinson Sound 7.1 channel audio front-seat power thigh semi-aniline (a colorless, oily, water-soluble liquid, according to the leather seat surfaces, assist, a neat but obtrusive display (which you can shut and roof rail crossbars. You can of a blind spot monitor and change assist if you insist on things.

The Ultra Premium 2 ups the ante by including two sets of headphones and a dual-screen rear-seat DVD system to keep the ankle occupied. You also get a pre-collision and dynamic radar cruise

Add it all up and the base price of $56,750 up to a whopping $71,400. В

Smiles per

While the Lexus hybrid miles per gallon, Mazda’s is all about the driving experience and it a fine job of carrying out its mandate. Mazda single handedly the two seat roadster segment, the roadster hearkened back to classic sports cars as the Triumph Spitfire, Alfa Spyder and Fiat 124 Spider.

that Mazda upped the by adding to the fun factor the reliability for Japanese carmakers had become The rest is history: a beloved was reborn.

Lexus RX 450h

Since then, the Miata became simply the and went through some that has left the car larger and equipped better, but still an blast to drive. And they added an optional retractable top that buttons the car up as tightly as a – remarkably, without truncating the

The current MX-5 is still inside, but not quite as cramped as it was And it’s still a joy to drive, you can feel the extra weight the car has put on the years (ensuring that art the human experience!).

The car, starts at just shy of 30 grand, is by a two liter inline four engine that’s rated at 167 @ 7000 rpm (158 horses on the transmission-inflicted versions) and 140 lb.-ft. of at 5,000 rpm.

It’s more than and is approximately the same output as the generation Mazdaspeed Miata’s engine put out. So now you don’t get the lag, but you also don’t get the whoosh of the turbo kicking in; you don’t get the wild feel came from that of power in an appreciably lighter It makes one hope there’ll be a MX-5 coming.

Alas, the way market is going, we may be more to see a frugality-focused Skyactiv version and that would be a shame.

In the the MX-5 soldiers on as arguably the value you can get in a roadster, at least the Scionbaru FR-S/BRZ ragtops along (which will be soon!).

MX-5’s are available either a five or six speed transmission (Mazda Canada’s car had the six speed) or the abovementioned six speed with paddles. Driving it almost Porsche-like (as much as an comparison can be between a mainstream and a end car), with handling feels hard wired your brain.

One area the MX-5 falls down, is in the driving position. The pedals are out so that your right leg has to sit your knee quite if you want to reach the clutch and after a couple of hours really starts to wear on В

The car also doesn’t come Bluetooth or automatic headlights, two features no car should be without in To be fair, it would probably be to hear the phone using when you have the roof but it should still be there.

The 2013 MX-5 only a minor refresh, which is There’s a mildly redesigned end, including a new front fog lamp cover and a mesh-type The wheels get black center there’s a smaller hood for the cluster and some other trim tweaks.

The GX trim gets a glossy dark roll bar garnish, a glossy grey interior decoration and a bright silver finish on the bezel, while the GS trim you stuff such as 17 Dark Gun wheels, a brilliant black-colored retractable hard top and door body colored (red, in the of the sample) interior decoration with graphics and red stitching on the

The top line GT trim level new 17 alloy wheels, and some tweaks.

The car is a blast to drive and not a lot of are required. Two possible suggestions to would be the abovementioned turbocharged or perhaps a small V6 (whatever to that little six that was in the old Other than that, the car is of Mary Poppins: practically in every way.

While the MX-5 starts at just shy of the top line GT with automatic will set you back closer to That’s starting to be serious fortunately, the MX-5 will pay you with serious fun.

Lexus RX 450h
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