Comparison: 2018 Lexus NX 300 vs 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Comparison: 2018 Lexus NX 300 vs 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
If you’re shopping for a luxury crossover, the new Alfa Romeo Stelvio may have caught your eye as magazines report on the Italian automaker’s re-entry into the U.S. market. The Stelvio appears to have it all – style, power, and features – but does this newcomer stack up to the competition?

When comparing the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio to the 2018 Lexus NX 300, you’ll want to take note of the features that come standard and those that cost extra. Options can boost the price well beyond an entry-level budget, so don’t let the base price mislead you.

See the differences in our one-to-one comparison, then visit us at our convenient El Monte location to get behind the wheel of an NX 300.

Safety and Tech

Lexus NX 300

The 2018 Lexus NX 300 now comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+, including a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Intelligent High-Beam Headlamps.

Additionally, the Lexus crossover comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen Display Audio with Scout GPS Link navigation, MapStream, and TurnStream. The NX also features a Remote Touchpad, backup camera, Siri Eyes Free, Lexus Premium Sound System, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the Lexus Enform suite of apps, including Safety Connect, Service Connect, and Remote. The Navigation Package adds a Navigation System with Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0, 10.3-inch high-res split-screen, Destination Assist, Dynamic Navigation, 10-Speaker Premium Sound, electrochromic rearview mirror, and HomeLink universal transceiver.

Alpha Romeo Stelvio

It’s worth noting that the Stelvio does not come standard with any driver assistance technology, except for a backup camera and parking sensors. Its Driver Assistance Package (about $1,500 extra) includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, Forward Collision Warning with autonomous braking, and Lane Departure Warning.

Standard equipment on the Stelvio includes a 6.5-inch color display, 8-speaker audio, Start/Stop Technology, power tailgate, universal garage door opener, and dual-zone climate control. You can upgrade to a 6.5 or 8.8-inch widescreen color display (an extra $950), which seems small compared to the NX’s 10.3-inch navigation screen.

Performance

Lexus NX 300

Both the NX 300 and the Stelvio have a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine. The Lexus crossover makes 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and comes available with all-wheel drive. It has a 6-speed automatic transmission and goes from zero to 60 in 7 seconds. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 24 MPG combined.

Alpha Romeo Stelvio

The Alfa Romeo’s base engine makes 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque, giving it just a slight edge in terms of pony power. It has an 8-speed automatic transmission and a zero-to-60 time of 5.4 seconds. Fuel economy is 24 MPG combined.

Now, the Italian automaker may have caught your eye with the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s specs – a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that churns out 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. What Alfa Romeo doesn’t make so obvious in its marketing materials is that the upgrade pushes the Stelvio’s price to about $90,000.

Pricing

Lexus NX 300

Starting at $34,985 MSRP

Alpha Romeo Stelvio

Starting at $41,995 MSRP

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Review: 2018 Lexus ES 300h

Review: 2018 Lexus ES 300h
Few automakers can match Lexus when it comes to comfort and safety on the road, which is why it’s a favorite among Los Angeles drivers. Plus, its Hybrid Drive system is unparalleled, adding extra incentive (literally) for those who want it all.

The 2018 Lexus ES 300h is exactly what your commute needs, so visit Longo Lexus to get behind the wheel. But first, read our full review for all the details:

Performance and Fuel Economy

This Lexus hybrid sedan is powered by a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine combined with an electric motor, moderated by the Lexus Hybrid Drive that optimizes power from both sources during acceleration and braking. The powertrain makes a net 200 horsepower and goes from zero to 60 in 8.1 seconds. The ES 300h has an electronically controlled continuously variable automatic transmission and has front-wheel drive.

According to EPA estimates, the hybrid sedan has a fuel economy of up to 39 MPG city and 40 MPG highway. The 2018 ES 300h scored a 9 out of 10 in California’s DriveClean Greenhouse Gas Rating, so your purchase makes you eligible for tax incentives from the state. Your Longo Lexus dealer can fill you in on the details.

Comfort and Convenience

The 2018 Lexus ES comes standard with perforated NuLuxe interior trim, a power moonroof, and dual-zone climate control with interior air filters, smog sensor, and automatic recirculation mode. It also features SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop, Drive Mode Select, voice command, 10-way power front seats, LED exterior lighting, and rain-sensing wipers.

Standard entertainment and connectivity features include Lexus Display Audio with 8-inch display, Scout GPS Link navigation with MapStream and TurnStream, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, Bluetooth wireless tech, subscription-free traffic and weather, and the Lexus Enform suite of apps, including Safety Connect, Service Connect, and Remote.

Individual options include heated and ventilated front seats, wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel, heated steering wheel, panorama glass roof, power rear sunshade, and a power open/close trunk. Other available features include Remote Touch controls, Navigation System, Lexus Enform Destinations, a Mark Levinson sound system, and luxe interior accents. Talk to your Longo Lexus dealer about the features in the Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio, Premium, Luxury, and Ultra Luxury packages.

Safety and Tech

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Lexus ES a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating.

Lexus equipped all models of the 2018 ES with a backup camera, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and intelligent high-beam headlamps. It’s also available with Intuitive Parking Assist and a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Pricing

Starting at $41,820 MSRP

Review: 2018 Lexus GS 350

Review: 2018 Lexus GS 350
The Lexus GS sedan is the quintessential car for drivers in Los Angeles who value quality and comfort above all else. The only issue is choosing a model from the impressive 2018 lineup.

In this review, we’ll give you all the features and specs of the 2018 Lexus GS 350. Keep in mind there’s also the turbocharged GS 300 and the hybrid GS 450h, which we’ll cover in another review.

Get all the details, then visit our convenient El Monte location for a test drive:

Performance and Fuel Economy

The 2018 GS 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, going from zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds. Rear-wheel drive models have an 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive models have a 6-speed Paddle-Shift automatic.

The GS 350 also comes available with the F Sport Package, which includes additional driving modes, 19-inch alloy wheels, F SPORT-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension, Variable Gear-Ratio Steering, LFA-inspired instrumentation, interior details, and 14-inch two-piece front brake rotors with monoblock four-piston calipers. Individual options include orange brake calipers, Lexus Dynamic Handling with Dynamic Rear Steering, and a TORSEN limited-slip differential.

RWD models have a fuel economy of 20 MPG city and 28 MPG highway, while AWD models get up to 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway.

Comfort and Convenience

Each model of the 2018 GS has dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter and smog sensor, a tilting and telescoping steering column, the Lexus Memory System, a power moonroof, auto-dimming mirrors, 10-way power front seats, Remote Touch controls, and NuLuxe seating. The Premium Package adds a leather-trimmed interior, power rear sunshade, heated and ventilated front seats, and rain-sensing wipers. You can also add a heated steering wheel or power trunk as individual options.

Entertainment and connectivity features include Lexus Display Audio, Siri Eyes Free with voice command, Bluetooth wireless tech, USB smartphone input, and the Lexus 12-speaker Premium Sound System. Individual options include the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System, and Heads-Up Display. The Navigation Package includes a Navigation System with 12.3-inch high-resolution split-screen display, Lexus Enform App Suite, and Lexus Enform Destination Assist.

Safety and Tech

Lexus equipped all models of the 2018 GS with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high-beam headlamps, Lane Keep Assist, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. Additionally, the sedan is standard with LED headlamps and daytime running lights, a backup camera, and the Lexus Enform Safety Connect app. Intuitive Parking Assist is available as an individual option.

Pricing

Starting at $50,695 MSRP

Review: 2017 Lexus IS 300

Review: 2017 Lexus IS 300

Los Angeles streets have no shortage of cars that claim to be the latest and greatest on the market. If care most about having a luxury sedan that performs without sacrificing comfort and convenience, then the 2017 Lexus IS 300 is perfect for you.

We invite you to come to our convenient El Monte location for a test drive of the IS 300, but before you do, check out our full review:

Performance

A sedan doesn’t have to mean a boring driving experience, and the IS is proof. The IS 300 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 255 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, going from zero to 60 in 6.1 seconds. It features full-time all-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The IS 300 is available with the F Sport package, which includes special suspension tuning, F Sport-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension with Sport S/S+ modes, and 18-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels with summer or all-season tires, as well as F Sport styling features and accessories.

Interior and Comfort

Each model of the 2017 IS features a power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, NuLuxe interior trim, power-adjustable front seats, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat back. Individual options include a power rear sunshade, backup camera, and heated steering wheel.

The Premium Package of features includes heated and ventilated front seats and a backup camera, while the Premium Plus Package adds a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers. The Luxury Package gives you everything in the Premium and Premium Plus, as well as leather interior trim, Gray Sapele wood and aluminum trim, auto-dimming and heated exterior mirrors, Lexus Memory System for seating and mirrors, and Intuitive Parking Assist.

Features and Tech

The IS 300 comes standard with Lexus Display Audio with Scout GPS Link navigation, subscription-free traffic and weather, Bluetooth connectivity, and Lexus Enform apps, including Safety Connect, Service Connect, and Remote.
Lexus’s Navigation Package includes the Navigation System with Lexus Enform App Suite, a 10.3-inch high-res split-screen display, Remote Touch controller pad, voice command, and Lexus Enform Destinations. Meanwhile, the Navigation/Mark Levinson Package adds to that a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System, 15-speaker audio with subwoofer, class-D amplifier, 5.1-channel surround sound, and machined-aluminum control knobs.

Safety

All models of the 2017 IS feature the Lexus Safety System+. This advanced system of driver assistance technologies includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high beams, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. You also have the option to add a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist, and a backup camera.

Pricing

Starting at $40,200 MSRP

Comparison: 2017 Lexus RC F vs 2017 BMW M4

Comparison: 2017 Lexus RC F vs 2017 BMW M4

The sport coupe is the quintessential ride for Los Angeles drivers – sleek, cool, and not practical for everyone. Exclusive without being stuffy, it’s the ultimate status car for those with a taste for modern luxuries.
Now, which one to choose? In the battle between the 2017 Lexus RC F and the 2017 BMW M4, one comes out ahead as the clear winner when looking at performance and tech. Check out our one-to-one comparison to see how these two luxury sport coupes stack up:

Performance

Lexus RC F

The RC F represents the most powerful model in the Lexus RC lineup, with F Sport-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension and an exclusive TORSEN limited-slip rear differential. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, making 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft of torque. The RC F will take you from zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds.

The F Sport package adds Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management with Sport mode, a turbo-boost gauge, and two-piece front brake rotors with high-friction brake pads and orange or black brake calipers. Additionally, the F Sport features Lexus Dynamic Handling with Dynamic Rear Steering and Variable Gear-Ratio Steering.

BMW M4

The 2017 M4 is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine with the choice between a 6-spede manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The system makes 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, and gets from zero to 60 a hair faster than the RC F, at 4.1 seconds with manual transmission or 3.9 seconds with automatic.

The M4 features the Active M Differential with Dynamic Stability Control and Adaptive M Suspension with M Dynamic Mode for control and responsiveness. Additionally, it has electric power steering with Servotronic and M Compound 4-wheel ventilated anti-lock disc brakes with Dynamic Brake Control.

Styling and Features

Lexus RC F

The F Sport package includes the F SPORT front fascia with exterior badging, F SPORT seats with enhanced bolsters, LFA-inspired instrumentation, perforated leather-trimmed shift knob and steering wheel, stainless steel door sills, heated steering wheel, and active sound control. Additionally, it adds interior details, such as a black headliner, Silver Performance trim, and aluminum sport pedals, as well as a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, heated and ventilated front seats, and auto-dimming exterior mirrors.

BMW M4

The 2017 M4 has 18-inch light alloy wheels, shadowline exterior trim, aluminum hood with powerdome, carbon-fiber reinforced roof, M sport seats with lumbar support and side bolsters, Anthracite Carbon Structure Cloth, and M-style door sill finishers, footrest, gear shift lever, and design accents. The M4 also comes with heated seats, a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, and rearview camera.

Pricing

Lexus RC F

Starting at $64,164 MSRP

BMW M4

Starting at $66,200 MSRP

Comparison: 2017 Lexus RX 450h vs 2016 Audi Q5 Hybrid

Comparison: 2017 Lexus RX 450h vs 2016 Audi Q5 Hybrid

If you’re on the search for a luxury crossover with a hybrid engine, make sure you look beyond the superficial. Bells, whistles, and attractive styling features abound in the luxury segment, so don’t lose sight of what you want: a safe, comfortable ute that gets great fuel economy.

Los Angeles drivers often ask us the difference between the 2017 Lexus RX 450h and its Audi counterpart, the Q5 Hybrid. These two crossovers are a fair match, but one comes out ahead when you look closely at safety ratings and fuel economy. Read our full comparison to find out:

Engine and Fuel Economy

Lexus RX 450h

The 2017 RX 450h is powered by a 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine combined with an electric motor, shifting power seamlessly between the two with the Lexus Hybrid Drive System. It makes a net 308 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque, going from zero to 60 in 7.9 seconds. The model has standard all-wheel drive, and the engine is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. According to EPA estimates, the Lexus hybrid crossover gets 31 MPG city, 28 MPG highway, and 30 MPG combined.

Audi Q5 Hybrid

The 2016 Q5 Hybrid has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine combined with an electric motor and generator. It makes a combined 245 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, getting from zero to 60 a little speedier than the Lexus, at 6.8 seconds. However, for Los Angeles drivers who stay mainly in the city, the fuel economy difference may be a deal breaker. The Q5 Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 24 MPG city and 30 MPG highway.

Safety

Lexus RX 450h

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2017 Lexus RX a Top Safety Pick+ after it earned perfect scores on all crash tests. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a 5-Star Overall Rating.

The RX comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high-beam headlamps, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Lane Keep Assist. Additionally, all models feature a backup camera and LED foglamps.

Audi Q5 Hybrid

The 2016 Q5 was also named a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS, but the NHSTA gave it just a 4-Star Overall rating. It lost points in tests for frontal crash and rollover.

The 2016 Q5 is also lacking considerably in the driver assistance tech department. While it does come with a rearview camera and available parking assistance, blind spot detection, and adaptive cruise control, it does not come available with a pre-collision braking system or lane keeping assistance.

Pricing

Lexus RX 450h

Starting at $53,035 MSRP

Audi Q5 Hybrid

Starting at $52,500 MSRP

Review: 2018 Lexus LC 500

Review: 2018 Lexus LC 500

Los Angeles is no place for wallflowers, so in that regard, the all-new 2018 Lexus LC 500 fits right in. Built on an entirely new platform and with seamless, futuristic styling, this luxury coupe is unlike anything you’ve ever seen – except maybe in your dreams.

From the expertly crafted mechanics right down to its comfort and convenience features, the LC 500 is California chic – and quickly becoming a favorite. Read our full review, then come take one for a test drive:

Performance

From the outside, the 2018 LC 500 is a work of art, but under the hood, it’s a pure performance machine. It’s equipped with one of the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated engines, a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque – taking you from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds. (Ask your Longo Lexus representative about the LC 500h, a powerful hybrid that goes from zero to 60 in 4.7 seconds.)

The LC 500’s Active Sport Exhaust gives off a roar that lets everyone on the road know it’s coming, while an all-new 10-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission with magnesium paddle shifters transitions between gears in 0.12 seconds, giving you smooth, optimal performance even around corners. Additionally, it has a double-joint multilink suspension system and next-generation adaptive variable suspension, with available speed-activated rear wing, TORSEN Limited-Slip Rear Differential, Active Rear Steering, and Variable Gear-Ratio Steering.

Styling and Interior

Modeled after the Lexus LF-LC concept car, the LC 500 is as modern as they come while maintaining the classic grand tourer vibe with an elongated, beautifully curved hood, rear sloping hood, and tapered, aerodynamic rear end.

Inside, it features standard leather seating – with the choice between Black, Toasted Caramel, Rioja Red, or Bespoke White – and heated and ventilated front seats. For your comfort, it also has standard dual-zone climate control with Climate Concierge, rain-sensing wipers, electrochromatic interior and exterior mirrors, and a glass roof with sunshade. You can also opt for a heated, leather-trimmed steering wheel, semi-aniline leather-trimmed front seats, Alcantara headliner and seating inserts, carbon fiber roof, and 21-inch Gloss Black wheels.

Features and Tech

The LC 500 comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+, a suite of driver assistance tech that includes a Pre-Collision System, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, and intelligent high-beam headlights. It also comes with a backup camera and Lexus Navigation System with 10.3-inch color LCD screen.

For your entertainment, the LC 500 is equipped with a standard Lexus 12-speaker Premium Audio System, Lexus Enform App Suite, Remote Touchpad controls, voice command, and Bluetooth technology. It also comes with the option for a 13-speaker Mark Levinson 915-watt Reference Surround Sound Audio System, Heads-Up Display, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

Pricing

Starting at $92,000 MSRP