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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 28th 2009
10— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, February 28, 2009 Luxury SUV gets a revamp Engineand drivetrainwerethe focus for Lexus with thenewRX350, but they havent forgotten that people are looking for safetyand comfort inaSUVas well.Karla Pincott reports SPORTY: The RX 350’s new streamlined body features sharpened lines at its face which fold back along the bonnet and extend to a fastbacked rear. www.tilf or d.com.au Tilford Trade Clearance Centre PRICES SLASHED! HUGE SAVINGS! 90 Holden Nova Sedan T-bar auto, p/s, a/c 97 Kia Mentor Hatch 5 speed, 165,000kms, tidy, p/s, a/c 97 Suzuki Baleno Sedan T-bar auto, 160,000kms, p/s, a/c 96 Daihatsu Charade Hatch 1.3ltr fuel injected, 5 speed, manual, tidy 99 TF Magna Sedan T-bar auto, V6 engine, p/s, a/c 99 VT Commodore Berlina S/Wagon T-bar auto, excellent test, p/s, a/c 97 Holden Vectra Sedan 5 speed, neat and tidy, p/s, a/c 98 Toyota Corolla Sedan 5 speed, manual, alloys, p/s 98 Toyota Camry Sedan 5 speed, manual, 120,000kms, p/s, a/c 02 Hyundai Accent Hatch 3 door, 5 speed, 120,000kms, p/s, a/c 98 Mazda 626 Sedan 5 speed, 173,000kms, blue paint, p/s, a/c 04 Kia Rio Hatch 5 speed, manual, 80,000kms, p/s, a/c 98 KJ Laser Sedan 5 speed, manual, 114,000kms, p/s, a/c 00 Mitsubishi Lancer Coupe 92,000kms, 5 speed, alloys, rear spoiler 99 Honda CRV S/Wagon Auto, alloys, drives well, p/s, a/c 98 Subaru Outback S/Wagon T-bar auto, alloys, cruise, p/s, a/c 03 BA Falcon Sedan T-bar auto, 116,000kms, immaculate, p/s, a/c 03 Toyota Corolla Ascent Hatch 5 speed, 126,000kms, silver, p/s, a/c 01 Mazda Tribute S/Wagon Auto, 153,000kms, V6 engine, drives well 05 BA Falcon Sedan Auto, cruise, 98,000kms, alloys, p/s, a/c 00 Toyota Rav 4 S/Wagon 5 speed, bullbar, tidy, p/s 00 Honda CRV Sports Auto, 152,000kms, immaculate, p/s, a/c 03 Honda Accord Euro Sedan T-bar auto, alloys, cruise, p/s, a/c 05 Triton 4x4 F/Tray Turbo diesel, 83,000kms, 5 speed, p/s, a/c Prices valid until Sat 28/02/09 Hobart’s true & original Trade Clearance Centre Wholesale & Trade welcome 6273 8533 ROD: 0419 122 991 56b Gormanston Road Moonah Finance Available TAP $3,000 $3,200 $3,750 $4,250 $4,750 $5,000 $5,500 $5,500 $5,750 $5,750 $6,250 $7,000 $7,500 $7,750 $8,900 $9,750 $9,750 $10,750 $11,500 $11,750 04 VY Commodore Sedan T-bar auto, 124,000kms, immaculate, p/s, a/c $12,000 $12,750 $13,000 $14,750 $17,000 1998, but didn’t arrive here until 2003 — became a best-seller anyway. ‘‘RX is the core of the Lexus family and has J not only defined the segment but established what a luxury SUV should be,’’ says the vehicles chief assistant engineer Takeaki Kato. Going on sale in March, this is the first all- new RX in five years but even in that relatively short time the market has changed hugely and other brands are clawing at the pie. To fight back, Lexus has given the new vehicle a better body, more space and comfort and crammed it with a host of high- tech features. Exterior Built of 42 per cent high-tensile steel, the RX 350s stronger, more rigid body sits lower, longer and wider, on a wheelbase that has grown 25mm giving it a larger footprint and lower centre of gravity to make it more stable, helped by the undertray channelling air for downforce. The body design—which reduces drag to a low 0.33COD to improve economy stream- lines the Lexus face into sharpened lines that fold along the bonnet and flanks to the fastbacked rear, with flared arches, chiselled doors and pronounced character lines along the sides adding impact. Interior and equipment Dividing the redesigned cabin into what Lexus refers to as a ‘‘crossover cockpit’’, with its strong swoop line across the dash, is a large centre console for storage and the remote-touch controls, the relocating of which has allowed the nav screen to be deeper recessed away from light for a clearer image. Furthering the safety aspect on the Sports Luxury grade are adaptive high-intensity headlights that twist around corners, and the standard reversing camera being joined by a wide-view side one. Safety Lexus expects to get a crash rating of five stars here, after getting that result in US, Japan and Europe testing. The fit-out includes 10 airbags as standard, including first-in-class dual SRS front-seat knee airbags and new rear-seat SRS side (torso) airbags, plus new active front-seat head restraints. SPACIOUS: The new model’s interior is roomier and built for maximum comfort. Priceandsales The price tags start at $81,900 for the Pres- tige, with the Sports level costing $88,900 and the top-spec Sports Luxury com- ing in at $97,900. Lexus expects to move about 230 a month. But where the previous model sales were 95 per cent top spec, they expect the extra features of the new entry level to see it claim 30 per cent of sales, with 45 per cent going to Sports and 25 for the Sports Lux- ury. APANESE carmaker Lexus claims credit for having pioneered the lux- ury SUV category. The first RX, which was launched in INNOVATIVE: The dash is crammed with a host of high-tech features. Drivetrain and economy All levels get thesameimproved 3.5-litre dual VVT-i petrol V6 engine, with slightly increased outputs and improved economy. The engine now develops 204kW (up one kW) of power at 6200rpm and 346Nm (up four Nm) of torque at 4700rpm. Lexus claims a 3.5 per cent improvement in economy with an official figure of 10.8L/100km, compared with 11.2 for the outgoing model. Driving From most angles, the RX 350 is now a fairly good looking vehicle from inside and out. There’s still a bit of boxiness from the square- on view at the back, but the fastback rear has been calmed down and the folds of metal around the nose and creases down the sides give it a handsome presence. TheRX350s road manners are excellent, and most of the time it behaved similarly to a well- sorted big sedan. On damp mountain roads, at challenging speeds, it hung on well. But although it sat reasonably flat through the corners, this was whereit remindedyouthatyouwereinamuch larger lump of metal than the normal family car.
February 21st 2009
March 7th 2009