Archive for September, 2009

Falling in love with a Lexus RX450h

01_2010_RX_450h-prv-croppedIn the world of auto reviewing, your life is filled with short-term relationships with some pretty hot cars.

They swoop into your life and spend a few days tantilizing your senses with powerful engines, luxurious interiors and sound systems that are so advanced you could swear you were front row at a live concert. Then, just as the relationship starts to get serious, she’s gone. Off to woo another.

So it’s a good idea not to fall in love with any of these beauties. You can enjoy their company and appreciate their attributes, but in the end you have to remind yourself that it’s only a fling and both of you will eventually be moving on.

Unfortunately, once in a while a vehicle comes along that is so special that you just can’t help yourself. You throw caution to the wind and fall head over heels in love. This no longer is just a fling — it’s the real deal.

That’s what the 2010 Lexus RX450h was for me. It was true love, Lexus style.

This SUV is in a class by itself when it comes to a luxury hybrid that has enough space for dogs and kids, but not too much that you feel like you’re a truck. It sits high enough above the road to create great visibility, yet not too tall to prevent kids and pups from climbing in. And because it’s a hybrid, the engine is as quiet as a humming bird, especially when traveling in electric-only mode at lows speeds, like through a parking lot or into a driveway.

But the best part if the gas mileage. I managed 28.5 mpg during our little summer fling, which is at least 10 mpg better than any of the other non-hybrid crossover SUVs on the market. This baby is not only cute, but smart too. She’s loaded with cool, high-tech visuals designed to help us better know how to calculate the best possible fuel economy, making driving the RX450h just a little more delicious.

Lexus_Enform_weatherThe techie treats are everything in the RX450h, including side view cameras that provide a fisheye view of the blind spots alongside the vehicle. And there’s a weather tracker that gives the future weather forecast for wherever you may roam.

However, as with many relationships. Once the initial flash of infatuation has subsided, some realities begin to seep onto the scene. That moment came for me when I looked at her price tag. Just a smidge under $60k is what I would need to welcome this lovely lass into my garage. That may be a small price to pay for perfection, but it’s a little too rich for my blood.

So off she went, into the unsuspecting arms of another soon-to-be-smitten driver.

It was clearly one of those relationships I will remember forever . . . or at least until the next model comes my way.

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Wireless electricity paves way for no-plug-needed E-cars

coda_electric_sedan270A report on CNN — and relayed our way by Hal Sparks, who is filling in for Stephanie Miller this week on Air America Radio — tells us that wireless technology will soon be available for electricity.

According to the CNN report, Eric Giler, CEO of WiTricity, a company that makes light bulds that turn on without the aid of a power cord or light socket, says that full-fledged wireless electricity should be commonplace in the home within the next few years.

Here’s a link to the CNN report.

The part that gets us all giggly is the part about electfic vehicles. We’ve often dreamed of living in a world that has no need for gasoline-powered vehicles, but instead uses electrical airwaves to power vehicles along the roadways. That means no more gas fill-ups at $75 a pop. It also means no batteries to recharge or dispose of when dead. It even means no exhaust fumes spewing out of the tailpipe.

In short, if elctric cars are the future, then wireless electricity is the way to go.

Now we can put in our order for a new, all electric, Tesla family car. Or the new Coda electric sedan (pictured above).

Now all we need is to do something about those nasty traffic jams.

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