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Toyota started its Lexus luxury division after Honda's tremendous success with the Acura brand in the United States. Beginning with its first model, the LS400, drivers applauded Lexus its remarkable refinement and innovative features that also set a high bar for craftsmanship and reliability. Lexus
has since eclipsed Acura and then some, nearly doubling Acura's sales in 2012, and establishing itself as a solid third in U.S. luxury sales behind Mercedes and BMW. While not quite as high-performing as those beasts of history, Lexus has made remarkable strides and has legions of passionate customers.
Lexus's current lineup starts with the sporty IS, an entry-level car that's recently undergone a dramatic interior update, making it a viable second-banana competitor to the BMW 3-Series. Even if it doesn't always exactly hit the mark, the IS handles beautifully and is free of some of the questionable stylistic choices that made the previous model a disappointment. Going up the scale, the ES was a massive success Lexus throughout the 90s. The newest iteration continues to evolve in a good way, with an advanced hybrid Toyota powertrain. Lexus also offers the elegant GS 350 with a 305 horsepower V6, but its best trick in the whole fleet may be the GS 450h with the same V6, tied to a performance-enhancing hybrid battery pack as well as an absolutely beautiful interior. It's a rare bird in the wild, and one of the most underrated cars on the market. The flagship LS series offers the ultimate in comfort and luxury, as it has since its inception. The LS 460 comes standard with a 4.6-liter V8, while the LS 600h L mates a hybrid motor with a 5.0-liter V8 for a total of 438 horsepower. The cars are gorgeous inside and out, which is more than can be said about the experimental and oddly-shaped CT 200h and CT F Sport, available only as hybrids and manage 42 MPG combined.
Lexus' RX SUV, the first luxury crossover, spawned one the most competitive markets in the industry. It's now also available with a hybrid powertrain. The larger and burlier GX 460 offers a third row of seats and a full-time four-wheel drive system for adventures to the campsite, or getting the kids to school in the snow. The largest vehicle in the Lexus lineup comes in the form of the massive LX SUV, powered by a 5.7-liter V8 with the same 4WD from the smaller GX. Lexus recently ended production on the $400,000 LFA supercar, which was a culmination of the innovative engineering Lexus has pioneered since its inception. See more... See Less