11 months ago

Selwyn Times: December 13, 2016

36 Tuesday

36 Tuesday December 13 2016 Driven SELWYN TIMES • By Ross Kiddie BY MY own admission I’m a bit of a snob, I glamourise where I live, and I tell people I own a Lexus. Well the latter is true up to a point, I own a Toyota Altezza which was sold here new as a Lexus IS200/300. Badge engineering is commonplace throughout the automotive manufacturing world, and Lexus has had several models sourced from the wider Toyota stable. One to come my way recently was the Lexus LX450d, a large, luxury four-wheel-drive SUV based on the Land Cruiser platform. And realistically, it is a Land Cruiser 200 in disguise, it gets all the trick four-wheel-drive gear along with all the grandeur that embodies the Lexus spirit of luxury, refinement and sophistication. The LX has always been powered by a 5.7-litre V8 petrol engine, but just recently it has been joined by a 4.5-litre V8 diesel which, incidentally, is the first Lexus diesel offering. The LX570 lists at $179,900, and I guess if you have that amount of money to spend on a vehicle, filling regularly with petrol probably isn’t a disadvantage, but at $159,900 the diesel variant probably makes just that little bit Plush Lexus at home in the rough • Price – Lexus LX450d, $159,900 • Dimensions – Length, 5080mm; width, 1980mm; height, 1865mm • Configuration – V8, four-wheel-drive, 4661cc, 200kW, 650Nm, six-speed automatic. • Performance – 0-100km/h, 9.5sec • Fuel usage – 9.5l/100km LEXUS LX450D: Diesel engine is the first for Lexus. more sense, and it is still the epitome of luxury transport off-road, from an extensive array on the dial or button operated, mostly or any road as the case may be. centre console, they are intuitive Ironically, it was just a few to use quickly when grip and weeks back that I drove the Land traction settings need altering. Cruiser 200 with exactly the same There are also comfort, normal engine and driveline. I remarked and sport suspension settings. then that even though it is a huge Lexus rate the 4461cc, quadcamshaft, 32-valve V8 at 200kW, and bulky vehicle, it doesn’t feel big to drive; the same can be said with an amazing 650Nm of for the LX450d, and it is an offroad champion like no other. from 1600rpm to 2800rpm. It torque available all of the way The four-wheel-drive mechanicals and the electronic systems unfaltering flow of power right is a true powerhouse with an which override it are comparable through to the 4500rpm redline. Well, it needs to be strong, to the world’s best four-wheeldrive platforms – even Range the 450d weighs heavy at over Rover and Jeep product. 2500kg, and rated with a 3500kg The LX450d has a multitude of towing figure there is a lot of options available at the driver’s weight to haul constantly. command for when road (or That aside, the 450d feels track) surfaces vary, they are all sprightly, it will cut out a standstill to 100km/h time of 8.6sec, and will lunge through a highway overtake in 5sec; both these figures I would suggest are quick for vehicle type. Drive is transferred through a six-speed automatic gearbox, interestingly, the petrol V8 gets a flash eight-speeder, but that matters little, the diesel unit flows smoothly through the transmission and it has quick, fluid shifts which work well with the power characteristics. A stiff southerly was blowing through Canterbury during my day of rural testing, and as big as the LX450d is, it wasn’t bothered by the wind gusts, there’s a lot of sheet metal down the side of the vehicle (almost 5.1m) but it feels firmly planted on the road and has remarkable stability. There is little sensation in a corner, there is body roll, but that’s no surprise, it’s how I would expect it to be. The LX450d gets a fabulous ride through a complex air suspension system, bearing in mind that it has to disguise a live rear axle. Up front the suspension is more traditional through a double wishbone system, but the engineers have created a plush ride, and that is something we have come to expect with Lexus. The mechanicals are engineered for life cross-country. I didn’t take the vehicle off-road for fear of damage, although I did take it on a long shingle loop near Hororata, crossing the Hororata River through legitimate fords. The river was barely a trickle, but it was a good opportunity to test the varying four-wheel-drive options. As a series, the LX has just had a major makeover, it’s a lot more than cosmetic facelift, the only carryover panels are the doors. The interior, too, has had a major refresh, and all of the trim elements are true Lexus with enough cockpit dials and switches to keep a Boeing pilot happy. The LX series is a quality piece of kit all round. It is expensive, but you certainly get a lot of vehicle for the money. It is most certainly the machine to get you to the skifield in style. Specials Monday 12 December - Saturday 17 December 2016* Lamb Legs fresh, whole, approx 2.1kg $ 9 . 99 kg $ 8 . 99 Streaky each Bacon 1kg packs $ 10 . 99 pack Beef Fillet fresh, whole, grain fed $ 45 . 99 kg Christmas Hams from $ 9 . 50 kg *While stocks last 394 Blenheim Road, Christchurch Ph: 03 349 5078 Hours: Mon - Fri 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sat 7:00 am to 5:00 pm

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