Words Liz French, Images Brydie Thompson
The Lexus EV, be it as a hybrid or fully electric, is rapidly gathering fans. Owners find that doing their bit for the environment and saving on fuel is almost secondary to the pure pleasure they get from driving the Lexus.
Larraine chose her Lexus UX250H Hybrid because “I didn’t want to have to plug a car in”. She loves the freedom to drive without worrying about batteries running down as her Lexus HEV self-charges as she is driving.
Larraine and Husband, Terry are no stranger to hybrids. They have been driving them for eight years and this is their third Lexus. Well, it is really Larraine’s but Terry “steals” it for round town driving, as it is nimbler than his larger car.
It’s practical too. “I know Mitre10 like the back of my hand and it is so easy to drop the back seats when I need more boot space,” says Larraine. Whether for gardening supplies or groceries, her boot will open with a touch of her toe on the sensor.
They freely admit to high expectations and feel that Lexus has delivered “over and above”. Lexus incorporates a lot of technology and Larraine is grateful that at Lexus they set her car up for the functions she wanted to use most and are happy to tweak it for her anytime.
As Larraine often drives at night on a busy semi-rural highway, she appreciates how the auto dip and the cornering light functions of the car free her to concentrate on the road.
Larraine’s Lexus has its dark interior highlighted by beautiful cream leather upholstery with the subtle Lexus signature pattern. “Quietly classy,” she says.
A Responsible Choice
Mark Triandafilidis had one overriding reason for buying a fully electric Lexus, the personal responsibility to reduce emissions of CO2. For five years he and his wife have made a conscious effort to live sustainably. Replacing his former Lexus, a GS430 V8, with a Lexus UX300E was a logical progression.
Mark does his research. For EV long term reliability, Lexus and Toyota come tops in his opinion. Mark points out that Toyota (for whom Lexus is their premium brand) have spent billions in researching battery technology.
He feels secure and comfortable in his Lexus, bearing out its extremely high rating for safety. The car drives very smoothly and quietly, allowing him to listen to the music that is so important to him. “A high-quality sound system is part of my driving pleasure and you can’t get much better than Mark Levison audio.”
In his first month of ownership, Mark drove his Lexus some 3,000 kilometres, and he’s never had a problem finding somewhere to charge the car. He points out that while at 100% charged the battery should ideally do about 300 kilometres, New Zealand roads are quite demanding, and he usually gets about 200 kilometres.
While the feature Mark enjoys could fill a novel, and he can’t speak highly enough of the before, during and after service from Lexus, the one thing that he finds the most “amazing” in enhancing his driving pleasure is the way high beam automatically diverts right or left of an approaching car. “Not only safe for me, but also for other drivers in never blinding them.”
Paul and Zoe Whitehead purchased their Lexus NX450H (plug in hybrid) in the process of going from owning two cars to sharing one. When Nourish interviewed them they had had the car two months, driven it 1,700 kilometres and were yet to fill it with petrol. Paul simply plugs it into a normal three-pin plug in the garage.
This is their third Lexus so they had experienced the driving pleasure and the exceptional Lexus service. The spiralling price of petrol was the second factor in their choice of vehicle. As to the environment, Paul points out that in the current method of automotive production, the carbon footprint from that process is still significant.
The Whiteheads find the car exceptionally comfortable, love the dual seat memory function when there are two drivers using the car, and find it very quiet. Paul remarked on the camera providing a perfect rear vision picture and that an all-round camera is excellent when parking.
Titanium is a popular colour for a Lexus. They like its depth and ability to reflect other colours. Zoe says she’s still getting used to the distinctively Lexus black and white upholstery, but overall, “we are very pleased. We made the right decision.”
Lexus of Tauranga
158 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga
Lexus of Hamilton
5 Kahu Crescent, Te Rapa Park, Hamilton