As we emerge from the season of giving, if you find that you weren’t one of those lucky gals who opening her front door to a brand new beribboned Lexus in the driveway, now’s the time to get yours! In fact, two models, in particular, merit your consideration – the brand-new UX crossover, and an updated version of the car that started it all, the sumptuous LS 500.
The UX provides a way for new buyers to enter the Lexus family, but it has also been appealing to long-time customers, says Bryan Smith, general manager at Lexus of Memphis. “Everybody appreciates the user-friendliness of a crossover. Once you switch into that, it’s not easy to go back,” says Bryan.
To those in the tech world, UX means “user experience,” and this compact SUV is filled with features that are both surprising and intuitive to today’s drivers, including technology that integrates the information and handling of smart devices.
“They’re trying to take some of the user-friendliness of your phone and apply what’s become more instinctual,” says Bryan. “Lexus would like to access the comfort level with this technology and apply it as we interact with our cars.”
The newest model under the Lexus banner, the UX is focused on providing a streamlined user experience. Available in a hybrid, Luxury, and F Sport version as well as the 200, the UX is designed to meet a wide range of drivers’ desires.
The driver-inspired interior features controls that are intuitively positioned toward the driver and audio switches ergonomically located in the palm rest.
You can use any smart device – from your phone or watch to an Alexa- or Google Assistant-enabled accessory – to use Lexus Enform, which provides information (like whether your windows are open or your gas is low), turns on the engine, adjusts the car temperature, and (attention: parents) can even tell you if someone borrowing the vehicle is going over a pre-set speed or distance limit.
Many of the 2019 Lexus models feature artistic details inspired by Japanese culture, such as this dashboard finish influenced by washi paper.
Heated seats only solve comfort complaints on chilly days. The front seats in the UX can include both heaters and ventilation fans, providing year-round comfort, especially in Southern climates.
As technology advances, engineers are constantly trying to determine the safest and most accessible vantage points for driving information. With Heads-Up Display, important details appear to be projected in a natural viewing area in front of the driver.
Self-driving cars may not be available yet, but with new safety features, Lexus vehicles are doing more than ever to keep themselves safely on the road. Features like blind-spot monitors, low-light pedestrian detection, and even built-in cameras that make road signs easier to read are all part of the manufacturer’s safety equipment.
Sleek and modern, the UX interior can be customized to include tri-color seats with seaming that gracefully brings the vehicle’s flowing exterior into the cabin.
While the UX is just taking off, the LS 500 remains one of Lexus’s top models, even in the shrinking sedan market.
“It’s a really important car for us and is selling great to a wide variety of people. You never know who’s going to drive one,” says Bryan.
After a full style overhaul in 2018, the 2019 LS models include Apple Carplay and Amazon Alexa synchronization and tech-assisted safety features like Heads-Up Display among its high-end attractions. And perhaps most importantly, Bryan adds, “Voice-activation technology continues to improve, now recognizing literally millions of phrases and commands.”
The LS 500 is the flagship of the Lexus brand and remains one of its top sellers. After a 2018 restyle, the 2019 model adds even more to this paragon of luxury.
The LS’s headlights aren’t just visually striking — the triple LED lamps provide better visibility for drivers and make the vehicle more detectable to traffic.
The 28-way adjustable seats should get you the exact level of comfort you require, but just to be sure, you can also get the built-in shiatsu-action massager in both the front and back seats of the LS.
Look familiar? Apple Carplay brings many of the most popular apps used by drivers into one space, synchronized with your own iPhone. You can also access Alexa to play audiobooks, music and podcasts as well as provide navigation. Every LS also includes Wi-Fi functionality for up to five devices.
No detail is overlooked in the LS, and the available Art Wood Organic trim elevates the center console to a true work of art. The sustainably sourced Agathis wood is hand-sliced and inlaid into its distinctive flame pattern by a takumi artisan.
Thousands of cuts and up to 147 points of polishing are required to produce the intricate Kiriko glass available as a door trim, which is accented beautifully by origami-inspired pleating created from a single piece of cloth.
Possibly the only thing better than driving an LS is being a passenger in one. The rear seat console touchscreen enables those in the back to control their 22-way adjustable seats, their environmental and seat temperature, and of course, their own massage preferences.
What truly sets Lexus apart, however, is the customer experience, from sales to service. More than 40% of Lexus vehicles are registered to women, and it’s estimated that more than 60% of Lexus drivers are female, so the company’s interaction with this clientele is of particular importance.
“Historically, there has been a perception of women being taken advantage of when interacting with a car dealership,” says Bryan. “We have women represented at every touch point at Lexus of Memphis, from reception and sales to our service department and management. Lexus focuses on designing vehicles that meet the wants and needs of our customer base. We can focus on the dealership experience. The core of the Lexus covenant is to treat each customer as we would a guest in our homes. This tenet is something we work on every day, and it is something that we are proud to represent in our business philosophy.”
Lexus of Memphis is located at 2600 Ridgeway Rd, Memphis, TN 38119. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more, call (901) 509-9910 or visit lexusofmemphis.com.
Thank you to Lexus for the images of their gorgeous 2019 models.
This article is sponsored by Lexus of Memphis.