“The Big Apple,” “The City That Never Sleeps,” “Gotham”… New York City has certainly earned a plethora of nicknames. It isn’t likely that “Car Friendly” will ever become one of those. That said, in a city synonymous with subways and yellow cabs, driving your own car doesn’t have to be inconceivable. Let the Lexus RX450h and A Girls Guide to Cars prove it to you.
As the saying goes, “There’s an App for that.”
Getting Around Like a Local
Did you know that parking in the city can sometimes be even cheaper than cross-town cab fare? With the mobile app from Bestparking.com (our editor Scotty’s personal favorite) and these tips on getting in and around NYC for free, you can pinpoint the cheapest parking right where you are.
Another must-have luxury you get when driving your own car into the Manhattan, is more room for all the spoils of shopping till you drop. Drive the RX450h and really maximize that space.
You do give up some leg room in the second row of seats to get this cavernous cargo space. That wasn’t an issue for us with two little ones and a teen daughter on the shorter side. If you’ve got some taller folk though, you might need to try this one on for size first.
“Gas costs how much?!”
Yes, the price of petrol in NYC is high enough to knock you off your Jimmy Choos. I would never recommend topping off the tank in the city if you could avoid it. This is where the “h” part of the Lexus RX450h comes in handy. With an estimated 30 mph in the city and 28 highway, you won’t be needing to “fill ‘er up” all that often. Hooray for more shoe money.
One of the keys to bringing along your keys in a city like New York is knowing where you’re going. Plan your trip so that you stick to one area of the city as best as you can. This will allow you to use your parking space as your “home base” and cut back on the cost of moving your car around or having to pop for cabs or try your luck at deciphering public transit schedules.
On our most recent stay in Metropolis we choose a to stick to the Upper West Side, staying at the Hotel Belleclaire.
Within walking distance is the famous Beacon Theatre, dozens of great eateries, fun, funky and familiar on Amsterdam. Central Park is just blocks away and there is a wonderful gourmet market just around the corner. The best part? You can park on the street for free, if you’re lucky!
What We Loved
Lexus Enform with App Suite.
On Demand All-Wheel Drive (When the weather can be unpredictable -think Snowmageddon 2010- this safety feature is perfect for our family car)
Heads Up display. (This displays your speed and the direction you’ll need to turn when using the navigation system, beaming it onto the windshield right in the driver’s field of vision.)
Lane Departure Warning.
Intuitive Park Assist. (This is a feature my husband insists that I must have; it could save a marriage.)
What You Need to Know
The total “sticker price” of the model I tested was: $58,060.00
The EPA estimate for MPG on this model is 30 city/28 highway. I drove a combo of both and average around 35 MPG, impressive.
There are a ton of tech features, so many that you will need to devote some time to getting used to using them.
As with the other Lexus models that have the “mouse” feature, it can be distracting.
The exterior design of this car looks very similar to a number of other cars on the road today. If you’re looking for a car with a “standout” body design, this might not be exactly what you’re looking for.
And now onto the most important part of any A Girls Guide to Cars and Traveling Mom review… where did I put my purse? Oh boy, did the design genius at Lexus step up their game on this one. There is a “cubby” of sorts built into the center console between the driver and passenger seats. I have a huge Boho bag this Fall and it fit in there like a dream.
Disclosure: The Lexus RX450h was loaned to us for this test drive; opinions here are purely my own.