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Lexus has earned a well-deserved reputation for turning out utterly refined luxury vehicles. The hallmarks of this brand are a quiet, well-crafted cabin, a plush ride and commendable performance from powerful, nearly silent engines.

Launched by Toyota in the fall of 1989, the Lexus line represents the company's effort to create a world-class luxury-car brand. Groundwork for the Lexus line was laid in the mid-'80s, when the company began tapping U.S. focus groups in an attempt to define design concepts best suited for American consumers. Hundreds of prototypes were built and tested on Germany's autobahn and on U.S. roads.

In early 1989, Lexus unveiled its first two models (which would debut for the 1990 model year) -- the entry-level ES 250 and the flagship LS 400. The LS 400 was lauded by both journalists and consumers alike for offering a stellar luxury-car experience, with a remarkably silent cabin and a refined engine. The cars were, however, panned by some for being somewhat less exciting than their European competitors because of bland styling and a suspension that placed plush ride quality over sporty handling dynamics.

By the early 1990s, the Lexus brand was expanded to other markets, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Additional cars were also added to the lineup, including the SC 300 and SC 400 coupes and the brand's first luxury performance sedan, the GS 300. Over the next few years, the company grew its line to include SUVs, with the addition of the LX 450 and RX 300. By the end of the decade, Lexus had sold over a million vehicles in the U.S. The 2000s saw Lexus proving itself a trendsetter with the launch of the world's first luxury hybrid SUV, the RX 400h.

In the years since its inception, the Lexus brand has distinguished itself time and again in quality and reliability surveys. The brand may not offer as much passion as its Teutonic rivals, but for drivers interested in vehicles that emphasize quality, dependability and comfort, the Lexus marque can't be beat.

 

 

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[Source: Edmund's ]

 

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