Monday, July 24, 2017

Avoiding the Summer of Hell: Driving the Lexus NX 300h

The Lexus NX 300h, ready for its close up

This summer has been dubbed the Summer of Hell for commuters, with much needed track repairs at Penn Station causing delays for Amtrak, LIRR and NJ Transit riders.

Central Park, from the highest vantage point
The subways are even worse. I've been on more broken down subways due to derailments, sick passengers, track fires, police actions and non-specified reasons in July than in the previous decade combined.

So I was glad to have the Lexus NX 300h to tool around the city for a week. Twice, we drove to Central Park to explore the park, rather than riding our bikes there and being too third to enjoy the great expanse.

The cream leather seats, which look perfect against a New Yorker's back wardrobe
For example, we 'discovered' the 4 acre Arthur Ross Pinetum, an arboretum within Central Park that has a collection of specimen pine trees, along with a playground and adult fitness equipment. [Think pull ups bars, not Frederick's of Hollywood]. We brought bagels and cream cheese and had a picnic at one of the tables.

The driver info panel, with directions front and center

Usually, we riding the bike path over the Brooklyn Bridge [photo taken by my husband]
Though I was driving the Lexus around familiar terrain, I used the navigation system just to get a feel for it. The large touchscreen had clear directions and upcoming turns were also on the dashboard, so you can keep your eyes front and center.

We also climbed up Belvedere Castle to survey the park. This is the highest point in the park, and overlooks the reservoir and the Ramble.

Another day, we explored the east side of the park. At 750 acres, the park really does require several days to see.
A model boat, with rubber ducks on for a ride

On this side, we went to the model boat pond, formally known as the Conservatory Water.  This is the backdrop for countless movies, from One Fine Day to Stuart Little. We also walked around The Ramble, which seems like a forest. It is totally artificial, but the city literally disappears around you.
The Lexus NX 300h is perfect for a stylish New Yorker

Why not get a hybrid?

Though gas prices are still relatively low, saving the environment is important to me. It's one reason I often bike rather than drive. But since there are times you have to drive, and the subway is so unreliable, a hybrid makes sense. The Lexus NX 300h actually gets better gas mileage in the city, 33 mile per gallon. It gets 30 mpg on the highway.

Note: Lexus loaned me the NX 300h for a test drive. Opinions expressed are my own.

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