Last year, I got the rear-wheel drive Lexus IS convertible in February. And then in snowed 12 inches. And I still had to drive to work. It wasn't pretty.
But occasionally, I get the right vehicle at exactly the right time. This year, I got the all-wheel drive Lexus GX 460 when Chicago decided to dump some snow on us before and during rush hour. You would have thought the city had never heard of weather.com and was surprised because even an hour into the snow, not a single plow or salt truck had hit the highways.
While people were fish-tailing and crawling, I drove with confidence at a steady 40 mph and averaged 18 mpg to boot. This is a definite rave. The size, the smoothness, the capability and the sheer luxury ... All raves.
But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the rants: bad gas mileage in aggressive driving, huge step-in height even with a running boards and crazy expensive base price ($52,445). Oh, and the incredible difficulty of clearing the ice off the windshield with a scrapper. Envision me standing on the driver's seat while propping myself on the open door and basically sprawling across the windshield. It wasn't pretty. Funny. But not pretty.
NOTE: As a new feature to this blog, I'm going to add how "Chicago worthy" I think various cars are. This will be on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not very worth and 10 being the perfect Chicago car.
Chicago worthy rating for the Lexus GX 460: 1. While this SUV will handle beautifully for the month of sheer snowy hell we get in Chi-Town, the rest of the year will kind of suck. The GX, while beautiful, is too large for tight city spaces; it's too pricey to park on the street; you'll worry over every dent and ding; and fuel economy in the city is estimated at 15 mpg. Eek!