After a summer and fall filled with family trips and a few golf outings with friends, my husband and I decided to redeem some of our Marriott points and spend a long weekend in Newport Beach, California.
We planned this trip as a romantic getaway, combined with some work that could only be done at the beach or an outdoor café with a fancy French name. We figured it would be a nice break from our normal routine before the holiday season got too hectic. The only writing I was planning on doing was checking boxes in the American Girl catalog, signing for room service and completing this review.
I requested a Lexus IS 350 to test-drive over to California and back. With two suitcases and two sets of golf clubs that fit easily in the trunk, we started our trip. The minute I sat in my firm-but-supple seat, I was hugged closely by the deep bolster construction. Now that’s the way to start a romantic weekend.
The ride was smooth, and the cabin was quiet, perfect for enjoying the Mark Levinson sound system that produced concert-quality entertainment. The separate temperature controls were awesome since I like to be “menopausally” cool and my husband is always hot. The legroom and headrest placement were perfect. Our conversations started to lighten up, so we turned off the phones, Facebook and emails for five hours and just relaxed.
I had the opportunity to test-drive the Lexus IS 350 sedan and the F Sport model in San Francisco earlier this year, both on a race track and through the streets of San Francisco. For this trip, however, we were simply taking a five-hour drive and in no particular hurry. Despite our laid-back driving decision, when we needed the speed to pass or merge, you could feel the power and hear the engine growl like a Barry White love song, leaving other vehicles in the dust.
The Entune navigation system was a welcomed comfort and comes standard on the IS. While getting navigation instructions, we were alerted to an accident and redirected off the freeway. We estimated that it saved us at least 40 minutes.
If you’ve never been to Newport Beach, it appears to be a town that is automobile-aficionado heaven. Wherever we went, a Maserati, Range Rover or Mercedes was in front of, next to or behind us. The nice thing about the Lexus vehicles, especially the IS 350, is that it fits in to any city or lifestyle. It is luxurious, sporty, performance savvy and family-friendly.