A good marriage is about compromise, and my marriage is better than most. When my wife, Karissa, suggested that we switch vehicles for a change, there was no counter-argument — all things considered, how could I stand in the way of a woman’s quest for luxury and higher fuel costs?
Anyway, this should explain my decision to veer off-brand with a review of my current daily driver, the 2008 Toyota Prius.
As anyone that knows me personally will attest, I have an enduring vocal love for our Prius. This is an iconic vehicle, changing the industry with a cost-effective hybrid drivetrain and optimal aerodynamic fastback design. The revolution is now in the rear-mirror, but there was a time when the second-generation Prius was unlike anything on the road.
Shortly after posting about the new Lexus Canada dash camera available in dealerships, I was contacted by their accessories group with an offer to install one in my IS 300 AWD. I agreed instantly, and just last week had it installed by Performance Lexus in Southern Ontario.
I did have a concern going into the install, in that the camera would be a possible obstruction while driving. This proved to be a non-issue, as the unit hides behind the rearview mirror:
Installation did take a couple hours — the passenger side A-pillar and part of the roof had to be detached to make way for the power cable:
My time to experiment with the camera has been limited, but the process of reviewing footage is interesting. Here is some footage on the default setting:
(There have been times in my life when a camera documenting my driving habits would be a bad idea, but fatherhood and a growing distrust of other drivers have turned me into a defensive and careful driver.)
More impressive is the amount of data that the unit recorded — GPS co-ordinates, speed, and even g-force can be reviewed using an app available for both computers and phones. Here’s the Mac software:
The entire setup is so well-integrated, and I could not be more impressed so far. I’m going to live with it a while longer before publishing a more detailed review, but early impressions are very positive.
(If this dash cam had been available last year when I picked up the IS 300, I likely would have used it to record our cross-country trip. Mounting a GoPro to the front windshield takes up a lot of real estate.)
This IS 300 AWD was made possible by the folks at OpenRoad Lexus Richmond, the premier Lexus dealership in British Columbia and a proud sponsor of Lexus Enthusiast.
In an effort to soften the blow of increased fuel costs and the gas-hungry nature of my 2017 Lexus IS 300 AWD, I have done the unthinkable. I have set my Drive Mode Select to ECO Mode exclusively for the past two weeks as an experiment.
As a reminder, ECO Mode smoothes out throttle response and acceleration while reducing overall air conditioning output, all to maximize overall fuel efficiency.
One of the real revelations of my Lexus IS 300 AWD has been the Safety System+ (LSS+) — safety is hardly the most exciting part of owning a car, but this is a set of features that have transformed the way I drive.
Last summer, my family travelled cross-country to pick up our new 2017 Lexus IS 300 AWD at OpenRoad Lexus in Richmond, British Columbia.
My wife Karissa and I have done the trip before, back in 2014. That time, it was a mad rush — colliding schedules made it necessary to bomb across the country in five days. It was an adventure, compressed.
This time, our daughter Pepper will be with us. Having turned 7 in June, Peppy has done car trips, but nothing on this scale. We plan on roughly 12 days to drive from the West Coast to the Great Lakes, though the timeline changes as we progress.
One idea I have is to document the entire trip using a GoPro suction-cupped to the front windshield. It’s impractical to record all the driving, so instead I set it to take a photo every 10 seconds.