Not all luxury brands will admit that driver assistance is a priority, not something that requires additional packages or higher trim levels. Lexus is an exception. Cars made after 2020, even the cheapest of the Lexus brand, offer the most critical driver aids on every one of their vehicles.
Luxury shoppers should not have to pay a penny extra for adaptive cruise control or automatic emergency braking. Lexus clearly knows this and makes these and other vital equipment standard across the lineup. It’s part of their smart-pricing model to be sure, but that doesn’t make it any less vital to the buyer.
The first and most important driver assistance is forward collision avoidance. Lexus uses enhanced radar that looks for bicyclists, and pedestrians as well as stopping traffic. Should the vehicle turn left of an oncoming car or left or right in front of an oncoming pedestrian or biker, the system can provide a warning and, if needed, even automatically brake.
This seems basic these days, and it ought to be standard on every luxury ride in the new car marketplace. Some luxury manufacturers may argue that their system is the better one, but it seems as if the best emergency braking system is the one you have, not the one you can’t afford.
Another expected standard is lane assistance. Lexus steering assist can take corrective measures should the vehicle begin to veer into other lanes of traffic. The driver will feel a slight tug on the steering wheel to put the car back into the center of the correct lane. This type of proactive assistance is meant to prevent the situations that lead to terrible accidents.
This feature can be active while cruise control is being used, to help prevent lane drifting. When used with adaptive cruise control, the system can keep the vehicle centered with less input from the driver.
Luxury car dealerships aren’t going to tell people when this system is missing from the standard package. It’s up to shoppers to be vigilant and demand to know why the price is so high and such vital equipment is missing.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
With Lexus’ Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, the driver inputs both a pre-set speed and following distance. This allows the vehicle to meet the twin goals of maintaining the highest speed while also staying a safe distance away from the vehicle ahead.
Should the car get too close to a leader vehicle, the throttle will automatically reduce, and the brakes may even be applied if necessary. Then, the Lexus will return to its pre-set speed once the area ahead is safe.
Truly Basic Equipment
There are some other basics that it just seems like every luxury car should have at its initial price point. Automatic high beams raise and lower the light level while allowing the driver to keep their hands on the steering wheel. This ensures adequate light at night, protects other drivers from being blinded by high beams, and keeps the driver’s stress level down.
Another Lexus basic is road sign assistance. Sure we’ve done without this for some 110 years, but that doesn’t mean we should go without it now. The system lets you know about important road signs. This ensures that the driver doesn’t miss critical notices, especially speed limit information.
The joy of a luxury car is ruined if you get your new ride home and discover today’s latest technologies weren’t included. Lexus is smart to lead the way toward standardizing these systems. It is a shame that certain luxury manufacturers refuse to include these things in their high prices.
Safety isn’t the number one reason that people shop for luxury brands. However, you can bet that those same shoppers would be horrified if they realized what the high pricetags were denying them. Now that this driver assistance is available, it really should be as important as the hand-stitched leather upholstery in any luxury ride.