There are a few things you discover fast when you live in Atlanta. It gets hot here, really hot. We like our sweet tea cold. And our traffic is ridiculous—and not in a good way, so we want our cars to be comfortable. And one more thing. We love our tennis.
Recent statistics show there were 347-thousand tennis players in Atlanta last year.
That’s more than any other city in the country. And that’s despite our insane summer heat.
Our BB&T Atlanta Open offers world-class fun as part of the ATP tour and you can bet these tennis fans love seeing the professionals play.
They also love seeing the felt-covered Lexus on display as part of its sponsorship.
This year’s model is the 2015 NX 200t F Sport AWD. The vehicle is literally covered with the same felt they use to make tennis balls with. No joke.
I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to drive IT for a week, but I did get to test drive a Lexus IS 350 F Sport as part of the Lexus sponsorship of the event.
And let me tell you, this car is ideal for tennis players in this town.
What makes it so great? Well, there’s a list of things.
First, you don’t even have to get the key (technically the key fob since this car starts with the push of a button) out of your pocket or purse to get into the car. You can be carrying your tennis bag, shoes and cooler full of cold beverages and still get into the car just by touching the door handle. A sensor unlocks the car door automatically. Cool, right? I wish I could say the trunk automatically opens, too, but that’s not the case. There is a button in the driver console for that, along with the key fob, too.
Second, the driver and front passenger seats are ventilated…that’s the Lexus term for air-conditioned. And I have to say that’s really awesome. They’re heated, too, and that’ll be great for winter, but right now it’s hot and I got to try the AC seats and felt like I was sitting on blocks of ice. The first time I used it the sensation took some getting used to, but it absolutely was a welcome switch from the burning sensation I felt from sitting on to the super hot black leather. And it only took about a minute or so to feel the cool chill.
The air conditioning is pretty instant, too. And, the climate control just takes the swipe of a finger to make it work. Or, even cooler (pun intended), you can use the enhanced Bluetooth Technology for advance voice commands that takes a simple comment like ‘It’s really hot in here’ to automatically lower the temperature four degrees. That’s ideal in Atlanta.
You can find your next tennis match easily with the navigation system and even check on traffic issues with the industry-first subscription-free traffic. It offers up-to-date information for road congestion. There’s also a weather service that tells you about changing weather conditions on the main display.
The trunk is massive, so you can pack lots of tennis bags, racquets and whatever else you need. And if you run out of room there, the back seat is a 60/40 split that will fold down, increasing the cargo capacity.
Another advantage: the driver’s seat offers 10 different options for comfort, including lumbar support. If you have teammates along for the ride, the back seat offers lots of legroom. It’s considered a compact luxury sedan, but doesn’t feel compact at all. It does feel luxurious.
Of course, the performance of the Lexus is a given. It’s sporty, yet stylish. It’s classy and still fun to drive. The engine is a powerful and refined v6. And it has a whole lot more power than my tennis serve.
(Reader note: I was loaned the Lexus for a week to test drive for the sake of this review. The particular model I drove has a base price of $42,300 and $50,525 once the options and delivery fees were added. It gets 21MPG/19 in the city and 26 on the highway. This vehicle, shown in pictures above, is Atomic Silver.)