Black Enterprise 1998 SPRING AUTO GUIDE

Our Picks For The Vehicles This Season

class. Technology shows in such features as a new type of ABS that takes into account the roughness of the rood and tilt angle of the vehicle.

With extra luxury standard, prices will rise a few thousand to 546,370 plus options. But this large SUV can amaze in a number of ways. One small example: Despite bounding over rocks and launching over high-speed dips and bumps, it’s impossible to get the CD player to skip a beat. www.toyota.com

Lexus LX 470
There is a new ultimate sport utility vehicle on the market. The Lexus LX470 goes the former LX450 more than one better. An oil-new suspension system makes this one plush-riding SUV. Yet it still has the credentials of a truly solid truck.

A new V-8 engine is derived from the LS400 sedan, but built with even greater toughness. This is the only power plant of its type to ever go in an SUV. And the front independent suspension softens the ride while improving handling on any road- paved or dirt. If there is a sacrifice to be mode, it’s that front and rev locking differentials are no longer available. If you don’t know why you’d need them, chances ore you don’t.

This all-new vehicle gains separation from its sibling, the Toyota Land Cruiser, by adding more luxury than ever. For a price in the $50,000 range, you get more room and comfort than any other SUV in the class. Seating for eight and a standard equipment list that keeps going almost forever (in-dash six-CD changer, 250-watt stereo, buttery leather and automatic everything, just to start) make this the champion of frux-ury. www.lexus.com

Chrysler Town & Country
Chrysler has set the pace in the minivan business sine 1983. While others are working to catch up–and may offer better choices in some ways–Chrysler remains the innovator. So far, this is the only company committed to the idea of a luxury minivan. To accentuate the point, the company is bringing out the 1999 Town & Country early in an even more luxurious form.

Designed to be a step up from the LXi, the Town & Country Limited should also set new records for minivan pricing. The LXi is already $32,465 before options are added, so expect the price to hit the mid-$30,000 range with the Limited.

Exterior features for the new model include spoked chrome 16-inch wheels and chrome door handles, body color cladding and body color roof rack, and distinctive badging. Interior features available only on the Limited include upgraded leather seats in a taupe color, a new rear bench seat design with a fold-down center arm rest, higher seat backs and integrated head restraints, steering wheel radio controls, dual zone temperature control and 18-ounce carpeting and mats for a quieter, softer feel to the interior. Mechanically, the Limited remains the same as the standard Town & Country. www. chrysler.com

Lexus RX 300
If you like the fashion statement of an SUV, but would just hate to give up that smooth, comfortable ride and easy handling of your luxury sedan, Lexus

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