The Lexus LC500

Post by Mark

Since the weather is getting better I’m going to be reviewing cars again, mostly because there are a bunch of new cars I’ve been wanting to try. The Lexus LC500 was one of them, I hadn’t seen many on the road, maybe just two or three this past year and so it had always intrigued me. So I got in touch with the dealer and they lent me the car for five days to enjoy.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice how gorgeous this car is, it has an incredible rear end that looks like something from the future. As soon as I drove the car out of the dealership I could feel people checking out the car, and I really think its because of its futuristic look. The dealer used to have a yellow LC500 on display and before picking up the test drive car I was praying I wouldn’t end up with it. Luckily I got the best color combination I could have hoped for, a dark grey exterior with a maroon and black interior. The dark grey color helped with the futuristic look and made it super photogenic in front of the camera.

The LC500 has a 5.0L V8 engine sending 471HP to the rear wheels with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The car is pretty fast but what caught me off-guard the most was the exhaust sound. When you put the car into sports mode it starts sounding like an American muscle car, it was very un-Lexus like which is why I loved it. Sadly the soundproofing on the Lexus is so good, you really need to lower your windows to fully appreciate the sound. Lexus is still going to be Lexus and so the interior of the LC500 was, of course, comfortable, super quiet and just a wonderful place to be in. I had the car for five days and I just felt so chill driving it around. Even though Lexus are marketing the LC500 as a sports car (at least locally), it didn’t feel like one and I didn’t drive it like one. For me, the LC500 is a car that would take me from point A to B in style and comfort. Other than the infotainment system (more on that in a bit), the interior of the car is a fantastic place to be in during traffic. The car also comes standard with a lot of features like pre-crash safety system, lane keeping assist, dynamic radar cruise control, parking assist, a smart entry and start system, as well as a pretty kick-ass Mark Levinson sound system with 13 speakers.

But, like other Lexus’s, the LC500 has one major flaw and it’s the infotainment system. The interface not only looks outdated but is outdated without having modern features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. If that wasn’t bad enough, the way you interact with the infotainment system is extremely clumsy using their touchpad which isn’t very intuitive, responsive nor practical when driving. I hated it. It’s really the only major issue I had with the car but one that would most likely drive me mad if I had to interact with it on a day to day basis. If all you want from your infotainment is to stream music via Bluetooth, then you’re going to be fine with a Lexus. But, if you want a visually pleasing interface that will run apps from your phone, you’re going to be extremely disappointed.

The Lexus LC500 starts at KD32,000 which I find mind-boggling because the car looks like it’s worth so much more. It really is a very hot looking car which is why I’ve been so eager to drive one. If you’re interested in test driving the LC500 yourself, the dealership has a car available. For more information, check out the LC500 product page on the Lexus Kuwait website [Here]

On a side note, I have a quick question. What do you want more from these car posts? I generally don’t try to go into too many details since I know a lot of people aren’t into cars, but what else would you want to see? Would a video walk around of the car and interior be something you’d like to see for example? Let me know in the comments.

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The Emergency Lane Tragedy

Post by Mark

I’ve been complaining about the emergency lane rules ever since they were announced a few years ago. I think they’re just too complicated and didn’t make sense, either convert the emergency lane into a regular lane or keep it as it is.

Does anybody here actually know what are the hours you’re allowed to use the emergency lane in?

a) 6AM to 10PM
b) 6AM to 10PM only in case of traffic congestion
c) 6:30AM to 9AM into the city and 12:30PM to 3:30PM out of the city
d) 6AM to 9AM and 12:30PM to 3:30PM
e) None of the above

I actually don’t know the answer since I’ve posted all the above previously on the blog. Maybe none of the above are right since the timings could have changed and I wouldn’t know.

Recently the sister in law of a friend of mine got into an accident. I’ve met her a few times since she helped out on the blog a few years ago, a super nice person. She was on the highway with her 4-month-old daughter and nanny when she felt something was wrong in the car, so she pulled into the emergency lane and stopped. A car speeding in the emergency lane (max speed is meant to be 45km) crashed into her car killing her daughter and sending her and the nanny to the hospital. Such a horrific incident.

This sometimes it’s an emergency lane and sometimes it’s not is just a confusing and stupid mess. Either convert the lane to a regular lane or leave it an emergency lane. I don’t understand why they’re being so timid. This accident has caused an outcry in the media and hopefully, they’re going to solve this before any more lives are lost.

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The All-New 2018 Jeep Wrangler

Post by Mark

Although it doesn’t look like it, the Wrangler pictured above is the all-new 2018 version that’s been completely redesigned. It was released in the States earlier this year and since then I’ve been eagerly waiting for it to come to Kuwait so I can test drive it.

I finally did last weekend when I was given the Wrangler Sports edition to test drive for the weekend. It may not look that different on the outside, but I can tell you the new Wrangler is vastly different from the previous generation. Although the outside looks pretty identical to the previous generation, every panel was actually completely redesigned. You just can’t tell unless you put the old model side by side with the new one. Where you will notice major changes is in the interior.

The interior is where the new Wrangler has really improved. I owned the second generation Wrangler and I’ve rented the third generation one a few times so I’ve had a lot of experience with the previous models. The new fourth generation Wrangler is easily the most comfortable and featureful version yet. Even though I had the entry level Wrangler it was still packed with comforts. The interior felt more car-like than ever with a large touchscreen that had Apple CarPlay, keyless start, a reverse camera with probably the best quality footage I’ve seen on a reverse camera yet, USB and USB-C ports all around, AC power plugs, and because I had the 4-door version, there were rear AC vents, a feature I know a lot of previous 4-door owners wish they had.

One of the things I loved about the new Jeep was how solid and well-built everything felt. From the feel of the door to the rattleless interior, the Jeep felt well put together, much more than the previous models. Everything felt more premium including the steering wheel which felt great to hold.

A friend of mine wanted to collect rock samples from Mutla’a so I volunteered to drive them out there in the Wrangler. It was a long drive and the Jeep was fairly comfortable with the AC managing to keep the car cool in the very hot weather. The Sports edition I had doesn’t come with any roof padding which would have helped even more with the cooling as well as the wind noise. The wind noise was surprisingly pretty bad, I would have figured Jeep would have managed to improve that by now but looks like they haven’t. It’s actually my biggest complaint about the car. My other complaint would be with the suspension which I found too hard, I was feeling every crack in the road to the point I thought maybe the tires might have been overinflated (they weren’t).

There are three Wrangler editions at the moment, the entry level one is the Sports edition, you then have the Sahara edition which is more feature equipped and finally the Rubicon which is their top of the line model. The engine is the same in all three, a V6 3.6L which I found to be pretty punchy, it made my FJ feel very slow and heavy. Both the Sahara and Rubicon models have a larger touchscreen in the center console and a lot more USB and USB-C ports scattered around the car amongst other options like leather seats, roof headliner with insulation, LED lights and more. The new Wranglers start at KD10,850 but my personal preference would be the Rubicon model pictured above. It has a lot more options than the Sports version including a better suspension, larger tires, and more aggressive look. But it also costs KD15,999 which makes it a lot more expensive than the entry-level model.

If you’re interested to test drive the new Wrangler you could drop by their showroom and book an appointment or get in touch with them on instagram @jeepkuwait_

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Everyone Needs a Battery Booster!

Post by Mark

I’ve already posted about my portable lithium jump starter before but now that I’ve used it so much I can’t emphasize how important it is to have one in your car.

Lithium jump starters are small lithium battery packs that you connect to your car’s battery when dead to help restart the car. Just this week I used my booster to jump start four different cars, one for a friend and the other three were complete strangers. It’s so easy and quick to use, the whole process from me asking if they need help to me jump starting their cars takes around 2-3 minutes.

If you don’t have one in your car you should really consider getting one, check out my previous post with more details [Here]

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Where to get a dashcam from

Post by Mark

I’ve been using a dashcam now for four years and even though I haven’t caught anything interesting yet, I still would recommend people have one installed in their cars. Dashcams are small video recorders you mount on your front windshield and they record everything that happens in front of your car. They’re great for capturing accidents that aren’t your fault and are used in a lot of countries for insurance purposes.

The other day while visiting A-Store in Shuwaikh I noticed they were selling a bunch of different dashcams including the brand Aukey. Their prices were more expensive than Amazon but if you don’t want to go through the hassle of ordering from Amazon then they might be a good choice.

Their store is in Shuwaikh across from Tilal [Google Maps] but they have the cameras listed on their online store which you can check out [Here]

If you know of any other places in Kuwait that sell dashcams, let me know.

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The All-New 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Post by Mark

Even though the local Mercedes is changing ownership starting January 1st, the current dealer is still getting new cars. The completely redesigned 2019 G-Class is now available in Kuwait and the prices are as follows:

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class G500 – from 43,000 KWD
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class G63 – from 55,000 KWD

They currently have one on display in their AMG showroom if you want to check it out in person, but their whole stock is currently sold and so they’re only taking preorders.

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Zaid Ashkanani Placed 2nd in Porsche Supercup

Post by Mark

Yesterday, Kuwaiti race car driver Zaid Ashkanani scored a second-place victory at the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 2018. The race took place on the Belgian GP Spa track, the same track the Formula 1 race took place on yesterday. Zaid is now 6th place in the overall rankings.

I couldn’t find any articles online with more details on the race but you could watch the start of the race above (he’s in the grey and white Porsche starting in 4th place) and make sure you check out his instagram @zaidashkanani

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Pre-Owned Ferrari Cars

Post by Mark

The local Ferrari dealership is currently running a campaign this week on their Ferrari approved range of pre-owned cars. I passed by their showroom yesterday and they’ve basically removed all their new vehicles and replaced them with pre-owned Ferrari 488’s, Californias, FF’s and even the incredible GTC4Lusso I just recently test drove.

One of the biggest advantages of buying a Ferrari approved car other than getting an extra two years warranty is that the cars have to go through a 190+ point check by the dealership. Any issues that pop up during this check have to be repaired before being given the certification by Ferrari to be allowed to be sold to their customers. So you’re getting a car that’s basically new.

If you don’t have time to pass by the dealership, they have all their pre-owned cars uploaded online and you can check them out [Here]

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Why aren’t people removing these stickers?

Post by Mark

I keep seeing more and more of these stickers on cars, if you hadn’t noticed them before you will now. Do you still have this sticker on your car?

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Paint your Car Wheels with a Home Service

Post by Mark

Three years ago I posted about how I plastidipped parts of my FJ Cruiser. Plastidip is non-permanent paint which you can just peel off to revert back to the original color. I had plastidipped various parts of my car and the paint had survived pretty well except on my wheels where it started to peel off (pictured below) and look gross. I needed to get my wheels permanently painted but that meant I had to find a paint shop and then keep the car with them for a few days which I didn’t have time for.

Then, last week, I found out a friend of mine started a new business called Dr Dent. He sent me the profile over instagram and I half-jokingly told him what I was interested in was a service where they could come take my FJ wheels, get them painted and then drop them back off to me. My friend told me that was a service they actually offered and it would be done at my place without having to take the wheels away. After a bit of back and forth of me trying to confirm I had understood him correctly, I called them up and booked an appointment.

Dr Dent offer a number of services that include dent, windshield and wheel repair, as well as wheel painting. They came over in their large van which has a built-in paint shop and started work right away. They first took off the wheels from my car, prepped them by removing the old plastidip, and then cleaned them up before taking the wheels one at a time into their paint booth to get painted. I had requested ahead of time to get the wheels painted in the Toyota TRD bronze color, so they got the paint code and mixed the paint for me before coming over.

It was incredibly convenient, I just gave the guys my car keys, got into my Lotus and headed to Avenues to do some shopping while they worked on my car.

The cost of this service varies from car to car depending on the size of the wheel and if there is any damage (like deep scratches from swiping a curb) that need to be fixed but the maximum it would cost to repair or/and paint a wheel is KD50. So if you’re looking for a convenient way to get your wheels painted or repaired, you can check Dr Dent out on instagram @drdentkw

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