For over two decades Markham’s Stanley Ko and his wife, Margaret Lui, have wanted a Lexus.
As a technology projects program manager for York Region’s community and health services department, Ko’s role required a fair amount of driving. Despite mainly working from home these days, the family still rely on their vehicles to get around. While they also have a Toyota Prius Prime, it’s the SUV that’s the preferred mode of transport.
Although the couple owned a GS before they had children, they opted for a more sensible Toyota Sienna with the birth of their kids, then downsized to a 2015 Nissan Rogue as their daughter and son became older. Now that their kids are 19 and 17, respectively, Ko found himself considering yet another upgrade for a very special reason: his and Lui’s 20th wedding anniversary.
Knowing that Lui prefers driving an SUV because it’s higher off the ground, Ko kept his purchase of the 2022 Lexus NX350 a secret in hopes of surprising Lui. Initially slated as a Christmas gift, Ko put in his order at Lexus of Lakeridge last October. However, due to delays in shipment the vehicle arrived shortly after, with Liu securing the NX350 on New Year’s Eve, still making it within the couple’s anniversary year. He tells us why he loves their vehicle.
“Owning a Lexus has always been on our wish list,” said Ko, who is the preferred driver when he and Lui are both riding in the vehicle. “Almost every vehicle we’ve owned has been within the Lexus and Toyota brand because of its reliability. Since we couldn’t go anywhere to celebrate our anniversary, I thought I’d get a new car for her.
“I had so many criteria. If I was going to replace a car for my wife, it couldn’t be too big or too small; it had to be a four-wheel drive SUV, so this stood out. I chose this model after a lot of research. It’s a 350 turbo with luxury trim – it’s the entry level but only about five to six thousand dollars more than a fully loaded RAV4. Besides being reliable and safe, I learned that the NX was coming out with a new generation, and everything from the exterior to interior design was new.
“My dealership helped me get the car in three months, which I really appreciated – my sales rep told me this was probably the first shipment to arrive in Canada! I know others who’ve had to wait four to six months for their cars. And since you can only view videos or pictures of the new NX350’s interiors on YouTube or in the brochure, most people ask me about its touch and feel, the multimedia 14-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and how it responds. In the first week of having it, my wife has also caught other Lexus and NX drivers around us looking at our car because this was probably the first NX350 in Markham or Richmond Hill.”
“It delivers on everything that I read and expected,” said Ko. “The cabin is super quiet because they put in thicker acoustic glass on the front windshield and the side windows. They also enhanced the engine and transmission. When I’m sitting behind the wheel, I can feel how smooth the transmission and suspension are when I’m driving to the point that I can’t believe that I’m going over a bump.
At the time of this interview Ko admits to only have driven 250 kilometers, but he has plans for the new ride.
“One of the biggest hobbies my family has is travelling, especially taking road trips in our own car. We travelled a lot before the pandemic. My kids always travelled with us and enjoyed spending long hours in the car even when they were tiny. They’d buckle in and never complained.
“We’ve driven from Toronto down to Yellowstone National Park, Boston, and Miami. Last year, during the lockdown we went up to Timmins, Ont. because we couldn’t go to the States. Work is getting busy, but that doesn’t stop me from planning our next trip to San Antonio, Texas with the car. I expect the NX350 will be a lot more comfortable than the Rogue because of the craftsmanship and ridership.
“My son is really excited about the car because he just got his G2. When he tried the car out on the first day, he said that it’s like a new concept to him because it operates differently than what he’s learned; from how to open the door to how to put the gear shift into drive, and so on. I mean, they made so many major changes to how drivers should experience a car in this model.
“With all the safety features and the technology on the Lexus, the driving experience will be more superior than before. I’m not saying that the Nissan is not good, but I’m sure that the Lexus has a better rating on it. I feel that Toyota did a great job.”
This article was edited for space and clarity. Want to be featured in Why I Love My Vehicle? email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renée S. Suen is a Toronto-based lifestyle writer/photographer and a freelance contributor for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @rssuen
A CLOSER LOOK: 2022 Lexus NX350 Luxury Trim
“First of all, it’s the brand name of the manufacturer,” said Ko. “Both my wife and I loved the Lexus when it first came out over 20 years ago, but I couldn’t really afford one that was brand new. For us, the brand is synonymous with craftsmanship, reliability, and value. This all new NX model is still assembled in Japan. A few media sources mentioned that in the next year, they will be manufactured at the Cambridge, Ont. plant. My previous 2007 Camry Hybrid and current 2020 Prius Prime are both assembled in Japan.”
“Blue is my wife’s favourite colour,” said Ko. “She’s crazy about blue. The colour of the SUV is a light blue called Grecian Water, which definitely matches what she likes. It’s hard to get a car with this colour unless you special order it. I special ordered this one from Japan, but I do expect to see more of them on the road because it’s a very pretty colour.”
ATTRACTIVE NEW FEATURES
“I love that this NX generation debuts with Lexus’ Safety System+ 3.0 features,” said Ko. “Among them is the Oncoming Pedestrian and Bicycle Detection, panoramic moonroof, and heated and ventilated seats. Those are the key things that my wife looks for in a car. I’m glad that this model has what she needs and is made with this colour for her. “