Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

4 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack,

For this past week our family was given a 2015 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring Sport Edition to review as a family.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

With us having just got back to Tennessee from our annual family vacation in Sacramento, where we reviewed a 2015 Toyota Camry, we decided to lay low this week.

Yet still, Saturday we managed to travel to midtown Nashville to visit the all new Baby+Co.; a spa-like place to give birth, sans the epidural.

Baby+Co. 10 FAQs & Walk Around Video (Nashville Location)

Then on Sunday we decided to trek to Franklin to see the iconic Natchez Parkway Bridge. You nor Mommy had ever been there; whereas I had last summer when I reviewed the 2015 Lexus NX.

While I had the camera rolling as you used the parking lot curb as a balance beam, you stopped in your tracks as you discovered a butterfly that had breathed its final breath.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

You were inspired to give it a proper (yet impromptu) funeral, so we did.

As we were getting ready to leave, after taking some family pictures, you were concerned:

“Where is the food? I thought there were nachos?”

I explained that the name of the place we were at was “Natchez”, not nachos.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

We are a family who essentially never goes out to eat; not only because we are vegan/vegetarian and our options are extremely limited, but also because we are Dave Ramsey followers and it’s difficult to justify weekly restaurant money when it could be going to our “new car” fund.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

However, you apparently caught Mommy and me at the perfect moment, because on the drive home Mommy discretely asked me, “Is there somewhere on the way home we might want to stop for lunch?”

Granted, I was happy to oblige; it would save me from dish duty.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

We saw a Chili’s coming up on the right. Mommy told me that she recently went to a Chili’s with Grandma and your Aunt Jenny while we were on vacation, and she was surprised how accommodating they were to her vegetarian lifestyle.

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So we turned into the Chili’s parking lot. They were so accommodating to my vegan and your and Mommy’s vegetarian requirements, that they actually had a whole page for “dietary restrictions” on their kiosk on the table.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

I’ll keep that in mind the next time we’re on a road trip…

Of course, I made a fun video about all this so you could see it all; along with my super catch jingle I made up, “Come along, in an Avalon…”

You and I also made a walk around video for the Avalon…

And of course I made a video for your 1st day of Pre-K, which also featured the car as well…

So it looks like even on a “lay low” week, we still managed to have a lot of fun!

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Despite living in Nashville since September 11, 2005, I had never been to the iconic Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge.

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Bridge

Fortunately, I was invited by Lexus to test drive their upcoming NX to it; serving as a perfect, and not to mention, beautiful, test drive.

Seeing the bridge in person somehow made me think of the setting of The Hunger Games

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

I enjoyed walking the trail leading underneath the bridge. My co-driver Jason Muxlow of Automotive Trends thought he lost me there for a minute after I disappeared while he was taking pictures of the NX as we were stopped at the scenic view parking lot.

As far as driving the Lexus NX for the test drive, the very first word that came to mind was “effortless”. I had nearly driven all the way back to the Union Station Hotel before thinking to myself, “Oh yeah, I’m driving a Lexus NX right now, and I have been for the past 30 minutes. Soak this in right now; this is a big deal.”

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

I mean that as a good thing. It’s like when I hear a good classic song, like “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins, for example. It takes me to a different place for a few minutes and it’s not until the song ends that I realize that escape itself is proof that I love it.

In case you’re wondering, the NX is a small sport-utilility vehicle, but it looks and feels like a sports-car.

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Obviously, the folks at Lexus make sure their vehicles provide a certain kind of experience. For me, and I have reviewed many Lexus vehicles by now, there’s this quiet, subtle power that comes with the experience of driving one.

I’m not the kind of guy who likes huge, loud, obnoxious, attention-stealing vehicles. Granted, every time I review a Lexus, I see people turning their heads and then trying to pretend they’re not once they see me catching them.

Something that I particularly appreciated about the Lexus NX is its size. I like that it feels lower to the ground, handles perfectly, and has the right amount of power.

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Usually I would close with some official stats on the car, but since the NX is still just a prototype, I can only give estimates.

According my notes taken during the “True Grit, Pure Grace” Lexus NX Press Premiere, the estimated cost of the vehicle will be “less than $40K.”

The targeted demographic is “men and women in their 30s and 40s who are single or married with young kids, having a combined household income of $130K.”

Estimated gas milage will be 22 city, 28 highway, and 24 average.

For the hybrid version, it will be 31 city, 35 highway, and 33 average.

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Some other features of the 2015 Lexus NX include the following:

-All new 2.0-liter, 235 horsepower turbocharged gasoline engine with a combination water-cooled cylinder head, integrated exhaust manifold and twin scroll turbocharger.

-All new six-speed automatic transmission networks with turbo engine and torque to demand ideal level of boost pressure for quick response for quick-response performance and fuel economy.

-G-Force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) system automatically selects optimum gear and downshift pattern in response to G-Force.

-Pre-loaded front differential (and yaw rate feedback control on proactive all-weather AWD versions) to ensure optimum grip, control, and agility.

-Wireless Charging Tray for compatible phones and devices.

-Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) with a touch pad and comprehensive Multi-information Display that features a G-Force meter and boost gauge.

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

I would also normally tell what my 3 year-old Jack said about the vehicle, but since he was at daycare while I did the test drive, he was unavailable for an interview.

All I know is that he’s looking forward to me officially reviewing it once it’s available to the general public sometime around November 2014.

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

That’s it for today! Thanks for reading my review/preview.

If you’ve enjoyed reading about the Lexus NX today…

And there’s plenty more where those came from…

I now invite you to view the Lexus NX Press Release Flickr page, as well as the completely library of posts I’ve published on the 2015 Lexus RX:

The “True Grit, Pure Grace” Lexus NX Press Preview In Nashville, TN

2015 Lexus NX Review/Preview Across The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge

Vegan Review Of The Farm House In Downtown Nashville

2015 Lexus NX 200t: 10 Professional Photos

2015 Lexus NX 300h: 11 Professional Photos

2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport: 13 Professional Photos

Luxury Package of 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport: 7 Professional Photos

2015 Lexus NX: A Flickr Link To Professional Photos

Thanks for stopping by. Be on the look-out for more of my reviews on the Lexus/Toyota/Scion family!