Lexus Encore Platinum review
Lexus takes ownership benefits to the next level with new “Encore Platinum”.
We all know 2020 has been glum. However, there’s some good news if you’ve purchased a new Lexus LC, LS, LX, RC F or GS F this year. First of all, congratulations on your purchase and second of all, things are about to get a bit better.
Lexus has just launched another tier in its Encore owners’ program – Lexus Encore Platinum. It adds a number of new benefits including Caltex fuel discounts and free valet parking at selected locations around Australia.
That’s on top of existing benefits like:
- Free loan cars
- Luxury experiences
- Perks at partnering hotels
- Lexus drive days
Some nice bonuses to have alongside Lexus’s already-stellar after-sales care.
We got to live the high life of a Lexus owner for the day and here are our thoughts.
Lexus has launched another tier to its no-cost Encore owners’ benefits program, branded “Encore Platinum”.
Included in the membership, there are some incredible extras like Lexus On Demand, which allows you to book a Lexus of your choosing for up to eight days. Additionally, you can save money on fuel at Caltex, get free valet parking at selected locations and enjoy exclusive money-can’t-buy experiences.
Membership will be backdated to vehicle purchases made after 1 January 2020.
All in all, 2020 is a good time to be a new Lexus owner.
How do I access the perks?
The Encore app is where the magic happens. In terms of ease of use, it is quite straightforward and it allows you to access the deals simply. In the app, you’ll see the number of bookings and redemptions you have remaining. You can also book loan vehicles directly, all from one convenient place.
Scrolling through the cars available for the Encore program, you’ll see it is quite comprehensive – a vehicle is present for any occasion.
Say you own an RC F and are keen to go camping, you might need something with a bit more space for gear (or the family), so you could jump into something larger like an LX 570.
Or suppose you own an LX and want something a bit more sporty for a road trip or drive day, within the app you can scroll through the cars that are available on your chosen date and book the vehicle right there and then.
The Lexus Encore experience
As part of the Encore program, there are a number of experiences available to you as well as extra perks – for instance a bottle of wine on arrival at partner resorts.
Lexus states it has already hosted 25 golf days with professional Dimitrios Papadatos, as well as a number of virtual fitness classes run by rugby league star, Anthony Minichiello.
Our Encore Platinum experience
We took part in a Lexus drive day event where we got behind the wheel of the massive Lexus LX 570. As part of the Encore program, the vehicle was conveniently delivered to us at home the night before.
The LX 570 we were given ordinarily costs $146,636 plus on-roads. However, given that this is Lexus’s premium Platinum membership, it wasn’t just a standard model. It also had the $18,800 Enhancement Pack equipped. The optional pack brings loads of cushy features to the already high-end SUV, like 21-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated and cooled outboard centre row seats, semi-aniline leather trim and $1,500 worth of premium paint.
Even though we are well into winter, it turned out to be stunning weather for our drive. The driving route saw us head down the winding roads, through the bush and past the various hiking tracks of the Royal National Park to the clear and secluded Garie Beach, before turning around and doing that jaunt in reverse. While the LX 570 doesn’t seem like the most obvious choice for a trip like this, it really can hunker down and become a different car when flipped into Sport+ mode.
For a trip like this you could opt for a more sporty option too, like the LC 500, RC F or GS F if they are available on the dates.
Are there limits on the loan cars?
Loaners are limited to a maximum of eight days at a time and over the course of the three-year membership, you will be able to borrow four cars in total.
After the run to Garie Beach, we headed to Westfield Bondi Junction where we whisked through to the handy valet parking area. It was a godsend because we were famished so were free to race upstairs for lunch without having to spend precious time hunting for a car spot!
Where is valet parking available?
Valet parking can be redeemed at the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Victoria and select Westfield shopping centres, for up to three hours. There is also no need to book in advance, simply show up with your Encore Platinum app and you’re set.
This can be redeemed up to eight times during your three-year membership.
The evening ended with an unreal dinner in Campbells Cove – the site of Lexus’s first ever vehicle photoshoot – hosted by chef and restaurateur, Neil Perry. Dinner included some signature Neil Perry Japanese seafood dishes, paired with a matching wine.
Now, I am not normally a seafood person and would ordinarily opt for something else on the menu, but these sumptuous dishes blew my mind. They were mouth-wateringly delicious.
Dining in private igloos (to maintain social distancing) it was a genuinely memorable meal and an experience I will never forget. The great thing for Encore Platinum members is they have access to all these perks throughout the course of their membership.
Can you see yourself dining here?
After the dinner, Lexus then chauffeured all in attendance home. We were lucky enough to land one of the Lexus LS models, which is about as plush as it gets.