IF I had a rand for every time I was asked "what's the best car to drive?" I would be sitting back in Mauritius with a Pina Colada in one hand, a fat Cuban cigar in the other and feeling the soft sand between my toes.
If I had to seriously consider the top vehicles around, the Lexus RS 450 hybrid would definitely come into the picture.
Normally when picking up a test vehicle of this calibre you get a sales pitch that can drag on for half-an-hour.
"Here's the key ... the vehicle speaks for itself," was all the representative from Lexus South Africa said.
And when it speaks, it's not in a loud voice but in a tone that reflects class and refinement.
The vehicle costs three-quarters of a million rand, possesses all the technology of a space shuttle and provides a ride that's as graceful as a hot air balloon.
The lovely cream leather seats feel so good you almost don't want to get out of them.
Everything is electronic, so you can set your driving position just right and programme it into the onboard computer and it will reset to those requirements when powering up the vehicle via its start/stop button.
Being a hybrid, it is a combination of battery and petrol motor and one thing that you notice immediately is how quiet the giant 3.5-litre V6 engine is.
The gear changes on the 6-speed automatic transmission are absolutely motionless.
There's no jerking or searching for gears - just one beautiful smooth ride as you clock up 100km in 7,8 seconds and a top speed of 200kmh is available if you are that way inclined.
It's an SUV with style and the onboard comforts are up there with the best.
There's a safety camera, cruise control, leather steering wheel and gear stick, multi-information display system in the central console along with one-touch power windows both front and back.
Special mention must be made of the Mark Levinson Audio System that comprises 15 speakers and is capable of storing six CDs. The sound that is produced is special.
Safety-wise the list is as long as an arm, but just briefly, there is TRC (traction control), EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) and VSC (vehicle stability control).
Topping all this off are the 19-inch aluminium mag wheels and smart entry system.
So if Mauritius is but a pipe-dream you can make the Lexus RS 450 a reality for just R769300!