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Toyota on the mend?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Just saw this.....

    I don't see any real styling merits to the Sonata. It's a Korean interpretation of a CLS, and Asian styling knockoffs are rarely beauties

    ....and OMG! I couldn't agree more! The Hyundai folks have done a totally typical Korean makeover of a good-looking European car here, with the usual results, and it BLOWS MY MIND that so many people think this car looks good. I thought it looked bad in pictures, then I went to the auto show and it looks even worse in person.

    Kinda gives Toyota a leg up, I think - makes their styling look a little better by comparison.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    every 328i comes with a little bit of ///M

    I disagree. If it doesn't have an M from the factory, adding a fake sticker is no different than a giant wing on a Civic.

    Lexus is trying to be two things at once

    On that I agree, but I think it could still work. It's just been a half-hearted effort so far. Great engines (Lotus-worthy) but no manuals to go with them. All-or-nothing suspension tuning, too.

    The next IS and GS are crucial, very crucial, to Lexus pleasing enthusiasts. And I'm not just talking about the F models, either.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's a Korean interpretation of a CLS

    The new twist is it brought the 4 door coupe look to the affordable segment, and sales have skyrocketed.

    OK, fintail says it's competing with dull cars, but look at the previous Sonata - and sales are up from that dull car, way up.

    Look at the Passat CC - no such success.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,884
    Enthusiasts will never give any respect to a luxury brand that is half full of Acura/Buicks

    If it were not for the wannabe SUV RX, that looks for all intents and purposes like a Faberge Egg, Lexus would not have much to brag about on the sales front. 63% of their sales are the RX and fancy Camry ES. Both vehicles prove there are a lot of old people out there with lots of money to waste.

    I am assuming that Lexus was trying to compete with the ML from MB when they built the RX a year later. I cannot come up with a single aspect the RX excels over the ML. I guess people buy them because they are CHEAP with a Lexus emblem.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    Compared to an ES, a standard E is like an AMG car. I don't know if I ever used the "poseur" label for ES drivers specifically, so I don't know how that applies... but the performance offerings of Lexus do fall short of the competition, which might be why Lexus falls so short of the competition in places where driving is more serious business, and why the brand has such a (deserved) bland stereotyped image.

    Plenty of brands have poseurs driving all models. I see plenty of [non-permissible content removed] trying to race around in likely leased IS models of various spec (but never an F of course, as these are like hens teeth) just as I see them in leased 328, A4, G37, and C300s. There's a certain demographic who buys such cars no matter the brand,especially here.

    One reason you might not see a fake F badge on a Lexus is few know the line even exists. It's not exactly dominating the worldwide tuned production car market like M/AMG/S-RS have done for eons.

    SLK has always been kind of a cruiser more than a real sports car either, other than the rare tuned variants...doesn't surprise me. It was never meant to be a Miata.

    Americans generally don't like hatchbacks, especially from weird brands.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    Yes, something less dull competes with very dull cars - and at the same time offers a big value proposition, so it sells. I don't see how this is a surprise.

    In 20 years people won't be looking back at it as a piece of great design. It's a knock-off with an uglier front.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    RX has become the "IT" vehicle for careless affluent women. Go to any botox clinic or other aesthetic maintenance facility, and will be like an RX club show. I think it predates the ML by a sliver of time, but guess what - as a Toyota Harrier.

    I think that entire segment are somewhat like Faberge eggs - RX/ML/MDX and so on. No thanks.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,884
    At least with an ML you can go off road without fear of it disintegrating into a thousand pieces. The ML has a much nicer feel out on the road. And the back seat I would sit in. I feel about sedans as you do about SUVs. Why would I want another sedan? Maybe when you get to be my age and it hurts getting out of low slung vehicles you will under stand. As far as looks, I agree, most of the SUV type vehicles are butt ugly. The X5 is maybe the least ugly. Still nothing to get excited about. My benchmark is still the older Audi Allroad. I would buy one in a minute with a diesel engine. A vehicle Lexus owners can only dream about.

    image
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    edited December 2010
    ML is more capable off road no doubt...but it will be more work to maintain. Lexus has nailed the target market for that car - they don't care about roadability, they want smooth, supple, and showy, and the RX nails it. It's like a designer handbag on wheels.

    If I wanted a SUV I'd be after a grey market diesel G-Wagen. Now that's an SUV.

    You'll need to go to evil socialist Europe to get a diesel Allroad. The ones sold here were very problematic. A co-worker of mine has one of the last ones sold here (they still make them for Europe) - likes it a lot, has had very few problems...but he tells me his mechanic tells him his car is miraculously good compared to most. I think the average Lexus owner would cringe or cry at the thought of fueling up at a stinky diesel pump :shades:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,884
    The G-wagon would be my first choice in a diesel as well. That is a real SUV for sure. The ARCO station I used for my Passat TDI and Sprinter RV, gave you plastic gloves to fill with diesel. Saved you from the sloppy truck driver that filled before you. There are two G-Wagons in my neighborhood. One is blinged out with the ugliest wheels you can imagine. I just cringe when I see those vehicles. Not worth a hoot off road or on our beat up roads. Driving the Lexus I do the slalom thing around all the potholes. I don't want to damage the suspension. I give the Sequoia a B grade handling potholes. Have not really given it an off road workout. I don't like getting too far off road when we are on a day trip with friends along. It is comfortable on dirt washboard roads. Slightly better than my Suburban was.

    I just like that size and looks of the older Allroad. Have never driven or owned one. It does not have that gawdy Audi radiator that I don't like. That kills the Q7 diesel for me.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    or other aesthetic maintenance facility

    "aesthetic maintenance facility" - nice turn of phrase. Must remember it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    fancy Camry ES

    You really hate the ES, eh? LOL

    Keep in mind the ES is built in Japan, and measured quality is higher than the Camry. It also gets a unique engine, interior, exterior, etc.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Compared to an ES, a standard E is like an AMG car

    That's not really fair - Lexus doesn't try to make the ES sporty. It's less sporty than their own Camry, intentionally.

    Some people want a big, comfy sofa.

    I agree more with criticisms against the IS and GS because those models ARE supposed to be sporty. They need better suspension tuning and more manual transmissions. Let's see how Lexus updates those.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In 20 years people won't be looking back at it as a piece of great design. It's a knock-off with an uglier front

    I think we'll look back and say this Sonata was a turning point for Hyundai.

    "Great" design? That's a mighty high standard to apply to a mainstream family sedan.

    Still, the Sonata will do for Hyundai what the original Taurus did for Ford. Interesting enough to draw attention, and a successful design as well.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At least with an ML you can go off road

    The original ML was body-on-frame, but isn't the new one softer, and now unibody? They softened it up to compete with ... guess who? The segment leader you hate.

    If you want an off road truck on that platform go for the new Grand Cherokee. Just be willing to accept that the stability control is as bad as the Lexus GX' used to be.

    You were critical of the Lexus GX, now the question is, would you give the Jeep a free pass for the same problem?
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,144
    Go all the way and get a Unimog!

    image
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Lexus has nailed the target market for that car - they don't care about roadability, they want smooth, supple, and showy, and the RX nails it. It's like a designer handbag on wheels.

    That formula worked, can we blame them? Lexus has maintained the #1 spot for how many years now? If it ain't broke....

    Also, doesn't M-B sponsor fashion week? They'd kill to steal all those designer handbag customers away from Lexus. An ML was never an enthusiast car anyway. No wonder the newer ML is less trucky and a lot more Lexus-like.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,884
    You really hate the ES, eh? LOL

    Yes, from day one. It replaced the best car Toyota ever built. The Cressida. It was the beginning of the end for a decent car company. The Camry may sell in the millions to those that do not know any better. It is still sub par to the Cressida. The dumbing down of the car market. My ex wife had a Cressida she loved. When she wrecked it the insurance company would not pay the price to get another one so she ended up with a Camry she did not like. I looked for a replacement the whole time we were married and no one wanted to sell their Cressida.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, that explains it.

    Cressida sales peaked in 1985 at about 45k sales. That's actually not bad volume, but the last generation only peaked at about half that rate, 24k sales in 1989.

    The Lexus ES is on pace to do about 47k sales this year, and has sold consistently well.

    If anything, the Lexus GS should perhaps be seen as the spritual successor to the Cressida, though, being RWD.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    GS is also expensive, anonymous, doesn't lead in virtually any category, and they sell dozens a year.

    Cressida could even be had with a 5-speed!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    But really,could a car be more bland? If Lexus really wants to compete with the big boys in terms of anything related to an active image, that car will do nothing but hinder.

    I'm not holding my breath on those updates. I don't know if I've ever even seen a current IS with a manual.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    I'm not the one saying it sells on styling merits, so yes I agree, calling it even good design is a mighty rich claim.

    Sonata will sell because it offers value. Undercuts the bland competition, has laudable engine technology. I see no praise of that design from any credible industry source. It's a poor man's CLS. If I want bad visibility and low rear headroom, I'll save my money and buy the real deal.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    Just because it sells doesn't mean it's good. It's another product that gives the brand a certain image.

    #1 spot in the US, don't forget that.

    I don't see MB making a vehicle exclusively for spoiled women. I'd take a soft new ML on an unpaved road before I'd even think about it in an RX.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    I'd like to be able to go highway speeds...but for the farm...there's nothing cooler than a Unimog :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The GS needs an identity, no argument there. It seemed like the 2nd gen actually was closer than the first or the current car.

    You can get an IS250 with a manual, but there's not enough engine there.

    Lexus should make the non-DI 2GR engine the base engine, and then the current 2GR-FSE the upgrade engine, and ditch the tiny 2.5l V6 altogether.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If I want bad visibility and low rear headroom

    Headroom is supposed to be surprisingly good.

    The Mazda6' is not, though. I had to duck to avoid bumping my head.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't see MB making a vehicle exclusively for spoiled women

    Stereotype much? Jeez.

    You must not be married.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    The officially imported G-wagen is a poser car, made for those with too much money and a lack of common sense. Europe has long received much cooler and more sensible variants.

    I dodge the endless poorly aligned manhole covers and ruts around here too, my car is too stiff for that...keeps me alert, too. The "big mouth bass" Audi look is here to stay,,,so you might not have to worry about that purchase for a long time.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    Where there's smoke there's fire...I'm sure I'm wrong as an absolute, but as a majority, not from what I can see.

    And yeah, I have problems, but that aint one of em.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,563
    GS barely exists - previous version seemed a lot more popular, and I want to say at one time the 6 could be had with a manual. Never cared for its looks, but it seemed a little more on target.

    You can get a Camry manual too, but good luck finding one.

    Engine technology is worth something in my book...maybe the better engine should be standard? Hyundai is really working their butts off in that arena...Toyota should too.

    Sonata must have low rear seats or an illusion that makes it look lower...which would kill visibility. Still, I don't care for it. I don't see a lot of the new 6 on the road around here...and I do see rentals too.
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