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Is Lexus The Standard of the World?

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  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    offers as much technology as Lexus, to the dismay of a lot of people. Some technology, like swivel headlights made it to BMW first. Other technologies have made it to Lexus first.

    There is no one standard of world, it depends on what you are look for. Different manufacturers excel at different things.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Until recently, Lexus eschewed some of the more advanced(and problematic) technologies that the Germans embraced.
    The Germans have learned how to make the technology work,and have more reliable cars to show for it.
    Lexus is currently learning those lessons.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,670
    I see plenty of older late 80's Merc's & Bimmers on the road.

    The old MBs I see are almost all diesels, which seem to come out of the woodwork at the first sign of high gas prices. Here in Dallas, there are very few 80s BMWs, and I know they sold a ton of them here at the peak of the yuppie 'thing', so they don't seem to have survived well.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    What do you mean ? Are you saying that the europeans have more advanced and reliable "gadgets" in their automobiles than Lexus ????? :surprise: I think some would argue with you on that topic.

    -Rocky
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Not to respond for Volvomax, but perhaps you are confusing "gadgets" with "technology".

    I would contend that, until recently, Lexus was pitifully behind other "premium" brands in engine technology. The dinosaur 4.5 liter V8 that they used in the LX450 was just one example. About 12 years old when it was retired, it had 4.5 liters of displacement, a weakling 230hp and crappy gas mileage. Most of their other engines were simply Toyota engines that dated, in some cases, back to the 1980's with modest changes. If you look at BMW's valvetronic technology development or Honda/Acura's V-tech engine development, Lexus engines were an embarassment by comparison. Give BMW 4.5 liters and they will snap your head back with acceleration, Lexus could barely make it up a hill.

    Lexus seems to have always focused upon gadgetry and sexy interiors to distinguish themselves. But underneath, you were buying a pretty engineeringly uninspired Toyota. Engines and suspensions were hardly state of the art, unless compared to Buick - and then just barely so. That may be changing, but Lexus milked the market to make the most by offering the least as far as serious innovation and technology throughout the 1990's and early 2000's. And I don't count a car that parallel parks itself as "serious" technology.

    I'll give them business credit where due. When Lexus came on the scene, reliability among top European brands was an issue - and their opportunity. But today, with Porsche displacing lexus as #1 on JD Powers and BMW having vastly improved reliability, the competitive marketplace has changed. I know several people who would never have purchased a BMW in the 1980's due to reliability, but would now not "compromise" driving dynamics by buying a Lexus, given BMW's improvements.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    First of all, one can't compare a truck engine to a car engine. Please show me a BMW truck engine then we'll compare them further. Lexus has treated the LX and GX as serious off-roading "trucks" which should not be mistaken with the "crossovers" that BMW produced.

    I would beg to differ that Lexus has always lagging in the engine technology. When the GS400 was first introduced it may not be the best handling midsize luxury car out there but one thing for sure is it could smoke about any other sedans except the factory tuned ones.

    Handling was never Lexus' strong suit but the they did introduce a great handler, the IS300, to compete with the 3-series. Many agreed that the handling aspect of the IS300 is on part with the E46 and with a stronger engine it could be a legit 3-killer. How did the buying public react to the IS300? The IS300 was a magazine comparo darling but just dead awful on the sales chart. Due to that lesson Lexus smartly went back to its traditional philosophy with the new IS350/250. One thing Lexus good at is knowing what do its customers want and they deliver.

    BMW scrambled to drop 2 turbos into the I6 after Lexus debut the 2GR-FSE with the IS350. I am glad I choose the IS350 over the first year 330i, otherwise I would have been pissed. The tide has turned, Lexus is on par with the Germans among engine technology and other areas. It still holds the lead in reliability and the only area that it's lagging is handling. Maybe it'll never be BMW but I think give them time they'll at least match MB.

    Oh, by the way, you do know that BMW dropped the valvetronic on the twin-turbo I6 right?

    PS. The LX450 was last sold on the market as a new model around '96 to '97. That's almost 12 years ago. Please show me a BMW V8 engine (not M-tuned) around that time that can "snap my head back with acceleration".
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Japanese use gadgets to make the car easier to live with. Germans want more performance, or dynamic abilities.

    BMW is building high tech sports cars, with luxury features added-on, for wealthy people, whether they can drive (manual) or can't drive.

    I don't expect Lexus to build BMW-level performance cars. They shouldn't mention BMW at all, as they have a totally different mission, and customer base, in life.

    Lexus' use of technology is more often applied to reducing engine vibration, seat design, ergonomics, impact absorption, aerodynamics, durability of components, and actual luxury features. It shows whenever you sit in a Lexus.

    BMW's investment in chassis design, engine technology, weight distribution, weight reduction, suspenion tuning, and braking systems show up when you drive a BMW.

    Apples and Oranges. Coddling or excitement. Both have a successful formula, but crossing the two, in any sense, doesn't make much sense to me.

    I'll never see a BMW as luxurious. And may never see a "fun" Lexus.

    You'll get your money's worth, either way. ;)

    DrFill
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    That is not what I am saying.
    Japanese manufacturers have traditionaly been risk adverse when it comes to new technology.
    Now, Toyota is pushing that new technology and is paying the same price that other motor companies have paid.
    There is a learning curve.
    Since the Germans started sooner, they are further along the curve right now.
  • You realize that that JD Power Rating you are talking about is INITIAL quality. Your claims for the reliability of Porsches is a real joke. Reliability has never been a premium with the Euro brands, and needless German complexity and overengineering results in expensive repair opportunities. It's a real testimony to the dynamic and subjective qualities of German cars that people still buy them, as their reliability is frankly terrible. Practical people would buy Japanese.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You realize that that JD Power Rating you are talking about is INITIAL quality. Your claims for the reliability of Porsches is a real joke.

    And you realize that, going back 20 years, there are proportionally more 911's still on the road than virtually any other make/model of car sold in the US, according to the WSJ (using US sales/registration statistics). Lexus wasn't even around back then, but when I checked the stats on my old 1984 Toyota Supra, it was pitifully behind the 911 (approximately 40% still registered, compared to 80%+/-, if I recall correctly). The best US models I saw were the Corvette and Ford pick up truck, both around 50%.

    The issue with older Porsche's isn't reliability as much as the cost of routine maintenance. Many US buyers, if they had their preference, would wait until something breaks, rather than pay extra for preventative maintenance. Then they claim, "it isn't reliable". Toyota fought with customers over their well known sludging problem, claiming they didn't chainge the oil frequently enough.

    BMW has tackled part of that problem by including maintenance in the purchase price. My 2005 911's first scheduled service was at 2 years/20k miles. I couldn't wait, so I spent $250 for an oil change and inspection after 1 year (thanks to 9.5 quarts of Mobil 1 and a $60 filter).

    Given that every car I've ever purchased from 1978 to 2005 was Japanese, you are preaching to the choir about practicality. And my 2002 Honda S2000 was a decent competitor to the 2002 Boxster at 60% of the price. But if you check into it, there is a reason why the 911 is 40+ years old as a model. They rarely break.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    "And you realize that, going back 20 years, there are proportionally more 911's still on the road than virtually any other make/model of car sold in the US, according to the WSJ (using US sales/registration statistics)."

    This does not surprise me, because 911's are not something most people drive every day!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Lexus has treated the LX and GX as serious off-roading "trucks" which should not be mistaken with the "crossovers" that BMW produced.

    Puleeze, give me a friggen' break. You are more likely to see a Bigfoot on a logging road than an LX or GX. The GX just happened to be redesigned in 2005 to have a gross vehicle weight of 6,001+ lbs so that it could be written off by all of the lawyers, doctors and investment advisors that needed to "off road" their way to the office.

    The term "crossover" shouldn't be used to disparage BMW, Acura, and others from recognizing that you could produce a far superior handling vehicle for the way 99% of Lexus SUV's are being used. And, by the way, the SUV that won the big "off road" challenge a couple of years ago by 4-Wheel Drive magazine - the Porsche Cayenne. But I digress....

    The LX450 was last sold on the market as a new model around '96 to '97. That's almost 12 years ago.

    Yes, Lexus rebadged the LX450 the LX470 - so please explain to me why, as late as 2005, the Lexus LX 470 and GX470 still used a virtually undchanged engine from the 15+ year old 4.5 liter that was in the 1980's Landcruiser? Lexus claims to have increased displacement to 4.7 liters, but output, engine characteristincs and design were virtually uncahnged. It still had a miserably 235 horsepower (for a 5,500+ lb vehilce), a weak redline that was about 5,000 rpm and the inability to traverse hills without downshifting like crazy and burning barrels of gasoline. This was the ultimate luxo-cruiser SUV with an engine that, I repeat, was an embarrassment. Even in the lighter weight GX470, performance was anemic. It wasn't until 2006 that Lexus revised the actual engine design from the stone ages, increased output to 275 horsepower and gave it the cpability to rev past 3,000 rpm without sounding like it was going to blow up. If you want to claim any kind of "off road truck capability" as the excuse, you are increasing the horse___t, along with Lexus. BMW's 3.0 liter V6 engine still outperforms the thirstier Lexus V8, and the 4.4/4.6 V8's are in a completely different league.

    I'm not speculating on this. My wife and I were given a 2005 GX470 to drive for a weekend before we bought an MDX and, as much as I liked the interior of the Lexus and the idea of a big tax write-off, we couldn't deal with the Isuzu Trooper like handling and weak acceleration. For 2006, Lexus noticably improved on the latter.

    When the GS400 was first introduced it may not be the best handling midsize luxury car out there but one thing for sure is it could smoke about any other sedans except the factory tuned ones.

    I think you are "smoking" something on this one. The GS400 was no match for the 540i in any category. It could barely outaccelerate my 1995 Maxima V6 5-speed manual and, RWD advantages notwithstanding, the FWS Maxima outhandled the GS400. Speaking of which, Nissan had far superior engine technology in the Maxima in 1995 than anything by Toytoa or Lexus in the Camry/ES or other models. BMW/NIssan/Porsche dominate Wards 10 Best Engines list. Lexus, to my knowlede, has never made it on the list period.

    As for the original IS300, it may have been an O.K. car, but it looked like it was styled by 17 year olds for 16 year olds.

    Lexus does waht it does, very well. You will just never convince me that they have, at least to date, displayed a fraction of performance technology that Honda/Acura has. Let alone, BMW.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Lexus OWNS the JD Power Dependability Study, for like 12 years in a row, I think for every year the study has been done.

    Might as well call it "The 2nd Best Report". Or "The Still Not Lexus Report." :blush:

    DrFill
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    This does not surprise me, because 911's are not something most people drive every day!

    16,800 miles since September 23, 2005. During that time, 3,800 miles on my Acura TL 6-speed.

    Granted, I may not be "most people", but the 911 isn't a pansy garage queen.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Lexus OWNS the JD Power Dependability Study, for like 12 years in a row, I think for every year the study has been done.

    And, I grant you, that is what Lexus does well. They have taken basic, albeit uninspired, engine and suspension technology, made it nearly bulletproof, and sheathed it in a luxurious interior.

    Unfortunately, they also OWN top spot on the list of Doctor recommended cures for insomnia, and the big Lexus rivals Cadillac as the most preferred in the "old to dead" demographic.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484

    Yes, Lexus rebadged the LX450 the LX470 - so please explain to me why, as late as 2005, the Lexus LX 470 and GX470 still used a virtually undchanged engine from the 15+ year old 4.5 liter that was in the 1980's Landcruiser? Lexus claims to have increased displacement to 4.7 liters, but output, engine characteristincs and design were virtually uncahnged. It still had a miserably 235 horsepower (for a 5,500+ lb vehilce), a weak redline that was about 5,000 rpm and the inability to traverse hills without downshifting like crazy and burning barrels of gasoline. This was the ultimate luxo-cruiser SUV with an engine that, I repeat, was an embarrassment. Even in the lighter weight GX470, performance was anemic.


    The LX470 puts out over 270HP. And was voted best of breed by C&D in 2000, when it was released.

    The GX470 does 0-60 in 7.7. And was call by C&D "Another Grand Slam by Lexus". 'Nuff said. ;)

    The 4.7 is still in the new Tundra. And having driven the Tundra dozens of times, I can personally attest the 4.7 is no slouch, and shows why it's still worth using. I would like a 5.0 with 325HP myself, and I'm sure Toyota will get to it, hopefully by 2010 for the Tundra mid-gen facelift.

    I think you are "smoking" something on this one. The GS400 was no match for the 540i in any category. It could barely outaccelerate my 1995 Maxima V6 5-speed manual.

    I believe what Lou was refering to was the impressive laurels the 98 GS400 accrued when compared directly to the E420 and 540i.

    Called a "Velvet Rocket" by MT, it won a 5 car shootout, and beat all comers outright in MT. 5.7 0-60 times beat the Germans, which were still over 6 seconds with slushboxes (The tested 540i Sport, with a 6-speed stick, hit 5.5 to win acceleration, but MT said an Auto 540 would've fallen into 2nd behind the new Lexus.) :)

    C&D gave the GS a controversial 2nd place behind the 540i in a 6 car comparison in 1997, with the GS beating the BMW in most objective performance tests. they just couldn't bring themselves to have a Lexus beat a BMW in a performance test.

    C&D did throw Lexus a bone, and tried to save face, by saying of the GS400 compared to the 540i "The scores were so close, you could call this a tie. The GS400 is that good!" :shades:

    A 95 Maxima 5-speed 0-60 in 6.7, according to Nissan.

    Not to let facts screw up your argument. ;)

    As you were.

    DrFill
  • First of all, one can't compare a truck engine to a car engine. Please show me a BMW truck engine then we'll compare them further. Lexus has treated the LX and GX as serious off-roading "trucks" which should not be mistaken with the "crossovers" that BMW produced.

    Please the GX and LX are not serious off-roaders. They have Low range but beyond that they are about worthless off-road.

    Oh, by the way, you do know that BMW dropped the valvetronic on the twin-turbo I6 right?

    Any kind of variable valve timing or Valve lift technology is kind of pointless on a forced induction engine. Jag and LR remove their variable lift and valve timing from the supercharged versions of their engines as well.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Any kind of variable valve timing or Valve lift technology is kind of pointless on a forced induction engine.

    How do you figure that? Forced induction just increases the density of the air charge; it doesn't modify any of the factors that prompted the development of variable timing and lift.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    The LX470 puts out over 270HP. And was voted best of breed by C&D in 2000, when it was released.

    The LX470 put out 235 horsepower as late as 2005. It wasn't until 2006 that they increased output with some variable valve type technology. And the LX470 was introduced well before 2000.

    Not to let the facts screw up your counterargument. :P
  • I don't remember the reasoning behind it, and it might just be variable lift that is redundant and not timing, but that is what the engineers told me when I asked about it.

    I can't think of a forced induction engine that uses variable lift/timing. I know the new MINI Cooper uses valvetronic but I can't find if the S uses it as well.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I can't think of a forced induction engine that uses variable lift/timing.

    There's plenty of them, but they're all Japanese (except for the Solstice/Sky turbo and maybe some of the Opel/Saab turbos we don't get here).
  • Is it Variable Valve timing or Variable lift? Cause their is a big difference.

    Ok the RDX has I-VTEC and a turbocharger but that is all I can find so far.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I never said the LX470 always had 270HP. The most HP doesn't make a truck the best.

    DrFill
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    And you realize that, going back 20 years, there are proportionally more 911's still on the road than virtually any other make/model of car sold in the US, according to the WSJ (using US sales/registration statistics).

    That doesn't surprise me either since the 911 is considered as an icon so many owners are willing to keep it for a long time. Comparing how many old 911 and Lexus on the street is like comparing apples to oranges.

    A Babe Ruth signed baseball I'll keep it for a long time, a habitat1 signed baseball...not so much.

    Apples to oranges my man.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,091
    I thought that was why the Tundra was best? The LC/LX over the last 15 years is a joke as an off-road vehicle. It is a good write-off as has been mentioned. They also have very poor resale value. Get a 2 year old low mileage LX470 around here for under half the new price. I would buy one used. They are just behind all the other luxo barge SUVs in most every category. I know wait for the new model. The Japanese car makers always sound like they get their cues from Microsoft.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Mostly timing, but there are a few examples of lift with a turbo: the RDX, the SR20VET in the JDM Nissan X-Trail, the next GT-R.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Did I say how many LX and GX are being used for off-roading? I would think not too many. However that doesn't mean that they are not true off-roading vehicles. There is a difference between on-road and off-road handling. If I have to do some SERIOUS off roading I'll pick the LX and GX over any other crossovers.

    And, by the way, the SUV that won the big "off road" challenge a couple of years ago by 4-Wheel Drive magazine - the Porsche Cayenne. But I digress....

    Did that Cayenne went up against the LX and Range Rover or was it pitted against other luxury crossovers?

    3.0 liter V6 engine still outperforms the thirstier Lexus V8, and the 4.4/4.6 V8's are in a completely different league.

    BMW's 3.0 can't out perform the Lexus truck V8 unless it has 2 turbos in there. Lexus' V6 out performs both the turbo-charged or NA BMW I6. So what's your point? Granted the LX has been on the market for too long but the new LX570 is coming this fall packing 381 HP and 401 lb-ft of torque. Still a embarrassment? I don't think so. The new Lexus 4.6L V8 is also up there with the 5.0 BMW V8, you might have to do better if you want to bash Lexus. Hint: pick on the handling, since that's where all Lexus bashers go...

    My wife and I were given a 2005 GX470 to drive for a weekend before we bought an MDX

    I assume all your test drive was done "on-road". Yup. Case closed. Body-on-frame truck vs. unibody crossover, good comparison there you got, Mr. Habitat.

    I think you are "smoking" something on this one.

    I think you are smoking something stronger than I am...

    The GS began production in the JZS160 body style on August 4, 1997 and was officially launched in 1998. Answering customer requests for more power, the American market GS 400 was equipped with a UZ-series V8 that produced 300 hp (224 kW) and 310 ft·lbf of torque. Edmunds.com reported a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds for this 3693-pound sedan. The GS 300 was also offered once again and featured a slightly revised version of the last generation's 3.0 L inline-6 now producing 225 hp (165 kW) and 225 ft·lbf of torque. The GS 300 was quoted with a 7.6 second 0-60 time. Both models featured a 5-speed automatic with the GS 400 receiving steering wheel shift buttons. Again, no turbo models were offered outside Japan. The 0-60 time of the GS 400 prompted Lexus to claim that the GS was the world's fastest production sedan.[2]

    Source: Lexus GS

    Can your 1995 Maxima do 0-60 in 5.4 seconds? I don't think so. Remember the 5.4 secs was recorded back in 1997 and that's 10 years ago. Show me a BMW 5-series or MB E-class that can do the same back then. That's right, you can't.

    So who's smoking what now?

    Lexus does waht it does, very well. You will just never convince me that they have, at least to date, displayed a fraction of performance technology that Honda/Acura has. Let alone, BMW.

    If in performance you meant handling then I agree. However, the IS350 smoked every other sedans in its class when debut 2 years ago. BMW scrambled to drop 2 turbos into the I6 and that's why the E90 330i was only on the market for 1 MY. The new Nissan 3.5L VQ is no match to the Lexus 2GR-FSE and most car mags agree with me. Unless Acura converts to RWD or RWD-biased SH-AWD I don't considered them as a serious player in the luxury market. The current Honda/Acura V6 is no match against even the VQ, nevertheless the 2GR.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    YES, you guys are right, the LC/LX over the last 15 years is a joke as an offroad vehicle and that's why it's the most popular model for some "real" (hint: not for our fat American weekend leisure use) "serious" off-road conditions like in Africa, Middle East and Down Under.

    Geez...

    At least when I am bashing GM I use some real, hardcore facts.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,611
    You realize that that JD Power Rating you are talking about is INITIAL quality.

    I always find it interesting to compare the JD Power initial quality ratings with their longer 3 and 5 year ratings.

    Not interesting enough to actually go look up the long term ratings for Lexus and Porsche though. ;)

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    As you well know, because I've told you, there are several reasons why Tundra may be considered the best. By now, you should be telling me why! :surprise:

    Power is but a piece of the puzzle.

    Oh...if life were only that simple, the domestics wouldn't be knee-deep in it, like they are now. :P

    DrFill
This discussion has been closed.