Archive for the ‘Lexus – DO NOT USE’ Category
Although Lexus, the luxury division of Japanese automaker Toyota, has enjoyed ten years of domination in the U.S. luxury market, a wave of recalls and an increase in quality from Mercedes-Benz means there may be a new king of the luxury market by the end of the year.
Bloomberg reports that Lexus may lose its crown when all is said and done in 2010, as the continued bad press from the recalls by Lexus and Toyota have dissuaded discerning drivers from making purchases with Lexus. Instead, drivers are turning to German luxury automakers like Mercedes, BMW and Audi, for their luxury car needs.
Mercedes very nearly took the title of top seller during the first half of 2010, shipping less than 500 vehicles fewer than its Japanese rival. While the luxury industry in general is booming after the recession depressed 2009, Lexus’ recovery has been marred by quality concerns. The Japanese automaker posted a 19 percent increase in U.S. deliveries during the first half, but Mercedes grew 25 percent to close the gap.
According to Edmunds, Lexus’ 2.1 percent market share may fall to 1.98 percent by the end of the year, which would be enough to allow both Mercedes-Benz and BMW to surpass the brand as America’s favorite luxury vehicles.
Those shopping on a budget don’t need to price themselves out of a luxury vehicle. By shopping for used cars, driver can easily get a used Mercedes or BMW for a fraction of their sticker price.
Last Sunday, retired NASCAR driver and current Fox Sports analyst Darrell Waltrip flew home to Nashville to discover that his black Lexus sports utility vehicle had been stolen – sort of.
When Waltrip made his way out to the parking lot of the private Tennessee airport, he noticed that a similar looking black Mercedes SUV was parked right next to the vacant spot that had once held his automobile.
“I went back inside and said, ‘Guys, somebody stole my car,'” said Waltrip. “Everybody had this sheepish look. This one kid said, ‘DW, I think I know where your car is.'”
As it turned out, a few hours before the NASCAR legend arrived back at the airport, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow landed with his entourage, which included his brother, his agent and Will Bartholomew, head the Nashville-area training facility, D1 Sports,. The group had just returned from the 2010 NFL Combine where Tebow had worked out for professional scouts and coaches.
Bartholomew, who was the last one of the group to leave the airport, was told to take Tebow’s agent’s car and meet everybody back at the D1 campus.
Unfortunately, Bartholomew walked up to Waltrip’s Lexus – which was unlocked – hit the pushbutton-start ignition switch, and hit the road behind the Florida quarterback and the rest of his party.
Luckily for the Tebow clan, Waltrip found humor in the situation and even considered reporting the car stolen as a gaffe.
“I was going to call the police, have them pull (Tebow) over and scare the fire out of him.” Waltrip laughed, according to the Tennessean.
“I wanted them to tell him they knew he was a fine Christian boy, but that he just couldn’t steal people’s cars,” he added. “My wife told me that would embarrass him and that I didn’t want to do that to him.”
After Bartholomew learned what happened, he returned NASCAR analyst’s Lexus the next day.
And what lesson did Darrell Waltrip learn? “Don’t leave your car unlocked. Because you never know what celebrity might take it.”
Due to the fluctuating nature of gas prices, many consumers have decided to invest in a hybrid car to help save money and ensure a predictable monthly budget. Prospective car buyers in the market for a used hybrid vehicle in New Jersey may want to check out the Honda Civic Hybrid and the 2006 Lexus RX 400h, two of the best selling, most energy-efficient cars manufactured in 2006.
Honda completely redesigned the Civic Hybrid in 2006, adding supplementary safety, performance and refinement features. New standard equipment includes side curtain airbags, front-seat airbags, four-channel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and a telescoping steering wheel.
The ’06 Civic Hybrid is powered by Honda’s integrated motor assist system, which consists of a 1.3-liter V4 gas engine combined with an electronic motor and a continuously variable transmission, according to MSN Autos.
The new powertrain is capable of producing 110 horsepower and is even more fuel efficient than the previous year’s model. Honda’s most popular hybrid gets 50 miles to the gallon in the city and on the highway.
Meanwhile, consumers who are looking to purchase a slightly more sophisticated energy-efficient vehicle may be interested in the Lexus RX 400h, which was the most popular luxury hybrid sports utility vehicle manufactured in 2006.
The super ultra low efficient vehicle-rated (SULEV) RX 400h is equipped with a new hybrid system that combines a 3.3-liter V6 engine with three electric motor-generators, according to Edmunds.com.
The hybrid SUV’s powertrain produces 268 horsepower and boasts a EPA rating of 33 miles per hour in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The RX400h can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.2 seconds, an impressive number considering the fuel-efficient nature of the vehicle.
What sets the ’06 Lexus apart from other hybrids is its plethora of standard features, including “dual-zone climate control, GPS navigation, power seats, power windows, a power liftgate, rear-seat DVD, a megawatt audio system by Mark Levinson,” the news source reports. “You can run all that stuff at the same time without any fears of draining the battery.”
Used Lexus models in New Jersey may become more popular following the recent news that current University of Southern California (USC) head football coach Lane Kiffin was in a one-car accident last August while preparing for his one and only season as the top man at the University of Tennessee’s (UT) football program, according to ESPN.com.
Kiffen reportedly told UT athletic director Mike Hamilton that he was working late at the team’s complex and was headed home when he fell asleep behind the wheel and drove his Lexus off the road. The car was leased to Kiffin through the coach’s vehicle program for men’s and women’s athletic teams.
Hamilton said that the school had investigated internet rumors that Coach Kiffin had been drinking and was seen with female students the night of the accident, but “we were never able to substantiate any of that,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Kiffin, who shocked and angered many UT fans with his abrupt resignation last week, declined comment through a USC athletic department spokesman.
At the Los Angeles auto show, which began on December 4 and lasts nine days, visitors can test drive some of the cars on display, which might help sell used Lexus models in New Jersey.
This year, as in the past, manufacturers such as Lexus have racing simulators set up at their booths, according to the Los Angeles Times. The purpose of these video games is to recreate the excitement that driving a Lexus on racetrack can create and generate interest in the brand.
“When we first brought this video game out, there wasn’t anything like it at the auto shows,” Suzie Latham, a Lexus product specialist, told the news source. “But we made quite a stir and there were always long lines. Video games are taken a little more seriously now.”
Ford also had video racing at its booth, reports the publication. The show’s attendees were invited to do some virtual off-roading in an SVT Raptor F-150.
Because the concept is still relatively new, allowing consumers to virtually test drive cars at auto shows could help sell used Lexus models in New Jersey and elsewhere.
A small number of LFAs will soon come to the U.S., and the attention they attract could boost sales of used Lexus models in New Jersey.
The LFA, Lexus’ new sports car, made its U.S. debut at the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s show in Las Vegas earlier this November, according to the manufacturer’s website. Lexus says only 180 LFAs will be sold in the U.S., so Japanese car enthusiasts might start paying more attention to the Toyota subsidiary in the upcoming months.
The $354,000 LFA features a 4.8-liter V10 that Lexus claims will produce more than 550 horsepower and about 350 feet-pounds of torque. The super car gets to 62 MPH in 3.7 seconds and, assuming the road is long enough, will eventually reach 202.
LFAs are each hand-made, a detail that could help sell used Lexus models in New Jersey since some car shoppers might appreciate the manufacturer’s dedication to craftsmanship. Although the supercar might be too expensive for most buyers, the exposure it creates for the Lexus brand could be beneficial for the less extravagant models.
Lexus‘ introduction of its LFA, the first Japanese supercar ever, to motoring enthusiasts in Tokyo a few weeks ago could affect the sales of used IS 350s in New York.
People might start looking at Lexus differently now that they know the manufacturer is capable of making a proper supercar. The New York Times says the LFA was in the spotlight at the Tokyo Motor Show, which might have a positive impact on Lexus’ reputation.
One model that could begin attracting attention is the 2007 IS 350. This car might be a sedan, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own on the highway. The 350 reaches 60 MPH in just under five seconds, which means it’ll put up a fight against all of its German rivals like BMW‘s new turbocharged 335i. The only difference is the IS 350 is naturally aspirated, which some enthusiasts believe is the sign of a true driver’s car.
Used IS 350s in New York could start selling out fast with the release of Japan’s first ever supercar. Whatever the case may be, the 350 and the LFA wear the same badge.
Buyers looking for a used Lexus in New York should know that even though the LS 430 is rear-wheel drive (RWD), it’s not afraid of the elements.
The LS 430 was released in 1989 and has been redesigned three times over the years. The model is now available with all-wheel drive (AWD), but in 2005 it wasn’t. And yet Forbes tested the car on a snowy day in upstate New York when the 2005 was still new, and the publication says it handled the weather nicely.
The 2005 is a third generation model of the LS 430, meaning it came only with a V8 matched to an automatic transmission. This is common among full-size luxury sedans, which rarely come in stick.
To keep all the power of the eight-cylinder on the road, Lexus equipped the LS 430 with traction-control, which seemed to be Forbes’ favorite feature. “With a flip of the traction-control switch and a depression of the accelerator, the needle red-lined on the rpm gauge and the car sprang out of the snow with the alacrity of a mountain goat.”
These days, many cars comes in AWD. But some owners of used LS 430s in New York know this RWD sedan is a real snowcat.
Toyota is known for reliable cars that have a habit of enjoying excellent sales and inciting yawns among automotive journalists who consider the automaker a bastion of reliable and bland cars. Two new offerings shown at the Tokyo Motor Show have caused several changes of heart, and remind some of the glory days last seen in used Toyota Supras in New York.
Back in the early 1990s, the Toyota Supra faced off against the Acura NSX, Nissan 300ZX and Mazda RX-7 in a field of mid-$50,000 sports cars with twin-turbo engines and a fair amount of performance. Since then Toyota hasn’t had an offering that compares, until it rolled out the Lexus LFA and the FT-86 concept.
The LFA has a V-10 engine, supercar styling and a price tag to match: $400,000. On the more affordable scale is the FT-86, a joint venture with Subaru that is supposed to offer a low-cost, rear-wheel drive coupe for mass consumption.
That may sound a lot like the list of wants for prospective owners considering used Toyota Supras in New York, which come with more horsepower stock because of a larger engine and are already available. Either way, the two concept cars indicate a shift in the Japanese automakers design philosophy.
If you have ever tried to repair your own vehicle with little or no training, you might have tried some combination of duct tape and/or zip ties to keep everything intact. Unfortunately, Toyota is telling dealers to use the latter to fix an interior problem, and buyers may want to shift their focus to used Toyotas in New Jersey.
Nearly 4 million Toyotas are being taken off the road because of a voluntary recall initiated by the automaker. It’s been reported that in one crash, the driver’s side floor mat became lodged in the gas pedal mechanism, leading to uncontrollably high speeds that resulted in at least one crash.
In response, the Japanese car company is asking dealers to remedy the situation by using zip ties to attach the driver’s side mat to the seat assembly, preventing it from becoming lodged underneath one’s feet, reports Automotive News.
“We have reviewed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration what we’re calling a semipermanent floor mat installation process, and we’re providing these instructions to our dealers,” company spokesman Brian Lyons told the news provider. For those who would rather their interiors look a bit cleaner, used Toyota Camrys in New Jersey made before 2007 don’t have this issue.
Nearly 4 million Toyotas need to have their driver side floor mats taken out to prevent the possibility of uncontrolled acceleration following a report that a new Lexus ES350 in San Diego crashed, causing four fatalities. Buyers looking to minimize their risk may want to stick with some used Toyota models instead.
Among the models affected are the 2005-2010 Avalaon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2004-2009 Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma and the 2007-2010 Tundra. Along with the Toyota models, the luxury models from Lexus such as the 2007-2010 ES350 and 2006-2010 IS250 and IS350 may all be affected.
“A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death,” noted company officials in a statement regarding the millions of vehicles that could be affected by removable floor mats.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said that waiting for a fix was not as important as immediately removing the mats, as it remains an “urgent matter,” DOT secretary Roy LaHood told Forbes.
In the third Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi, Carrie Fisher starred as a princess from Alderaan who is chained near a villain’s throne. When she’s on the move, however, she drives something that looks less like a starfighter and more like a used Lexus GS sedan in New Jersey.
When the Hollywood paparazzi from TMZ caught up with her, she was heading to her Lexus sedan, though she took the time to answer some questions about her career in the movies. Unfortunately, she didn’t shed too much light on her rationale for buying the Japanese luxury car.
But buyers considering a used Lexus GS sedan in New Jersey don’t have to know an x-ray machine from an X-wing to consider some of the attractive features of the midsize sedan.
“Eye-catching styling includes a four-headlight front end, a sloping rear roof and a tall tail,” the website adds. “This profile helps give the GS a distinctive appearance, which looks more European than Japanese in origin.”
Most people, especially in today’s economy, would think that buying a luxury car is out of their price range. But AOL Autos says there are a number of luxury used cars that can be had for under $30,000.
The website lists a number of Acuras including the 2005-2006 MDX, the 2007 RDX and the 2006-2007 TL, which it says used car buyers might be able to find in the Type S package featuring a 286 horsepower, 3.5 liter engine.
A new fully loaded Infinity G35 is going to go for over $40,000, but AOL Autos says a slightly used version is going to dramatically cut down on price and while it’s a sedan, it still has some considerable power with the manual boasting 298 horsepower.
According to the website the one luxury used car that can do no wrong is a Lexus of any kind.
“Bottom line, given the [Lexus’] reputation for high-end luxury, quality and long-term dependability, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the above-named Lexus entries,” said the website. “And all have plenty of engine oomph and luxo-line amenities.”