According to AutoPacific’s annual survey of new car and light truck acquirers, the BMW 3-Series, Acura MDX, Lexus RX, Honda Accord, and Infiniti QX56 attract the most tech savvy buyers. Tech savvy consumers made up approximately 5% of the new car buying population in 2007, up from just 2% in 2006. As Gen Y matures and enters the new vehicle market in greater numbers, AutoPacific expects these numbers to continue their growth. Tech savvy car buyers were defined utilizing a collection of data filters from AutoPacific’s Research Suite® database.
The reigning king of the Luxury SUV hill is probably the Range Rover. High priced at $77,175. Features most couldn’t conceive of in an off-road environment. Extremely competent off road. The top of the Land Rover line has established a tremendous reputation and following as THE aspirational Luxury SUV. Range Rover is not the best selling Luxury SUV, but it casts a wide shadow. And has since the early 1970s. VehicleVoice was on hand at The Grand Del Mar Hotel for the media preview of the Lexus LX570. Priced at $73,800, LX570 undercuts the Rangie, but is no less competent.
LX570 – 3rd Generation Lexus LX
Lexus entered the upper end of the Luxury SUV market in 1996 with a facelifted and upgraded Toyota Land Cruiser – the Lexus LX450. The 1st Gen LX was replaced in 1999 by the LX470 which was freshened in 2002 and 2005. So, after a ten year run, it is time for Lexus to bring its latest LX to the market – the LX570.
The first two LX generations did not set the world on fire from a sales standpoint. They were functional-looking SUVs loaded with features. Not head-turners. Not something to make your blood rush. They did, however, bring a very interesting clientele to Lexus. Younger, highly affluent, not wanting to make a strong statement with their vehicle. Confident, not having to show off their wealth. The 3rd Gen LX follows the same formula and hopes to attract the same type of buyer for slightly under 10,000 units per year or 3.5 LX570s per month for each of Lexus’ 223 dealers.
AutoPacific Take on Lexus IS Win – In an extremely competitive class where enthusiast buyers dominate, it’s tough to be king of the hill. The all-new 2007 Lexus IS sport sedan decisively wins the Motorist Choice Award® for Aspirational Luxury Cars. Owners rate the Lexus brand reputation and the overall quality as significant contributors to its win. Lexus IS owners also find its anti-theft features and reliable/dependable reputation very appealing.
IntelliChoice take on Lexus IS win – The Lexus IS is an IntelliChoice 2007 BOVY winner. The IS has a retained value and repair costs near the top of the segment.
AutoPacific Take on Lexus SC Win – For the second consecutive year the Lexus SC wins the Premium Sports Car class, bringing home yet another Motorist Choice Award®. Owners still rate the interior and exterior styling as strongly satisfying. Its comfortable exterior size, easy ingress/egress and driver’s seat comfort make it easy for owners to put the SC430 on top. Owners rate the brand’s reputation, vehicle’s reputation and overall quality as best in class. With a smooth retractable hardtop, great audio system, and superior overall quality, SC owners have chosen the Lexus SC as the benchmark.
IntelliChoice take on Lexus SC win – The Lexus SC performs well in this class by having best in class maintenance costs and repair costs along with low insurance costs.
AutoPacific Take on Lexus LS Win – Owners didn’t exactly surprise us when they earmarked the Lexus flagship as a winner in the Premium Luxury Car category. Leading the class in the 2007 Motorist Choice Awards® owner’s rate the vehicle’s reputation and the quality of the Lexus dealership experience as significant contributors to its win. In addition, the LS owners rated the interior materials as top-notch, with a quiet interior and innovative technology. Owners also reported feeling very safe while driving and applauded the overall quality of their vehicle.
IntelliChoice take on Lexus LS win – In a class where retained value is king, the Lexus LS beats out the competition. The LS also performs well in fuel, maintenance, and repairs.
Lexus SC Wins AutoPacific 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Premium Sports Car:
“”The retractable hardtop Lexus SC won its category by a wide margin. Maybe it’s because the SC430 is more of a boulevard cruiser than a true sports car,” says AutoPacific president George Peterson. “Buyers are particularly pleased with the SC’s Interior Appearance including Quality of Fabrics and Materials, Quality, Quietness, and Reliability/Dependability”.
Lexus Brings a New Engine and a New Look to Its Flagship SUV
Lexus’ next LX, renamed LX 570 for its 381HP 5.7L V8 engine, was revealed at the 2007 New York auto show. The increased power, which also bumps towing capacity to 8500 pounds (up 2000 pounds), will be delivered with the help of a new six-speed automatic transmission. The new look brings the LX into the brand’s latest design family and generally updates its look significantly inside and out; having last had a major redesign for the 1998 model year, the SUV was looking dated. The new LX manages to bring its looks into this century without losing its basic style. You’re not likely to confuse the LX 570 for a Mercedes-Benz GL, or Audi Q7, or Land Rover Range Rover, or even Cadillac Escalade.
The new chassis and suspension underneath the new look is updated to today’s level of tricks. Lexus had already offered active height control and an adaptive variable suspension, but improved these elements with the 2008MY. The new system gives a greater range of motion and is cross-linked, allowing wheels to react to the action of opposing wheels as well as to driving surfaces. The system employs a valve at each corner as well as a center or master valve to detect extension or deflection of each wheel. The system, Lexus says, reduces body roll by more than thirty percent and changes ride height quickly. The chassis lowers by about two inches for ingress/egress and returns to normal height under acceleration. On the highway, the system will lower the front about an inch and the rear about a half inch.
The LX 570 improves off-road and off-pavement performance with several sets of electronic aids. The same active height system that adjusts vehicle height for freeway travel and that makes it easier to get in and out also maximizes ground clearance by raising the SUV by about three inches when the low range is selected. Further easing off-road performance, which most LXs likely see precious little of, is a Crawl Control feature. Selectable in low range, Crawl Control increases throttle control to help keep the vehicle at the appropriate low speeds, allowing the driver to focus on steering through the path or over obstacles. Crawl Control uses a set of virtual locking differentials to minimize tire slip and maximize chassis behavior. Without canceling the Crawl Control mode, the driver can use the brakes for slowing vehicle speed and increase or decrease speed by adjusting a speed selector switch. There’s also multi-terrain ABS technology, for reduced stopping distances on slippery surfaces.