By on August 24, 2013

toytruck

Obviously this isn’t the new Lexus GX460. Obviously. You know that because there’s no Predator grille up front. This is actually the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Talk about being visually challenged. It looks sort of like a developmentally handicapped chipmunk. But if you’d like to see the Lexus GX460, that’s fine too. I just kind of wanted to ease you in to the whole thing. Are you ready? Okay, one… two… three…

lexxtruck

Whoa. Luckily, Lexus will pay you to take it.

Kind of. The price of the GX460 has dropped nearly five grand to $49,995 out the door, but if you’re willing to pay last year’s price you can get the Premium Package variant. That gives you heated rear seats, three-zone climate control, ventilation for the front seats, and a navigation system. Because for just $49,995, there’s no way you’re getting navigation. If you want navigation for $49,995, you’re going to have to buy three Elantras or something.

The GX460 has tremendous popularity with forty-year-old former frat-mattresses in sunshine states despite its extremely offensive road presence, low fuel mileage, and Corolla-esque interior trim. Or perhaps it’s because of all those things. The fact remains that Lexus can put the “spindle” grille on it and it will continue to fly out of showrooms. It could have any kind of front end at all, really. I’m pretty sure you could put the Lexus badge on the Ssangyong Rodius and it would sell ten thousand units a year in Phoenix alone.

Still, if you are trundling through upper-middle-class middle age and you’re still stuck with your first wife, you should definitely take her over to the Lexus dealership to check this rig out. While she’s busy trying to figure out how long she can leave the window sticker on it after taking delivery, you can ask for a drive in the Lexus IS350 F-Sport. t will be worth your time. Trust me on this one.

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106 Comments on “Insert Requisite Quote About Flexing From Long Beach To Texas Here...”


  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Wow, what would Farago say about that front end treatment? Maybe someone at Subaru DID get fired over the Tribeca.

  • avatar

    I really don’t understand how Toyota/Lexus do it. Purveyor of bland-looking, anodyne-driving appliances, maybe this latest trend in ‘styling’ will push some people over to the competition.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
      As standards take a larger hold on design the appearance of appliance/tools occurs.

      A ruler is designed and built to standards. Most rulers look the same.

      • 0 avatar

        @Big Al from OZ

        “A ruler is designed and built to standards. Most rulers look the same.”

        Agreed. However, there are many questionable choices here. First the head and backlights. I prefer flush. Toyota seems to love putting cancerous bumps on their lights, these cars being prime examples of the worst kind. The front fascia of the Toyota and Lexus, terrible and outside of height, any maker can do whatever they like with it. Just look at that fog light and the place and shape they chose to put it. Epic fail.

        The square wheel wells and the slab sided flatness of the fenders. On other cars work much better (Cherokee). Here ugly as sin.

        A tool is a tool. You can choose an ugly one. Or you can choose one with some talent design. Toyota/Lexus may be fine tools, but they display absolutely zero talent in design.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
          I do think Toyota build a fine tool.

          But my view on Toyota is you pay a premium for nothing substantial.

          I would never buy a Toyota for that reason and also, I do agree they are quite unappealing to the eye.

          • 0 avatar

            @Big Al from Oz:

            “my view on Toyota is you pay a premium for nothing substantial.

            I would never buy a Toyota for that reason”.

            Total agreement on my part. However, I wouldn’t buy a Toyota/Lexus for a plethora of reasons!

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I’ve been driving my girlfriend’s mom’s Lexus RX 350 lately. This is the Lexus that keeps Lexus dealers in business. It’s comfortable and the tall driving position makes it easier to see and avoid traffic congestion. Despite being basically a tall Camry station wagon, it feels much more expensive. Probably helps that the Lexus comes with the smooth and refined 3.5L V6, leather, and wood while the Camry is typically experienced with the 2.5L I4 and cloth/faux-metal trim interior.

      I can’t remember the last time that I’ve seen a Lexus GX 460 here in North Texas. The locally built Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon are very popular across income level. People trying to impress skip the GX level and step up to Range Rover.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Over at curbsideclassic.com we figured it out. The new face of Lexus is just a modified version of this http://www.stevemeisner.com/Hobby/58_Continental_RF.jpg just imagine those chrome bumper boomerangs creeping slowly inward past the headlights, and “boom” current Lexus design language.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Jack & Derek we got to do something about this “embedding a link that isn’t from TTAC can put your comment in approval hell for 24 hours plus” rule. If you’re gonna welcome everyone home at least we could fix the joy of the inane rules of the commenting system.

  • avatar
    mies

    Fail for both. Toyota has the opportunity to make nicer looking cars and they manage to make new cars that look worse than the previous generation or that are just as unappealing.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    I’ve liked every application of the spindle grill so far, INCLUDING the RX and IS. This is the first one that I don’t like. The whole rest of the vehicle is so bland that it makes the grille look like a bad tuner job.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Just….wow.

    Check calendar…nope not April 1 and this isn’t Photoshop.

    When it comes to design, is Toyota/Lexus/Honda/Acura even trying? Did the Pontiac Aztek design team fan out after Pontiac’s death to infect the ranks of other makers? (not saying this looks like an Aztek, but it’s ugly as sin)

  • avatar
    mjz

    No, seriously, what does it REALLY look like? That’s got to be camouflage, right, RIGHT?

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I simply don’t think the spindle grille works on the larger vehicles. It looks fine on the RX but completely forced on the LX and the GX. It looks great on the IS and GS, alright on the ES, and worse than the previous gen on the LS.

    I thought that Lexus sold like 500 of these GXs a month. I’ve only seen 10 or 15 in the 3 years since the 2nd gen came out.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yeah I’m not agreeing with the “fly out the door” comment either. They were popular about 04-08, and really not much after that.

      I agree the spindle just gets too big on a large vehicle. It looks ridiculous on the LX, which is of course about the same size in the front as this one – though a little bit less fiddly.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    That grille – spindle, you say? – wouldn’t look too bad if it were half that size, and had a chrome bumper under it. The rest of it looks like the first generation Forester. Overall, it looks like Lexus has given up competing against the Germans in favor of transaction price premiums.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      No kidding. For non-lessees, $55K won’t get you very far in a new BMW X5, and people happily pay that. And the next-gen (F15) X5 won’t even come with standard AWD like all of its competitors.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      If that’s the case, it won’t work as a strategy. For less money you have the MDX from Acura, the Enclave from Buick, the Acadia Denali from GMC, and the Grand Cherokee from Jeep.

      Soccer moms don’t care about offload abilities (but will care about the perceived cachet of the Lexus brand admittedly).

      Anyone that isn’t a spawning salmon and actually cross shops won’t buy this. From the design, the interior, and inferior MPG, and the sticker price for “near luxury,” it’s a non-starter.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    That first thing makes the Dacia Duster look good! Quite the achievement.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Yeah… can’t see this thing selling well.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I figure that Lexus only keeps the GX around because it *is* a rebadged Land Cruiser Prado, instead of making it a large and beefy crossover like the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. But they finally care enough about it to add the spindle grille, it seems. And considering that the entire design is a caricature of the old model *and* a complete train-wreck, this facelift doesn’t look like too bad of an implementation, to me.

  • avatar
    segfault

    It looks like they didn’t even bother to give the Lexus more upscale wheels than the Land Cruiser Prado.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    That Prado really speaks to me…

    “Hello, Clarice…”

  • avatar
    Sam P

    “The GX460 has tremendous popularity with forty-year-old former frat-mattresses in sunshine states ”

    And this is why I read Jack’s articles on TTAC. This quote made my week.

    Around here, they go for the RX. The GX is pretty rare in greater Seattle.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While the new IS and GS are promising, Lexus seems to be in danger of losing its way on its luxury core brand value. I remember being wowed the interior of the original RX300 but the latest generation RX had me wondering if this was even made by the same company. The rest of the SUV lineup is a mess and the ES350 is not much, if any, of a step up from its Toyota counterpart.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Actually, it looks too much like a Mahindra SUV based on that nose, with some slightly better aerodynamics on the body. (I’m talking about the Toyota, not the Lexus)

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Its looks like what happens if you meld the look on Aikido Toyoda’s face after testifying before Congress onto a car.

    There, I said it.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I think the insurance companies AND government classification of these vehicles (for CAFE purposes) need to reclassify these CUVs as cars, not trucks. They simply cannot do the tasks trucks are meant to handle. They don’t even try to look like a truck any more. They’re station wagons; no more, no less.

    • 0 avatar
      Boxer2500

      The GX (and the Prado it is based on) is body-on-frame, not a CUV. Previous versions even had a solid rear axle.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You sure about that? Are you absolutely sure? Or are you taking somebody else’s word for it? Most of the time, body-on-frame is visibly obvious and very few modern SUVs are obviously BoF. Those that are tend to look much more like their truck counterparts than like blown-up station wagons. This thing looks more like a balloon job than a BoF job.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I can say with authority that the last one was. A friend of mine had a GX and a ’99 Land Cruiser with the V8. Underneath they looked very similar.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam P

          Yes.

          http://www.edmunds.com/lexus/gx-460/?sub=suv&ps=used

          “Based on the 4Runner, the Lexus GX 460 is built on a body-on-frame architecture with a live-axle rear suspension. That gives it the robustness it needs to survive off-road, while traction is assured thanks to its four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing and a high-tech adaptive suspension that also aids the GX around town. Still, for daily use, there are many competing seven-passenger luxury crossover SUVs that are more fuel efficient or have more comfortable rear accommodations”

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Vulpine – If the SUVs weren’t classified as “trucks”, they would be subject the Gas Guzzler tax.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        That’s exactly my point, D|||M; As passenger vehicles, they do not qualify as trucks and need to have that classification removed. They SHOULD be subject to the GG tax because they’re nothing but station wagons with a thyroid problem.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Vulpine – If SUVs were subject to the Gas Guzzler tax, you’d cry about predatory “trade barriers”.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Would I? Really? You think you know me THAT well?

            I’ll put it this way. If SUVs were subject to the GGtax, you’d see a LOT of companies scrambling to re-classifiy them as cars. In fact, you’s see them scrambling to have the 4×4 qualifier removed to highlight the BoF TRUCK-based vehicles as trucks, no matter the drive system. Sure, a number of wagons now in this country might end up having to go away (I’m thinking that ugly Porsche that has no business claiming to be a 4×4 among others).

            I will accept that BoF can claim the Truck moniker. SUVs like the Wrangler, the Tahoe/Suburban and others of that sort actually have what it takes to be classed as a truck by their design. The vast majority of the rest simply don’t have the cojones to qualify.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yes you’d snivel. But if it was left up to OEMs, they’d classify all their cars as “Trucks”, especially their biggest and thirstiest. It’s still funny that the Crown Vic was well above GG tax threshold while the BMW M3 was not!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @DenverMike
        4×4 SUVs are classified as trucks. So the chicken tax is applied.

        More misinformation?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yes, more misinformation, AGAIN! Thank you for that, BAF0…

          SUVs, 4X4 and otherwise, are classified as trucks to escape the Gas Guzzler tax. But they’re still “passenger cars” as far as the Chicken tax is concerned. SUVs, including 4X4s, are exempt all around.

  • avatar
    Acd

    The first picture looks like a Chinese or Indian knock-off of someone else’s car that sells for about half the price of the real thing.

  • avatar
    BigOlds

    I must confess that I don’t pay a lot of attention to what Toyota’s up to- they just aren’t on my “give a damn” list. But how is that not badge engineering on a GM scale?

    And, remember: Back when Cadillac started sharing too much with Buick (and ultimately Chevy) they sold them by the bucket as well. For a while…

    I wonder if Toyota realizes they are following the trail blazed by GM.

    • 0 avatar
      Boxer2500

      They get away with it on the GX because the Toyota on which it is based is not available in North America. If you want a Land Cruiser Prado (if you’re in the tiny minority of Lexus buyers who have heard of such a thing) you have to get the Lexus.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Well, standard V8 and a luxury badge for $50K.

    That’s got to be worth something.

  • avatar
    Onus

    What happened to the old Land Cruisers that didn’t cost a fortune and were bullet proof.

    Oh yeah they don’t sell them here. No series 70 for us. Now thats a Land Cruiser i could own. I’ll take it with the 4.5L v8 diesel.

    Not to mention chicken tax makes this thing 23.5% more expensive than it should be.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      And now we’re back to this again; something some say has no effect on the US automotive market, yet somehow still manages to make certain vehicles grossly overpriced and flat-out prevents other vehicles from coming in that Americans really want.

      Oh, and if you haven’t heard, we’re now seeing the last of the FJ Cruiser. It seems they simply can’t afford to import them any more because the Jeep Wrangler has finally out-classed it. (Or is it because the Wrangler is cheaper, too?)

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Vulpine getting imported vehicles into the US is a bit like threading a Camel through the eyes of a needle.
        Obviously others determine “what you want”

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Vulpine
        The FJ cruiser in Australia is more expensive than the base model short wheelbase Wrangler.

        If the long wheel base Wrangler is taken into account they are about the same price as a FJ Cruiser. The FJ Cruiser has superior build quality.

        In Australia these style of 4x4s are considered ‘hair dresser’ or wannabe vehicles, like our Harley Davidson people, they use their vehicles like bracelets and cosmetics. Look at me, I’m outdoorsy, even though I would get bogged driving down a dirt road, and then I would get dirty if I get out of my Wrangler.

        Even though the Wrangler has good credentials off roading it still isn’t considered in the same league as Landcruisers and even some 4×4 midsizers. (The FJ Cruiser isn’t considered a Landcruiser even though it is built on a Prado (Lexus 460 chassis).

        Another killer of the Wrangler is build quality and materials. You pay considerable money for poor build quality.

        The FJ Cruiser only comes with a 4 litre V6. This isn’t a great performer as diesels. Endurance is limited. The Wrangler is limited by load capacity, hence the 4×4 midsizer pickup as a preferred off roader even though the midsizers are similar in size to a longwheel base Wrangler.

        Endurance and capability of the FJ Cruiser and Wrangler here is a limiting factor.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Onus
      It’s called the Chicken Tax and technical barriers. They aren’t competitive if the price of them are 25% more than a US manufactured SUV.

      But our UAW guys say there is no demand in the US for them. How would you know if they are prohibitively expensive to import.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        That is very true. No denying that.

        According to European manufactures technical barriers alone are equivalent to a 25% tariff. So its really a 50% tariff.

        On top of that they really need a good business case since a plant has to be built, additional engineering, etc. Thats a large amount of sunk cost.

        So them stating they wont sell is more like they wont sell enough to make up for this huge cost.

        I was looking up after Mulally said Australia has one of most open car markets. He wasn’t joking. You get everything. European, Indian, Chinese. You got it all.

        I used to discredit Australia i though driving on the other side of the road would make things more difficult. I can say i was proved wrong. Australia seems to be the place for car lovers.

        Me i’m a truck lover. Aussie have such a wonderful selection to choose from i’d have a hard time making up my mind. Thinking of what it would take to move there. Could you Aussie deal with an American and Truck lover?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “According to European manufactures technical barriers alone are equivalent to a 25% tariff. So its really a 50% tariff.”

          Er, no. What the ACEA claims is that different standards raise the price of cars in both Europe and the US. All of us, not just one of us.

          However, that doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny, with the US paying some of the lowest car prices in the developed world.

          “You get everything. European, Indian, Chinese. You got it all.”

          If we paid Aussie prices, we would also get more variety. The margins down there are higher.

          A Honda Accord in the US has a base MSRP of about $21,000. In Australia, it’s about A$31,000.

          Audi A4′s and BMW 320i’s that start in the US in the 30′s have a sticker price of about A$60,000 in Australia.

          The Aussie tariff is twice the American tariff. The Aussies have a luxury car tax, the US does not.

          That said, driving on the left is no big deal. Much of the world drives on the left, and it’s actually slightly safer. It made sense for the Swedes to switch sides in the 60s, given their location and low population, but it would make no sense for most countries to change from one side to the other.

        • 0 avatar
          Onus

          Forgot a question mark and ‘s on Aussie. Damn

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Onus
          I would love to see mainstream selling of fullsize trucks here, not the grey imports. This would reduce the price dramatically. But, the market isn’t here.

          The Ram VM diesel would do okay, but that’s by Aussie standards.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          @Onus- If you were an Aussie, you’d be delighted to get a Sierra 2500 for $95,000 or so if you wanted to tow. What a North American thinks of as a truck is not readily available, certainly not for anything like a reasonable price.

          Their internal tax structure is such a burden, the Commodore/Pontiac G8 sold for $50,000 plus at home, and $29,995 in America.

          They have lots of choices….at very high prices.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            I don’t need a 2500 silverado anyway. I have 3/4 ton know because it has a diesel.

            I’ll take an old ranger, hilux, navara, land cruiser 70.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Onus
            Ignore DenverMike. I posted a link to him as well as others with evidence pointing to an equivalent tax of 26.5% on vehicles that go into the US. This is based on the fact that the US doesn’t want to become UNECE compliant.

            Also, you have the 2.5% import tariff on vehicles going into the US. The reality is a car or passenger vehicle imported into the US has an equivalent of nearly a 30% tax on it. This is through the factoring of technical barriers and costs incurred due to the barriers.

            If you are trying to import a commercial vehicle into the US the costs increases again by another 25% of import tariff (chicken tax). This makes commercial vehicles over 50% dearer to import into the US.

            You can’t grey import into the US as well.

            DenverMike is fully aware of these cost burdens burden when trying to import into the US.

            He will make a debate ambiguous and try and deflect an argument into insignifcant issue to ‘muddy the waters’.

            This is all part of his UAW training and marketing.

            The UAW want the Big 3 to keep the US vehicle market insular as much as they can. I think they will end up screwing up the Big 3 again and expect the taxpayers to bail them out.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Let him answer for himself. They’re simple questions I’m sure he has excellent answers for.

            Here’s your so called “proof” you gave earlier:

            http://europe.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130524/ANE/305249993#axzz2ZKMqOTGe

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Onus,
          Right about that and he, Mullally acknowledged the very open market we have in Australia.
          Real problem is sourcing US Products directly because of the LHD/RHD issue.
          For some reason it has not been a problem for the Koreans who are relatively new into our market. We are now getting their new cutting edge products in RHD. Of Course that does not apply to the Japanese who make their vehicles in RHD anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Onus – Which European OEMs are stating a 50% tariff equivalent? Aren’t Porsches expensive everywhere? And aren’t VWs cheap everywhere?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Onus
          I think if you have what the country needs you can immigrate quite easily or you are sponsored by a company.

          There is plenty of work. Trades people earn the same in many instances as a degreed person, or even more.

          As for vehicle selection, you can get almost anything on offer in the world, if you have the cash.

          If you want a truck we have all US pickups or you could probably get a 410ftlb Navara (Frontier).

          We don’t have the Lexus 460′s here, we have V6 or diesel Prado’s similar, but the 76 Series Wagon built on the same chassis, but with solid front and rear axles if you want to do serious off road work. They come with a 4.5 V8 turbo diesel. But they handle like a Wrangler, not very good on the highway, like a truck.

          I would seriously look at one of the new generation diesel midsizers, the Ranger/BT50 are really nice.

          I can’t wait and see the new V6 diesel Amarok.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        The Chicken Tax does not apply to passenger vehicles. This is a passenger vehicle. The chicken tax does not apply to it. Why can’t you get this fact. CAFE trucks are not Chicken Tax trucks. The Chicken tax applies to a fraction of the American market not to everything classified as a Truck for CAFE.

        CAFE trucks simply have had a lower fuel economy fleet average requirement than CAFE cars. That is the only significance of the CAFE Truck/Car discrimination.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Sorry, DocOlds, you are correct.

        • 0 avatar
          Onus

          Took a bit to find this:

          Light-duty truck
          (LDT)
          Any motor vehicle rated at 8,500 pounds GVWR or less which has a vehicle curb weight
          of 6,000 pounds or less
          and which has a basic vehicle frontal area of 45 square feet or less, which is:
          (1)
          Designed primarily for purposes of transportation of property or is a derivation of
          such a vehicle, or
          (2)
          Designed primarily for transportation of persons and has a capacity of more than 12
          persons, or
          (3)
          Available with special features enabling off-street or off-highway operation and use.
          (40 CFR 86.1803-01)

          This would count as a truck due to off road abilities.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            40 CFR 86.1803-01 is for the EPA.

            EPA definitions are not used for defining what is subject to import tariffs. Tariffs have their own unique definitions.

            If the vehicle has four doors and holds four passengers, then it isn’t a “truck” for the purpose of tariffs. That’s how the Transit Connect avoids the chicken tax — when it arrives in port, it holds four people and it has four doors.

            The other workaround is using knock down kits. The vehicles are sent partially disassembled, then reassembled after they arrive in NAFTA. That’s how Mercedes avoids the tax on the Sprinter van.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Thanks Onus. Had a memory block.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Onus
            One of the most unusual features of the Chicken Tax I’ve read is that a 2WD Subaru Outback is a car.

            As soon as it is an AWD it becomes a truck and attracts the Chicken Tax.

            Hopefully Detroit will be completely weaned from this bad tax and can survive in a truly competitive fashion.

            The foreign car manufacturers in the US can. Did they need a bailout or massive free loans. No.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            I thought that looked familiar as an Emissions regulation!

            FWIW- Honda certified the Accord CrossTour as a Truck for CAFE purposes. I don’t know what it takes to be defined a Truck for CAFE. Maybe just the manufacturer saying it is? Honda did it because they, too have to play the CAFE game today.

            @BAFO- Thanks for the acknowledgement.

            The Subaru Outback, or anything primarily for carrying passengers is not subject to the Chicken Tax whether it is AWD or not. PCH101 defines it as well and explains how easy it is to circumvent.

            The technical competence to meet high standards is a barrier to entry, but meeting them doesn’t guarantee a product is good enough to compete.
            Mulally described OZ as most competitive because of the multitude of makers and standards allowed in.

            America is actually a brutally competitive market-every global maker is giving it their all. Vaunted VW has half the share they enjoyed in 1970 and are losing year over year despite all their money.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The PT Cruiser was famously designated by the EPA as a truck. The justification: the back seat was removable.

            If the PT Cruiser had been imported into the US from a country without a free trade agreement, then it would have taxed as a car at 2.5%. But the EPA and the ITC don’t use the same definitions.

            I do hope that the readers are figuring out that the post above that cites 40 CFR 86.1803-01 has nothing to do with tariffs. Each agency has its own defintions for terms, and the terminology used by the Environmental Protection Agency has no bearing on the setting of tariffs.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Landcruiser has never been subject to the “chicken tax.” It isn’t a “truck” for the purposes of tariffs, because it holds four passengers.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Onus – Why would the Chicken tax make the Land Cruiser 23.5% more expensive? Does it make the Transit Connect 23.5% more expensive? What about the Sprinter vans? Them too? Wouldn’t the LC cannibalize other Toyotas especially the Tundra? And why isn’t the Tundra exported anywhere?

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        The Transit connect gets imported with seats that are ripped out after it gets imported and recycled. So whatever the seats costs.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          About a hundred dollars. That’s not anywhere near 23.5%. The WSJ says total cost of conversion in the hundreds.

          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125357990638429655.html

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DenverMike
            You silly man, the Transit Connect isn’t a 4×4 like a Landcruiser, that’s why the Landcruiser attracts the Chicken Tax. Doh.

            DenverMike, you UAW guys will go kicking and screaming all the way to Congress to stop the removal of any technical barriers and Chicken Tax, it’s happened before.

            But the next time I think you UAW guys will lose. Why? Because the other FTA products will equal more than the UAW.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAF0 – Where does the Chicken tax make a distinction between 4X4s vs 2wds? The Transit Connect is subject to the tax like any other truck. I know you’re not that ignorant. Pure trolling.

            What ever UAW guys cry about is a different, unrelated topic. So is their meds…

            It doesn’t change the fact that Americans aren’t into buying crappy little cars and trucks. Your top selling trucks in OZ would interfere with and cannibalize their own OEM’s (and partner OEM’s) line of cars and trucks, selling in the US. The rest are pure crap.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: Do you ever read the articles you link to as your proofs? The report you linked clearly specified that a purpose-built 4×4 designed for off-road use qualifies as a truck. That is why the Subaru Legacy wagon is a car, while the Subaru Legacy Outback qualifies as a truck, even though there is almost no other difference between them.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The report you linked clearly specified that a purpose-built 4×4 designed for off-road use qualifies as a truck.”

            The definition that was cut-and-paste above by “Onus” is the EPA’s definition of a truck. That definition is used for fuel economy testing and CAFE compliance.

            The US International Trade Commission, which posts tariff rates, doesn’t use the EPA’s definition. The ITC’s definition defines a truck as a vehicle that is designed to carry goods, rather than passengers.

            An SUV is considered to be a passenger vehicle if it has four doors and carries four people. The EPA would label that as a truck, while the trade commission would think of it as a car.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            By the way, DM, way to go on carrying a point to the ridiculous. The article didn’t say “about a hundreds dollars” outside of the cost of REMOVING the seats and laying a clean sheet of steel on the floor of the truck. The seats cost “a few hundred dollars” each; which is essentially wasted money even when considering they recycle the seats by shredding the cushions and sending the steel to a scrapyard. Sure, three rows of seats don’t add up to a whole lot per vehicle, but it does add up AND it is only done to dodge the Chicken Tax. The real cost is higher than you want to believe because of the wasted manufacturing costs of each of those parts that is removed PLUS the costs of the replacement panels.

            Your article also pointed out that the Sprinter, which you are so proud to tout, is effectively shipped in without a driveline or suspension, putting final assembly here in the States. Again, the costs of shipping is higher because it’s not a drive-on/drive-off vehicle which requires more handling and again adds to cost because the American final assembly is more expensive than completing it on the original assembly line. These costs do add up in the long run, though probably equates out to about $1,000 difference per vehicle compared $5,000 or more.

            I might note that for now the used car market is far larger than the new car market simply because new-vehicle prices are out of reach for most drivers.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – You’re reading all sorts of things into the article. Where’s your’s?

            If you’re an OEM and have major issues with shipping parts and assembling them once they get there, you’re in the wrong business, buddy. That’s why it’s called an “assembly line” and bulk shipments. What would normally cost 1,000s to ship and assemble/disassemble separately, only costs pennies per vehicle.

            And who cares what’s “wasted money”. It’s not wasted, it’s a cost of doing business. Lot’s of materials get wasted everyday in manufacturing cars. Mega tons of cardboard, plastic wraps, styrofoam, peanuts, use your imagination.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Sorry Charlie (D|||M); Waste is waste. It costs money to have rubber molded to the shape of those windows. It costs money to have glass cut to the shape of those windows. It costs money to have those windows installed. It costs money to have all those things removed. It costs money to recycle those things (Ok, granted, they get some of it back by selling the steel). It costs money to have steel stamped to replace those windows. It costs money to have steel stamped to cover those holes in the floor. NO, you’re NOT looking at “pennies on the dollar.” There’s a lot of difference between cardboard and steel. There’s a lot of difference between sponge foam and styrofoam.

            And, as I said, there’s a lot of difference between shipping crated bodies and suspensions, which require separate handling one way or another, vs drive-on-drive-off which is how the vast majority of vehicles are trans-shipped. Even the Ford is drive-on compared to Mercedes’ ‘local assembly’ and the price of the Sprinter is on average more than twice that of any current Transit model available here in the States–though they tend to run at similar prices (for similar sizes) in Europe. Mercedes lives in the States as a luxury brand; in Germany, it’s as common as Chevrolet is here.

            I do use my imagination. I also use my experience. I also use simple, everyday horse-sense. That’s why your arguments are aways so comedic to me; they almost literally have NO support.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “It costs money to have rubber molded to the shape of those windows. It costs money to have glass cut to the shape of those windows.”

            It does. But it sure as hell isn’t adding 50% to the cost of the car.

            And in the specific case of American buyers of the Transit Connect, it doesn’t cost the consumer anything at all.

            While direct comparisons to European models can’t be made due to a difference in engine choices, we can come close.

            The US model is equivalent to the European long wheelbase version, but comes with a 136 hp 2.0-liter gas engine. MSRP, including destination and an optional stereo/ CD player similar to what is included on the UK model: $23,715

            The UK long wheelbase model with 1.8-liter 108 hp diesel, price excluding VAT: £15,875

            At today’s exchange rate, the UK model costs about $24,700, or about $1,000 more than it does in the US. No chicken tax, no need to remove seats and windows, etc., yet the less powerful UK model costs more than it does in the US.

            Interestingly enough, the sticker price of the US Transit Connect with the seats in the back actually costs more than the van version, even though the four-passenger model doesn’t need to have anything stripped out of it in order to avoid the chicken tax. These things aren’t always as straightforward in real life as they may seem to some of those who post comments on car blogs.

            And to reiterate a point that seems to have been missed — the EPA definition of a “truck” is not used for calculating tariffs. Onus’ post above is incorrect.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – It is expensive to set up a sub-assembly plant, but after that, just a few minutes are “wasted” on each truck. Then more new parts show up and junk parts leave the building. If any of this sounds like a big ordeal to you, you’re not in the OEM business.

            The Sprinter vans could have gone the same route, but MB saves money by shipping the drivetrain separate on a ‘glider chassis’. It just comes down to money. And there’s no crying in the OEM game.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    WOW, that’s a lot of ugly in one place.
    Jack, is that a teaser for a pending IS350 F-Sport review? Please track one. I’m curious what you would think if it’s Jekyll and Hyde thing. Other than the previous GS350 F-Sport, I’ve never had a mode select make that kind of change. I want a tuner to make me a version where there’s an F-it sport setting that has a Sonic the Hedgehog logo flipping a bird on the screen…. but I didn’t slip, fall, and land in money yet.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Land Cruiser

    Without reading any comments, I can say I love the grill, simple and bold, looks kind of Toyotas from the 50′s. Headlights are good too, following the updated Venza with the led strip tapering down by the sides of the grill. This thing has a good face. I could do without the bulging hips, or at least keep it out of the doors, but its okay. This is a good looking truck.

    Lexus Cruiser

    Whoa that spindle is huge. This thing is big and obnoxious and easily gives the Escalade a run for its money. Not instantly appealing to my eyes like the Toyota, but it might grow on me. Besides, I can’t hate anything with a frame.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    The pre-refresh GX460 was never a favorite of mine… but it is amazing what a set of wheels and tires can do.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UOSNiZ8rtKQ/UcFIgY3kEBI/AAAAAAAATkI/E-Is5pO8fFw/s640/998661_10100223255096899_626087405_n.jpg

  • avatar

    In 2001 one I knew a young kid in Pilot training; he had attended the US Air Force Academy and while there had started to court an attractive young lady attending University of Denver.

    Her dream was to be proposed to in the new Lexus SUV. He had a decent job and drove an BMW E46, but couldn’t swing the mortgage payment on the Lexus. So when he popped the question he had the ring in a model of the new Lexus.

    Her response was “I’ll have to think about it…”

    I ran into the guy a few years later, he had thankfully come to his senses, rid himself of the young girl, traded the BMW on a ski boat and a truck and was living in Virginia. He was an F-15 pilot and spent his weekend with any number of delightful young women in bikinis who were quite content with whatever he drove.

    I cannot think of that vehicle without associating that kind of plastic behavior. The demographic I see driving them has done nothing to dissuade me.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      OMGZ. That’s even more despicable than Jack’s “frat mattress”! If my vehicle was a lot higher I might have an opinion about who drives these, as is they’re just in the way.

      • 0 avatar

        I dunno, not feeling the vibe here. For one thing, we’re hearing one side of the story, and a manwhore fighter jock who’s spending weekings with delightful girls is a negative stereotype that the guy managed to nail to the letter. It could get only more stereotypical if he graduates to driving an Airbus.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Thanks for the entertaining picture comparison. To my untrained eye, the first pictured vehicle was honest and ordinary looking. The second one struck me as a deliberately uglified version of the first one.

    Sort of like trying to put lipstick on a pig. The pig itself is a noble animal. Some might even say it has a certain beauty. Pig with lipstick. Not so much.

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    Thanks for this Jack! Refreshing to see the real unvarnished TRUTH here!

    One of my tenets of luxury in vehicles: An ugly vehicle can never be a luxury vehicle, merely luxurious. Conversely, an unreliable vehicle may still be a luxury vehicle however one of those luxuries may be when it works.

  • avatar

    They should re-badge Rush as Lexus. That would be totally awesome.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Got a good chuckle out of the Phoenix comment but these days aging trophy wives of the great Phoenix area choose Land Rovers complete with 75 lb Bush II era chrome wheels of course.


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