Save The Planet: Drive A Lexus!

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

According to the Luxury Institute's "2007 Social Responsiblity WealthSurvey" [sic], Lexus is the wealthy motorist's green machine of choice. The Institute (can they really call themselves that?) polled a "national sample" of 950 consumers with an average net worth of $3.1m and an average income of $307K. These not-so-super rich folk pegged Lexus as the "most admired brand for environmental concerns." The CEO of the Luxury Institute dismissed critics who dismiss his eco-oriented survey as PC pandering. "Being 'green' is no longer a luxury," Milton Pedraza asserted. "It is a requirement of doing business according to wealthy consumers." Apparently, 70 percent of well-heeled car buyers look for environmentally-friendly brands "with whom to do business." Environmentalists may be heartend to discover that America's most conspicuous consumers base their purchasing decisions on biodegradable packaging, zero-landfill manufacturing and EPA ratings.

Frank Williams
Frank Williams

More by Frank Williams

Join the conversation
4 of 19 comments
  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Oct 29, 2007
    Ryan Knuckles : October 29th, 2007 at 3:14 pm whatdoiknow1: So..your argument is that you stand behind anyone that conserves..even if it is in a wasteful way? Neat. In all honesty I doubt there are many folks that out here who fly around in private planes that are shopping for a Lexus GS-h or RX-h. Doesn’t the nobel Al Gore drive* a Lexus SUV hybrid?..well he did, now he drives* a Mariner hybrid. *theoretically First off, screw Al Gore! That dude done rate about a zero in my book! Yeah for your point he is the poster child of that misguided enviornmental movement. But I do stand by the notion that someone driving a GS-h is more efficient than someone driving an E550 or 550i. Granted someone can be more efficient by driving an E320 Bluetec but I doubt anyone looking for a performance luxury car would be too happy with the powerband of that particular ride. Call it the lesser of the three evils if you will. As I mentioned before there is more to the hybrid than just the intended fuel savings real or not. No matter how you slice it a Hybrid is cleaner in day to day use that a stricitly petro powered car. If you live in a congested urban area you would understand this. In NYC we have both regular diesel powered buses and a number of Hybrid and CNG buses on the road. We all know what happenes when the driver of the regular diesel bus floors the gas pedal to pull off from standing stop, you get a big ugly cloud of black smoke ejected into the air maybe 3 feet above a six foot tall man. With the Hybrid and CNG depending on the conditions you get significantly less pollution or non at all ejected into the air you are breathing. THIS IS A BIG DEAL! Now granted, no one is buying any Lexus or automobile for that matter with the belief that they are going to save the world. You still need to fill the darn thing up at the local gas station and it does still have a tailpipe coming out of the back. On top of that the price of admission to this club is at least $50,000. These things ARE luxury cars with unique powertrains that do allow you to save gas if you are willing to drive like your grandma. It just might come in handy in a pinch. But like it or not USA 2007 is not a land that is friendly to the diesel powered car. In NYC you might find diesel for sale at maybe one out of 10 stations. When you do find diesel it is sold usually from one lonely pump off in some corner of the station. I for one would not enjoy going on a "mission" to find some petro in the middle of the night.
  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Oct 29, 2007

    Yep; if these guys actually cared about the environment they'd live in modest homes and drive the Yaris, Corolla, Prius, 4-cylinder Camry, or better yet, ride a bicycle, instead driving a Lexus. But the fact is, there's nothing environmentally friendly about driving any car and these people are willing to be as environmentally friendly as not sacrificing anything will allow.

  • Thetopdog Thetopdog on Oct 29, 2007

    I think the people saying the rich should drive Honda Fits and Yari instead of their Lexi are missing the point. The point is not that there are cheaper, uglier, less luxurious, more poorly built cars that can get better MPG, the point is that it is possible to have a good looking, luxurious, well built car that gets better MPG If you want to carry 5 passengers in luxury with no hope of off-roadability at all, then you can buy an RX400h... Or you can just buy a BMW 525i wagon which is superior in probably every way, (including possibly fuel efficiency? I'm too lazy to check the numbers), without the complications of worrying about how the battery pack in your Lexus was manufactured and how it will be disposed of Instead of a 430hp LS600h, why doesn't Lexus offer a ~275hp engine (hybrid or naturally aspirated) since that's more power than 99% of the owners will ever need? As little as 5 or 6 years ago a 275hp luxury car was thought of as being almost overpowered There is nothing hypocritical about wanting to save the environment in a nice car, the hypocrisy comes into play when vehicles that boast useless excess (430hp in a luxo car, a 4000lb+ 5 passenger SUV with no more capability than an average station wagon) are somehow being touted as the second coming of the catalytic converter

  • Mike9o Mike9o on Oct 29, 2007

    If you want to carry 5 passengers in luxury with no hope of off-roadability at all, then you can buy an RX400h… Or you can just buy a BMW 525i wagon which is superior in probably every way, (including possibly fuel efficiency? I’m too lazy to check the numbers. I'm not! :D EPA '08 Lexus RX 400h 2WD Premium Gasoline City 27 Hwy 24 Combined 25 starting at $41k BMW 535xi Sport Wagon Premium Gasoline City 16 Hwy 24 Combined 19 starting at $54k Normally, I would say save the money you would spend on the hybrid and plant some trees, but that wouldn't work in this case! Only the 535 Sport Wagon is available for '08.