Save The Planet: Drive A Lexus!
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.
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.
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
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.