Motor Trend Nails It, For Once

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
motor trend nails it for once

When it comes to sharing our feelings about the automotive buff books' advertising-tainted editorial, TTAC leaves no words unminced. However, every now and then, genuine journalism rears its feisty head. In the March issue of Motor Trend, Arthur St. Antoine speaks his piece about hybrids. The columnist calls them "nothing more than the four-wheeled equivalent of a yellow LiveStrong wristband- a conspicuous, self-satisfying, effort-free membership card into the 'I Care' club." The most egregious example of this hypocritical hybrid mindset? The Lexus LS 600hL. St. Antoine points out that the 600hL's hybrid premium ($33k) buys you a little extra power and minimal fuel economy gains. So why are the 600hL's moving at the rate of 1000 per month and other other hybrids are selling like Sno-cones in Hades? "The appeal of the LS 600hL (and, I fear, most other current hybrids) is simple sanctimoniousness… why, it's a hybrid. Pay no attention to the colossal luxury sedan behind the curtain! Cue the rainbow and the baby seals!" And here's the best part; the editorial's next to a special advertising section entitled "Chevy's Hybrid Revolution." This Motor Trend produced insert extols the virtues of the bargain-basement semi-hybrid Malibu (with its huge two mpg increase in fuel economy) and the super-sized, outrageously-priced Silverado and Tahoe hybrids. We reckon Angus should be getting "that" phone call any day now.

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  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Feb 11, 2008

    I am so tired of this "I hate Hybrid" articles. The problem is no one that have a unfavorable opinion of Hybrids is willing to deal with this arguement in an objective light. Is the concept of the Hybrid invalid or are some of the executions we see on the road today not the best example or use of this technology. Every negative article I have read on the LS600h with the exception of one has failed to mention the fact that the LS600h is an AWD car. There are only two other cars in its class that it can be compared to, MB S550 4-Matic and the Audi A8L. Needless to say the LS600h is a better car than both in many ways. The price is comparible as well as the performance. The LS600h does have a significant fuel economy and EMMISSIONS advantage over the other two. The LS600h sells so well because it is what it is, just about the most sophisticated and technically advanced car you can buy today. On top of that it is also quite luxurious and built like a bank vault. Please, lets re-visit the issue of hybrid viabilty in ten years. Somehow I suspect that this technology will still be with us but far more advanced and common.

  • NetGenHoon NetGenHoon on Feb 11, 2008

    whatdoiknow1 :

    The LS600h does have a significant fuel economy and EMMISSIONS advantage over the other two. You hit the point right there. In the US market emmissions are irrelevant. Not to re-ignite the incentivize socially responsible behavior/tax the irresponsible discussion.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Feb 11, 2008

    One factor that I never see when hybrid-versus-traditional motors are compared is the "Who Gets My Money" factor. True, the premium price one pays for a hybrid more than sucks up the cost of the fuel saved over, lets say, 4 years. So on a purely economic basis it is, at best, a wash. But when one considers the total costs of transportation, then one can decide how much of that money goes to the Japanese, and how much goes to Saudi Arabia. A lot of people, me included, would rather my transportation dollars end up in Japan than in the hands of Mid East Islamic Radicals. These people are putting their dollars where their beliefs are. Buying a $35k car is a lot more commitment than buying a $2 wrist band.

  • DrBrian DrBrian on Feb 11, 2008

    no Katie 26mpg(us) is 31mpg(uk) so its still way off the offical mpg.