Ask The Best And Brightest: Is Toyota The New Buick?
On point as always, TTAC commenter ajla called it in today’s Camry review. In the comments after that tale of suburban anonymity and “the Marriot of cars,” he asked:
Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?
I figure Toyota thinks that, in their heart of hearts, many Americans do still want a Buick. Not an actual Buick, mind you, but a big, comfortable sedan that’s somewhat luxurious but not at all flashy. Over a year ago, I made the friendly recommendation that Buick ditch its explicitly youthful marketing message for “something along the lines of Canadian Club’s “damn right your dad drank it,” campaign.” This spot for the new Avalon probably comes closer to what I had in mind for Buick than anything I’ve seen since. The question then, isn’t so much “is Toyota the new Buick?” as where is Buick going to find its own niche? The wreckage of Acura?
The Lexus ES350 is the modern day Buick Electra and Olds 98. The new LaCrosse is the perfect premium Buick sedan for today. There really is no market for sedans any bigger than the LaCrosse anymore.
Umm... Can someone tell me where is the driving characteristics of a Camry / ES in this Avalon? Looks like no one is going anywhere with any point in that clip..
Gosh, it just couldn't be clearer than the nose on your face: Quiet. Comfort. Yes, Virginia, there are lots of people who want quiet and comfortable cars. Instead of noisy, rough-riding, manual-transmission "performance" cars. Even at the lower end of the spectrum, Toyota has always led the pack in terms of these two values: Quiet and comfort. We now return to our 24/7 coverage of Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers.