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What Happened to Lexus?!

 
Old 09-11-18, 01:29 PM
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Therealtru
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Default What Happened to Lexus?!

No, I'm not trolling or trying to start a **** show. I'm trying to create a real discussion. I'm a long time Lexus owner that's just really dissapointed in what has become of the brand we love so much. Yes, these cars are not boring anymore, and yes there are still some real treasures in the brand, but what about fit and finish?! These cars feel so cheap now! Seems like the first one to start deteriorating was the 2002 ES. Yes it was much larger than the outgoing model, but it felt like a tinker toy and has not held up well at all over the years. Second one to fall was the 2006-7 IS, cheap fit and finish, that hasnt aged well at all with sticky dashes, flickering needles like the old LS400s had, and those wonderful rubber seals that turn to goo after some years, oh and the rear view mirrors that distort. Then there was the Ls460, beautiful car and powerful, but cheap feeling with all kinds of problems the first few years. The 3rd gen GS went into the toilet as well with fit and finish. These mid-late 00s models were the beginning of "new" Lexus, which is downright shameful. The new LS is cheap as it is ugly and has no guts anymore! They took away the V8 and gave it a twin turbo v6 that sounds like a damn rice burner!! Not to mention it has no guts at all after about 80mph. The new RX was a total **** show with mechanical bugs. Transmissions failing at an alarming rate in the 16s. I work on the inside and have a lot of experience with all the models across the board so I'm not just blowing smoke out of my ***. Even the people I work with think the quality of these cars has absolutely gone down the tubes and is a far cry from where it was in the 90s. The bean counters finally got us! Now of course yes there are some models that that have managed to either come back as a more solid vehicle or are just new cars that are as solid as the old ones like the lc500 for example. It feels as good if not better then my old SC300. Either way I just think it's really sad to see the way the quality of these cars has deteriorated over the last decade and I hope I'm not the only one who feels this way. Thank you.
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Old 09-11-18, 01:37 PM
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You answered your own question,
$$$$!!
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Old 09-11-18, 01:38 PM
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Very few have complained about the quality of Lexus within the past ten years. Not sure what you are comparing things to or what your standard is. Lexus continues to increase sales, gain popularity and fans, and rank number one in reliability and satisfaction. The studies and pros have all proven that, if you seek out a little basic research online or in magazines. If anything, they have gone in a direction that ensures additional sales and a healthy future. I'm not a huge fan of the predator mouth grille, but overall, I find their styling language agreeable. Times and styles have changed, and my guess is you may be stuck in the past with what you feel secure about. That is fine, as my taste in cars peaked in the mid-2000's. But I would not call out the brand as weak on fit and finish, etc. Simply isn't the case right now.
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Old 09-11-18, 01:39 PM
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I don't really feel that way- clearly the brand is evolving and aesthetics on both the interior & exterior are changing for all brands. I think the inside of the new LS in certain trim looks very nice- still not as nice as an S class- but certainly a move in the right direction. As an owner of 3 generations of LS's over the last 11 years, I don't love everything about the LS500, but I do like the styling and think the interior fit & finish is a step up from the outgoing LS460.

For me, the best Lexus I ever owned was my 1996 LS400 - it just felt like the definition of the brand and the LS overall (reminds me of the champagne glass commercial). Things have changed, as they should, in the 22 years since those cars were made. While I don't love everything about the "new Lexus", it still seems to be the most consistent experience and that's what will likely keep me with the brand.
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Old 09-11-18, 01:57 PM
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arentz07
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They took away the V8 and gave it a twin turbo v6 that sounds like a damn rice burner!!
If I may:

Something about the phrase "rice burner" combined with the "!!" at the end makes me question this complaint - especially the "not trolling" part.

Besides, the new twin-turbo V6 has more power and torque than the outgoing car and really has a surprisingly good sound for what it is. It kinda sounds like a muffled version of the sound my IS 300 makes.

If it matters at all, my only real experience with Lexus has been in the past two years, and I have found little fault with the build quality. My only complaints might be that some of the non *S or *C models are a bit bland to drive - but, they are supposed to be. And yeah, their gas mileage numbers and absolute limits of performance are not always competitive either. However, they are still largely the most reliable cars on the road. And for what it's worth basically everyone who has been in my IS - which many accuse of being cheap just from looking at photos - seems to be impressed by its interior, particularly the seats and the gauge cluster.

(So reading between the lines of my post - maybe not all Lexus are perfectly assembled or perfectly tuned. But many are, and from the way it seems, MOST are.)
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Old 09-11-18, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Fizzboy7 View Post
Lexus continues to increase sales, ...
hmmm... u.s. sales are down year to date vs. 2017. they may be up worldwide i don't know, but just population growth and expanding markets means they're likely to be higher.

Times and styles have changed, and my guess is you may be stuck in the past with what you feel secure about.
maybe but not all change is good change. and sometimes a change is transitional. but i personally think lexus styling right now is either ancient (GX), or confused and overly bold (RX, RC)... the new ES is an impressive design to me. the new LS is an impressive design too but to me seems a bit of a throwback externally. i like the interior but as many have said it's not very space efficient.

about quality, i think lexus is still exemplary.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:49 PM
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i somewhat agree on some things, absolutley disagree on others, if this isnt really just a troll thread.

''Yes, these cars are not boring anymore, and yes there are still some real treasures in the brand, but what about fit and finish?? These cars feel so cheap now!"

i will agree the fit and finish has started to go downhill slightly, but its still superior to just about everything else on the road, and they still do their damn best. yes the cars they built way back are absolutley amazing and they wont ever make them like that again. why? cost of materials. if they built an LS500 the same way they built the LS400, it would probably cost damn close to $100,000 for the most basic of base ($72k today) (based on my 1995 Ls400 that had an out the door cost of $58,000. that roughly translates to $99,000 today). cost of materials has gone up ALOT in the last 20+ years. are they cutting corners now? maybe but only in the most miniscule ways that dont really affect anything on the car at all.

"Seems like the first one to start deteriorating was the 2002 ES. Yes it was much larger than the outgoing model, but it felt like a tinker toy and has not held up well at all over the years."

i will agree with this a little. they do not feel as solid as the predicessor, however, the ES is a mass market car, not a $80,000 LS, and again, still felt better then most other cars on the road at that time

**Second one to fall was the 2006-7 IS, cheap fit and finish, that hasnt aged well at all with sticky dashes, flickering needles like the old LS400s had, and those wonderful rubber seals that turn to goo after some years, oh and the rear view mirrors that distort**

depends on the owner really and how it was kept. i DO see plenty of 2IS that have been absolutley beat to death and horribly neglected, but it doesnt matter what kind of car it is, if you dont take care of it, it will fall apart. for example, i saw a 2008 IS350 come through not too long ago with flickering needles, sticky dash, distorted rear view, and burned paint. it only had 89k on it. the car was also never garaged at all, and horribly neglected, right behind it was a 2006 IS350, same color, options everything, with 252k on the clock, that looked, drove and even smelled like a new car. they will last a VERY long time if cared for.


Then there was the Ls460, beautiful car and powerful, but cheap feeling with all kinds of problems the first few years.

hate to admit it, but yes the 2007 Ls460 was a mess. well, some of them. there is absolutley no middle ground with them. they are either still humming along with 200k on them looking and feeling great, or they are disasters even if maintained. -maybe some were built on a friday or something...

"These mid-late 00s models were the beginning of "new" Lexus, which is downright shameful"

agreed early "new" lexus started taking shape in the mid late 2000s, yes, that initial few years (2006-2008) of the "new" lexus, was kind of a strange period for them, it was an experimental time where they were trying new materials that didnt agree with the cars, like the sticky dash syndrome etc, but by 2010, they figured it out they good now they got this man!

. The new LS is cheap as it is ugly and has no guts anymore! They took away the V8 and gave it a twin turbo v6 that sounds like a damn rice burner!!

as an LS guy myself, loosing the V8 hurt my heart, but its just how it goes man. and the TTV6 is nothing to sneeze at, and still has a solid growl when stomped.

."I work on the inside and have a lot of experience with all the models across the board so I'm not just blowing smoke out of my ***."

inside what? your mothers basement? sorry. i had to...
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Old 09-11-18, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Therealtru View Post
NSeems like the first one to start deteriorating was the 2002 ES. Yes it was much larger than the outgoing model, but it felt like a tinker toy and has not held up well at all over the years.
I completely disagree there. I had a 2003 ES300, and IMHO that car was a huge improvement over the previous car, felt really solid, beautiful high quality interior. Mine is still in the family with almost 200k miles on it, I still drive it from time to time and its still tight, interior is still in great shape...its a fantastic car IMHO.

As for the new LS, I don't care for the way it drives (much sportier), and styling is subjective, but I don't see how anybody can feel that the interior is "cheap". I've driven a couple of them and the interior materials are extremely high quality, in fact I struggle to find a single material inside an LS500 I feel is cheap.

Having had an LS400, and LS430 and two LS460s, my LS460s (especially my current one) feel every bit as solid and high quality and my LS400 or LS430 did. One difference I will cede is the 460s are more prone to developing rattles and such than the 430 or 400 were.

My 13 GS was a great, very solid car. So was my 2010 ES.

Failing tranmissions in the 16 RX? Have we seen that her on CL? I don't think so.
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Old 09-11-18, 03:12 PM
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It's all perception in my opinion. My mom and dad, who have been with Lexus since nearly the beginning, make the same claim. They feel that the newer Lexus models have lost their luxury and quality feel. My dad has given up on them all together and my mom keeps driving her older Lexus because none of the new ones jump out at her. She's the type who thinks luxury means swathes of leather and wood, which Lexus has somewhat steered away from. She does like the RX exterior, but thinks the interior is cheap looking with all it's plastic. I keep telling her to look at Genesis, as it sort of reminds me of Lexus' bygone days. My dad, however, lives in his bygone days and still thinks Kia/Genesis are complete crap.
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Old 09-11-18, 03:23 PM
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Disagree 100%. Have two 2017's with zero problems and a fit and finish that looks first class. Had a 2015 and a 2013 again with zero problems with the same quality fit and finish. I judge a lot on Lexus being #1 in dependability ranked by J D Power for the last seven years in a row. Prior to that they were not #1.
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Old 09-11-18, 03:27 PM
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I've had a 2GS and now have a 4GS. Build quality and materials feel comparable and I've owned the 4GS for over 3 years now.

If you have any doubts about modern Lexus quality, you should check one out.
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Old 09-11-18, 04:19 PM
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While I have some specific criticisms (such as the SC series never getting a factory turbo engine with a stick in the USA/Canada or the 90's GS series never getting the Supra's twin turbo engine that was already certified for USA emissions) Lexus has made many great models over the years. OP, I'm very partial to the SC300 as well as an owner -- and I do wish something much closer to it with all the more hardcore driveline hardware that enthusiasts love still existed from this brand -- but the brand itself has grown to be one of the highest quality heavyweights in the luxury vehicle market.

I've yet to encounter someone who had or still owns a Lexus who doesn't like their vehicle or who hasn't been satisfied with the very high level of quality and reliability. Lemon cars from Lexus are the very rare outliers rather than the norm. The late 90's LS400's alone are world-beating tanks that go on and on so long as you maintain them and keep up with the regular service intervals. And they have aged remarkably well and still look contemporary some 20 years after they were first sold. Same for most of their models, really.

The brand has also grown upmarket a bit since the 1990's and core buyer trends have affected how their main lineup and speciality lineups are designed and targeted. I'll admit that it was very cool when most of the Lexus lineup was still largely based on luxury and specialty premium JDM Toyota models but today they're playing on another level.

And today there is a dedicated F performance division. When the first IS-F was designed it was a true skunk works performance vehicle. Very cool for it to have been designed that way but now Lexus takes those niche buyer markets seriously too when designing new models from the start. That doesn't represent models for core Lexus demographics but its a very welcome set of offerings for people who are interested and who traditionally look to other brands.

As for V8's vs twin turbo V6's... while I love the old 1UZ-FE V8's those were always intended as cruiser style engines. They aren't really performance oriented and if someone were so inclined to go down the tuning route with one the costs for fully custom work are very high. Lexus going to TT V6 engines is one of the best things to happen to the company in years. It's doing something to make up for their never offering the 1JZ-GTE in the SC300 and never offering the 2JZ-GTE engine in the GS. I'm very impressed with the new LS500 engine-- and the car. It's about time we got some turbocharged Lexus models.

The only big styling complaint that I'll make is that the common grille needs to give way to each model having individual personalities in their exterior styling-- which is a big part of what made the 90's Lexus models so unique. But this is an industry wide design trend that goes way beyond the Lexus brand.

Also, since you bring up the 92-00 SC series, keep in mind that while the chassis itself and the mechanical and electrical were all extremely over-engineered for the time (which is what still makes them so good today) the interior quality, while very nice and clean and unique, is not up to the level materials quality that you will find in modern Lexus vehicles. Don't get me wrong-- there is nothing wrong with it and I love the style and simplicity of the now vintage SC interior and feel there are some takeaway lessons to learn from there that could be applied to new interior designs -- but Lexus has come a LONG way up since that time in terms of quality and attention to fine detail.

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Old 09-11-18, 04:21 PM
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This is a troll thread. The new LS is absolutely gorgeous.
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Old 09-11-18, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by COOLIS View Post
She does like the RX exterior, but thinks the interior is cheap looking with all it's plastic.
Which is funny because the material quality of the current RX interior is such a huge upgrade from the previous versions.
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Old 09-11-18, 05:18 PM
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I never owned a 90’s model Lexus but have owned a couple from 2001, an IS and RX, my first Lexus’. I will say that I felt the materials in my 2008 GX470 had way better than my 2012 GX460, both of which I bought new. I have had an ‘08 and a ‘09 LS and I didn’t have any issues with the quality of those cars.



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