The Lexus Minivan Thread (LM debuts in Shanghai on 4/16)

Rydo

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So it’s about time I threw my 2 pence in as I have quite a bit to say here.

First of all I loved the first gen Alphard and it’s growing quite a following here in Scotland too, seeing as we can import vehicles from Japan being RHD too and without import year restrictions.

I always did wonder how a Lexus minivan would look considering the Alphard is truly next level luxury.

So it’s came as a total disappointment to see that after the remote possibility became a reality in the LM, that Lexus have went for a badge engineering job. It’s going to literally be an Alphard with new wings and bumper and maybe a slightly altered rear light cluster.

Now personally I thought Lexus’s days of doing this yawn-worthy exercise were well and truly over.

It still pains me to see the LX, a mess of a Land Cruiser with some bits tacked on to try and make it a Lexus, is still out there trying to justify itself against totally unique SUVs for the same money. Certainly the LF-1 will cure this but how long has that been in the making? Lexus still not having a contender in this field that’s truly a ground up Lexus IS embarrassing especially when you consider just how popular it is.

Back to the LM, my only thought is that just like other manufacturers in China, Lexus see this is a car that other markets best not see. Other comparison are the 20 year old VW models that get a slightly new Fascia and are sold to China, India, Mexico etc as new cars - despite being ancient.

Obviously this LM/Alphard isn’t ancient as such, but it certainly isn’t anything new. It’s a cynical cash in and I think Lexus are better than that. A ground up developed LM sold in more than just China is far more admirable.
 

Ian Schmidt

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Toyota I believe rather underrates their strength of brand many people worldwide hold Toyota in very high esteem and quite rightly so and therefore do they need a Lexus model to cover the whole range?
You could ask that about Lexus itself, period. It's basically a workaround for US consumer attitudes; they didn't *need* to launch it in Europe, Japan or Asia, but they did anyway.
 

Ian Schmidt

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It still pains me to see the LX, a mess of a Land Cruiser with some bits tacked on to try and make it a Lexus, is still out there trying to justify itself against totally unique SUVs for the same money. Certainly the LF-1 will cure this but how long has that been in the making? Lexus still not having a contender in this field that’s truly a ground up Lexus IS embarrassing especially when you consider just how popular it is.
In the full-size lux SUV space it seems like there's no rhyme or reason to what sells. The G-Wagen sold for decades more or less unchanged (as have the LX and GX), even people who've never heard of "badge engineering" can tell the Escalade is a Suburban and the Navigator is an Expedition, and Land Rover sells plenty even though they seemingly all break down about 5 miles off the dealer lot.

Obviously this LM/Alphard isn’t ancient as such, but it certainly isn’t anything new. It’s a cynical cash in and I think Lexus are better than that. A ground up developed LM sold in more than just China is far more admirable.
We know Lexus is pretty busy for the 2021 and 2022 model years already. What would you have them cut to make a true bespoke LM? Because I can almost guarantee the bean counters would go for the TTV8 and LS F/LC F first.
 

Hamed Al Ketbi

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I don't understand why Lexus didn't work a little harder to make a better looking minivan. I know this meant to be for the Asian market but, it's basically an upgraded version of Toyota Alphard. Although, I really like the front and the whole package offered. However, the back looks hideous (opinion).

Also, in the Middle East specifically in the UAE minivans does not sell well. As the ES is the most common for a premium ride
 

ssun30

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All the worries about it being simply a rebadged Alphard are gone. The interior is completely bespoke and takes luxury minivan to a whole new level. I would say they did a decent job with the exterior. The rear is not perfect but at least carries the new family design language from the UX.

This thing will not be cheap. I expect the MSRP to be comparable to the LS and LC and just slightly below the LX (~$170k) and actual transaction price to be close to $250k (similar to the Mercedes S400 Maybach).

There is a saying in China that 'a million for this car (Alphard) is worth it because you are going to make billions in it'. People will take you much more seriously if you transport them in a LM compared to a V-Class or a GL8.

Remember, this thing will fund most of their F cars in the near future. Just stop complaining about it; it's necessary evil.

Problem: the LS is now in serious trouble in China...
 
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zeusus

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Looks production ready! and quite nice from the exterior.

I am reserving full judgement for when there are some HD videos but the LM is just about as I expected.

I was pleasantly surprised by the partition like those seen in heavily customized Sprinters in the US that cost north of 200k. I don't geek out over the chassis as much as some fellow members here but I do geek out over interior design and options, the LM's interior leaves my imagination craving more especially knowing what Lexus is capable of. That steering wheel does not belong in there, as if they pulled it from the NX. It should've looked more like the LS on the inside with some beautiful decorative features and options but I guess that all depends on what the packages are and for what price.

I do feel the most underwhelming thing is the 26" screen, really? for VIPs? 26" is so 2010 there are widescreens that span 30-40+ inch these days for cheap. I don't know, its just ok. I'm really hoping for some good upgrades here but have zero expectation for screen upgrades as the 26" was announced as a key feature.

As long as the interior quality is flagship level like they claim similar to LC/LS, I will feel a lot better about it. Lexus needs to step up their interior design options game (the LS was great, LC just ok, that suede rioja red was dreadful and wouldn't be caught dead in it, Bespoke White on the other hand, amazing :thumbsup::thumbsup:), BMW is a distant lame 3rd, MB is still #1 at the flagship level with the S class, S Class Coupe, and Maybach editions.

In the end, I suppose Lexus is ahead of MB in this particular segment but this was really a chance for them to wow HNWI (high net worth individuals) Chinese with a great first impression. As some of you might've guessed from my pic of the LS from Chengdu's int'l airport, I visit China for business so I will be sure to go check one out in person and also ask friends what their thoughts are. Maybe if there is a chauffeured LM rental service, I'll try it out for fun.


I can see why some opinions here are skeptical of the rear but I think its acceptable, how good can one make such a flat rear end look anyways?

 
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flexus

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Too luxury this isn't coming to Japan. For Japanese launch they would need to bring only 7 seater and tone down the luxurity. Price should be from 7millon ¥.
 

Trexus

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I like the new LM as well. I'm not blown away but really surprised that this will sell for 6 figures in certain parts of Asia. That's great for Lexus and those funds can be used to develop other Lexus models such as the LC F, LQ F and hopefully next generation IS F.

Maybe certain parts of the U.S. with Asian populations such areas as the Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Boston or any large city with a China town this LM would sell.
 

Joe

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It's best for the image of Lexus in Europe that this model is kept for specific Eastern markets only.

But all kudos to the chief designer: when he got a message from his management that his new mission was to design a Lexus version of the Alphard with limited resources, I think it will have kept him awake for a few nights...

Exterior design is the best result we could hope for. Unfortunately the basis is hideous, so the final result cannot be a beauty. Nevertheless, the sleek headlight design is nicely integrated and in some bizarre way the massive Lexus spindle grille works better than the weird looking Toyota versions. The rear light units even look great... at least at nighttime. Also the chrome side elements work well with the black exterior colour.
But due to the technical limitations and the superb comfort as main USP it is very unfortunate that this heavy body panel design should be paired with 17" wheels.

Rear passengers interior is impressive in 4-seat configuration (enough room to add an English style buttler - "James, can you prepare my bath please?") , but for the 7-seater it seems to be a minor upgrade with some lightly adapted materials and specific equipment details such as a Mark Levinson concert hall experience. For what I can make out of the pictures, the front cabin is as old-fashioned nineties-style as the Toyota one. Again, budget constraints of course. And, once again, undoubtfully and hopefully sufficient for the Asian market's taste?
 

spwolf

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are there a pics of 7 seater? or front dash?

btw joe, i cant believe you think Lexus Europe's image would be ruined by this... while not for us, it is way more luxurious looking than rebadged Vito - imagine Lexus based on HiAce? And still nobody cares in Europe. Nor they care about BMW 2 series MPV.

 

spwolf

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It still pains me to see the LX, a mess of a Land Cruiser with some bits tacked on to try and make it a Lexus, is still out there trying to justify itself against totally unique SUVs for the same money. Certainly the LF-1 will cure this but how long has that been in the making? Lexus still not having a contender in this field that’s truly a ground up Lexus IS embarrassing especially when you consider just how popular it is.
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What is wrong with LX? If anything, LC is an embarrassment at those prices, while LX is done right.
 

Joe

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btw joe, i cant believe you think Lexus Europe's image would be ruined by this... while not for us, it is way more luxurious looking than rebadged Vito - imagine Lexus based on HiAce? And still nobody cares in Europe. Nor they care about BMW 2 series MPV.
There you are again. You have a special way of turning my words into something much more extreem than what it says originally (ref.: your reactions on my posts in the UX topic). :grinning:
I am not stating that it would RUIN the image, but it surely won't do any good. Question of EU design taste, at least in North, West & South. East is something else... I don't know from which part you are.
Anyway, the market for luxury vans is way too small to be successful for Lexus.
 

Joe

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What is wrong with LX? If anything, LC is an embarrassment at those prices, while LX is done right.
Put any form of Lexus LX against a Range Rover Vogue and I am sure that you will know what Rydo means. Compare an LC with an 8-series and it can at least compete.
 

spwolf

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There you are again. You have a special way of turning my words into something much more extreem than what it says originally (ref.: your reactions on my posts in the UX topic). :grinning:
I am not stating that it would RUIN the image, but it surely won't do any good. Question of EU design taste, at least in North, West & South. East is something else... I don't know from which part you are.
Anyway, the market for luxury vans is way too small to be successful for Lexus.
I am not being a critic of your opinion, I am just asking how can LM spoil Lexus image when competition has done it for years as V class or 2 series?

Why are Lexus fans looking at Lexus with different eyes than Mercedes?
 
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