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Hyundai’s Azera vs. LS 460 Commercial

After the results of the Total Quality Index survey, I decided to do a little Hyundai Youtube surfing and found a recent Azera ad comparing it to the LS 460:

My personal disdain of Kelsey Grammer notwithstanding, and the fact that there are far more differences than similarities between the Azera and the LS 460, I can’t help but admire the marketing brilliance behind this commercial.

This advert was not made to sway potential LS 460 owners to a Hyundai, but rather as a way to associate the two cars, so that people looking for a $25,000-$30,000 believe they’re buying something on par with a Lexus.

I’m shocked to say it, but I’ll have to start paying closer attention to Hyundai. Their vehicles are extremely competent, and their management are utilizing tactics very similar to the ones Toyota employed when lauching Lexus. Smart stuff.

Total Quality Index: Lexus Results

Total Quality Awards Badge

Another study was released today, this one by San-Diego-based research firm Strategic Vision. Their Total Quality Index, or TQI, is considered the premier measure of new vehicle owner satisfaction, as it asks buyers to rate every aspect of the owner experience.

Lexus made a decent showing, with the RX 350 placing first in the Near Luxury SUV category, and the LS 430 coming in second in Luxury Cars. Other models didn’t fare so well in their segments: The GS 350/430 placed sixth in Luxury Cars, the IS 250/350 placed fifth and the ES 350 ninth in Near Luxury Cars. The remaining models didn’t even figure into the rankings, as their sample size was too small to be included.

The bigger news from this study was the lack of any Toyota-branded vehicles taking top spot in their respective segments, and more importantly, Hyundai coming away with three first place finishes. Hyundai has developed into a real threat for their competitors, and the results from this study add some serious credibility to the Korean manufacturer.

[Source: Strategic Vision]

[Via: Carscoop]

Lexus Places Second in J.D. Power 2007 Initial Quality Study

J.D. Power & Associates published the results of their 2007 Initial Quality Study, and Lexus placed second in the overall rankings, behind Porsche:

J.D. Power's 2007 Initial Quality Study Results

As you can see, it was a very close race, with Lexus owners reporting 94 problems per 100 Vehicles as compared to Porsche’s 91.

The individual vehicle results were less flattering, with only the RX 350/400h placing first in its class.

Midsize Premium Car

1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2. Lexus GS 350/430/450h 3. Infiniti M-Series/Volvo S80

Large Premium Car

1. Audi A8/Mercedes-Benz S-Class 3. Lexus LS 460

Premium Sports Car

1. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 2. Porsche 911 3. Lexus SC 430

Midsize Premium MAV

1. Lexus RX 350/400h 2. Lincoln MKX 3. Lexus GX 470

As for the rest of the the Lexus lineup, the ES 350, IS 250/350 and GX 470 all failed to place in top three of their respective segments.

All in all, a strong showing for the brand, with just enough room for improvement to keep them on their toes.

[Source: J.D. Power]

Wald International Body Kit for the LS 460

Wald International, a Japanese tuning company, has been one of the premier body kit & modification developers for Lexus since the LS 400. The new LS 460 is their latest subject, which they treated with a very distinctive reverence:

Wald USF40 Executive Line body kit for the LS 460

Save for the rims, the USF40 Executive Line body kit is nothing overly flashy, and is a much more subdued look than would be expected. Of course, there’s more to it than that, as this bodykit replaces both bumpers and sideskirts, as well as adding both a roof and trunk spoiler. This package would retail in Japan for approximately ¥270,900 ($2,200USD). Add in the modified brakes and rims shoots the price up substantially to ¥2,395,000 ($19,600USD).

Wald also offers interior mods, including a full wood to carbon fibre conversion kit.

[Via: Nihon Car]

RX Models Finish High in Consumer Reports SUV Rankings

The RX350 & the RX400h

Both of Lexus’ current RX models ranked in the top four of Consumer Reports latest SUV rankings, with the RX400h coming in second and the RX350 tying the Acura MDX for third.

Considering that the Highlander Hybrid took the number one spot, Toyota practically swept the Consumer Reports rankings. Not a bad result, though they did have the unfair advantage of two incredibly similar vehicles in the race.

[Source: The Auto Channel]