Tag - avalon

Road Tested: 2013 Lexus ES350


Despite its evergreen status as Lexus’ best-selling model, the ES has been routinely treated like a leper by the motoring press practically since its inception. It is just a Camry Avalon wearing a fancy hat, after all. So instead, the buff books devote their page space to the far slower-selling IS, GS and LS lines. Why is that, exactly? Sure, the rear-wheel drive Lexii models more closely mirror the product lines available from the continental upscale brands, which makes for more interesting comparison tests. And the IS and GS are certainly the performance drivers’ choices out of the current Lexus lineup. But, aside from the IS-F and LFA, few performance drivers buy Lexuses in the first place. Near as I can tell, the Lexus set wants comfort, quietness and quality, all of which the ES provides in spades. So – as an admittedly junior member of the motoring press, but a member nonetheless – perhaps I can do my civic duty to start turning the tables back in favor of quite worthy road cars like the ES.

Read More

Chicago 2010: And the brands played on.

The good people of the Midwest Automotive Media Association absolutely refuse to have yours truly as a member. I’m not a “general-purpose auto journalist”, whatever that means. Based on the people who do make the cut, I think “general-purpose auto journalist” means “polyester-and-denim-encrusted lard-butt who would PAX dead last in a regional autocross.” Despite this heart-breaking snub, I continue to attend their self-congratulatory annual breakfast at the Chicago Auto Show. The complimentary bacon is outstanding.

The mantra of the MAMA breakfast, repeated by each of the first three or four speakers every year, is this: “The Chicago Auto Show sells cars.” Presumably this is in opposition to the Los Angeles Auto Show, which sells tofu, the Tokyo Auto Show, which sells the panties of schoolgirls from a vending machine, and the Detroit Auto Show, which sells rape. I think it’s a convenient way to distract attention from the inconvenient truth that most manufacturers don’t bother to display new product at the show. With that said, it’s worth noting that the dirty business of actually selling cars was very relevant to the new products on offer. Let’s discuss.

Read More