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Lexus RX 450h, Lexus RX 350, Car Leasing, SUV
#1990 of 2771 Why I went with the 2010 RX...why did you?
Sep 04, 2010 (6:27 am)
After months and months and months of shopping for a new SUV, I finally bought the RX450h. I looked at every SUV on the market. And I do mean every single one. Some we drove three, four and five times over. To the point where I had to go to different dealerships for the same car because I was embarrassed with how many test drives I took. That doesn't include the countless magazine articles, blogs, owners I spoke with, etc. I could spend pages talking about all the ones I considered (and I have the stacks of papers to prove it!), but in a nutshell here's the reasons I went with the RX and didn't go with the competition:
1. 450h = Lexus reliability (we hate spending time at the shop, causing one or both of us to miss work and such a hassle to rearrange schedules), really liked the new exterior design, interior layout was very nice, rich leather, ample space, velvety ride, ultra quiet, expecially the hybrid version along with 30 mpg gas mileage, remote touch navigation is better than the others I tried, and just an overall upscale feel inside and out. It would have been nice to have a 3rd row option to use in a pinch and ports shouldn't be so hard to get to in the arm rest, but otherwise this car fit the bill in every way. IMO, it's perfect for a family who needs an all-purpose luxury car to commute to work, run daily errands, take the kids to school, take the family on a 1,000-mile road trip for the weekend, and then show up to a black-tie dinner.
2. Acura MDX/RDX - great reliability. However, while the handling was a touch better than the RX, the ride is not nearly as refined, there's more noticeable road noise, and the transmission is not as smooth. I didn't like the "bagel slicer" front grill and the controls were a bit too busy looking. This was tied as our 3rd place car.
3. Audi Q series - really nice handling, but that's about where it ended. Reliability was a major issue for us, and although Audi's record in that department has improved somewhat over the past few years, it's not reached Lexus reliability. Interior was not quite to the level of the Lexus. This was tied for our 2nd place car.
4. BMW X series = on par with Audi in terms of handling, but road noise was pretty loud and interior was not even close to the other brands. Ride was on the harsh side. 3rd row option was nice though. Reliability is better than Audi and MB, but still not a Lexus or Acura. We liked the exterior design, but overall, it was never really in the running.
5. Cadillac Escalade/SRX - we test drove the Escalade once, and once was enough to know it wasn't what we wanted. Way too big, bulky, and pretty gaudy all around. The SRX was better, but we weren't at all impressed with the quality of the interior, the fit and finish, or the ride comfort. The exterior was a bit edgy as compared to the others, and we liked it.
6. Infiniti Fx/Qx - As with the escalade, the Qx was just too bulky for us, but it drove a lot smaller than the Caddy. As for the Fx, the design didn't really do anything for us, although we liked the interior and the ride quality. This was tied for our 3rd place with the Acura.
7. Land Rover - different, but that was about it. Reliability? 'nuff said.
8. Mercedes GL and GLK -- We really liked both of these. Alot. The GL's exterior is really striking, has an aggressive stance, although the interior could be nicer. Navigation needs to be improved big time. The M B Tex a.k.a. pleather, also was a turn off at this price point. But, unlike the other larger SUVs, this one drove really small for its size. This was our 2nd place car, and we probably would have bought it but for reliability history for the GL (not good, to say the least), and the poor gas mileage. If both of these improve in the next five years, we're getting this car. As for the GLK, if we went with MB, we would have gotten the GL over the GLK.
9. Porsche Cayenne -- test drove it once, was not impressed with the ride quality, then came back again in a month and confirmed it was not for us. Bouncy ride (better not put any hot coffee in those cup holders), jerky accelleration, just overall not a comfortable ride. I couldn't imaging taking it on a road trip of any significant duration.
10. Volvo XC series - a few years ago these would be high on my list. Since then, every other car on my list has equaled Volvo in the one category that Volvo used to be the leader in - safety. Who feels unsafe in any of the cars above? Once you get past the safety advantage, there wasn't much the XCs offered that wasn't surpassed by the other cars. Plus, the reliability has dropped off over the last few years.
11. Other cars never in the running -- Hummer, Lincoln, Hyundai.
#1991 of 2771 Re: Why I went with the 2010 RX...why did you? [carfan777]
Sep 04, 2010 (7:38 am)
Carfan, thanks for the very detailed and informative comparison that you have done in deciding which vehicle to purchase. I couldn't agree with you more on your observations. The 2010 RX350 is my second Lexus RX model. I drove an '07 RX350 for four years and absolutely loved that car inside and out!. I was actually a little concerned that I wouldn't like the 2010 model as much as the '07. But after driving the 2010 for the past month, I can say it has met my every expectation, except for the gas mileage. It's not getting as good of gas mileage as the '07 was getting.
I'm loving the hands-free bluetooth on the car, the passive entry(I don't need to fish in my purse for my keys). That is so convenient! Even the shift gate is super smooth when shifting from park to reverse and drive. It's actually an even more quiet car than the '07 when in drive mode. I also think the 2010 is a littler easier to see out of from the side rear window parts. Being a repeat Lexus customer, I was able to lease this car for the same payment as my '07 model with less money down, and the price on this car was about $5,000 more than the '07. So, except for the lower than expected gas mileage, I'm loving everything on the 2010!
#1992 of 2771 cpcarolyn comments
Sep 05, 2010 (8:54 am)
Carolyn your comments on leasing a lexus truly highlight the ignorance that the auto industry thrives on. If you were at all educated on a lease you would know that a lessee pays only a cars depreciation over a 3 year period plus interest. If you financed the same car for three years the car would have paid for the same depreciation and likely the same if not more interest. Unless you are the lexus buyer that drives the same car for 7 or more years then it is a rip-off to finance. The true fool is the buyer that finances a car for 60 months and then trades it in after 36... But the auto industry wouldn't be the same without you ( i mean them) . So the next time you want to criticize an entire forum, please first consider your own ignorance and do your homework.
Sep 05, 2010 (10:19 am)
Wow, didn't mean to touch a nerve. You are absolutely correct concerning my ignorance of leases and financing a car. It just seems to me that it makes alot
more sense to just pay cash and not have to deal with all the finance charges. I
have been fortunate and have not had to finance a car. Perhaps I spoke too soon
and did not consider that not all have the cash to buy outright. I meant no offense.
#1994 of 2771 Re: Lease comments [cpccarolyn]
Sep 06, 2010 (1:21 pm)
It's true, not everyone can afford to buy a brand new car with cash, particularly a vehicle that can cost anywhere from 38,000 to 45,000 brand new. Everyone has different takes on leasing versus buying. There are those that might say that paying cash for a vehicle may not be a sound financial decision either. But everyone is in a different place financially, so to each his own.
#1995 of 2771 Re: Lease comments [maximafan]
Sep 07, 2010 (7:55 am)
It would be interesting to hear any sound financial decisions for not paying cash for a
car. When would financing be a better option? I don't think anyone would prefer to
pay interest on anything when they have the cash to pay for it. That doesn't even sound logical in my humble opinion.
#1996 of 2771 Re: Lease comments [cpccarolyn]
Sep 07, 2010 (8:24 am)
"I don't think anyone would prefer to pay interest on anything when they have the cash to pay for it. That doesn't even sound logical in my humble opinion."
Let me answer your question with a question. Suppose you could finance a car at an interest rate of 1.5% and that you have the opportunity to invest your cash in a riskless investment yielding an after tax rate of return of 3.0%. Would it be financially prudent to pay cash for the car, which is a depreciating asset, and forego the opportunity to earn 3.0% after taxes on your cash? Or, would you be better off investing your cash at 3.0% after taxes and financing your car at 1.5%?
The decision is really no different than asking which credit card debt should I payoff first...
A credit card with an APR of 24% or a credit card with an APR of 18%?
Hope this helps.
#1997 of 2771 Re: Lease comments [delta737h]
Sep 08, 2010 (8:22 am)
Thanks, John! Point made. Actually 3% return right now sure sounds good.
#1998 of 2771 Money Factor and Residuals FWD RX350 - Car Man
Sep 14, 2010 (2:08 pm)
Hi Car Man,
Do you have the MFs and Residuals for the 2010 FWD RX350 & 2010 AWD RX350 -
Are these numbers significantly different on a 2011? Thanks so much for your help!!!!
#1999 of 2771 Re: 2010 Rx 350 AWD with Nav [ram7088]
Sep 14, 2010 (5:50 pm)
Which option packages did you get with your RX beside NAV?