Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Toyota vs. Lexus - Vol.194

When it comes to the automobile industry there are a few names that stick out in everyone's mind. Toyota and Lexus have earned that right by becoming two of the world's leading brand names.

Toyota began as a simple department within a mother business, Toyota Industries. The type A engine, developed in 1934, was the company's first product, and two years later the infant firm launched its first vehicle, the Toyota AA. Toyota has since risen to the top of the charts in terms of production and revenue. In 2012, Toyota was recognized as the worlds leading automobile manufacturer, and as of this year it is the largest company in Japan. The firm has come a long way since the Toyota AA, and has introduced vehicles that have become classics. The Camry, Corolla, and Tacoma, to name a few models, have turned into household names, and Toyota has been able to reach even wider demographics with the addition of the Scion, Prius, and Lexus.

In 1983 Lexus began as an experimental project called F1. The objective of this project was to develop a luxury vehicle that could hold its own against the best in the market. Prior to the Lexus, Toyota was a well-known brand, but produced only compact vehicles for the general public. However, in 1989 the Lexus line was lunched, and an entirely new market segment was available to Toyota.

It can become confusing when trying to decide between the two brands. The fact that the same company owns both vehicle types leads people to wonder, what's the difference? This is a common question that can be answered easily.

The Difference
When comparing vehicles, people often focus on the quantitative factors; differences in horse power, in payload, and in miles per gallon. However, comparing two cars from the same manufacturer requires a different approach all together. The matter of differentiating a Lexus from a Toyota is not that of adding extra power or a larger gas tank; it is the extra legroom, the seat warmers, and the interior design that set these vehicles apart.

For example, when looking at technical specifications, a Camry XLE will look almost identical to the Lexus ES 350. However, the upgrade packages and amenities are what set the Lexus and Toyota apart.

You should ask yourself the following question when deciding which vehicle will suit you best. What do I value most, the performance of the car or the feel of it? The Toyota is your ideal bet if all you need is a way to get from point A to point B. However, if you want to turn heads while getting to point B then it is the Lexus hands down.

Lets take a brief look at a 2010 Camry XLE and a 2009 Lexus ES 350 to better demonstrate this point. The Camry XLE with a V-6 engine starts off priced at an affordable $29,045. In contrast, the ES 350 begins at a much higher $34,470. Many times a buyer's initial reaction to the base price will indicate which car is best for suited for them. It should be noted that the XLE with a V-6 comes standard with leather seats, while the ES 350 begins with cloth. If your goal is to minimize cost then the Toyota Camry will initially give you more for your money.

Although at a glance the Toyota may seem more attractive, the contrast becomes stark when looking at your upgrade options. The Lexus can be decked out with a panoramic glass sunroof, dynamic cruise control, a 14-speaker audio system, and many other features that are simply not available for the Camry.

Pros and Cons
There are positives and negatives to each vehicle type, and one should consider them all before reaching a final decision. Toyota offers vehicles that are functional, affordable, and of great quality. They may not be as flashy, but they get the job done and are very reliable.

Lexus will provide you with functional performance, but will take you a step further by enhancing your driving experience. Comfort will be this cars selling point. The goal at Lexus is to provide you with your dream car for a premium price.

In the end both are great choices. In fact, both Toyota and Lexus received Kelly Blue Book's 2014 best resale value awards for Best Brand and Best Luxury Brand.