We were driving home from our daily sunset hike and swim in the river, and as we passed over the crest of the hill, a white Lexus GX merged into the boulevard from the Spring Street exit, the gateway to Eugene’s “Bel Air”. And following it into town, I couldn’t help but think Who buys these cars? Why it’s the same kind of folks who were buying Jeep Grand Wagoneers back in the day: Well-off people.
The Grand Wagoneer’s buyers had the highest median income of any American vehicle back in the day; and I know that Lexus’ GX and LX are way up there too. I mean, who else even makes old-school medium-sized BOF genuine SUVs anymore, other than Toyota? These Lexus GX ($50k) and LX ($83k) buyers don’t care whether these vehicles are roomy or even make sense in any practical metric, just like Jeep GW buyers back then, who put up with terrible ergonomics and space utilization, a mediocre back seat, a rough ride, outrageous thirst and very iffy interior material quality. At least the Lexus SUVs have that last one nailed, but otherwise, they have all the relative shortcomings of the GW. But mostly only folks like them buy them; no nouveau riche poser would ever think of buying a Lexus GX. Its for folks who only want to signal to others of their kind that they’re one of the pack, and can’t be bothered to let the rest of the world know.