2011 Lexus Es 350 on 2040-cars
Larchmont, New York, United States
Lexus ES for Sale
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Auto blogMon, 27 Oct 2014 16:02:00 EST
The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Survey (right) is out, and the top two spots look much the same as last year's list with Lexus and Toyota in first and second place, respectively. However, there are some major shakeups for 2014, with Acura plunging eight spots from third in 2013 to 11th this year, and Mazda replaces it on the lowest step of the podium. Honda and Audi round out the top five. This year's list includes six Japanese brands in the top 10, two Europeans, one America and one Korean.
Acura isn't the only one taking a tumble, though. Infiniti is the biggest loser this year by dropping 14 spots to 20th place. Other big losses come from Mercedes-Benz with an 11-place fall to 24th, and GMC, which declines 10 positions to 19th.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's not traditional mechanical bugs hauling down these automaker's reliability scores. Instead, pesky problems with infotainment systems are taking a series toll on the rankings. According to Consumer Reports, complaints about "in-car electronics" were the most grumbled about element in new cars. Problem areas included things like unresponsive touchscreens, issues pairing phones and multi-use controllers that refused to work right.
Think the only challengers for the title of best-selling luxury brand hail from der Vaterland? Wrong. Lexus outsold the likes of Mercedes-Benz for the second time in 2014 last month. In fact, the Japanese luxury marque's total sales this year are a mere 12,000 units behind BMW.
Lexus was able to move 26,921 vehicles last month, a year-over-year increase of 21.1 percent, respectively. Mercedes, meanwhile, was just barely beaten, moving 26,617 units in April. The difference, though, is that Lexus has made far bigger year-over-year gains than Mercedes, which recorded a YOY increase of just 4.13 percent.
This is particularly troubling for the Germans, as it marks a return to form for Lexus that we haven't seen since before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that decimated Japan. Prior to that natural disaster, Lexus enjoyed nearly a dozen years at the top of the luxury heap.
A mere trio of weeks after the latest report in the slow-moving Lexus GS F rumor cycle, we have a brand new batch of spy photos of the BMW M5-fighting sedan. Looking more and more production ready - notice the more finished exhausts compared to our last round of photos - the GS F can be seen poking around what we imagine is Germany.
If the RC and RC F Coupes are any indication, it looks like Lexus will start fitting its high-performance models with a new, single-frame version of the spindle grille while a dual-frame grille will be reserved for lesser trims. Backing up that suspicion is the new single-frame grille found on this prototype, marking the first time the suspected F line styling piece has been seen on a GS F prototype.
The aforementioned staggered quad exhausts look good on the GS' rear end, while a none-too-subtle rear spoiler ups the rear's visual flair. The low-profile rubber and the multi-spoke, black wheels are nice touches that work well with the front fascia features, in addition to the new, camo'd grille and substantial brake cooling ducts.