With German brands dominating the premium car market, it is surprising how Lexus keeps itself relevant. Despite the tough competition, the brand’s local product portfolio continues to grow as does its local fan and customer base. Why exactly is that?
The Lexus brand philosophy centres around the highest of quality standards. Some premium brands choose to chase performance, others prioritise safety. But when quality is your number one goal, customers aren’t afraid to spend a little extra on the product – they know that their money is going into the selection of materials, stringent quality control and durable parts.
When Lexus first began, they took established premium brands by surprise. The world’s biggest car companies weren’t expecting such quality and craftsmanship. Decades later, Lexus has only gotten better.
Returning customers know that Lexus’ commitment to quality doesn’t end with its products. It is an assurance that extends post-sale. Lexus practices Omotenashi, a Japanese-form of hospitality rooted in centuries of tradition. Boiled down, it is about serving wholeheartedly and sincerely. They believe that hospitality cannot be about actions alone, but intentions as well. Impossible to replicate without proper training, this is another way Lexus sets themselves apart.
Practicality and options
Cars have been around for more than a hundred years. Since then, we’ve only found more ways to use them. Lexus has always been quick to respond to these changes. They’ve had the LX for rough roads, and they’ve offered not one, but two mid-sized sedans (the ES and the GS) for customers with different needs.
More recently, Lexus Malaysia released the RX350L, a long wheelbase version of the popular SUV. Why offer a whole new version of the RX? Well, there’s plenty of things you can do with that extra 110mm. Naturally, a longer wheelbase means a larger boot and more legroom for rear occupants, but the real value comes from the added versatility.
With the extra length, Lexus RX350L owners can opt for a third row of seats. These fold flat with a simple push of a button. The controls can be found either near the rear door or in the boot area. Folding the seats down provides a luggage area that is about 56 litres larger than on the standard model. However, you can order an RX350L without that third row of seats for an even larger boot. Think of the long vacations and family outings that a car like this can make possible! Far too few brands in the premium space even offer an option like this at a reasonable price.
Predictable running costs, peace of mind
A couple of weeks ago, we had a chance to try it out. Driven by a naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6, the engine wasn’t the sportiest out there.
Yet, we realised that a large engine with average output meets less stress than a smaller one with huge outputs. With a lower workload, the motor and transmission go through far less wear and tear. This increases reliability, giving customers who want to keep their cars beyond the warranty period a sense of security.
Fast cars with small motors exciting to test drive, and Lexus owners know that peace of mind is a quality that few brands still commit to delivering.
So while the premium market may be saturated with European deals at the moment, Lexus Malaysia’s fully-imported line of products continues to draw its own crowd of customers due to its commitment to quality.