The latest skid off the road for Toyota occurred yesterday, when Consumer Reports magazine judged the 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk.” On CR’s test track the barge exhibited unacceptable lift-off oversteer when pushed hard in a decreasing-radius turn.
That means the car skidded sideways, tail out, when the driver eased off the throttle as the turn tightened. A CR spokesperson stated that the SUV entered the turn at over 60 mph. The electronic stability control system, featured on all such cars, should have acted more quickly to control the skid.
So Toyota had little choice but to withdraw the cars until a fix is found. And apologize, yet again.
The story is all over the major media and the automotive press (video of test here). Some in the car world are questioning CR’s judgment and testing procedures: Inside Line wonders whether the test is at all realistic, and in its test of the car, the stability control reacted early and aggressively.
Would drivers of a vehicle like this ever perform this kind of maneuver? Probably not, but according to CR, there are scenarios “in real-world driving” that could produce a roll-over. Yes, even for the soccer lacrosse moms driving these behemoths.
So, once again, Consumer Reports rides to the rescue of the unsuspecting motorist. We are frankly getting a little tired of their sanctimonious attitudes, which imply that all cars should behave blandly and totally predictably. One of their people said, “We want a car to be benign.”
That is the last thing an enthusiast wants. Add in the magazine’s pompous “arbiter of safety” stance, and it’s clear why most enthusiasts can’t stand CR or its recommended vehicles. Now, for a change, a 5,300-pound luxo-truck has become their target, and some are rejoicing. Here’s a comment (scroll down to NickR) on the withdrawal of the GX 460:
From a selfish point of view, I am glad. Every last one of these I have seen is being driven in a shopping mall, supermarket parking lot my some spoiled housefrau that can’t even see out of the godammed thing. It takes them 10 minutes to pull into a parking space and 20 minutes to get out.
Well, that’s kind of unfair, Nick, but we do sympathize. If the GX ever revives its market (5,000 sold in three months), we’ll be the first to conduct another lift-off oversteer test and sign up the lacrosse mom in the video to drive.
Why should we all strive to drive “benign” cars? Isn’t CR catering to the lowest common denominator of driver?