Magazine article Medical Economics

Cream of the Competition

Magazine article Medical Economics

Cream of the Competition

Article excerpt

The only real competitor to the Lexus LX 450 in terms of price, cachet, and off-road capability is the Range Rover 4.0 SE (base price $55,625), powered by a 190-horsepower 4.0-liter V-8. New for '96 is the even pricier 225-horsepower 4.6 HSE model (base price $62,625). On both versions, an air suspension system lets you lower the vehicle 2.6 inches for easier boarding. The ride is supple, where the LX 450 is granitelike. Controls in all Range Rovers are confusing; for example, the same icon is used for "cruise control" and "highway height setting." Before you set out in a Range Rover, viewing the video instruction manual is mandatory.

Acura jumped into the luxury sport-utility market at the same time as Lexus with the smaller, less-expensive Acura SLX (base price $34,335), powered by a 190-horsepower 3.2-liter V-6. You need the premium model ($38,435) to get the luxury goodies: leather, faux wood trim, power moonroof, heated front seats and power fold-in mirrors. The SLX is a fancy Isuzu Trooper, which is a less impressive starting point than the Land Cruiser. The price and features of the SLX, however, are more in line with the top domestic sport-utilities'.

Speaking of the Toyota Land Cruiser, how does it compare with the LX 450? Starting at $40,678, the Land Cruiser isn't exactly cheap, either. And that price doesn't bring many LX 450 features, including a softer ride, quieter interior, automatic climate control, a standard anti-theft system, a better grade of leather, a longer warranty, a few different body pieces--and the Lexus name and fabled customer treatment.

The value vehicles among luxury SUVs are the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon (base price $31,079 for four-door models with four-wheel-drive). …

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