Sunday, August 15, 2010

My perfect world car - the Lexus GS Hybrid

In a perfect world, I would be shopping for a Lexus Hybrid. So, imagining my world perfect, I went to to research these vehicles. Lexus now has 4 hybrid vehicles available in their lineup.

As far as usability of the site, simply hovering over the tab displayed the information about each vehicle class. Very user friendly. The basic specs, price, engine, speed & drive were readily displayed with links to see more pictures, features and other information about the vehicle.

My initial thought, in my non-perfect world mind, was to look at the least expensive one. But I remembered it is a perfect world for now, so the next thing I looked at was what kind of engine they have comparatively.

The least expensive hybrid, the HS Hybrid 10, was also the least powerful. And lets face it, if I’m going to buy a luxury sports car it has to have some power. So I looked at the power of the next 2 sedans, the GS Hybrid 11 and the LS Hybrid 10. With a 5.0 liter V8 engine and 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds, the LS was clearly the most powerful hybrid available, comparable in performance to the “F Performance” models. But at over $100k base price, and knowing myself as I do, I don’t believe that even in a perfect world I would spend that much money on a car. Not even a really fast pretty car with low emissions. When there are people starving in the world. period.

So, that leaves the GS Hybrid 11, with its 340hp 3.5 liter V6, I would say it has enough power for me. And at just over $57K base, that would leave me with money to donate to worthy causes.
Having narrowed my choice down to one vehicle, I now wanted to learn more about it. So I clicked on the link that said “vehicle information”.

Browsing the page, I saw that there was a “Golden Opportunity Sales Event” for this car! I love a good sale! So I clicked on the image and...OH NO! A broken link? The usability study department over at Lexus obviously missed that.

Now I’m a little frustrated and amused. I wanted to know about the sale. As I was looking around the page for more on the sale I saw in the fine print that the MSRP does not include an $875 shipping and handling fee. Sounds kind of like how eBay used to be before they tightened up on sellers and instituted feedback based on shipping. Hmm.

Another link in the left navigation to “special offers” revealed the same broken link. BOOO!  So I gave up looking for the sale. After all this is a perfect world and as such the sale price would more than meet my expectation and satisfy my bargain hunter tendencies.

My next task was to build my Lexus, choosing the features I want. I selected the color both inside and out, and added a few small extras. The car already came equipped with all the other bells and whistles so there was not that much customizing to do.

Now that my car was ready I could go to the dealership and write them a check. But I wanted to learn more about the technology of the car and the hybrid system. I saw a link that said “inside hybrid” and a drop down with a selection that said “innovation” so I followed it. Everything I wanted to know about the technology was there AND a facebook share link. So I shared my perfect world car with my facebook friends and family. Maybe one of them will buy it for me.

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