Japan Is the Cheap Germany

Of course I’m talking about cars, not the people. The Japanese have one method of creating cars: copy America and Germany, yet not carbon copy, more like cheaply and poorly copy. We’re speaking in terms of styling only, because Japanese cars really are the most reliable cars on the road. Toyotas and Hondas will last forever. But their drivers have to live with plastic mediocrity. Ok, ok, so that’s a little harsh. I guess I just have a few vehicles in mind when I libel the Japanese car manufacturers.

For instance, every large Lexus is a knock-off of a BMW. A poor knock off. They have more cheap plastic and they don’t drive nearly as well as their Bavarian counterparts. The 2008 Lexus LS 460 is a duplicate of the 2006 BMW 750iL. They look the same, weigh the same, and are the same length. The BMW came out 2 years before the Lexus and has more refined features. To unlock the 750 you need only touch the handle. As long as the key is in your pocket the door will unlock. The Lexus mimics this ability. The key can still be in your pocket (ugly square thing) but you have to press a cheap little black rubber button on the car door handle to unlock it. The little button screams low quality, especially in the face of the touch sensitive handle BMW offers. Plus the interiors of BMW’s have always been better. They are ergonomic and intuitive.

BMW Lexus side view

BMW Lexus Steering Wheels

Another example I have is not any one car versus any other car, but rather a comparison of manufacturers. Infinity versus Audi. Not only is Infinity just a slightly upgraded Nissan, it produces cars that don’t really get my blood pumping. Now don’t get me wrong, the G35, which is the US version of the Skyline, is fast and fun, but in no way compares to the Audi S4, much less the RS4. Audi builds wagons that inspire, while Infinity can barely design lines that hold my attention. When I drive an Infinity I can’t tell any difference between the Nissan it’s based on. Same handling, same lame seats, and same uninspired design. When I hop into an Audi I feel like I’m in something ten times better than Audi’s parent company’s cars, Volkswagen. More power, nicer features, and much more attractive. The Audi A4 wagon has an electronically controlled air-ride suspension that, when hung up on a large rock, can lift the vehicle up 6 inches. Even if you don’t ever off-road your Audi, that’s a cool feature. Try changing ride height in a G37.

Audi Infinity

All I’m saying is that Germany is making the better high-end cars right now. They’re faster, and in my opinion, look much better. But this could all change overnight. In the early 1900’s Chevrolet introduced the idea of releasing a new model year car every year and they’ve all been doing it ever since. Each company rolls out about five new cars a year― there’s bound to be some better luxury Japanese cars in the future.


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