|Behold the poser vehicle of choice! Photo courtesy of Lexus.|
I've found that there are many people in life who go around trying to act like they make drastically more money than they actually bring in. Over time I've developed several theories about why people try to act like they're rich, and in the end I've concluded that such poser activities are pathetic, foolish and completely misguided. In fact many of the richest people I've ever known try to downplay their wealth by making efforts to not stick out amongst the crowd.
While I don't understand why some people have this undying urge to appear wealthy, I have started to notice a pattern in how many of these people put on the image of wealth without actually having the money to back it up. These men avoid "dressing down" at really any time and instead favor cheap pleated chinos, penny loafers and polyester polo shirts you would find on the mannequins at JC Penny's. But this is a car blog and not a fashion blog, so back to cars. When it comes to vehicle choice there seems to be one vehicle these posers gravitate towards: the Lexus ES.
Why is the Lexus ES the poser vehicle of choice? For starters to the untrained eye it looks like a big, expensive vehicle because of the stylized "L" plastered on the grill and deck lid. Once, many years ago, I had a coworker literally tell me that the cheapest Lexus cost "like $70,000." Yeah, maybe in Australia, but not here in the U.S. of A. Currently the 2013 Lexus ES 350 has an MSRP of about $36,000. You can't get a BMW 3-Series for that cheap! In fact, a fully-loaded Honda Oddysey Touring or a Chevrolet Suburban 1500 4WD costs significantly more.Why is the ES so damn cheap? Sadly, the car is a sheep in wolf's clothing. While it looks like a luxury car, it really is a near-luxury vehicle. Truth be told, the last few generations of the ES have been incredibly mechanically similar to a Toyota Camry, just with wood trim, a V6 engine and leather seats (and you can get a V6 engine and leather seats in a Camry).
So these poser guys buy a Lexus ES 350 hoping the average guy sees the Lexus insignia and the leather seats, takes a dump in his pants and automatically assumes the other guy's car is even nearly as nice and as expensive as the Lexus LS.
And then you have the bragging about how high-performance the Lexus ES 350 is, because we all know so many people who drag race their V6 Toyota Camry at the local strip on the weekend. Most luxury sedans pack at least a decent punch, even with all the heavy creature comforts weighing them down. The 2013 Lexus ES 350's engine produces an average 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The car also features unresponsive steering approved by the Blue Hair Club and a suspension setup that will have your eyes glazing over within two miles of driving. Trust me, no automotive enthusiast's heart beats faster upon thinking about driving the Lexus ES 350.
But the automotive ignorant don't get this. In fact, I once had one of these poser Lexus ES 350 drivers try to tell me some B.S. story about how he bought a Porsche Cayenne Turbo but sold it after a few months because it wasn't a very good vehicle. It's not like I stay up at night dreaming of owning a Cayenne, but the story was so ridiculous I had to bite my own tongue to keep from bursting out laughing. Why anyone would give up the blistering acceleration, cold-as-ice stopping power and road-gripping ability of a Cayenne Turbo for a Lexus ES 350 is completely inexplicable, except that the person is completely lying through his teeth. Posers don't know how to pull the wool over the eyes of someone who actually knows about cars instead of just vaguely knowing about car brands and not much else.
But I digress. The point is that there are so many people who buy the Lexus ES 350 to make themselves look rich. I'm not necessarily saying the ES 350 is a bad car, but then again I'm not really saying it's a good car. It's kind of like Wonder Bread, the stuff that thankfully is no more: it's just okay. While some people might be fooled by a Lexus ES 350, nobody who really knows cars will be impressed by an ES 350 owner's complete lack of automotive taste or pathetic attempt at appearing wealthy.