SUV drivers. They're criticized, put down, and are generally the butt of most automotive jokes lately. They're not all bad, really. There are occasional good drivers in SUV's. However, there is one SUV that just has a BAD breed of drivers at the helm. ALWAYS. The Lexus RX-300.
People made fun of the Toyota Previa minivan for looking like an egg when it came out, but this Lexus is an egg made for going off road. Or is it? After all, what kind of vehicle that claims it is an SUV (whose whole purpose is sitting up higher and having 4WD) has 4WD as an OPTION? And to top it off, in an effort to make it ride more like a car, Toyota/Lexus (same difference) built it on the same platform as the Camry! What geniuses! Now we have a $35K Toyota Camry with big tires, an ugly egg shaped body, and most likely NO 4WD!!
The overwhelming majority of those driving this car are women. I'm not saying that women are bad drivers either, (my fiance is an exceptionally good driver, as a matter of fact) but these women drivers in RX-300's are just a menace. Their cell phone is glued to their ear (I'm not even exaggerating either), their foot is to the floor when the weather is bad (forgetting they didn't pony up for the 4WD) and they are generally driving like Ralph Nader at a Corvair National Convention. Come to think of it, the few male drivers of the RX-300 that I have seen, pretty much drive the same way, only faster. Probably trying not to be seen in that ugly thing.
Now let's talk interiors. Have you seen the interior of the RX-300? I mean, have you SEEN THIS? I'm talking about of course, the shifter. Lexus didn't want to go with the grandma-stigma of the steering wheel mounted shifter. Nope, they wanted a center console mounted gear selector, aka Luxury cars such as the Mercedes, BMW, etc. But, since after all, they are just selling a minivan with big tires, they wanted the passengers to be able to walk between the front two seats and the rears. So they just extended the dashboard downward and back a few inches to mimic a center console, and then stopped there! So they have this alien creation with a console shifter sticking up out of the dashboard. I think the Japanese engineers had just come back from a sake marathon when they thought this one up. "Stupid American Gaijins, we will make this crap and they'll buy it because it say Lexus on front grill. HA HA Americans!". For an idea of what I'm talking about, I went to the Lexus website and downloaded this picture of the interior. Its an animated gif, but you'll get the idea of what I'm talking about when you see it. They did try to crop the picture a bit toward the bottom so you can't tell as easily that there is no center console between the front seats.
My final point about the RX-300 relates to the foglights. Besides the obvious reasons I hate RX-300's and their drivers (always being cut off, them turning without warning in front of me, almost hitting me while trying to change lanes, and the list goes on) there is one thing that takes the cake. Lexus obviously thought that the people driving this thing had the intelligence to handle being able to switch the foglights on independently of the other lights on the vehicle. So this means, yep, you guessed it, it is possible to drive with the foglights only on and no other lights. This has occurred two times in my commute in the past few months. Both were women drivers. One was on a suburbian road where a woman was driving at night with only her foglights on. No parking lights on meaning no tail lights for me to see her as I came up behind her. Only when I got around her did I see that her foglights were on, of course, barely illuminating her way as she drove. Of course she was just happy as a clam in her RX-300, invulnerable to all, and not realizing that she was a menace to those around her driving that night. The second occasion was at night, on the interstate, where a woman with her lights on in the same fashion had parked herself at 65 MPH in the far left lane and I didn't see her until I was fairly close and had to brake significantly once I realized that there was a vehicle in front of me! Of course no amount of honking could clue this idiot into the fact that she was a highway fatality waiting to happen just begging to be rear ended at high speed. She continued to drive along, face to the steering wheel practically, and I gave up trying to clue her in about turning her frickin' lights on.
Of course Lexus I'm sure isn't complaining at all about the RX-300 because they're selling a ton of them. This, however, speaks volumes about the intelligence of the American public.