Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content


You’ve seen how the latest Impreza WRX makes the run-of-the-mill Impreza look timid and powerless. Now you see the STi. WRX? Timid and powerless in the sight of this monster. I picture Camry and C-class buyers being totally in fear of the body addenda. Front air dam, massive hood scoop, low-hanging rocker panels, and a nuclear exhaust note exiting from quad pipes combine to generate an Impreza to be feared. The Subaru Impreza WRX STi utilizes a turbocharged flat-four and its 305bhp and 290 lb-ft of torque aid the cause of inciting fear.

Problem? Just the one: This upcoming STi is $1,500 more than STi’s were in the ’07 model year, $2,000 more than they were in 2006, $2,550 more than the price of an ’05 STi, $3,875 more than the WRX STi’s of 2004, and perhaps almost $5,000 more than the cost of the equally new and fearful Mitsubishi EvoX in base form.

Toyota showcased its brand-new Sequoia in Los Angeles. 381bhp from a 5.7L V8 will be available. Suspension is indepenent at both ends. The Sequoia’s chief engineer, Motoharu Araya, lived for a short while with an American family who owned a fullsize SUV in order to understand how these beasts are used by families. That aforementioned 5.7L is mated with a 6-speed auto, while the base 4.7L engine sticks with a 5-speed. Toyota’s big ute will be available with air suspension and monstrous 20-inch wheels. Speaking of air, the drag coefficient of 0.35 is remarkably low for such a large box and would have been unheard of only a few years ago. This CoD must be partially responsible for a larger and more powerful vehicle becoming more fuel efficient.

There was an altercation between environmentalists and a Toyota boss following the Sequoia debut, which you can read about here on GoodCarBadCar. It appears to my eye, as an aside that Toyota’s interpretation of the square-jawed American truck styling theme is better showcased on the Sequoia than the pickup version of same, the Tundra. That pic above just seems to be – dare I say it….. handsome.

Toyota’s luxury-brand, Lexus, assumed the number 1 spot in J.D. Power’s measurement of customer satisfaction. The Sales Satisfaction Index is based on customer satisfaction in five areas including: dealership facility, delivery process, vehicle price, finance process, and salesperson.

With Lexus riding at the top, the SSI basically suggests that your buying experience is best if you’re buying at a Lexus store. Hummer, Jaguar, Lincoln, and Mercedes followed Lexus in the standings. Perhaps more importantly, for the second year in a row, the industry as a whole united to achieve a record high score. Lexus topped the list at 897 out of 1,000, but the manufacturers’ overall score was up five points from last year to 852.

Buick, Cadillac, Saturn, Porsche, Mercury, Land Rover, BMW, Pontiac, GMC, Saab, Volvo, Acura, Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, Infiniti, and Mini were all above average on the SSI. Volkswagen, Chrysler, Honda, Kia, Toyota, Subaru, Scion, Hyundai, Dodge, and Jeep scored below the average mark.