At Toyota Bad News In The Rear View And Big Profits Ahead…

A few years ago economic downturns, natural disasters and PR nightmares made for a bleak picture at Toyota. Today with 2014 worldwide sales of 10.23 million, edging out Volkswagen and GM, and a projected profit of $18.1 billion the company has recovered with gusto.

The balance sheets are helped by the low value of the Japanese yen, allowing Toyota to make more money on every vehicle sold abroad.   Toyota/Lexus/Scion sales have been strong especially in fast growth segments like small SUVs.

A test drive of the latest Lexus 450 Hybrid Crossover Utility Vehicle reinforces all the traditional value-oriented appeal of the Toyota family while adding a healthy dash of luxury and convenience. The 450h has a 3.5-liter V6 engine with integrated hybrid electric power producing a healthy 295 horsepower and a respectable combined 29-MPG fuel economy rating. With all wheel drive, which adds significantly to on road agility, this Lexus RX tops out just under $50K.

Exterior styling changes have been modest on the RX series over 3 generations and even the celebrated Lexus Darth Vader front grill is only a little distracting on the RX F-Sport edition.