Survey Says

Autolist Survey: Car shoppers trust word-of-mouth advice above all

Survey respondents named a number of influences on their vehicle purchasing habits.

Photo by Getty Images

What their mother, best friend, co-worker, and children have to say matters most to car shoppers, according to a recent survey by Autolist.com. Fifty-two percent of survey respondence said that personal recommendations had the biggest influence in their car-buying decision.

"When someone in your immediate circle has a good or bad experience with anything, it makes you feel better about making the same decision," said Chase Disher, analyst at Autolist. "Because cars are such a huge purchase in our lives, word-of-mouth means that much more here."

Autolist surveyed more than 1,100 current car shoppers in late January and early February to conduct the survey. Respondents were given a list of influences on their car buying in the past and asked to pick up to three that affected them.

Those surveyed were also given other choices which included recommendations by data-backed organizations (Consumer Reports and J.D. Power), media awards, YouTube reviews, community recommendations (Reddit, Facebook groups, online forums), and social media influencers on platforms.

Respondents ranked "Data-backed media recommendations" second with 33 percent of those surveyed saying that they had influenced past vehicle purchases.

Coming in third place was media awards. Publications including MotorTrend and Car & Driver give annual awards. Other influential awards come from the North American Car, Truck, and Utility of the Year jury, Kelley Blue Book, and Cars.com.

A close fourth was YouTube. Across all age groups, 22 percent of shoppers said that YouTube played a roll in their buyer choice.

Social media influencers came in seventh, chosen by 11 percent of respondents.

Nine percent of respondents chose "none of the above."

The results change when 18-23 year old buyers' choices are isolated. They too chose word-of-mouth as their top influence but named YouTube as their second favorite.

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Toyota's Indiana plant is getting a makeover and adding two models.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

In the middle of a press release regarding an $800 million investment in Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI), Toyota let it slip that two new models will find their place on the production line there - one Toyota and one Lexus.

The two new three-row SUVs are designed with the "active Gen Y American Family in mind". To figure out what they will be, look no further than our list of the new vehicle trademarks that Toyota and Lexus have put forth in the last few months.

The automaker has already filed to trademark the names "Grand Highlander", "TX350", and "TX500h". If you were a gambler, you'd want to put money on at least one of these models being a take on the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept that was presented a few years ago at the North American International Auto Show. That three-row, coupe-like SUV was a touch ahead of the trend in terms of body styling and was very well received by dealers, media, and the public.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept The Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept was well-received by dealers, media, and the public when it premiered half a decade ago.Photo courtesy of Lexus

There's also the possibility that the forthcoming "Grand Highlander" may be a new Sequoia under a fresh name.

The "TX350" and "TX500h" filing makes it apparent that the vehicle will likely come with the same base engine as the Lexus RX, a 3.5-liter V6, and perhaps get a hybrid variant of the 5.0-liter V8 that's in the forthcoming 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport.

The release also said that the vehicles will have a semi-automated driving system. Lexus Teammate, a system with characteristics similar to what Toyota has described, will come first to the 2022 Lexus LS 500h. It has Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation", according to the automaker.

The announcement from Toyota says that the details of the forthcoming eight-passenger vehicles will be announced "at a later date".

"Over the past 20 years, Toyota has led the way with more electrified vehicles on the road than all automakers combined," said Ted Ogawa, president and CEO of Toyota Motor North America. "This investment and new vehicle line-up will allow us to continue our work with electrification, expand our portfolio to around 70 models globally by 2025, and meet the needs of our customers while we accelerate towards carbon neutrality."

Traditionally it takes 12 to 18 months to build out a factory following an announcement of this nature.

The investment in TMMI will bring 1,400 new jobs to the Princeton, Indiana plant. The factory, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, currently has over 7,200 employees. It's currently the home of the Toyota Sienna, Sequoia, and Highlander.

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The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq offers 300+ miles of range and a good amount of passenger space.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq was shown for the first time last year with plenty of teasing to go along with the information regarding its battery electric powertrain. Now the automaker is showing off more of the SUV, including its interior, and revealing more about the crossover's powertrain.

The 2023 Lyriq rides on Cadillac's rear-wheel drive Ultium platform. It's a few inches wider and longer than the 2021 Lexus RX 350, but its wheelbase is considerably longer 109 inches vs. 121 inches) becuase of the lack of limitations with an electric powertrain. The Lyriq bests the interior dimensions of the RX everywhere except in the hip-room category where its front and rear seat fall short by more than an inch.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

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The Lyriq weighs about as much as a Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Powering the Lyriq is a 12-module, 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Cadillac estimates that the car will deliver 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, making it slightly more powerful than the 2021 Cadillac XT5. The automaker figures that the pack will allow for over 300 miles of all-electric range with a full charge.

Initial information shows that all-wheel drive will not be available.

The Lyriq is able to charge at DC fast charing stations at a rate of up to 190 kilowatts. That enables it to add 76 miles of range in abut 10 minutes and 195 miles of range in 30 minutes when charging in optimal conditions. For home charging, Lyriq is able to charge at a rate of 19.2 kilowatts, which allows it to add up to 52 miles of range per hour of charge. Trickle charging will yield a gain of 3.5 miles of ranger per hour of charge time.

Cadillac engineers have given the Lyric Regen on Demand technology, which allows drivers to control how quickly the Lyriq slows down or comes to a complete stop during a pressure-sensitive paddle on the steering wheel.

The car's black crystal grille and long lighting blades give the car unique features and tie it in with the Cadillac family's looks.

A long list of standard and available features has been revealed for the model. The roster includes: Super Cruise, 33-inch LED display, active noise cancellation technology, LED headlamps with a choreographed lighting sequence, a 19-speaker AKG sound system, KeyPass digital vehicle access, dual level charging cord, 20-inch six-spoke alloy wheels, and 22-inch dynamic split-spoke Reverse Rim alloy wheels.

The car's standard 20-inch wheels come wrapped in all-season, self-sealing tires. The available 22-inchers get all-season, low-profile, self-sealing tires.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq: Interior

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Only two exterior paint colors are available: Satin Steel Metallic and Stellar Black Metallic. Interior color schemes include Sky Cool Gray and Noir.

The interior of the Lyriq is very similar to that of the Escalade. Like its big brother, the Lyriq has a large, curved screen that spans half the dashboard.

With its rear seat folded, the Lyriq has about twice the cargo space as the Lexus RX. Behind the rear seat, the Lyriq bests the RX's cargo space by 12 cubic feet.

The 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ is expected to go into production in the first quarter of 2022, with pricing starting at $59,9907. It will be produced at GM's Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant.

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