I am also Toyota/Lexus owner. Simple, dependable, doesn't stand out. That's all I need. But I still don't think that all Japanese cars are cheap or excellent. Nissan and Mitsubishi are quite poorly built and are garage queens.
There are a couple of factors I should point out... first of all my experience is long but not extensive... and being at the arse end of the world most of the cars available here in the 60s and 70s were european and they were awful... not cheap, and always needing work.
I have owned two Toyotas and they were excellent, but the next one might be a dog... I don't know, and have heard stories about other Japanese cars that cover the range of hate them and love them.
The thing is that Japan was supporting its car industries by making rules that increased road costs for anything more than two years old so it was actually cost effective for Japanese car owners to just buy a new car every few years, which generated an enormous number of second hand cars that none of the locals would touch because their on road costs were terrible, so lots of exported almost new cars which might have sat in traffic jams for two years.
When they got here they were very reasonably priced and because there were so many spare parts were easy and cheap to get which was the opposite of expensive european cars.
The cheap european cars were awful and unreliable... the expensive ones were money sinks that I kept away from and most were not that reliable either.
In comparison the cheap jap cars were reliable with easy to get parts, which made the rather more attractive than a british car you might have to get the bearings and an engine rebore after 50K kms...
I have a friend who loved British cars and he had them in large numbers and it was entertaining to see what he arrived in which he generally made a decision about based on what would start and what had a warrant of fitness at the time.
Talking about cars, Russian market is massive. It's just a time when production will start again, Toyota themselves are retaining all the staff and calling suspension of production in Russia as (component shortage issue) Just need that political clamp to loosen up again.
The Russian car makers had limited growth potential because without customer loyalty they were fighting established makers with a wide variety of products and customers in other markets so they could afford to reduce prices in Russia to get market share before creeping them up again to make good profits.
They are not selling cars in Russia as a charity to help Russian people... they are there to make money.
Well now the field has been cleared and a lot of competition has gone forced out by their own governments... so this is a real opportunity for Russian car makers to lift their game and start making cars in all the niches instead of just cheap and simple... they can go for luxury and sporty and every other aspect, but then India and China can sell too so they don't have it all to themselves which is good because it will prevent them getting fat and lazy.
I like it actually - looks chunky and durable
looks to me based on Nissan 4WDs .... not a bad thing no
The circle of life... the asians learned the trade copying european car designs and now Russia is copying Asian car designs... when it comes to car shapes there is a lot of inbreeding, but that is fine.
In general, it could use some redesign and better plastics inside.
Technology for new plastics should mean the cheap awful stuff doesn't make sense for commercial use any more and the better quality stuff gets used instead.
I remember the first deck chairs used to get all pitted and brittle after a few years in the sun and the cold but new ones last longer than your house and look shiny and new no matter what you do with them...
here in Oz every 2nd "car" is some idiotic "escape machine" SUV .... or a big quad cab ute
... you rarely see "cars" or "hatchbacks" any more
Yeah, sedans and two door hatchbacks are very rare these days here too... it is all big SUV type vehicles that never leave the tar seal and go to supermarkets and soccer fields on the weekends rather than mountainsides...
The greenies in government are trying to kill utes because there don't seem to be hybrid or electric utes in our market... which of course pisses off the tradies and farmers who want a combination small car and light truck for the dogs or the gear.
When they kill those off I suspect the makers of vans will benefit but they seem attached to their vehicles and likely wont go quietly.
welcome to the f...ked up 21st century ....
It is the same here... all the secret little holiday places your family went to escape to the crib (in New Zealand most south islanders call a holiday home a crib... in the north island they call the same thing a batch) and there was wide open spaces and very few other people... these days all those small out of the way places have houses built there and are no longer semi rural and all congested... it is quite sad because these days most can't afford a house let alone a second house out in the country... places up central otago if your family has more than one kid then the house gets sold... you might get a million dollars for it but if you want to live there you can't afford to buy new houses for all the brothers and sisters from the proceeds of the sale of one house so you basically have to either rent or move and the house values means rent is high.... and it isn't getting any better.