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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Executive car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (rear for the Lexus and 4 x 4 in the case of the Volkswagen). The first one has a Toyota-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 8-cylinder, 32-valves 384hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 8-cylinder, 40-valves 335hp engine designed by Volkswagen.Safety
Unfortunatelly, neither of the two vehicles was submitted to the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) testing. This makes it virtually impossible for me to pick one over the other and I'm generally against buying such cars as the safety should really always come first. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the executive car segment, which is generally a fortune safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the German car offers a considerable difference of 11% more metal.Reliability
Reliability is not the best thing to consider on the make level, but it is worth mentioning that Lexus does have a slight advantage, at least on all of the models level. These are the results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of Lexus with an average rating of 5.0, and models under the Volkswagen badge with 4.2 out of 5. Unfortunatelly, I don't have enough insight that would allow me to comment in more details on the specific models level. Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Japanese car rank it on average as 3.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.Performance & Fuel economy
Lexus is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.2 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 250 kilometers per hour, exactly the same as the other car does. When it comes to fuel economy an obvious choice would be the Japanese car, averaging around 11.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (25 mpg), in combined cycle. That's 18% difference compared to the German car!
Lexus appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the German car offers significantly better overall protection, taking the lead here. From there things take a different direction, with Lexus being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but Lexus. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.