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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,677
    As we all know, the purchase price isn't all that's involved in the true cost of a vehicle. Check out the article and new tool at Edmunds.com:


    True Cost to Own (TCO): Revealing the Hidden Costs of Car Ownership


    http://www.edmunds.com/advice/specialreports/articles/59897/article.html


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  • jefftpjefftp Posts: 11
    jbianco:

    High performance tires have a shorter life than standard all-season tires. As I understand it, this is partly because the rubber is softer and more pliable, in order to get a better grip on the road. The Michelin treadwear rating on the tires you see recommended for the LS is only 240-300, whereas the cheaper Michelin's I'LL put on my wife's minivan have a treadwear rating closer to 500 (meaning they'll last almost twice as long). Expensive, short-lived tires are a price you pay for having a car capable of high performance... (just like the premium gas, ugh...)
  • drcomputerdrcomputer Posts: 32
    I replaced the original Dunlop 17" with Bridgestone Turanza Z Revo's. What a difference. They are a bit stiffer, but have MUCH better road handling. I know Bridgestone has discontinued the Z Revo's, but they have just renamed them to Turanza LS-Z. You will also have to get a slightly different size in the new line (225/45-ZR17). These tires are less expensive than the Dunlops and handle much better. What a great price/performance combination.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Sorry, I wasn't accusing anyone in here of "flame-stoking" in that discussion. I was just responding to a couple of posts commenting on what has been happening there. I was just asking that we *not* go there and get into the argument.

    I didn't mean to malign any of you, and if I came across that way, I do apologize.

    Pat
    Sedans Host
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    ... for the nav info. This is a great board. So much useful data.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Saw the SC430 in the dark blue today and you are right, it is an absolute knockout in that color. I also saw a GS400 in white with tinted windows, a rear spoiler and what looked like 18" or 19" tires with spectacular wheels. Best looking GS car I've ever seen and so different than the base car. This car simply looked spectacular and could hold its own with anything from Germany. An aftermarket GS is probably still cheaper than a base German car and then you get all that fabulous reliability to boot. Couldn't help but think about our friend Bitkahuna.

    Pat - didn't take it that way. Personally I think you do a great job.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    i am about to pull the trigger on a '97 LS 400, 57K mi, black-on-black, fully loaded (except the NAV). dealer is asking $25,995. i test drove the vehicle and it drove well, except two things - the brakes felt mushy, and it vibrated slightly, plus it needs alignment. other than that, it looked, felt and drove good.

    here is my question: the car does not have an extended warranty, so what kinds of things can go wrong on such a late model vehicle ? can anyone help me with potential issues i have to look out for ? how about the price ? dealer says he is discounting from kbb # of $32K, and thinks $25K+ is fair enough.

    any help would be greatly appreciated

    thanks a bunch
  • silly1040silly1040 Posts: 48
    I'm about 8 months away from purchasing our second lexus (1st is a RX300).

    I love gadgets and I believe that Merc1 described the ride in a LS430 as a ride in a coffin. If that means quite and comfortable, sign me up. I've had the sports car, but I'll be doing a bunch of highway driving in the future and want to be pampered.

    I use cruise control all the time and would like to now about the laser cruise control. I think that it ensures that you don't come too close to someone in front of you and that you can set it to follow someone at a certain distance. Am I correct about this? What are the revues of the LS430 owners that have this option, how do you enjoy it?
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    You raise two issues.
    First, it would certainly be foolhardy when buying a $60K+ car to judge the ride on anything other than personal experience. You must judge it for yourself. Merc1 has never been in one, is admittedly biased against them and bases his opinion on hearsay only. Generally, this would not constitute the basis for a sound buying decision for you.

    As for the laser cruise - it basically operates as you describe and I, personally, have found it to work well if you use it as intended and understand its limits. You set the desired speed and one of 3 following distances. The system will attempt to hold the speed until it closes on the car in front. It will then gradually slow to match the speed of the car in front and even apply up to 20% of the brakes if you are closing too fast. When the slower car moves away, the cruise will return to the original speed. If you get too close, it will beep at you as a warning to take control. It is not accident avoidance and doesn't satisfy (me at least) in heavier traffic. Hope this helps.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I wouldn't describe the LS ride as "coffin like", but I doubt if you can find a vehicle in this class that is more "pleasantly quiet".

    The flip side of that quietness is that some of it is obtained by sacrificing the amount of fresh air, oxygen, coming into the cabin.

    Very well insulated (sealed), extremely low HVAC blower speeds (no inlet airflow), very little exit airflow (restricted outflow), results in a stale and humid cabin atmosphere.

    Hmmm, except for the darkness aspect maybe "coffin-like" is the more correct term.

    And speaking of the laser cruise how often does it "false", give you a "reading" from something other than the vehicle directly forward?
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    If your cruise question was directed to me, I have yet to have the system "false" on me. I even closely monitored during big curves, wondering if it would see the trees ahead or another vehicle ahead in the curve, but it hasn't done so yet. I keep it set on the closest following distance, though, so this might impact on it. I imagine, at some point, I'll find a scenario where it does "false", but if it continues to work as it has been, I'll be quite happy. After all, you can "outwit" nearly any mechanical system and cause it to fail, but the real proof is in the "everyday pudding" of real world driving and, so far, that's been an unqualified success. Now, if I can only get the idiot drivers to stop cutting in front of me because I leave more than 3 feet of clearance, all would be right with the world.
  • whybuy1whybuy1 Posts: 43
    Silly1040,
    I own an LS430 Ultralux with the Laser Cruise Control. I really did not have time to fully test it before I bought the car, but I am happy to say it works well. I use it all the time, even in SF Bay Area commute traffic. The feedback system seems to look at the distance to the next car and its speed. Speed increases are gradual. There are 3 selectable distance settings, each of which seems to vary with vehicle speed. I usually use the closest setting, which has you follow at a greater than average distance in commute traffic, but at the distance I usually like to maintain from the car ahead. It slows the car in three stages: first by letting off the gas, then by downshifting once or twice, and then by applying the brakes. It beeps at you if you get too close to the car ahead of you. It's great on highways. It doesn't work in heavy rain. I guess the laser and sensor does not work when when the window is wet. There is a way to return to normal cruise control in that event.
    It depends on the car ahead having reflectors to work. There have been times when I followed old trucks with tiny reflectors. The cruise control did not detect the truck as far away as it should have. It is not an auto pilot.
    In short, I use it all the time. It is a feature that adds to the enjoyment of both commute traffic and highway driving. It makes me drive less aggressively and lets me enjoy the ML sound system.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    LS430 - best riding car in the world under 100K and maybe even without that limitation. Very quiet, extremely smooth and pampers you to no end. It's exactly what a lux car should be and a wonderful ownership experience.
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    I just bought an '02 LS with Custom Pkg. Picked it up in January. All the electronics work well, although be prepared to spend time reading the owner's manual and practice (a lot) to get used to all the gadgets.
    The laser cruse control is very cool. Set the cruise at the desired speed and the car will automatically break (using engine breaking - down shifting to a lower gear) if someone cuts in front of you. But that doesn't mean you can kick back and not be fully aware of the traffic. For example, if there's traffic in front of you that comes to a stop, or slows very suddenly, YOU have to do the breaking. The manual also warns you not to use the laser cruise control in bad weather.
    The other thing I like about the car is that it's very quiet and the Levenson sound system is awesome. On the down side, the seat controls are on the bottom of the seat and confusing to operate. But once you get the seat adjusted properly, the memory takes care of the rest.
    I noticed someone made a comment about the HVAC...that the car tends to get humid inside due to the "coffin-like" seal to keep the car quiet. Happily, I have not had this problem. I'm in So Calif. so it never gets very humid. About the warmest it's been this winter is about 80-85 degrees and the A/C has worked perfectly.
    Hope this helps.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Hi, I some questions about the LS.

    1. Does the rear climate control systems operate on a different systen than the front? I want to be able to set one temperature for the driver, front passenger and a different temperature for the rear passengers.

    2. How well does the voice recognition work and what does it control. Temperature, NAV, radio, cruise control, phone?

    3. Is XM radio available on the LS? FM reception has been subpar from what I hear from previous LS430 owners. The power rod antenna seems to work much better in the last generation models. I like to listen to Baltimore stations and I work in Va. So far, only rod antennas seem to give me clear reception.

    4. Do the heated seats only cover the seat bottoms or the entire seats.

    These are some of the features that I'm looking for in my next car.

    thanks,
  • whybuy1whybuy1 Posts: 43
    I943973,
    I have an LS430 Ultralux. This car has rear climate controls in the rear armrest. The car has a separate A/C evaporator and air purifier behind the back seat which recirculates and purifies the rear seat air. The back seat controls can adjust temperature, but this affects the front temperature, too. The car can maintain a left/right temperature difference in the front seat, but the rear seat temperature is set by overriding the front seat setting. This car is made for Japanese executives. They sit in the back seat. They get the control, not the driver. The rear passenger can also adjust the rear fan speed and rear A/C compressor independent of the front seat controls. All these settings can also be controlled by the driver. Sometimes my wife sits in the back seat and controls the temperature. I then try to select my temperature by changing the left/right front temperature difference.
    The voice recognition is somewhat primitive. It works most of the time. I have found the touch screen buttons to be more convenient. I have only used it for the NAV system. I am not aware of other capabilities.
    I have no knowledge about XM radio. The FM sensitivity is OK, but not the selling item of the car. I carry a lot of CDs with me. Get your kid to download and burn CDs of your favorite music and keep them in the center console or 6-disk CD changer. I enjoy DBS radio at home and XM is something I would be interested in but only if it were integrated into the car. The Mark Levinson sound is very good.
    The seat heaters heat the entire seat. The seat coolers heat the entire front seat. The rear seat vibrators vibrate only the back and are rarely used.
  • bcleepebcleepe Posts: 53
    I concur with all the comments related to the laser cruise control. It is a smart gadget. I usually use the long distance setting. When someone cut in front of me or the vehcile is going downhill and the warning beep is on, I first lower the distance setting one at a time. If the beep went out, I then gradually return to normal long setting. Otherwise, I temporary cancel the cruise control until the required clearance is available.
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    To: I943973
    I don't have the Ultra Pkg...just the Custom. The custom has most of the options that the Ultra has except for the back set climate controls and reclining seats/message. So I can't help you with back seat controls.
    However, I do have the voice recognition system. Quite frankly, it was all too confusing for me so I just use the touch screen controls. I think voice recognition only works with the NAV system...not the climate control or audio system. There are lots of gadgets in the car and it does take a while to get used to them all. And the voice activation is one that I just haven't had time to conquer. Now that I'm used to the touch screen, I'm not sure I'll even use voice system.
  • mrittermritter Posts: 10
    The voice recognition system can control Nav, Climate and audio. Refer to the Nav operators manual and you will see a list of all of the commands. I think there are about 200. I to believe that the touch screen is easier and faster than using the voice system but it is available to do so. I have the Nav/ML system not the custom lux or higher.
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    What I find so amazing about the laser cruise control is the accuracy with which it is able to distinguish cars in front of me in my own lane from the adjacent lanes, even on curves. I have come to suspect that it detects the lane separator buttons, and in effect "sees" a 2-dimensional map of the lane in front of me.

    I do agree that in heavy traffic it is best to turn it off. But in less-than-heavy traffic it is extremely convenient; whenever I have to drive a loaner car I really miss it.

    The one improvement I wish they would make is for the car to remember the setting at the time the engine is turned off, and restore the same setting when it is restarted, so that all you need to do is to push the Set lever, instead of having to push the On button, then select the following distance, and finally reset the desired speed.
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