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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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  • Is it me, or do the buttons in the LS430 seem to be placed in an odd/ugly way. I love the new AS, and I like it quite a bit more then the LS400. But when I recently sat in one while my GS400 was getting serviced, the button placement just looked "cheesy" to me. I'm talking in the center console, underneath the ashtray.

    I dun no, maybe it's just me, but it looks like they decided to place them there after the car was already designed.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I just returned from picking up my new LS430 ultra at the dealership. It seems the earlier rumors about the phone are true. Lexus has stopped selling the current phone and is working on a fix. The car is great, the ride is great, life is good. The black cherry with ecru interior is stunning, IMO, and while I was at the dealership, several people wanted to see it and two offered to buy it. It was the 1st blk cherry/ecru ultra they had sold. I love it, as you might imagine.
  • Has anyone heard of Lexus offering the XM or Sirius satellite radio services on the LS (or other Lexi) when they become available? How about the ability to upgrade existing models, especially ones with navigation, as the screen interface can be changed by downloading new software.

    Also, has anyone out there with the nav system wanted a way to name your CDs? It wouldn't be too difficult for Lexus to create an on-screen keyboard by which one could recognize discs and store title and track info. Heck, with internet connectivity one could even search and download cover art just like those nifty Escient CD changers (www.escient.com). :) I know I couldn't be the only one out there who can't remember exactly which CDs are loaded, and in what order!
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    New owners.... please share your reasons for purchasing a new LS430....include what other vehicles you considered... tell us LS shoppers what made the sale for you.... describe your test drive and experience with the Lexus dealership. What concerns did you have?

    Beyond the obvious, why is it the best luxury value on the market.... even at MSRP.

    Thanks
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Wbwynn: I just posted the following on the Mercedes S board - I was reading there and saw a similar topic forming. This represents my thinking and my purchase. There is more in my head, but the post is already long:

    I have researched these 2 cars (S430-500 / LS430)since Jan of 2000. I came to many of the same conclusions expressed here. Final decision was, I just took delivery of my LS430 Black Cherry Ultra Lux two days ago - and don't regret it for a minute. While I don't profess to the wealth of many of you, I could have afforded the extra 15-20 thousand for the Benz, but decided not to. It was, for me, a matter of quality and reliability. For me, while prestige is nice, I also appreciate the value and long term reliability of the Lexus. The only downside (and a subjective one it is) to the Lexus is the somewhat controversial exterior style. On almost EVERY other count, the Lexus wins. I have read this board and the Lexus board and the number of complaints about both the car and service and dealership attitude is stunningly high for Benz and low for Lexus. No, no car is perfect, but my LS430 (so far) comes much closer than the Benz. As for the reasons some people buy: my wife was initially much more interested in the Benz bcz we could go to Germany for delivery and drive there for a month or so. (Takes all kinds - lol) Any car purchase is, of course, subjective and personal, as was mine. But, I truly feel, if the only real advantage a car has is its name prestige and it costs so much more, then my choice is easier. I'd rather be on the road in ultimate comfort with a Nav system that is intuitive and an unparalleled ride in quiet, than sitting in the dealer's service dept. complaining about the rattles, squeeks, cheap plastic parts and various other failings I have read about here. Lastly (sorry for the length), I don't intend to put the Benz down - I almost bought one and think, generally, it's a fine car, just not a smart buy for MY purposes - but obviously it is for many/most of you. And if we pass each other on the road, let's wave and smile and revel in the wisdom of BOTH of our choices rather than belittle the other person's wisdom for his decision.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Well-said....and thanks

    My feelings as well....just that I am not sitting in an LS yet.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I just found a really decent and inexpensive alternative to the current LS430 phone problem. A company called Navigator has a series of "all in one" handsfree mounts that install directly into the car power plug and hold a series of cell phones (mine is Nokia 6100 series). The mount acts as a charger, speaker and microphone. The quality is quite decent, considering price and size,etc. The good part is that the power plug in the center compartment in the LS is vertical and works very well to hold this mount. It only very slightly blocks the seat htr buttons, but otherwise integrates well with the console. No wires or screws (!!!) and just unplugs for storage or to use in another car or until Lexus comes up with a better installable phone. If there is any interest, I can post a small photo of my setup as an example. The mount package shows a web site of www.navigatoronline.com I haven't tried the site yet, just bought the thing at Best Buy for $60.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    Be careful when blowing $60 on this product - sure, it's not much money, but then again, it's not much of a product.

    I have a LS400 and a new RX300 and my wife and I both have Nokia 6000 series cell phones. We've tried the Navigator (charger/speakerphone/mount) in both cars, with and without the included line cord mic that cuts down ambient noise.

    Results:
    1. Voice quality to the dialed party is fair-to-poor
    2. When the road gets a bit rough, it's not unusual for the cell phone to disengage slightly from the Navigator mount - then it doesn't work properly till it's reinstalled and/or powered-up again.
    3. In discussing these problems with the Navigator tech folks, you'll get the "well, what do you expect for the money?" approach.

    Bottom line - it does work. Just not well. I think that a Lexus vehicle deserves better but I haven't found the right product yet.
  • I just read a press release about Lexus being the top-selling luxury brand (for 2000). I thought someone wrote that Mercedes held that spot. Well, he or she is wrong. Here's a link to that press release:

    http://www.lexus.com/about/news/popups/pr_2001_01_08e.html

    This is just a one paragraph quote from that press release:

    Amid record low temperatures across the country, Lexus heated up the sales thermometer to a sizzling 206,037 units for the year 2000, an all-time sales record for the luxury automaker. Lexus' record-setting sales represent an increase of 10.8 percent from 1999. In a very competitive and tight market, Lexus became the top-selling luxury brand edging out Mercedes-Benz by a mere 423 units.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    wbwynn - I saw your posting about not getting any breaks or negotiating room from an Atlanta Lexus dealer. I know what you mean, I've been there. I have a GS400, not an LS, which I ended up buying from Butler Lexus in Macon. Sales guy was Renardo Pitts. Might be worth a call for you - saved me some money, plus I got *exactly* what I wanted, not the usual "well if it's on the lot great, otherwise we might get what you want some year..."
  • edspider1edspider1 Posts: 195
    Flint350 said it best. (By the way, your color choice sounds fantastic, but I couldn't wait.) I too did research and decided on the LS over the MB S430. My old car was a 98 MB E320 which I just loved, but it was in for service a lot. In the end, I just didn't see the value. I have no regrets. My silver with Black Indigo UL is the finest car I've ever seen. Its only weakness is in exterior styling. Since I own the car, I hope they don't fix that in 2002, but I suspect they will.

    Lexus top selling Luxury line. Get real. This kind of comparison is meaningless. Lexus has more models and less expensive models than MB. I would expect them to sell more cars in total. What I'd like to see is who sells the most $50K+ cars.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Flint 350 - you are right on the money. LS430 is simply a better car than either MB S-430 or S-500.I have car a month now and it seems to be better every day. The MB's are great cars but reliability and many complaints from owners who remain loyal to them are hard to understand. Lexus reliability plus LS430's unbelievable ride and improved handling made it impossible to pass up.By the way is'nt it funny how LS430 owners don't put down S-class cars but vice-versa MB owners do exact opposite;maybe they are insecure about their purchase. Rode in a friends S-430 past weekend and bottom line at least for me is I'm glad I opted for the Lexus.
  • edspider1edspider1 Posts: 195
    ljflx: You make an excellent point. When I read the S-Class forum most owners do tend to speak negatively of the LS. While LS owners are more rational. We know the S is a great car. We also know the LS is, too. In fact we'd probably very happy in either. We just decided that the LS has an edge for us. If the new LS didn't exist, you'd find me in an S-Class.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Some high volume dealers are now giving $2000 off LS430 regardless of option package chosen....if you bypass the salesman and buy via internet. It just the beginning of the end for MSRP. Some of these dealers actually have a big inventory.

    Anyone heard anything more about the mid-luxury (custom) option package available this spring?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    edspider1 - Couldn't agree with you more. Who wouldn't be happy in an S-Class? But if I had it and there was no LS430 alternative than I'd be wishing MB would add the things the LS has - particularly the quiet cabin, incredible ride and gorgeous interior amenities. Unlike most S-Class owners I love all that interior wood - it gives a warm feeling and makes me feel as if I'm in my family room. The MB's are just too spartan inside for all that money and the cd player is still dealer installed and in the trunk.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    I've had my ls for 2 months. absolutely perfect, even the tire pressure. can't imagine a better, car. so glad i did not get the S class even though the lease payment was close (MB 66% residual). lots of pressure on MB. once you look and drive them both, no choice. 15-20k is a lot of peace of mind rather than prestige. a young gas attendant asked what kind of car i had..."awesome" I couldn't agree more.

    Peace of mind is what it's all about. i know this will not be in except for routine maintenance. most MB owners wish the same.


    also looked at the insurance crash test site, and looked at the E class, then looked at the Avalon. quess who did better. MB talks the talk, but their rep is cracking. looking at that offside crash of the e class, and the avalon, opens ones eyes. Even volvo did better. so maybe MB isn't as safe as they say. look for your self.

    http://www.hwysafety.org/

  • Well, let's see... Lincoln, Cadilac, and especially Acura have cheaper models. Why isn't Acura the leader??? If people were looking for "bargains", wouldn't any of the three mentioned before be the leader? I guess the price isn't the prime factor. And Mercedes has a lot of variation on their cars, engine choices, etc... Mercedes also has cheaper models than the S-class. Do you think "the rich" will buy an GS 300 or GS 430 over an S-Class? If they wanna buy a Mercedes, they buy a Mercedes. So Price and models doesn't really matter. Something else is making people buy more Lexus'. Something like reliability, service, etc. I actually don't know why...
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    I think the following factors affect most buying decisions: value for money, overall quality, driving experience, features, looks, reliability, performance, and uniqueness. Lexus scores well or very well on all these fronts. They do their homework.

    The S class though, for example, is an incredible car, but there's some questions about reliability, quality, and features (like their wacky COMAND system), not to mention 'value' for some.

    I think many look at an S-Class and an LS and say that while the S-Class is great it just isn't a better overall package at any price than an LS 430 for example.

    The E-Class is pretty boring overall but doesn't really have much competition so it does OK. Other companies (BMW, Lexus, Audi) do sports sedans in those price ranges instead. Yes you can get an E55, but that's a different league in terms of cost.

    Lexus often 'follows' a market, too. They watched the SUV market grow and then hit a home run with the RX300 because they learned that people like the high driving position, the room, but not the truck-like ride or lack of amenities. So they made a great riding, good looking, distinctive, high quality vehicle that is a good value for money also. Home run.

    BMW is too small a company to do as much as Toyota/Lexus, so they focus more on performance than anything else.

    Acura focuses on people who don't want to spend as much as a Lexus or Mercedes costs and their TL for example, was a GREAT example of terrific value for money, but with some necessary compromises, given the price.

    But getting back to Lexus, they now have a pretty broad product line, a terrific reputation, a good read of the market, and an ability to capitalize on trends often started by others.
  • I'm contemplating the purchase of an LS430 & if I do expect to keep it for several years,maybe 100,000 hi or more. What can I expect in the way of durability after the warranty runs out? Regular maintenance costs seem a little on the high side...approx $130 every 5000 miles & $300 every 15000 i. These costs were quoted by local dealer. Also was surprised to here that Lexus uses a timing belt instead of a chain which is recommended to be changed @ 90000 @ a cost of $1100. I realize that these costs mare not that great over the life of the car but seem higher that you would expect given the extended service periods of the competition. Any experience you can give me would be appreciated. Also hoe about the extended warranty from Lexus? Approx cost $2200.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Just took a Sunday stroll through the local MB lot to re-confirm the lack of value for the money. I really think that MB is in trouble at their current price levels for E and S classes when compared to the LS430. It's shocking to me what people will pay for an old image that falls way short in reliability and value for the dollar paid.
  • feverhartfeverhart Posts: 144
    I can only give you my experience. I owned a 1990 LS 400 for 11 years before buying the LS 430. I had no problems for the 130,000 miles. I replaced the timing belt at 120,000,whether it needed it or not. After the warranty period I only had it serviced every 30,000 miles. I did change the o & f every 7500 miles (Mobile one)myself. Still had the original rear brake pads and muffler & tail pipe when I sold it.

    Would I buy any other car than a Lexus? Not with that experience.
  • ideal2ideal2 Posts: 1
    I took delivery 2 months ago of my LS 430(Black,Ecru,Chromewheels,17" summer tires)and after owning just about every Luxury including
    a 1997 E430, put a fork in me I am done!
    LS 430 is the best at any money.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Lexus RX300 is the home run that edged Lexus past MB in total sales. Also, the new IS helped as well. The RX was Lexus' top selling vehicle of all of its models. I haven't looked in a while, but through September 2000 the sales numbers for its CARS where actually low.

    Leave it to America's ridiculous love affair with trucks (and truck-like vehicles) to have made the difference here for Lexus. Anyone who has taken a good look at the Mercedes ML will probably agree with me that it is a piece of crap. I can't believe myself how low-grade the interior materials they use on it are. Just like the Lincoln Navigator sales fueled Lincoln's total vehicle sales past Cadillac last year for the first time in many decades, we'll probably see Caddy come screaming back with it's new '02 Escalade hitting the streets any day now.
    It's all about trucks now.
  • tomkuntomkun Posts: 10
    I got my LS430(blue/ecru, nav/ml) last week, i found the ride is lot firmer than LS400, i think about to get 16" wheel/tire, 225/60/16, same as LS400's, instead of 225/55/17 in LS430, but i dont want lose too much handling, any suggestions?
    thanks!
  • Edmunds.com shows a price REDUCTION effective February 2001.

    Is the luxury car market softening with the economy?

    Hmmm...I smell some better deals on the horizon.

    Jim
  • Has anyone succeeded in playing a DVD movie in his LS430? I have heard it is supposed to work if the car is in Park. My salesman said he had seen it done in an LX470 by loading in into the dash slot. Thanks for any advice. Mine just says, "CD Check", indicating a bad CD.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Not much of a change in the TMV from Edmunds, but it's going south....$2000 off from large dealers if you buy via the net. This is a very slow economy... close to recession. Just look at the Daimler Chrysler situation.
  • does any one know when custom lux pkg will be available and at what cost thank you.antlers1
  • Last time I checked, Lexus had dropped it from their website.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    No dealers have been able to give a date, but an earlier post said the MSRP would be about $62,000. Lexus brochure says Spring 2001...
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