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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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Comments

  • davieboy1davieboy1 Posts: 14
    How does the LS do with snow and how do you feel the LS compares to the new Audi A8
    Thanks
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    LS is smoother, quieter and noticably better riding. A8 is far too harsh for me - at least the one I test drove as well as A8's I've rode in, in the past. The A8L is more agile though and is a striking car with a great interior and very roomy in the back. But if your preference has been Audi or BMW in the past then the best LS to buy is th Euro sport version which has 18" tires and handles very well and still maintains 95%+ of the glorious LS ride. The A8 should - naturally be better in the snow since its AWD - but the only person I know that has one says the AWD is practically useless with the tires Audi gives you with the car because they are so low profile. But he says if you put snows on it the traction is great and the AWD lives up to its billing. Finally though - you'd have a heart attack if you knew how often this guys A8 has been in the shop and how serious some of the problems are. Much as he loves the cars looks he can't wait till his lease is up.
  • hage57hage57 Posts: 24
    I have been considering both the cars that you discussed in your last post, but just last week I finalized the numbers on an '04 LS 430. I bought the Ultra, flint mica/ecru, and I ordered the 18" wheels. I agree with everything that ljflx said about the differences between the two cars, especially the issue of reliability, I had a'98 A8 and now have an '01 LS430, there is no comparison in shop time. Also, with four good winter tires, the LS 430 is quite capable in the snow.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Did you pau extra for the 18" rims? I might take the ultra or the custom lux and being able to get it with 18" rims may cinch it.
  • hage57hage57 Posts: 24
    I paid what the dealer said was their cost,who really knows. I will buy 18" tires from Tire Rack, either Michelin Pilot Sport A/S(which I have now, only in 17"), or Continental ContiExtremeContact and I will use the 17" rims for winter tires. I think this should give the LS 430 a little better look and perhaps a little better handling. Also, I have been reading your posts and noticed you bought GX 430 for your wife,my wife just picked up an RX 330 two weeks ago.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Yeah - the GX470 is a fantastic SUV and we are very happy with it. So is the RX. We can't have the RX because its too small for us otherwise I'd have taken it. The new redesign made it a lot more luxurious then the first gen RX in my opinion.

    Good luck with both vehicles. I will take the new LS around April 30th. I also love the Flint Mica and am between that color and black. I also will still consider the cypress pearl.
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,292
    The MSRP for the Custom Luxury options with smart key was $66,694. By the way, I chose the flint mica with black interior. I really like this combo. It looks very rich.
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,292
    How do you like the Michellin Pilot AS? I posted about 10 days agao asking folks for their experiences with various tires, but go no response. Are they better than the standard Dunlops that come standard. Over the winter, I had to install snow tires because, it was an accident ready to happen around here in the snow & ice. The snow tires worked very well. Now I am wondering if I should change to Michellin's the rest of the year. I can't say I am pleased with the Dunlops. Are you Michellins quieter?
  • Warm weather has brought the groan, moan and screach that I thought the dealer's fix had fixed. Anybody have this problem again after the factory fix?
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    I had mine fixed about a year ago...no problem since. And I'm in So Calif where the weather is usually pretty nice.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    Just a hint now, but have service apt. in about a week and will have them check it again.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I had an indication of low tire pressure and thought the dealer may have failed to inflate one tire properly as the other three were all 8# high. I reset all to the same 35# and the next day had another TPM alarm. I checked again and the same tire was about 10# lower than the others and had a nail in the edge of the tread. I had the tire replaced by Lexus. The TPM alarm continued to false alarm quite a few times after that. The dealer re-calibrated the TPM and it has not come on since or have any of the tires been low in pressure. In cold weather, I did have the Traction Control alarm come on a few times but it went away by itself. The dealer checked the computer at the next service.
  • hage57hage57 Posts: 24
    The 17" Dunlops that were standard on my '01 LS were summer tires and thus worthless in snow and ice. I replaced them with Michelin Pilot Sport A/S and this made a great difference, much better in wet conditions, overall a much superior tire. In addition, imo, they are quieter and ride better, I don't know of a tire that I would rather have. Having said this, they are not winter tires, and if you live where it snows, get a good set of winter tires.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      I've been having this strange problem with the Rain sensor on my '02 LS. Originally, it would come on randomly during the hot summer months. I took it back to the Lexus dealer, and they said there was a bulletin out on it. The sensor was replaced under warranty. Now, it routinely doesn't come on when it is raining...
       Another issue..My warranty expires in Sept 05..Is it worth getting the extended warranty? I bought one on my 92 LS ten years back, but the only issue was a couple of $5 dashbulbs wearing out..I'm worried about this car, b/c it is far more complex than the venerable 92 model. I think some of the issues we're having with the car underscore the problem with cramming too many electronics in a car. Your thoughts?

    SV
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I'm also considering purchasing an extended warranty from Lexus for my 2004 LS430 with nav system and smart access. I feel like "SV7887" in that the car is too complicated to go without an extended warranty. I'm told that I can get the extended warranty through Lexus until I have 36 months or 36,ooo miles. I have the XM Radio and am thinking this one is a keeper.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      Like all of you in the New England area, I was greeted by about 4 inches of snow on my driveway. I attempted to back my '02 LS430 complete with Michelin Artic Alpin snow tires out, and it got stuck going DOWN 4 inches of snow...My son, driving the 1992 LS( Equipped with worn Bridgestone Blizzaks) pulled down effortlessly pointing and laughing...

    Ohhh the indignity..I must say I'm quite frustrated with this car. It's performance in the slightest of inclement weather is abominable even with Snow Tires...Driving the car with the provided 17" Dunolops were an accident waiting to happen. SO now what? Trade in the LS for a 4-Matic S Class? Have any of you had better results with a different brand tire? I'd hate to dispose of the Michelins, as the car only has 19K on it. What do you think the best option is?

    Thanks,
    SV
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,292
    I know exactly how you feel. I also live in a snow climate (IA) and it was incredibly dangerous driving in snow with the original Dunlops early in the winter season on my brand new 2004 LS430. I had my dealer install a set of Cooper snow tires soon thereafter & I have felt much safer since. These tires have been doing a pretty good job. Obviously, it is still not as good as FWD, but it is a lot better than the Dunlops. By the way, I use to live in Brockton, MA "many moons ago". I visit once or twice a year.

    I wish you "happy sleding today" in all that white stuff.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    sv7887,

    What size tires do you have?

    Have you thought about getting thinner snow tires just for the winter? That may do the trick. With thinner tires you will have more pressure applied to the ground thru the tires, thus improving winter handling.
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 208
    Did you have the traction control OFF?
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      Yes I had the TRAC on..It doesn't help on hills anyway. In order to get the car unstuck I had to turn it off. My tire size is 205-60-17. I'm using Michelin Artic Alpin's. I can't believe the difference in behavior between this car and my 92 LS with old (WS-15) Blizzaks (205-65-15)
      At the slightest snowfall this car behaves like pig in the snow. Driving with the summer tires is just downright dangerous. Even my 1998 LS didn't behave like this and I never put snow tires on it. I'm really surprised at the ineffectiveness of the Artic Alpins. This is the first time I've gotten stuck going Down a hill..Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    SV
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    comes in a myriad of variaties...

    The soft fluffy stuff anyone can drive on...

    When it snows here in the Seattle area My first move is to install snowchains on the rear of my AWD RX300.

    The only good, for sure, answer to 2WD on snow is snowchains.

    And if you expect to get around out there with all the other idiots then AWD and snowchains is your best bet.

    I've lived, and driven, in NH, MT, OR, and WA and the only for sure answer is snowchains.

    Get used to it!
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    sv7887,

    Maybe it's the tires then!

    Your 92 and 2004 LS's would have similar sized contact patches with the road and the 2004 LS should be a bit heavier, therefore it should do better in the snow.

    Strange.
  • edspider1edspider1 Posts: 195
    I was told by my dealer that 8 state midwest market gets all season tires on 2004. I sure hope that's true, because my 2001 came with summer tires. They are indeed dangerous in any amount of snow. I replaced with Michelin Pilots and while traction wasn't great, I could get around.

    I suprised a car bought in Iowa came with summer tires.
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 208
    My question was....did you have the trac OFF. You answered, "yes I had the traction on". My point is,the way to get going, in snow, in the Lexus 400, and newer models, is to turn the trac OFF so that the drive wheel will not be slowed if it starts to spin a little. There are better explanations of this, Wess.........maybe you can help?
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    Davie,

    Check out VW Phaeton first instead of Audi A8.

    It'll change your perception on Phaeton.

    Enjoy.

    NOTE: Right click and save (10mb video)

    http://home.comcast.net/~nessal/TopGear-VW_Phaeton.WMV
  • deklunddeklund Posts: 2
    After much deliberation and researching I have decided on the LS 400. My quandary is which year to buy, 96-99 are well within my price range. I haven't found any information on which year was best or worse. I live in Michigan and need the traction control of course, but can you think of anything else I should be searching for? I appreciate your help in advance, Diane
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi Diane,
      I would definitely go for the 1999. The 1996 is an incremental improvement from the original LS400. The post 1998 models incorporate a 290 HP V-8 as well as a five speed automatic transmission. My experience with the '98 was quite good. I felt it was better looking and it performed much better than the 1995-97 model. The 1998 was the first year of production, so I'd be more inclined to go for the 1999. I had some issues with instrument cluster in my 98 that the dealer attributed to first year defects in production. It was nothing major, but the dash lights used to blink for no apparent reason.

     The options on those cars are fairly standard. Traction control is called VSC (Vehicle Skid Control), but the car really does require snow tires for winter driving. (Bridgestone Blizzacks are highly recommended) I've had 3 LS cars, and I haven't found the traction control particulary helpful. You have the option of getting Xeon Headlamps with a few other accesories, notably the Wood Steering Wheel. Other options include the Nakaminchi Stereo and on some rare models a Navigation System.

    Hope this helps,
    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    If you are buying an LS400 buy the 98-2000 if you can. They are all great - so you can't go wrong - but the 1998-2000 were upgraded cars with more powerful engines. As well the Nakamichi stereos were excellent in case you find an LS with the Nak included.
  • I'm planning to purchase either 2000'400 or 2001'430. I've driven in both and must say that 430 is much better, more quiet and refined than 400. But the cost would be about $10K more! My wife actually likes the 400 exterior more. Anyone has any advise for me here???
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    You have to understand the pricing dynamics that occurred in 2000 and 2001. The MSRP barely changed between the LS400 and LS430 but the LS430 was red hot in 2001 and for the first 5 months of the model year the car sold at, and in some cases above sticker. On the other hand the LS400 in 2000 was heavily discounted because people were holding out for the LS430. So price will be different because of that as well as because the model year is newer. Next the LS430 has really held its value well - better than the old LS400's did over comparable periods.

    Are the two cars similarly equipped? Many of the 2000 and earlier LS400's lacked navigation systems whereas most of the 2001's came with them, even though it was optional.

    Bottom line - I'd take the 2001 LS430 without hesitation (it was a major re-design and easily a superior car to the LS400) and I'd feel a lot better about it if I knew it had a few optional goodies that the LS400 lacked. But you'll get a great car either way. The LS400 was a more timeless and classic style on the exterior but the LS430 interior is the best in class.
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