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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    I got my notice about two weeks ago from Lexus HQ in California; when you contact your local dealer; they will order the DVD for you (takes 2-3 days); and then schedule an appt. to do the free install. The offer to update is good until 12/31/2005.

     

    I am having mine updated this Friday; I hope it's a big improvement, because my 2001 NAV was much more reliable than the 2004 system.
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    sorry for the late reply...i've been away.

    Yes, the cleaner works fine with the heated/cooled seats. I haven't had any problems and have been using the conditioner since 2002.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Car and Driver has decibel measurements for every car they review.

     

    At idle, the best is 32dBA by the Honda Accord Hybrid. Our beloved LS430 is at 36dBA. The new Acura RL is 39dBA. All the other ultra luxury German sedans are at 40 or higher.

     

    At 70MPH, the best for cars tested in 2004 were the BMW 645Ci, Chrysler 300C, and Kia Amanti, all at 63 dBA. The worst was at 84dBA by Ford GT.

     

    Paul
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Paul - Happy New Year.

     

    What is your overall assessment of the LS given you came out of the S and other lux cars.

     

    By the way - I think the heavier glass on the BMW is the main source of its quietness. I have read in the past that the 12cyl 7's (past gen, not sure about current one) are the quietest cars on the road.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Leonard, same to you. How was shopping at the Short Hills Mall? I heard the parking lot had 2 hour lines.....

     

    In the 3 years I had the fortune to spent with the 2001 S500 with the Active suspension and ABC, the ride was always quiet, not as quiet crusing as my LS430 is now. At idle, both are about the same, except you may think the S500 is more so, as the front interior space is wider, giving the perception the noise floor is lower. According to C&D measurements, this is not the case.

     

    While driving, both the LS430 and S500 will be quieter than just about anything I have ever driven and riden in, including a few Rolls.

     

    What distinguish the LS430 from the S500 (at least after 12 months in my LS430), is that the minor annoying noise, creaks, and other undescribables, are much less irritating than the big German flagship.

     

    I did drive the 2003 745i for a bit before buying the LS430, also the A8 and XJS. I would rate them as such:

     

    1) LS430

    2) 745i

    3) A8L

    4) XJ8

    5) 760

    6) S500

    7) XJS

     

    The 745 drives virtually noise-free as the LS430 over smooth roads. Over cobblestones, rail tracks, and Manhattan blocks, the 745 as well as the V12 760 can reveal some annoying noise from the cabin, of the un-classifiable variety. In this sense, even worse than the S500.

     

    At speed, say 80-110, the best is still the S500, in my view. I have driven the Benz, both BMW, my LS, and the Jags at speeds up to 100 so far. In Jersey, no less!

     

    Paul
  • I just bought a lexus yesterday with the same phone feature and I have verizon wireless service. I need to buy a verizon bluetooth phone. Have you had any success resolving the problems that you have described?

    Thanks.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Paul - In case you ever go off the Pkwy and find yourself on Rt34 north of Rt. 520 (Colts Neck/Holmdel border) to Lloyd road in Matawan - Put the cruise on 50-55mph even though there is a traffic light or two. This is a notorious speedtrap area.
  • I just used the lexol cleaner/conditioner this past weekend on my 2001 ls and they came out wonderfull. It took me a little longer then what their website said but I guess I was a little more cautious and anal. Good luck.
  • threxxthrexx Posts: 31
    Yep, leatherique's rejuvinator oil and prestine clean are definitely the best on the market so long as you use them by the directions and can let the car sit for quite a while in warm weather before removing the product, and have a good amount of free time on your hands. I actually use it twice a year, once as soon as it warms up and once right befor it gets too cold. If necessary in the winter I just place a auto-climate control space heater inside my car inside my garage, set it for 85 degrees, and let it sit overnight at least. Being inside of the car which is inside of my garage, once the space heater gets it heated up initially, it hardly has to work at all to maintain 85 degrees.

     

    Zaino is my favorite conditioner to use inbetween Leatherique applications as sort of a maintenance/touch-up.

     

    (This is on my 99 GS400 BTW, I don't have an LS)
  • threxxthrexx Posts: 31
    I find it extremely hard to believe that a Kia, 2-door bimmer and 25-35k dollar Chysler are the quietest cars out thee at 70 MPH cruising. Especially compared to the LS430 and other such true luxur cars.

     

    Are you sure your stat is correct?
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    What? LS430 owners rarely make typos!

     

    They printed it during the review, and reprinted it in the annual "10 Best Issue". You may still be able to get that issue at a local. Ah, what the heck, here it is:

     

    image
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    10 Best in what ???

     

    That list just doesn't make that much sense to me. Its a mish mash of cars with such *notables* as Chevy Malibu Maxx, Chevy Aveo, Buick La Crosse, Kia Spectra, Suzuki Forenza (what ?) etc... Good thing the LS is NOT part of that stupid list, imo.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I was extremely lucky in that the very first time I test drove an LS400 one of the two I drove had A/S tires. The interior noise level with the A/S tires was definitely much higher than the LS w/summer tires.

     

    Ever since I have been very careful to buy only summer tires for the LS, and always check the noise level rating at tirerack for the tires I do buy.

     

    That's yet another reason not to buy the expensive ML sound system upgrade. You can "hear" the differnce with these levels of interior noise.

     

    If you want your LS to meet or even beat the low noise levels of competing marques then use summer tires only, and empty a whole can of aftermarket undercoating onto the wheelwell liners of each wheel.

     

    Oh, and moving the climate control blower function into the exhauster port in the bottom of the driver's side rear quarter panel helps tremendously also.

     

    That latter also helps to keep the cabin atmosphere's RH lower and thereby fewer instances of sudden windshield fogging over.
  • Sorry but no luck whatsoever. Motorola told me that a fix was supposed to come out by year end (2004). That hasn't happened, and Verizon can't tell me anything. If its not resolved soon I will break my Verizon contract (watch as they try to hit me with the $175 early termination penalty) and switch to Cingular/AT&T. Their bluetooth phones are fully functional.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Hate to have to tell you this, but I just did break my Verizon contract and signed up with Cingular/ATT. Cost me $175 for my troubles, but well worth it, for me.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    My Query to Motorola.....

    I purchased the V710 through Verizon the first day it was available for use with my Lexus LS430 Bluetooth capable navigation/audio system. The telephone has worked fine from the very first day: however, I can't find any instructions on how to download the "phone book" from the V710 to the LS430 bluetooth telephone system. I have heard that Motorola was working on a software update to provide phone book download capability. Please advise if you are aware of how to download telephone book from V710 to the LS430 Nav/Audio system.

     

    Motorola's Response:

    Dear Valued Customer,

    Thank you for contacting Motorola e-mail support, we appreciate your request.

    Thank you very much for your considerations and interest in our products.

    Regarding your concern, we regret to let you know that you will not be able to synchronize information from your V710 with your car via Bluetooth. Although the V710 is a Bluetooth enabled phone, Bluetooth is simply the connection that allows two devices to "connect". Profiles are the software built into devices to enable communication between compatible devices. This is important because if two devices do not have the same profiles, communication will not be possible. The V710 has the Handsfree, Headset and DUN (Dial Up Internet Connection) but it does not have the OBEX profile that allows you to exchange information via Bluetooth.

    This means that, due to the lack of the OBEX profile, the V710 phone can only support Bluetooth capability for pairing-up with the handsfree or head device and for using the phone as a modem. It cannot be used for data synchronization like phonebook and calendar, not for media transfer, like pictures and ringtones.

    However, we are happy to inform you that later next year, a solution should be available, that should allow you to transfer information from your V710 via Bluetooth.

    We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.

    We hope that you find this information useful and we remain at your entire disposal for future questions you may wish to ask.

    If you have further questions or need additional assistance, please contact our Cellular Information Center at 1-800-331-6456. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 7:00 PM CST.

    For information about Motorola products and services, please locate http://www.motorola.com/

    If you cannot hipper link, please copy/paste the link into your browser.

    Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be of service to you.

    Best Regards,
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    thanks for the info! I'll be interested to see how the upcoming generation of new sports/lux models (GS430, M45, STS, etc) stack up against some of the traditional leaders. Not that this type of car should automatically be as quiet, but also shouldn't be in the "boy racer" class of noise either.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    You're welcome Pearl.

     

    C&D tested the M45 in the Feb issue. Idle is 45dBA and 67dBA for 70MPH crusing.
  • threxxthrexx Posts: 31
    Man reading their stats it just seems weird. I wonder if they use uniform testing methods (same temp, same road, etc?)

     

    I mean in the general stage of progression, just for example, my fiancee's old 99 Accord EX was average IMO in terms of noise. My friends 03 Accord EX was much better. Like almost night and day better. By that same token my GS400 is a night and day improvement over my friend's 03 Accord. And then further progressing, the LS430 is a night and day improvement over my GS400.

     

    So then it just seems crazy to me that despite all of that progression of night and day differences in noise levels (at least in my perception and the perception of my friends), that a Korean econobox is quieter than even the quietest cars in that progression.
  • threxxthrexx Posts: 31
    Well I just checked consumer guide, and even though they don't give decible ratings for cars, they do rate them on a static scale.

     

    But they did give the Kia Amanti good ratings (8/10) for quietness. Then again 25 grand for a Kia would probably buy you plenty of sound deadening wouldn't it? (I didn't know the Amanti cost that much). The quietness rating they gave it was actually roughly on par with the Lexus ES330, and they also stated it was on par with many luxury cars.

     

    But then for the LS430 they give it a 10/10 and say it's one of the quietest cars around, period.

     

    Hmmm...

     

    As much as I love objective stats, I just can't bring myself to terms with this one. :P
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    I read from your profile that you are in your 20's. As such, your adult life mostly overlaps the period when Japanese auto makers are titans in the industry. Most people in the auto press and consumers believe Japanese cars are more reliable and even better performers than cars made in other countries.

     

    This is simply not the case in the 70's, as most Americans believed the tiny (econo) boxes from Japan were simply a solution for the oil crisis in that high inflation period of American history.

     

    Who's to say that the Koreans and even the Chinese auto makers of today wouldn't be the dominant auto makers in another 5 to 15 years.

     

    You really should find the C&D edition where they reviewed the Kia in depth. A good read.

     

    As for testing methods. I have no idea. I would think C&D's reports are pretty reliable. They have the highest circulation among the 3 main US car mags. You can find similar results in the other 2 US car mags and Consumers Report also tested a cheaper Kia (Optima) back in Jan 04 and the noise rating was better than the Taurus (not saying much) and as good as the Impala, and (base) Accord.

     

    Of course, after driving a Lexus GS, you will probably not settle with anything less going forward. But even within Lexus, there is a noticeable difference from a RX330 and a LS430. An IS and a LX470, etc.
  • threxxthrexx Posts: 31
    I was born in early 82, so you are correct... I grew up and have lived primarily in the years of japanese domination. But at the same time I've driven quite a few Kias and Daewoods and have been extremely unimpressed with them in terms of NVH, drivetrains, and on some of the higher milage ones, what seems to be poor durability.

     

    That's not to say that they are incapable of currently building or ever building a good car. But it does make me hesitant to think that a 60k+ dollar flagship Lexus LS430, made by the company that most prides itself and is most well known for making perfectly refined extremely well-made/reliable cars, is less refined (or at least more noisy) than a 25k dollar Kia.

     

    Also, I agree there is a massive difference even within Lexus' own ranks. The ES330 and RX330 feel very similar to me in terms of driving dynamics (chassis feel, noise, steering, power, shifting, etc)... but all for a good reason since they are on a closely shared platform and drivetrain.

     

    While they are both great cars, they feel like they aren't even made by the same company that makes the LS, GS, and SC, which all have a much more substantial and more of a 'point and shoot' feel to them IMO. And then with the GX and LX body on frame SUVs

     

     
    By the way... thanks for reminding me about my profile (almost forgot that I had one here). Strangely enough I updated it with a second vehicle but it's not showing up. Does it take a while to show up or something?
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Dude, I agreed totally with the fact that the LS430 blows away any Korean car now; quiet or otherwise. The fact that the Kia drives more quietly at 70MPH than a LS430 (65dBA for the record) is meaningless, as the way the LS430 sticks to the road, the way my [non-permissible content removed] is cushioned with care, the joy of the Mark Levinson, and the security of being in a Lexus flagship; far outweights the fact that the LS430 losses out on one statistic!

     

    Although, I will almost bet you that some poor interior auto designer at Lexus probably got "chewed" out after that report was posted, and you can be assured that the 2006 edition will likely be better. Their "relentless pursuit of perfection" is for real. The 2004 LS430 was 69dBA and 41dBA idle. So you can already see a BIG improvement there.

     

    As for the profile, maybe Pat our forum boss can update it for you.
  • threxxthrexx Posts: 31
    69 dB @ 70mph for the 2004 LS430 as opposed to what for the previous years and/or for the '05? Sorry if you already posted it... I couldn't find it. And the '05, to my knowledge, has no real changes except for the optional wheels and tires.

     

    Still 69dB compared to 65dB is more than TWICE as loud. I mean that's just nuts! :o
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    About your profile update, threxx - try logging out and back in. There are some changes that won't show up until you do that.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Sorry, the current 04-05 LS430 is 65dBA. The 03 was 69dBA at 70 crusing.

     

    BTW, from 65 to 69 isn't a doubling, since it's Log based, a 10 dBA difference is a doubling, so 4dBA is 40%.

     

    See here:

    http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0835810.html
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    It's an extremely quiet car however you measure it. It can't be the best car in every category. It's the whole package that matters and that is all Paul is saying. These measurements are to be taken for what they state but they are not perfect and there are certainly differences of relativity. Who knows if they tested one car with sport tires and another with summer tires. That would be one type of differential in interior noise. I remember that when the LS Euro version came out the stats showed it to be a bit noisier than the base LS suspension. Larger sportier tires were the reason. The test isn't perfect but the results are the results. No one is ever going to test all the cars in perfect conformity.
  • threxxthrexx Posts: 31
    Ah sorry... slip of the brain on my part. I was thinking back to car stereo days where it usually takes about twice the energy to see a 3-4 dB gain in sound. :o
  • jvcnjvcn Posts: 50
    It will be interesting to see how well the Korean companies develop in the next few years. Certainly Hyundai's improvements on the JD Powers surveys were the most spectacular the company had seen in their history. Can they continue? At the point where they become (?) really close to the top Japanese cars yet are still cheap and underrated is when they will be a screaming bargain.

     

    Remember that when the LS400 debuted in 89-90, it only cost $38k and people at Cadillac, Lincoln, MB, and Jaguar were snorting "A luxury Toyota?! Hah!"

     

    No one's laughing now.

     

    So as someone who is really nuts about his LS400, I can only say that I look forward to a time when I can get near LS quality for 35% off in a Korean car that has no cachet. That's not yet the case, but we will all benefit if that comes to pass.
  • threxxthrexx Posts: 31
    One thing that really bothers me is focusing on JD Power's initial quality survey. How a car holds up for the first 90 days is definitely not necessarily indicative of how it holds up for the rest of its life. It's a worthwhile perspective into how well it was made which may very well translate to the long term quality and durability of the car itself, but it's far from a guarentee.

     

    I also have to question those surveys sometimes... because you know darn well that even though Mercedes, *just for example*, looks terrible in JD Power's 90 day survey... I wonder how many of those Mercedes owners were complaining that there was a tiny little barely audible rattle, or their seat massager seemed sluggish. Whereas the Hyundia owners would get laughed out of the dealership if they made such a basic complaint because that level of attention to detail can't be expected for that price range in present day times. For that reason they probably would not report or even really think to notice a slightly misaligned fender gap or a loose screw in their glove box like a Mercedes owner would.

     

    Furthermore, on most high end cars there are a LOT of toys and computer controlled systems, visible or not, that are just not present in lower end cars. With complication causes added problems.

     

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think that at least for now, if Hyundai tried to make a 50-60k dollar luxury car with every feature on the market and promised only the best white glove quality and service to a their new much more discerning customer base... would their initial quality complaints not skyrocket... not to mention their mid-term and long-term quality.
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