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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I had my second test drive of an LS430 this morning. This was a pre-owned 2004, euro-tuned, 18" summer tires, modern luxury package with about 12,000 miles on it.
    This one felt and drove better than the other LS which was essentially a no-frills basic LS.
    This driver's seat was so comfortable that I could have easily fallen asleep from being so relaxed.
    I felt like I was riding on air. Never felt this way in any other car.
    A much better experience .
    One negative-I noticed that to accelerate and feel the power there is a slight delay when stepping on the accelerator.
    Anybody else have this problem?
    All in all, I can see why many people are very loyal to this car.
    Regards,
    hpowders
  • frankie33frankie33 Posts: 28
    Just went through the same thing. Go to page 95 of your owner's manual & follow the instructions for mileage reset.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Glad you had a much better experience this time!

    There is a fairly recent Technical Service Bulletin on this delay on acceleration; I believe it involves a reprogramming of the computer. I have also found that the computer "learns" how you drive and adapts accordingly; it is possible that the previous owner consciously or unconsciously "trained" it that way.

    So the question becomes (for you and any other previous German performance car owner)-- are you willing to trade off performance at the margin for greater comfort (and of course reliability). Also, that comfort also gives a greater sense of isolation from the road; some people see that as a positive, others as a negative. The fact is that an above-base LS handles well, but you certainly don't get the engine noise, the sense of being low to the ground, and some other driving "dynamics" that smaller sports sedans offer.

    And of course the LS has some very nice toys-- did you get to play with them?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Not surprised by the change in your opinion but am surprised by the seat. I've always found the LS seats supremely comfortable dating back to 1995. One thing that doesn't change from model to model is the seats. Coverings may change but not the seat itself. Maybe the other one just was bad or you never got it set right.

    Did you drive the GS again??
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    I had my second test drive of an LS430 this morning. This was a pre-owned 2004 . . . . . This one felt and drove better than the other LS which was essentially a no-frills basic LS.

    Keep in mind, hpowders, that the overall suspension or shock absorption system on the '04 and earlier is very different from the '05 LS. That was why I preferred the 'feel' of the used cars and didn't really care for the "couchmobile" ride of the '05 (although I ended up with an '05--none of the '04s had heated seats). Lexus.com website talks about this new system: constant leveling or something like that. Kills any sort of resemblance to a Euro-feel drive experience. ~sigh~
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    The only thing that changed mechanically was Monotubed Shock Absorbers. It shouldn't be a dramatic change. Lexus usually doesn't significantly (From a mechanical) change a car after its mid-cycle refresh.

    The drive by wire system being installed on all of these cars is a major pain. I'm told this system adapts to your driving style. In the ES forum, some say to drive it hard initially to get rid of any hesitation. I'm not sure why they went this electronic route to begin with. It seems pointless.

    SV
  • Hp

    I think they are all that way...I have heard some say it is better in the 05 but mine is an 01 so I don't know....did you use the power button this time.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    No. I didn't get to play with them. However, I did like the way the ac gratings can swivel although that could be distracting after the novelty wears off. Kind of neat how the rear window sunshade rises when shifting to reverse so the backup camera can do its thing.
    The driver's seat was very comfortable in the 2004 pre-owned LS but wasn't in the basic 2005 LS.
    Sure. I can see myself in one of these.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Unfortunately, ALL GS's at this dealership have "SOLD" on them.
    Contrary to what some folks have been posting here, quite a few people must not find the GS too ugly.
    I did walkarounds for 6 GS's and the "gotta have it" factor was pretty high for me!
    But I have to admit, except for the annoying hesitation when stepping on the gas, the LS was impressive.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I didn't realize that, famwald. I asked the salesman about any changes from 2004 to 2005 and he said it was basically the same car.
    One things's for sure-I will drive several 2005 LS's before I make up my mind.
    The accelerator hesitation would definitely be a deal-breaker if it happens in 2 other demo's.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yes, Michael, this time I used the power button.
    Really surprised by the hesitation.
    But those seats and pillowy ride,,,,,,ahhh!!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    A reporter with a national magazine is hoping to talk with a consumer who took advantage of a 24-hour test drive or other extended vehicle test opportunity (including a car rental) and subsequently bought a car similar to the one s/he tested. If you have a story to share, please submit it to jfallon@edmunds.com along with your daytime contact info no later than Wednesday, March 9, 2005.

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  • tom17tom17 Posts: 134
    So, how does the handling compare to the 06 GS430 and to your BMW? Is it close?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    No it wasn't close. The Lexus LS relaxes you with great seats and a pillowy smooth suspension. Its cornering leaves something to be desired. I also was bothered by an annoying hesitation in acceleration. You don't expect that in a $55,000 vehicle.
    The GS430 on the other hand cornered very well. Its interior is smaller than the LS-more like a BMW 3 series. The GS had strong acceleration with extremely well-weighted steering-quite BMW-like. I also liked the way it looked.
    I am anxious to see comparos involving the GS430-especially against a BMW 545.
    I see Consumer Reports will be testing a 2006 GS in one of its future issues-perhaps June or July. Unfortunately, It will go up against the Acura RL, the Audi A6 and the Cadillac STS but not the BMW 545. Don't know if it will be a GS 300 or a GS 430.
  • chicagoedchicagoed Posts: 69
    Yes, it's there. The same stupid drive-by-wire throttle that causes the burps in engine rpm when trying to smoothly come back on the gas after rounding a slow speed corner.

    About the computer that "learns" how you drive: It definitely is able to "read" how you're pushing the pedal, but how does it "know" what you're trying to accomplish? If it knew both, it could make adjustments to give you exactly what you desire, and everyone would be impressed. But, it doesn't know and doesn't impress.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Funny though how not one review of this car, and there are many, never mention this hesitation in acceleration.
    I will try and drive the GS 430 again to make sure this hesitation isn't there also.
  • Last Friday evening, on my way home from a long day at work, my 2004 LS 430 had that same red EXCLAMATION mark light up on my dash. Along with it, check engine light, trac off light, and check VSC light all came on. My LS drove fine, however. I dropped it off at my Lexus Dealer the next morning (their Service Dept opens 7 days a week till 9 PM!). Aparrently there is a TSB for this issue, but they could not download the software from the Lexus Tech Support. I had to drive 2005 ES330 service loaner the whole weekend. This morning, they called me to tell me that they were able to download TSB software and they were successful in reprogramming the ECU. I drove my LS all day long today, and no problems. AFAIC, I'd rather have the red reminder light come on than to not having it.

    On the side note, 2005 ES330 was a good car, better than previous year models. However, it felt too light and when pushed the engine sounded too loud although acceleration was not slow by any means. The road and tire noise (michelin tires) were quite high too, depending on the surface of the road. I suppose I'm just too spoiled with LS. ES just did not do it for me.

    I'm just glad that I have my LS back!
  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    I found the instructions to disable (or at least put off for another 5K miles) the dreaded red exclamation mark and service reminder.

    The description of the reminder message is on page 96 of the manual... the instructions on how to RESET the light are on page 95 -- a bit of backwards logic there and that's why I could not find it.

    Again, Thanks!!
  • ckennedyckennedy Posts: 82
    I am new to the lexus arena and need to bring ls430 in because radio station pauses every 30 seconds. Does the dealer automatically provide a loaner car or do I have to ask? It is an Elite Dealer and I still have time under the warranty even though the car was not purchased there.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Just curious, is there a Lexus dealer out there who is not an "Elite Dealer?"
  • When you call them to set up the appointment mention you will need a loaner..I believe you are intitled to one but I always let them know when I want one just to be sure they will have one available..

    There are a number of them that are not elite dealers..
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    600 miles on the LS and after some around town and a 300 mile interstate drive I am very satisfied. Acceleration and braking are most gratifying and handling a most positive surprise. Not Porsche spec but not boat like as expected. No hesitation noticed with or without ECT. (I am particularly sensitive to this issue since we traded our Audi A6 TT for a hesitation problem.)

    Interior is perfect for me. I still cannot believe that Lexus lists the 2006 GS headroom as greater than the LS. Must be 4 or more inches greater in the LS for me. However, if not for the ill fitting GS then I would not have test drove my LS! I have not come close to trying or understanding all of the features as yet.

    I cannot be sure if it is 'just me' or there is a wondering problem with my particular car's steering. My wife does not notice it nor do I around town but on the 300 mile interstate trip this past weekend it was quite disconcerting.

    The LS would seem to need constant steering input going 75mph and then either under or over correct. While not unsafe, the wondering steering needed near constant concentration. Any thoughts? Alignment?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Glad to hear you had no hesitation. This was a problem for me several days ago when I tried an LS 430.
  • OOboxster:

    The Lexus is so quiet it is sometimes difficult to tell when it is extra windy outside...that could have been the problem but if you think not ...Take it to the dealer and let them check it out for you....Lexus dealers you will find are different then any other dealer...They are expecially good in the service department. anything seem not to be right...Call them...Get an appointment and take it in...There will be no charge whatever they find.
  • ckennedyckennedy Posts: 82
    They told me since the car was not purchased there we would not be entitled to one. Does this sound right?
  • ckennedyckennedy Posts: 82
    I am close to Smithtown that's why I choose that one and for their reputation. No loaner since car not purchased their
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I also have the "constant steering input" on the highway with my LX470. The dealer says it is normal. I think it is due to the wide tires. I don't know if you have the 18 inch wheels or not, but, if you do, the tires is the reason. My LS430 has 17 inch wheels, and I have never experienced "road wander", or whatever you want to call it.
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    I've used four different Lexus dealer's (Kansas City, Atlanta, Austin and now Quad Cities) after buying my original GS300 and never had a problem with obtaining a loaner for service. Never had to get one for a problem as I just didn't have any reliability issues with the car. Current dealer, where I bought my LS430 last summer, never had one issue with me getting one and I know of other owners who bought their Lexus at somewhere else who get loaners here.

    Now, maybe since I moved to the the later three locations I got different treatment rather than living in same place and buying elsewhere instead of my local dealer.
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    Sorry, I meant wandering not wondering. Thanks for all input folks.

    My wife insisted it was the wind blowing us about during our interstate trip but like a good hubby I ignored her suggestion.

    I do in fact have the 18" wheels/tires.

    I called the service department (again) today and the manager said he would check with the mechanics and get back to me on their thoughts or TSB's. I will post what information I get.
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    I cannot be sure if it is 'just me' or there is a wandering problem with my particular car's steering.

    I noticed this with our '05 LS (17" tires) only when on the interstate. Our old '98 Toyota Avalon had a similar feeling. I chalked it up to the difference between full power steering and the "power assist" of the European cars we're accustomed to.
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