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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • beltfedbeltfed Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info....appreciate it.

    After looking over the brochure for awhile....I just can't get over how much more equipment is in the Lexus Ultra as compared to the Benz- you would seriously have to add like $10k in options to the S500 $80k mark to match it (thats crazy).

    Mill Silver/Black U-L Aniline leather.....nice.
  • i have sports suspension LS430, with the 17 inch summer tires...and i was just wondering that if driving on unpaved roads(gravel, dirt, pebbles) would affect any part of the vehicle, or damage anything...or if it would be no problem and wouldnt matter...thanks for the input.
    btw, car is the best in the world.
  • rob8rob8 Posts: 16
    the problem may be with the cd changer/fm modulator unit you tried. I have a 91 LS400 and about a year ago decided I wanted a cd player. I went to al and ed's in pasadena,ca and had them install an Alpine 6 cd changer which runs through an fm modulator to the radio wires. It sounds very good. The installer even mounted the changer in the glove compartment and the controller in the ash tray. (By the way, I first tried the pioneer changer/modulator and it really sounded terrible--muted sound and way too much distortion) The Alpine really sounds great--obviously not as good as a direct connection, but way above acceptable. If you go w/ the Alpine unit be aware that the modulator has a gain setting which is adjustable via screwdriver. So before your installer tucks the unit in a hard to reach place, play a few CDs to figure out what level gives you good sound quality w/o distortion. I turned mine down a bit less than 50% and it's good for 90% of my music.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I read everything here. And where did you see where Mercedes is coming out with that color wood?

  • sfmartinsfmartin Posts: 59
    They already have "black birdseye maple" in the AMG vehicles.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I have a question for those with the nav system. I currently have a 1995 ES 300 that I bought new (I only have 36,000 miles), and most likely I will be trading in this fall for the 2002 ES 300.

    Since the nav system will be optional, I'm wondering what owners who have it think of it. Do you use it a lot? Is it easy to use? Does it make it difficult to use the radio?

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Useless TOY! I tried using mine (RX300) at first and found it leads me astray more often than not. Basically not enough resolution outside of 50 major US urban areas.
  • fabtfabt Posts: 22
    Lenscap, I have the nav system on the LS430. At first, I did not even want it, but had to take it because it was bundled with the Mark Levinson stereo that I really wanted.

    Boy, am I glad I have the Nav!! It's incredible; easy to use, very, very helpful, I don't think I could live without it now, even for quick trips around my neighborhood. You will be amazed by it's technical prowess, and ease of use.

    In the LS, the driver side speaker mutes out when the nav. 'speaks' so you can hear it over the radio. If it is still unclear, you can lower your radio manually, hit the 'voice' button, and the message will repeat itself.

    Definitely get it when you have the chance.
  • sfmartinsfmartin Posts: 59
    I don't know the vintage of wwest's system, but beginning with the '01 DVD based systems, nearly every street in the country is shown. We find it very useful, whether at home or in the boonies.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    version 2000.

    My problem more amounts to serious software bugs than loss of map resolution.

    Twice now I have entered distination addresses and had the system "successfully" compute a route and off we went. As we neared the distination out in the toolies north of monroe WA the nice lady's voice came on and annouced that due to lack of resolution we could now follow the compass for general directions.

    My cell phone bailed us out of that one.

    The second one was in downtown Bellingham and I simply stopped and asked for directions at a service station.

    The second BUG has the effect of placing the vehicle where it is not. I was travelling, under system guidance, on a roadbed next to I5 and suddenly it decided that I was on I5 and started giving me directions accordingly. Note please that it was the system itself that had guided me to the adjacent roadbed so other than a software bug there is no excuse for "jumping" me to I5.

    I haven't used my NAV now fro many months as I just can say when it can be trusted.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    lenscap - wwest has strong feelings about a lot of things. He's right that if you live in the boonies, the system is much less acurate and useful. I live in metro Atlanta, and my older (hard drive) system is still IMMENSELY valuable.

    I use it at least once a week to find a new address or a previously visited place. It takes the headache out of trying to read signs or figure out where to turn, etc. In hundreds of trips it's only lead my slightly wrong once, and that was WAY outside Atlanta.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Excellent system, in my opinion.

    One of MANY features I find valuable is the audible notification of the lane (left or right) that I'll be using when I exit an expressway.

    I agree that it CAN be a distraction, but overall I believe it to be a safety factor. Reason: MUCH less time looking for street signs, exit ramps, etc.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Srongly disagree with wwest on the nav. I find it to be extremely helpful, almost always accurate and the database functions are very nice as well. ANY computerized system is prone to an occasional fault or glitch (how's your computer running these days?), but in the overall, the DVD nav system is terrific. Way out in the boonies, I too have had it change from "turn by turn" guidance to "follow the arrow". But even this helps. And besides, I would bet over 90% of the average driving is not out in the boonies. I am planning several cross country trips with my system and expect excellent results based on what I have seen so far. It even "sees" traffic circles coming and gives you advance voice warning of it and which exit to take out of the circle. When the split screen comes on, it clearly shows on the rt. side of the screen exactly what the road sign will say at your exit. Very helpful info. Of course, any database goes out of date and some minor inaccuracies can occur, but rarely in my case. I would HIGHLY recommend the system. Even my non-tech oriented wife has come to love, admire and use it.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I don't recall, but I might have read it at Curt Rich's MB site (great newsletter for you BenzNuts, by the way, if you're not familiar -

    He also adds that Benz is going to forego the silly "ergo" seat button and put in a #3 memory position - copying again :) ? And fix the A/C problems and add one-touch autofolding mirrors - sounds like another blatant copy ploy to me!!

    Seriously, though, as a true Benzaholic, you should visit his site if you haven't already. The newsletters are very informative and usually quite humorous.
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    I too love the Nav system, and found it amazingly complete and accurate, and very easy to operate.

    On a recent trip to Santa Cruz, CA, to visit a friend living in the wild mountain forest, it guided me to the right place but as I approached it, the little "Me" icon started to drift off the road. I was still driving on the road that the map showed, but the Nav seemed to think that I had left the road and driven into the woods. It drifted way off the road, maybe 2 inches or so, and didn't even seem to know which way the car was pointing.

    I figured the huge and lovely trees had blocked the GPS signal, and the Nav was trying to dead-reckon where I was, with very little success. Maybe I was even in a canyon shadowed by the mountains from the GPS signal.

    Anyway, that was the only time I had any problem with the Nav, and even that didn't really hurt me because I was already on the right road and just had to look for the mail box sign.

    So I say, get it, you'll love it.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    I had to meet someone the other day... they told me the name of the restaurant and were trying to explain where it was relative to an intersection. I said don't worry, I'll find it. While driving over, (yes, while in motion), I touched 'POI' (points of interest), then touched 'restaurants'. All the restaurants known to the system come on the map as icons. I touched the icon for one, its name pops up, that wasn't it, then I touched 'next' and it moved the map to the next one showed it's name, that was it! I could have told it to just give me directions there, but there was no need because I was close enough, but it was incredibly useful.

    You might ask 'is that worth 2K' or whatever the feature costs? Maybe not for one time, but I've done this over and over, plus it's helped me find numerous ways out of traffic messes, let's me find the brand of gas station I want when I'm somewhere unfamiliar, etc. Its value just goes on and on. Is it perfect? (And I of course have the older, less capable, and less detailed hard drive system.) No, but do I regret getting it? HECK no!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yep they've had that for years and years, so I'm still trying to figure out where the coping that Flint350 was talking about. The wood in AMG vehicles has been there long before the 2001 LS430, and it isn't the same looking as the marble looking wood in the LS430. It's not even close.


    Just as I thought you have nothing to back up the copying claim. A third memory button is hardly coping see as though Mercedes had memory seats before anyone thought up the name Lexus. Folding mirrors, you're kidding right? Again this feature was present on certain Mercedes models since 1992. Joking right, right? I'll check out the site, thanks.


    P.S. Let me know when you find out about this so-called wood trim that looks like Lexus'.
  • kcfankcfan Posts: 2
    I want to get a new luxury car and have already narrowed it down to a ultra luxury LS430 or a mercedes S430/500. I love the LS430's interior and features that I want like park assist, laser cruise control, the mark levinson audio system, and the DVD NAV is great. My huge problem is the exterior. It looks just like a Toyoata Avalon and looks like in an old S class from the side a little. I don't know if that look can grow on me. I was offerd 65k at a local auto show for an ultra in March but I didn't know how rare that opportunity was because I wasn't in the market. I called back up today and they offered me 68k. The S class has an awesome sleek design that I love. In fact if I had to say one bad thing about the design it would be that it looks too much like a c class, but you can tell the s class is much bigger though. I wasn't so sure about the command system but my co-worker has one and says it isn't that bad after you learn it. My problem with the s class though is the plastic used in the interior and the price. By the time I get the 6 disc cd changer, the phone, distronic, parktronic, and ventalaited front seats I am looking at 80 grand and one local dealer is pretty set on or about the msrp price? I have a 98 ls 400 and I love it and I want to keep this next car till or about 2010. I know the lexus will last and I do know that the benz can be very expensive to repair but to me there just doesn't seem to be a clear cut winner. Any opinions and advice will be appreciated.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Sounds to me like the issue is:

    A) How do I feel about what others & myself think about the appearance of the car?

    B) How do I feel when I'm driving the car?

    It's probably a combination of the two. A STEP toward resolution would be to assign an importance factor (1-10) for each, then rate each car in it's satisfaction of each (1-10 scale). Get a total score by multiplying IMPORTANCE * SATISFACTION.

    Or, add more factors; e.g. quality, reliability, dealer reputation, etc.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 380
    I had the same problem. my MB dealer is 3 miles away and my lexus is either 62 or 142 miles away. My problem with MB is that engineering should make things transparent. the command system uses cd technology and is very difficult for even my salesman to use. also, quality lots of gliches in my last two MB's. So i agree that the styling of the s class from the front and side is nicer (rear is bland) the quality of the lexus, ride, power and price went over the top. granted the ls has a phone problem but i got the mounting bracket from pro-fit to fit my nokia.

    Though the exterior is better, the interior and quality of a vehicle is what you and your passengers live with EVERY DAY!!!!! The interior is like a private jet, my friend who has an s class asked how much (61k) and was shocked that his s500 had poorer quality interior pieces and a poor command system. Remember that as you adjust the temp at 80mph. try anything at 80 with the s class. adjust the radio, mute the radio, change the temp, ask for points of intererest with the s class command system. try it with winter driving gloves. Let your wife drive it ---the ls ergonomics are class perfect. easy for anyone to intuitively use. short learning curve.

    NAV--no contest--command system buttons are too many, cluttered, small and i have to take my eyes off the road to deal with them--how much is your safty worth??????
    ERGONOMICS--no contest
    QUALITY--no contest (we plan a weekend trip to columbus easton mall when we go--but that is every 5 months)

    SERVICE EXPERIENCE--no contest--when we go to lexus, i am greeted by the service tech, helped into the lexus loaner which is already running to get cooled down. MY WIFE WAS SHOCKED. SHE WON'T GET AN MB AFTER OUR EXPERIENCE WITH LEXUS SERVICE.
    MB lost me to lexus,and they will have a tough time winning me back. Will you get an MB loaner when you get service. I got ultima's and maybe a honda accord--i had to keep insisting on a non-smoker car. my friend who got the ML 55, gets a honda loaner. for the money he spent and my other friend you shouldn't have to even ask for a similar safe product. I came to work with a 1 year old rx300 lexus loaner, he came with an accord. GEE MB what are you thinking.

    Summary---even at the same price i'd go with the ls it has the best driving experience and ergonomics, best quiet, best ride, best trunk, best service, best owners experience--it's the benchmark for quality and service. then when you see it's 15k --25k less I JUST LOVE THIS THING MORE AND MORE EACH TIME I GET IT.

    sorry for the winded response, but am passionate about this TOTAL EXPERIENCE. when i send my wife (if i ever have to) to lexus i know she will be well taken care of. Not so with MB service, i had my wife come home angry that they didn't believe her when she told them what was wrong, and didn't give her a loaner, to do a test drive. When we need a new suv, quess where we are going
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