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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    I just scrolled down autospies and there is the 2005 GS a bit further down. It's a great looking sketch and has a lot of the Lexus HPX styling charateristics. If that is the next GS it looks to me like Lexus has outstyled the MB E-class and may become the class leader here. BMW's new 5 series, which is awful may be in trouble. MB and that Lexus design put it to shame.

    I would expect the 2004 LS refresh to have some of that GS/HPX look. Lexus has said they are going to a more cookie cutter design in the same vane as MB and BMW. They also said that the HPX, whether its built or not, has many of the styling cues we'll see on upcoming re-designs. So maybe the GS re-design and LS modification are the start of it.

    I still hope they build that HPX. It was a knockout when I saw it in person at the NY auto show.

    It does look like Lexus is getting bolder in the design areas based on the HPX, RX330 and these sketches (assuming the latter are on the mark).
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    First, let me say that I sincerely doubt that autospies has it right with the rendering of the new LS. They don't give a source, and as ljflx points out, it looks FAR too great a change from the current vehicle to be a mid-term refresh. Maybe this is the look of the 2006 new car.

    Having said that (and except for the now-familiar too-much-grill problem) I LOVE IT. I was driving in this morning lamenting the disappearance of elegence and understatement in the new cars being introduced, and along comes this one. Aggressive, daring, but controlled and sophisticated. It is what the 7 could have been if someone had been there to curb Bangle's excesses. If they build it, I will come.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    That might really be the 2004.

    My initial reaction on looking at it was the same as Tony's. I didn't like it at first glance - and the color chosen by the artist didn't help and may have had a lot to do with that first impression. But the more I looked the more I thought it was a great looking, very aerodynamic car. It's the latter that has me more and more thinking that it might be the refreshing. Lexus wants to have the best aerodynamics in the industry.

    So today I e-mailed the sketch to my sales guy. He e-mailed back a short sweet reply which was "No comment but I told you it will be a real sharp car and a big seller". So let's see. I still think it looks like too much of a change for a refreshment. Maybe the back will only have tail light refreshing rather than the change depicted in the sketch.

    But that is definitely not the 2006. That totally restyled car (again per my sales guy) is going to have the HPX look and be a bigger GS, a tad larger than the current LS and will have a long wheel base option. The latter will only be available with the V-12 engine.

    What did you think of the GS? If you look close you can see the tail lights have an SC430 look. The side is beautiful and I like the front. I'd like it even more if the grille was just a tad bigger. And I mean just a tad. You've got me questioning big grilles now.
  • lachualachua Posts: 5
    If Lexus moves into Japan and becomes up market globally, than we should also see their cars eventually having more family resemblence or at least distinctivness. I just don't see that in those new pictures.

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=5963
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    I really like the silhouette (?) of the GS pictured, but the grill/fascia just looks too busy to me. It seems like all of the automakers cannot leave well enough alone. It is as if the designer finishes the car and then decides to add a bunch of fillagree, do-dads and nicknacks to the car, like a kid putting extra parts on a plastic model.

    I definitely agree with ljflx about the color selected by the artist for his LS rendering; it is a nauseating shade of green, but the car itself looks muscular but sleek, not an easy combination to pull off. I can't tell much from the LS picture lachua provided. I am still very skeptical that we will see anything like so radical a transformation in the car in the next model year.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    If you look close enough I think you'll see that the autospies sketch and lacqua's autofiend pix look alike except that the grill is more like the current grill in autofiend whereas autospies seems to downsize it a bit. I love both pix and think either one gives a sportier more athletic look to the car.

    As for the GS I would hope the current grill with or w/o a slight modification is put on the autospies sketch. If that is done Lexus has a homerun in that car. I much prefer the autospies version over the one shown in lacqua's link.

    Everything I've read or heard has supported the Clemens interview of more similarity in auto design for the brand. You can also bet that if Clemens has gone that far in his discussioon of a $150k upscale LS than the decision has already been made to build the car. The issue will be how upscale - $100k, $125k or $150k. I'll bet it ends up more in the $125k range.

    lacqua - thanks for the links.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The results of the 2003 JD Power Initial Quality Study were released yesterday. It's no surprise that the LS 430 finished #1 in the premium luxury car category.

    Other Lexus standings include:
    Lexus #1 as a brand
    ES 300 #1 in the entry luxury car category
    SC 430 #2 in the premium luxury car category
    GS 300/430 #1 in mid luxury car category
    RX 300 #1 in luxury SUV category
    LX 470 #2 in luxury SUV category

    The #1 Platinum Award also went to the plant where the LS 430 and GS 300/430 are built. The plant where the ES 300 is built finished #3 of all plants worldwide (the Toyota Prius plant was #2).
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    Monopolies are usually not good so thank goodness the IS allowed soneone else to win a category.

    What do you know about or think of the 2004 LS430 sheet metal change (or LS500 whatever it is to be)?
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I did talk with a Lexus rep (not a salesman) at the Chicago Auto Show in February. He said the refreshed 2004 LS would have:

    1. Revised front and rear styling
    2. 18" wheels
    3. Revised dashboard
    4. New interior wood selections
    5. "Many" new comfort and convenience features
    6. A "smart" key like Mercedes has

    He didn't comment on the engine size or anything else.

    Lexus boss Denny Clemens has recently said in the press that virtually all future Lexus models will be offered with all-wheel-drive, but I don't know if that includes the 2004 LS.

    Also, Lexus has recently created a board of directors separate from Toyota and added a unique Lexus design center, something it never had before. Clemens has said this will result in future products being far more consistent in look and feel starting with the all-new GS next year. According to Clemens things will change "dramatically."
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    Consistent with everything I've heard as well re the outside. I hadn't heard anything about the dash butI had heard you would be able to mix and match interior color schemes. They are definitely going to offer a 360hp engine though. They seem to be going to a more sporty aggressive look. It's all fine with me as long as they keep that best in the world ride. This will drive the enthusiasts nuts though as they won't have any shots to take at this car anymore.

    It sounds like the 2004 is going to be a great car. I'm going to put myself on the brochure list as soon as Lexus makes it available on the website. My lease is up in January. I'll bet the 2004 will be cheaper on lease than the 2001 given the big cut in interest rates.
  • gringo1gringo1 Posts: 67
    Hi,
    I am in the mkt for a used LS400 and Edmunds and KBB have removed the old standard 8 page breakdowns of used cars. (Or at least I can't find that feature anymore.)

    Anyway, I like the color blue.
    Is blue offered 96 - 2000?

    What are the other exterior colors offered?

    Thanks,
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    There was a navy blue, I believe, every year since 98 at least. Black, cashmere, white, milennium silver, a medium green (which I wouldn't recommend), a burgundy and a coffee type color were also available. Lexus always trades off a new color vs an old at some point in the cycle. So you may not find each color each year. Typically there are about 8 colors to choose from. Black, white, cashmere and silver are always the volume ones. I can't remember if the car was also available in a darker grey.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    Yesterday while driving home I had that warning icon with the chime come on for a fleeting second a few times. It was so brief that I couldn't see what it was. So I checked the manual and it indicated that it was that Master Warning light. Further in looking up what that meant it said that when any system malfunctions that light goes on with a chime and stays on until the problem is corrected. Sounded scary. But since this problem was lasting a second or less I seemed to have a self-correcting problem. This morning while driving in I noticed it happening more and more, but again it was so fleeting that I couldn't see what it was. My self correcting problem was developing and fixing itself more and more often. But it was mainly happening on turns or when you jumped from a red light. It never happened while driving straight no matter what the speed. The chime occurring on turns made it obvious that it was a fluid of some kind. Finally tonight on my way home it stayed on long enough to see. What was it? LOW WASHER FLUID.

    Now Lexus doesn't need to go to the extreme of a chime that makes you think you need to go to a dealer ASAP when all you need is to add washer fluid. Morale of the story - if you hear that chime, and it goes off immediately, check your washer fluid before you do anything else.
  • gringo1gringo1 Posts: 67
    Am I right that the old used car 8 page rundowns of options and prices and what was new that year are no longer offered by KBB nor Edmunds?

    Thank you for the Dark Blue answer for 1998 and newer. That is what I will look for.
  • emakiemaki Posts: 3
    I recently inherited a '91 LS 400 (132K miles) from my Dad. It is sweet to drive but I'm afraid of the maintenance/repair costs for a 12 year old, very expensive car-- things are bound to wear out on it soon and I don't want to pour thousands into such an old vehicle.

    Any advice from those who have older models? Are your maintenance costs typically high at this stage?

    I've been thinking of selling and buying a newish Camry-- I already have a buyer at $7900, but the Lexus is awfully nice and I'm getting used to it! Advice appreciated.
  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    A host of things could go wrong on a 12-yr-old car. Things like power steering pump, water pump, etc... But if that car had been babied (looks like it with only 132K miles in 12 yrs), then maybe you just need to have the mechanicals checked thoroughly by your local Lexus dealer, or a trusted mechanic. Your local Lexus dealer will run a history on the car and give you a print out of everything done to the car (from any Lexus shop). That will be a great help.

    OTOH, selling it and getting a newish Camry may not be a bad idea, but since you've owned and/or driven this LS, you will regret buying that newish Camry. The driving pleasure just ain't going to be anywhere close. Even for a 12-yr old, the LS is a very refined machine, and with your low low miles, you'll drive it for another 100K miles before you need to really get rid of it. That's a lotta miles ahead for you.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    DO NOT SELL THE LS!!! You have a free car, a fabulous machine and a piece of automotive history (OK its a year late for that, but it is essentially the same as the 90). Do not trade this for a lowly Camry. If you will have to finance the Camry, the money will be about the same, even if you have significant repair costs on the LS (and you will; that is inevitable).

    Have your mechanic check it out thoroughly. The a/c compressor and the LCD display are frequent trouble spots. Both went out on my 90.

    I sold my 90 to get my '01 when it had 125k. It was a wonderful machine, and I am betting that it will be on the road for another 6 or 7 years easy.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    In the news section of the June issue Automobile talks about Toyota/Lexus changes. It talks about the total LS redesign as fall 2006 which would mean a 2007 model to me. It also talks about the 2004 facelift in a confusing way. They confirm a 5.0 liter LS500 for 2004. But they then go on to say that it will be produced alongside the LS430. It's as if they were saying there would be two cars. Now they had to mean a redesign with two engine options but they certainly didn't write it clearly.

    The half page story about Toyota changes also confirms that Lexus will have much more of a consistent design in its car models starting with the GS redo. It also seems that they will make major upgrades to the IS.
  • emakiemaki Posts: 3
    Thanks very much for the excellent and speedy advice. An inspection and complete history would provide some much-needed comfort.

    I didn't know any dealer could print out service history. That's a real help because I'm not so sure about my Dad's dealer: I took the car in for a check while in another city and they told me there were after market parts in the car, troubling since I know it was never serviced anywhere but the dealer, right down to oil changes. (Yes, it was babied!)

    By the way, speaking of high maintenance costs, last week my mother traded in her '98 MB E320 and had it inspected (I was considering buying it from her) and the Benz dealer wanted $500 for an INSPECTION of the car. Lexus has been quoting me $100 today. I suppose their cars are quite complex.

    Anyway, thanks again.
  • jsb16jsb16 Posts: 64
    I'm also a 1990 LS owner with about 155K miles. I agree with nealm1 that you are likely to lose your LCD that reads the temperature/time, the A/C evaporator/compressor, and steering pump. The LCD can be fixed for as little as $300 but I never did. The other repairs are $1200 - 1500. I wouldn't expect serious expenses until you need an engine or transmission and these appear to be rock solid. Aside from the LS being a great car, the Lexus service really shines compared to Toyota. It still amazes me that I bring my 13 year old LS to a dealer that didn't even sell it for an oil change and they give me a $35K brand new loaner car!
  • dad16dad16 Posts: 35
    I have a '96 Ls 400 and just the other day drove it somewhere and went to leave and it would not start. Long and short, starter went out with no warning. Its one of those hard to get to repairs, but one that must be repaired. $1000. yes I was quite surprised too. I don't have a book on all repairs for the car, but some fixes ain't cheap. The car overall has been a stellar performer. Have only 60K mi.
  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    Dad;
       Before you pay to have the starter replaced, check the wiring connection to the starter itself. I had the the same experience and while checking the condition of the sarter I had wriggled the leads connected to the starter. I then attempted to start the car and and it worked. Alll that had happened is that one of the leads had worked loose somehow. I then tightened all leads to the starter and the it had worked perfectly until I sold the car with 230,000 miles on the odometer. Good-luck.
    Ron
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Starter motors generally give lots of warning before complete failure....

    Starter solenoid (relay) more likely.

    One of the interlocks may have failed, tranx must be in neutral or park. A "jiggle" of shift lever sometimes works.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I haven't abandoned edmunds.com, just the lexus vs mercedes board. As I intimated over there, I just got too frustrated by the sheer illogic of some of the MB guys. Posting there was like beating my head against a wall, sometimes. A less significant factor is that I didn't care for the "guidance" from the host.

    Anyway, I noticed your post about the 2006/7 LS. Personally, it seems plausible that it would be 2007, since the first gen was 1990, the second 5 years later in 1995, but the third 6 years later in 2001...so the most recent 6 year gap, if carried forward, would make the Automobile mag story come true. I've been waiting for AWD for awhile, which I personally believe will be in 2005 not 2004...and if its 2005 I was figuring just wait for an all new car in 2006. But if 2007 is going to be true, that would change things.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    I'm on the three year lease cycle. So 2001-04-07 works fine for me. My wife's 2001 LS is so good I've seriously started to consider buying it out when it comes due in January. It will have about 36k miles on it. I have a 2001 LS as well that is paid for by my job. I'll end up with 65k miles on it (I'm at 48k now). But it lacks the Nav and ML. I just took one of the few premium edition cars that they had at the time. That is one of the wonderful things about Lexus that so many people miss. You can have a stripped down version that is under $60k or dress it to the hilt and get to $72k. You don't get to do that with MB S-class. Anyway these are the best LS cars ever (I've had them since 95). But if they do change the style per the pix I've seen I'll lease for my wife again. I need two awd vehicles out of three - if i continue to need three cars - otherwise one out of two will suffice . So I hope they put in awd in 2004. I will stay with Lexus all the way next year. The cars are too perfect to consider anything else. I've never had a problem with a Lexus yet and I've been driving nothing else since 1995. In fact Japanese perfection dates back to my 91 Acura Legend.

    I'm anxious to see what they do with the GS. If they go AWD on that it will be very tempting as a third car if I continue to need 3 cars. The styling looks spectacular. Right now I'm fixated on the new LS and the GX470 (3 people have told me that it is the best SUV they've ever owned and one guy came out of the LX470). This winter was horrible and has affected thoughts of an SC430 I was having. Now if the LS has AWD I may start thinking seriously about the SC again. I love that car.

    I do believe you'll see the next true LS redesign as a 2007 model - maybe as a Spring 2006 entry. The trick I believe is to watch the Lexus leases. If they go to 39 month leases in May and June of any given year as their main program it means they want people hanging around to September for the new car.

    I'll get more facts on this stuff next Friday. I'm bringing my car in for service and am stopping off to drive the GX470. I intend to find out what is going on with the 2004 and the GS, as well as the whole AWD thing.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Right now I have a 1 RX, 1 LX family. Off topic for this board, but I happened to be invited to a Lexus-sponsored SUV comparo very recently, and liked the GX alot...unless you ever need to fit 3 in the 2nd row. Seems as about as narrow as the RX, though I haven't compared actual measurements. Wife liked the GX as well, felt it compared well to the Range Rover, but priced much better. I also drove an ML55...felt you didn't get much for the money. And a Discovery...felt very cheap and creaky, the RX beats it any day.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I read I think on clublexus a rumor that awd across the Lexus line would be available only on the hybrid-powertrain vehicles. Just a rumor, but interesting.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    same host here, syswei -- drop me an email and we can talk about it. I don't follow you.
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