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Lexus LS 400/LS 430

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Comments

  • barb85barb85 Posts: 54
    Almost a month ago I opened negotiations on a $71,085 MSRP Ultra with an offer of $65,000. Salesman countered with $2,500 off MSRP then I told him I'd meet him halfway at $66,800. Sold with a discount of $4,285. If I were to start today, however, I'd open with $64,000 which would probably leave me with a discount of $4,785. This was cash, no trade, with the car having just arrived on his lot unspoken for.
  • barb85barb85 Posts: 54
    The Ultra has a button (air suspension) that toggles between "normal" and "sport". The normal mode is great for the interstate, and relaxed easy driving. I had the car in sport mode the other day on a winding mountain road and was very impressed! (My previous car was a '95 SC 300--for sale, by the way). It leans less than the SC 300. In sport mode the shocks stiffen. If you are driving aggressively on winding mountain roads, however, you would probably prefer the 740il. But personally, I don't like the plain interior of the 740il. I'd rather compromise slightly on the handling for all the luxurious interior beauty and high tech goodies on the LS 430! The sport button on the Ultra is all I need.

    I like the way I can have it both ways: a coushy relaxing ride or a more aggressive sports car feel with the variable air suspension. I haven't driven the euro-suspension. Is there another sport suspension other than the variable air and euro?
  • skip110skip110 Posts: 12
    Sorry didn't mean to shout. It was great to here articulate descriptions of the difference between the '98 LS400 and the LS430 as it relates to ride quality, handling, road feel and general impressions. I intend to purchase or lease a LS430 in about 4 or 5 months. And your descriptions are exactly what I have been waiting to read. This is not to say that I don't find comments sharing experiences about good deals informative. Because I find them very informative and look forward to reading more. But specific and clear characterizations about how the car feels and handles under various conditions especially relative to other cars is really appreciated here. Thanks.
  • barb85barb85 Posts: 54
    Just think how good satalite music would sound on your Mark Levinson stereo in your LS 430!

    The latest Consumer Reports has a picture of Sony's new satalite music receiver for cars. (I haven't read the article yet--someone took off with my copy.) Has anyone installed this in an LS 430? If so how, where? Anyone know anything about it? Does it require an outside antenna?

    This is worth checking into, because we've got the ultimate car to install it in.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    Thanks for the response. I went with the Mystic Sea Opalescent. It was a last minute switch from silver/gray largely because my wife has a silver car, and I wanted something different. During my extended test drive I just felt that the designers of the car were so thoughtful. As an example the small extension from the seat that fills the space to the console to keep things from falling into never-never land. If they got that right, I'm sure all the big stuff is just as well thought out.

    I'm not familiar with the board where the Lexus vs. MB war is being fought. Coming out of my second MB into a Lexus, all I can say is they both are excellent vehicles. They're built to a very different philosophy, and you need to decide which manufacturer is more in harmony with your own feelings. What always summed it up for me is that the MB wouldn't trust the driver to set the rain delay to a desired speed. They only had two delay settings and that was it. I was one of the first to get the rain sensing wipers in my second MB because this drove me insane. Even then you couldn't be trusted to decide what was right, but at least the car could adjust itself for in-between conditions and varying speed. Based on what I saw, I doubt there is anything you can't customize in the Lexus, and I like that. If the LS430 and S430 were the same price I might have to think harder about which car to get, but the MB was almost 25% more to lease, and I just can't justify that much of a premium. When I look at the Carpoint ratings and people are giving either car all 1's you know it's a bunch of wannabes in 1990 K cars living out some fantasy.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    Please add brand names to your spell checker. It kept trying to change Lexus into nexus.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Had enough of the lux board; we have a nice mix of new LS owners here. My biggest problem so far is that I cannot find enough places to drive or errands to run...really, The LS's quiet and performance still impress me the most. The power mode on the transmission shortens the shift points (I think), and makes the car even quicker.

    I love the NAV system and wonder if Ver 1. 2000 is the most current data DVD? There are some newer areas of my city that do not show up...understandably. I think the handling with 17s and standard suspension is also impressive and more than enough for me.

    I have a few road trips planned in early April, so I'll have more to tell then.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Funny you should ask about the nav. Just today I called Lexus customer service about it - my version says it is dated 2000. They told me that is the latest version. They are issued in the fall - so the new update won't be issued until fall of 2001. I'm hoping for some local updates as well. Still, I was driving around Annapolis an Wash. D.C. the last few days and the system really shines. I especially like that it recognizes things like "traffic circle ahead" and tells you which of the several branches to take and what to expect immediately thereafter. We have lots of those kinds of complications around here and the nav system works well with them.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    barb85 - you got a good price nonetheless. The car is still not being discounted all that much here in the Northeast. I think we have bottomed out in the stock market so that may close the door to discounts.

    wbwynn - nav system has great coverage in my area. Even my tiny cul de sac street is on it.

    flint350 - Are you off lux board?

    stevestein - I think wbwynn, flint350, denniswade (though he doesn't have the car) and myself got accused of being bullies on the lux board. It was hard for them to believe how much we loved the car and we all gave it hard evaluations (before we purchased) to the
    S-Class. None of us ever said anything bad about the S but they took it that way.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    I saw those reviews where the person would deadpan the car and give it a bunch of 1's or 2's in most areas and average out something like a 1.6 on a scale of 1-10. Some of those people even said the ride was horrendous when they test drove it. Yet they BOUGHT the car! By the way I've seen them do the same thing to the S-Class and 7-series. So you are right its probably jealous wannabes who don't even know well enough to give the car a 7 or so rating which might at least have some believability.

    Recently the NY Times reviewed the LS430 and to my surprise the woman reporter who penned the review gave it the same bland review as the prior LS400. I never thought the 400 was dull to drive but there is no question that the 430 is a much perkier car with crisp handling and more road feel. At the end of that review the woman discreditted herself better than anyone else ever could have by saying she preferred to drive her daughter's maxima. Go figure how some of these people think.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    I pick up my silver/ecru today! Got a good deal (56k for Lev, no NAV) for the DC area, and they gave me a better trade than I thought I would get on my 90 LS, I think b/c they didn't want to discount the 430 so much. I am still unsure what I am going to do about a phone; I have a Star Tac Motorola and am considering just using that with one of those plug-in hands free deals, but it appears that I will have to leave the ashtray bit open if I do and I hate to ruin the look of the console that way. Has anyone figured out a better arrangement? I will post when I have had a week or so to live with the car.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    I charge my StarTac and put it in the slide out draw that is above the CD changer. I keep the charger cord plugged in the so-called ashtray bin....both close up just fine.

    The StarTac holds a charge so long that you really do not need to keep it plugged in all the time.....actually the StarTac seems to be the perfect phone for the LS (if you don't require hands-free)

    Hope that helps....congrats on your new LS.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    Thanks very much for the post; I agree that the phone seems perfectly suited to that sliding drawer, and I was actually thinking about asking the dealer service folks to drill a hole in the back of that slide out drawer and hardwiring the charger cord into the electrical system. That way, I could plug in and close the drawer. You are right about the battery though. Boy am I juiced to be joining "the club." Thanks again for your help.
  • swithrow2swithrow2 Posts: 41
    I drove a new Q45 the other day...and let me tell you, I loved it. The car is so modern, strikingly beautiful and elegant in person, the interior is modern, well made and very special. Quick as hell, just as smooth and quiet as the Lexus.

    I'm going to have to drive the LS430 again, but right now I think I like the Q45 more.

    Y'all gotta go drive one.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    I'm sure the Q45 is a great drive, but I was disappointed in the exterior styling. Granted, the LS430 is bland in many ways, but the Q45 looks like a confused mixture of styles, and the front spoiler is short and cheap looking because they didn't 'need' to incorporate fog lights because of the gattling gun main lights.

    I actually like the current Q look more than the new one.

    It will be interesting to see how the new Q does in the market.
  • I too drove the new Q. It is more athletic than the LS, but the finish isn't quite up to Lexus standards. Some of the features aren't operational yet--cruise and telephone. I was impressed by the features and price, but am leaning toward the Lexus.
  • swithrow2swithrow2 Posts: 41
    I agree about the finish, but I'm still very impressed.

    We shall see.
  • feverhartfeverhart Posts: 144
    I also was greatly impressed with the Q45. Even considered replacing my wife's 98 LS 400. Yet it doesn't meet the Lexus benchmark quality, in my opinion. One big disadvantage is the tiny trunk (13 cu ft), which would have been a big disadvantage on our recent 2200 mile trip.

    But it is an outstanding car with many nice features and a heck of a bargain. Considering everything, I believe my LS430 is still the ultimate.
  • slexyslexy Posts: 31
    I previously posted a comment about dirt showing more on the ecru interior only because my dealer's car wash guy put his hand print(with "tire black"), I suspect, on part of the interior. Even rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits would not remove it. The dealer replaced the entire part, and I am satisfied. If you have children of young age or you tend to get interiors dirty, make sure you have a good leather cleaner as you would need for any color leather interior. I love the ecru color, and appreciate the change from the ivory color leather in my other lexus.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Reading slexy's post reminded me of when I got in my car after a recent wash at the dealer I noticed the wash guy's hands as he got out. He was wearing plastic gloves! I thought maybe just Lexus overkill at the time, but you make a good point. And now I am not faced with leather cleaning and grease stains. Life is good.
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    2 days ago picked up my parchment crystal w/ ecru & birdseye maple interior. Everything is fine except that no car that I wanted had 17 in wheels.Does anyone have an idea how to get the 17 in wheels (without paying $2,000 plus) or what 16 in tires would give me a better look & handling? Other than that everything is great. Outstanding interior combination & features. Also can't believe that I am getting 20 mpg around town.
    By the way I have had 16 MB's in the last 30 yrs but felt it was time for a change. Liked the cars but my last E class had too many small problems (last one on the way to the Lexus dealer to trade). Also Almost all the extras on the MB are standard on the LS. LS has more room too.
    Appriciate any comments on wheels/tires. Am not impressed with the LS wheel design but that is a small matter. THE CAR IS GREAT!
  • slexyslexy Posts: 31
    Most Lexus dealers carry after market chrome wheels or you can contact the many manufacturers that make them in an exact size match by looking at the ads in the car magazines. As for the tires, I have planned on replacing the Dunlap "w" rated tires I have in 225/55 17 W ($288 ea.)(360 treadwear) with one of the following: Bridgestone Turanza Z Revo at $180 ea./240 treadwear with a 40,000 mi. warranty, or Michelin Pilot XGT Z4 at $182 ea./300 treadwear with no treadlife warranty. These prices are on www.tirerack.com with the edge going to Bridgestone once you look at the "specs" on ride comfort, noise comfort, along with a 40,000 mi. treadlife warranty(free replacement down to 2/32 of tread) over 5 years.
  • sfmartinsfmartin Posts: 59
    Are you talking about replacing the Dunlops immediately, or when they wear out? If now, why are you dissatisfied with them?
  • fabtfabt Posts: 22
    The sunvisors on my LS430 have two airbag warning stickers. The main one on the visor mirror door. That's ok, because it is usually hidden. However, another, hideous sticker referring you to the mirror door warning is affixed to the outside of the visor - always in plain view.

    Lexus tells me they won't remove it. They say if I try I will ruin the fabric on the visor or at best leave a very ugly residue. Has anyone figured out how to remove this sticker without damaging the visor? Or even had the visor re-upholstered? It's SO ugly!!
  • slexyslexy Posts: 31
    I plan on replacing the Dunlop tires that came with the euro-sport ls430 when they have worn out. I definitely like the ride, handling, and low noise factors, but at $288 ea., I am hoping for a less expensive tire with the same characteristics. I believe all "W" or "Z" rated tires will wear out quickly, but the Bridgestone's have a treadwear warranty. I should have told greasykid that the regular 17" wheels come with 225/60 "H" rated tires that are less expensive and wear longer. I believe the 17" wheels look and handle better, but my dealer said they are heavier and a little bit noisier because of the weight. I don't notice much noise at all from the "W" rated "17" Dunlop's.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    I'm told a hair dryer, lightly used, will soften the adhesive, and then the label can be slowly pulled off, but no guarantees from this end!

    Maybe just put some matte sticky backed plastic over it? Not great, but better than a big yellow billboard over your head :)
  • sfmartinsfmartin Posts: 59
    Don't be too general about tire life estimates. I had Michelin Z-rated tires with a 140 wear rating on my LS400. They lasted 45k miles and I estimate had another 5k to go. The stock Dunlop SP400's were much quieter on coarse asphalt. On the LS430, the SP270's are noisier on coarse asphalt than the standard all-season tires on the LS400.
  • sfmartinsfmartin Posts: 59
    Our salesman suggested the same thing. (But didn't offer to do it.) ;<}
  • fabtfabt Posts: 22
    I have the LS430 with Navigation/Voice Command. The Voice Command allows you to direct several dozen commands to the Navigation system without having to touch any buttons. Very cool. Originally I had little interest in the Navigation system but could only get the Levinson stereo if I took Navigation with it. Now that I have the Navigation I love it; it is really unbelievable.
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    Thanks for the info. Have bought from Tirerack before. 17in wheels are really expensive ($250 & up). If I stay with the 16in tires can get a really nice 5 spoke wheel & bridgestones for less than $1,000 for the package. Tirerack advises that for a bit more that 245/55/16 will fit & be the same circumference. That setup shoud improve the look & handling. The standard tires that came with my LS are Yokohoma 390's with a wear rate of 160. Real bummer. Anyone have experience with this tire?
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