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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    For what its worth, the LS 430 continues to outpace the S-Class and 7 Series in sales.

    In August:

    2,695 - LS 430
    1,642 - 7 Series
    1,486 - S-Class

    2002 To-date:

    17,741 - LS 430
    14,479 - 7 Series
    12,912 - S-Class
  • I am taking delivery on a new "03 LS 430 soon and would like to have satellite radio. Is the 430 system adaptable for installation? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
  • My 3 hub cups with a gold plated "L" were stollen from my 1992 LS400. Does anyone has used ones to sell? Any advice besides bying new ones from a dealer will be appriciated. You can e mail me at
  • Alpine makes a tuner for XM that will play
    through your fm tuner. I have four vehicles and
    they all have XM radio. I have the alpine that
    plays through the radio in one of my vehicles.
    My wife got XM first and I was instantly hooked.
  • edward1:Thanks for the info on Alpine. One of my concerns is where does the XM tuner sit? I am worried how it will look. Can you still see station info coming from the car's FM tuner? As you can see, I am quite confused on the whole XM system.
  • slexyslexy Posts: 31
    Two things have bugged me since I got the car in 10/2000. I want to first say I wouldn't trade this car for any other for many reasons. But, I have given up trying to get the trani to downshift without the short hesitation, since it only bugs me when I am trying to pass a slow vehicle on a two lane road. My dealer says it is possible that Lexus would have to charge the "gas guzzler" tax if they did fix it (I was told there was a similar fix for the sporty IS 300), since it would increase fuel consumption? The second thing (a minor annoyance) has been worked on since I got the car. It was a mild squeaky noise coming from the rear suspension. The dealer put in a new shock absorber on one side after placing a stethoscope on various rear suspension parts and determining that that was the problem. Well that noise went away, but now I have a deeper sounding creaky noise coming again from rear suspension movements (I'm pretty sure). Has anyone been able to permanently fix these noises that are not loud at all, but bring out the "perfectionist Lexus owner" in me (my other car is a 1990 LS 400 that I have driven for about 135,000 miles). Thanks for any input you can give.
  • tdo123tdo123 Posts: 102
    I can't believe that you have become numb to hearing, "The Lexus Link System is active" everytime you turn the key. That, and the "agree" button on the NAV are my biggest gripes. I guess it could be a lot worse, I could have a car that was in the shop all the time.
  • I wonder if the cars do that is Japan as well, or is it just a reflection of the numbers of lawyers in the US. It comes back to the joke about having to stop making ladders because they ran out of surface area to place all the warning labels.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You can put a stop to that by just opening the useless nav's DVD door.
  • Yeah, the agree button and Link Active are annoying, but you're right - they're lawyer induced. Since the car is smart enough to know about a passenger for a/c, they could also use that to enable all the nav functions while moving. It's annoying to have a passenger and STILL not be able for them to input a new address, etc. Again, I'm sure it's lawyer/safety based, but annoying nonetheless.

    I'm often tempted to get a car elect. sys/radio technician (non-Lexus of course) to alter it. I would imagine it's nothing more than knowing which wires in the nav are routed through the gear shift knob or something similar.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Do other manufacturers also make you agree before it works? I concluded a long time ago that it is a "legal" thing - either by Lexus, the electronic supplier or both. The "I agree" means you could never sue Lexus or its supplier (Hitachi?) over any accidents which you might try to blame on the nav system. It's also why they won't make you adjust the route setting on the nav without pulling over to the side of the road. I think most companies will never get over the Mcdonald's hot coffee lawsuit so this cautionary approach is becoming the norm. Even Land O Lakes hot cocoa tells you to use only hot water, and not boiling water, on their cocoa packets. Amazing1

    I don't mind the Lexus link announcement at all but it seems I'm the exception. This one has nothing to do with legal perceptions though. I can't remember if Teleaid or Onstar give you the same heads-up announcement or not. I don't think they do.
  • After 12 years and 167,000 miles in my still squeek-less LS400 (yes, it is a one owner), I've decided to buy an LS430. MBs seem overpriced and while I like the BMW's handling, realistically, the roads where I live wouldn't take advantage of 50% of what that car can do. And, because I keep cars a long time, I don't want to put up with the maintenance.
    Problem is after 12 years I'm bored and need something different besides a different color of paint. I'm wary of being a kid who just wants all the gadgets;I wonder if I'll use the stuff after I've been in the car 30 days.
    Ultra Lux is not the issue; I doubt I've sat in the back seat of my car more than twice in the last 12 years. There are new packages available this year that avoid the back seat investment.
    Can someone out there give me their real world opinion of the desirability of the Navigation system (fun, but do you use it enough?), Mark Levinson (great, but can you tell that much difference), Front climate control seats (noticeably functional?), intuitive parking assist (useful?). The new option package for these is $5,730. Is it worth it?
    I could get fancier leather, dynamic laser cruise control and a few other doo dads for another $3,265; the custom luxury package.

    Any LS430 owners with opinions on the options?
  • I have the 2002 LS430 for just a year. It is a customer luxury package. I love it, especially all the convenient gadgets. The ML sound is second to none. The Nav saved me a few times when I was lost in a strange place. The care free laser cruise provides extra safety to the travel. The sonar parking control allows me to park in tight spots without assistance from other people. There are so many features that are so useful that I haven't loose interest to explore from time to time. The CL package is highly recommended. No regret!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If the LS430 bores you as much as it does me then do what I did, get a Porsche C4S, but without Nav.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    My wife's SC430 has the nav system, which I assume is the same as on the LS430. To us, it is a bad joke. Maps are inaccurate, commands are frequently nonsensical, and routings non optimum. Also, operation is not at all intuitive. She long ago stopped even trying to use it. I have a LS430 without nav. Not only didn't I think I needed it, but air conditioning controls are much more user friendly on the models without the nav. One option that I wish I had considered is the sport suspension, or whatever it is called. I should have at least tried it out.
  • Well, for balance if nothing else, I disagree with wwest and rcf8000. Most of us on this board for a while are familiar with wwest's vast knowledge of the systems in the car, but his total dislike ("useless" is his favorite descriptor) of the nav. I heartily disagree. It can be flawed, but useless is a profound overstatement IMO. I use it quite often and benefit/enjoy it. A few flaws? Sure. What complex system or database doesn't have some. But they are outweighed by it's useFULness to me, at least.

    I also disagree that it is inaccurate, not intuitive, non-optimum and frequently nonsensical (though I'm not sure what this last one refers to). I find it very intuitive for most functions, especially if one at least cursorily reads the manual. As for A/C being more user friendly without the nav, again I disagree. I have almost never found it necessary to use the nav interface for the A/C. All of the important functions are on the dash for a quick push of the button (auto and temp buttons do 95% of the work). Very little is required of this system via the nav screen, unless you want to manually change the vent distribution or manually control the rear A/C, which you don't even want.

    Now, I'm no Lexus purist (don't even get me started on the "free" nav update that disappeared and/or the cell phone disaster), but I think the nav system and a/c interface is taking an unnecessarily harsh beating from a couple of folks who just plain don't like it for their own reasons. Reasons they are entitled to, but you should get varied opinions and try it for yourself before ruling it out.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I'm roght there with flint350 on this one. The nav system is very useful (when you're in unfamiliar areas, as a tool around local traffic jams and as entertainment) and I don't find that it even mildly interferes with the A/C function or the stereo controls. The a/c temp controls are in the same place with or without nav system. I have two LS 430's - one with nav/ml and one without. Everytime I drive the non-nav/ml car I wish I hadn't elected to pass on those options.

    Carfan4sure - why don't you test drive the Euro sport LS430 before you buy? It gives you excellent handling with virtually the same great ride. The handling on that is well beyond what you are used to on any LS400. The base LS430 also has a tighter ride than the LS400 but somehow they also improved the ride.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    as you're sitting that at your PC, how often does your screen saver come up and BLANK your work?

    Not very often you say?

    You can control how quickly it returns?

    Then why do you prefer to drive a car that BLANKS information that is of "quick glance" value in favor of a "screen saver" (moving map) which you don't want/need to be activated anyway?

    Someone proposed that the "I agree" is a lawyer thing. Not possibly true.

    No US legal department would advise a corporate entity that they could escape liability in the US just by getting a citizen to "agree" and then proceed to distract him or her anyway. The law doesn't work that way.

    If the "I agree" were to mean, "if I subsequently activate and use the system I agree/acknowledge that I will not allow it to be so distractive...."

    Key words "if I activate".

    Think about it, put yourself in the jury box, considering that the owner/driver has not asked for the "distraction", would you absolve Lexus of liability in this case?

    The otherwise useless and redundant requirement that I reach over and momentarily depress a control to bring the OAT back up, or the current temperature setpoint, puts them right back in the liability "saddle" IMMHO!

    Which action, "momentarily depress a control" also inadvertantly changes a control function, shear idiocy in design!

    Now I'm REALLY in distracted mode!

    On the other hand for the few (I hope) people that are figuring out how to play DVDs, or how to activate the Nav while under way, I'd absolve Lexus totally and completely.

    But even then I'd bet some jurors would find Lexus partially guilty becuase they provided the base "facility" to begin with, likely well knowing that some would abuse...

    That's what makes the USELESS "I agree" requirement so insulting, at least to me.
  • Sorry, but I don't understand part of that, I disagree with much of it.

    First, the law does, in fact, work that way. No one says the "I agree" absolves Lexus of total liability - but it is an important legal component of/in their defense. Certainly it is a "lawyer thing". There is no other reason for it. And yes, if I were sitting on that jury and had all the current facts, I would absolve Lexus.
    Your reasoning implies any "distraction" in the car is the manufacturer's fault and the dummy who drove into the wall is blameless. Use of the nav is optional at the discretion of the owner. Lexus is offering it to those who want it and it is left out for those that don't. No one is forced to buy or use it or be distracted by it.

    As for the "useless and redundant requirement" you speak of, I am at a loss. I don't know what system you are familiar with or are referring to, but the LS430 doesn't operate that way. The OAT and temp setpoints are always in view, even with the Nav display turned off. Unless I misunderstand your post, and there is some of it I find difficult to comprehend, your statement is either incorrect or about another vehicle that is not under discussion.

    Also, while I am a believer in reducing distraction such as cell phones and playing DVD's, I see nothing wrong with allowing a passenger to make certain inputs to the nav system while underway. I was clear about a passenger doing it, not the driver, your implication notwithstanding. And "some jurors" would find guilt over almost anything - so while your comment is technically correct, I don't think it's truly relative.

    Lastly, the word "useless" that I took issue with, was in regard to the "useless nav system" -not the "I agree" statement.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I'm not a lawyer but I deal with business law constantly - too often in fact. I don't agree with you but I'm also not 100% certain if "I agree" protects the manufacturer. But I'd take the bet that it does over a bet that it doesn't. I also think that since 99% of the American public - notably the jurors you talk about - drive cars without nav systems, they wouldn't have a lot of sympathy for someone who drives an expensive car that has one. Like Flint350 I'd also conclude that the nav was chosen as an option and then used as one. Choosing "I agree" is like reading the surgeon generals message on the cigarette box.
  • I've had my Ultra Lux for two months so I only have a little experience with the options that you note. But so far the Nav system has twice helped me out of major traffic snarls. It has also helped me find several locations in strange cities. However, it is far from perfect: the database is incomplete, the POIs are next to useless and the route selection feature can be screwy. It will almost always find a route to your destination, but it's almost never the way you want to go. Mostly, I just use the moving map display and do my own route selection. But, I am confident that I'll be able to squeeze more usefulness out of it with more practice. All in all, its worth having.

    As for the M/L sound system; its nice but I am not an audiophile. I suspect the regular system would sound just as good to me.

    You can feel the cold air from the climate controlled seats (and certainly hear the fans). I don't know that the comfort level difference is dramatic. I also can't comment on the seat heaters.

    As I have tight quarters in the garage, I use the parking assist everyday. It works as advertized and mostly what it does is give you the confidence to park six inches from the wall. I do wish it were a bit more sensitive, though.

    The laser cruise control is the neatest gadget on the car, but you have to use it in the right situation. It works very well on rural freeways with moderate to little traffic. Turn it off in cities and in heavy traffic. Be aware that there can be two problems on tight curves: it will break lock with the car in front of you (and then run up on it); and occasionally it will lock-on to cars in the adjacent lane (very unpleasant if he's going 20mph slower than you).
  • tdo123tdo123 Posts: 102
    WOW! wwest really gets going on some of this stuff. It must be a lawyer thing. Or at least Lexus' way of saying, "Hey, we are putting this disclaimer here so you know we are worried that you are driving with this in your car"

    I can't believe we brought jurors into this mix. Jurors are always fair. Just ask OJ. :)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It would work as a protective disclaimer, absolutely, IMMHO, were it not for the fact that Lexus then simply goes ahead and brings up the moving map display, "unasked".

    Does anyone know why?

    And my apologies, I was speaking of my 01 RX300 Nav that BLANKS all of the ancillary information and the driver must take some otherwise useless action if s/he wants to see those displays.

    Absent some way to assure that its not the driver manipulating the Nav, I'll take sides with Lexus on this one.
  • Your question "....does anyone know why?" In my opinion, it does that because that is exactly what it is designed to do and most people are expecting it to do. You "agree" bcz you want to use it (in most instances), so it defaults to showing the map. It's certainly what I'd want it to do and many others, I suspect.

    As for Lexus assuring it's not the driver, I guess we can just agree to disagree. There's no way I can imagine that being accomplished with current technology. And, at some point, we all finally have to take responsibility for our own actions, right or wrong (barring design flaw). How far down the road of engineering for the stupid do we have to go and deprive the intelligent and careful of enhanced benefits and features. I guess we'll have to equip all cars with ignition-restricting breathalyzers, etc. to protect against the idiots who are going to do what they want regardless our efforts to stop them.

    And I agree with ljflx (how you doing buddy?) on the McDonald's analogy and the surgeon general analogy.

    By the way, the Garmin Street Pilot III Deluxe unit I just bought for use in my new Avalanche and the wife's car, also shows a disclaimer page that you must agree to, then allows all inputs if you turn off "safe" mode. I think we use it safely, but I'm sure many don't. I pray none of us run into those goofballs in either a Lexus or other car who are driving and inputting nav addresses while dialing their phone. But do we really want to physically limit the rest of us, due to them? Maybe we should, but right now I'm on the other side and choose not to ski down clearly marked black diamond slopes.
  • ljflx: Thanks. They don't charge any more for the Euro Suspension. You may be right; at 43 I'm apparently 17 years younger than the avg LS430 buyer and should start my midlife crisis before it is too late! I haven't seen one, and the salesman who sold me my 1990 LS has discouraged me, in part, because the tires won't last as long. What is the useful life of the std H tires v. the Euro tires? Y
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Doing great. Still have two perfect cars.

    I can't believe we are coming up on the 9/11 anniversary already. All these TV news tories are making me/us re-live it. BTW - I long ago thought bin Laden is dead - what do you think? Several stories I heard on am drive were squelched and on CNN there is a story today about one of his high level operatives talking of him in past tense.

    Maybe you missed an earlier post but going back and forth to Myrtle i never saw a Md. trooper on I-95. Needless to say i was amazed.
  • Glad to hear all is well. Mine is perfect as well. Yeah, the 9-11 stuff is a little tough. I'll never forget, but I'm not sure all this re-living is healthy. A good memorial, sure, but not endless re-living. Don't know what to think about Bin Laden, but with all the promises of videos and his underlings saying he would speak out, it makes you wonder - where is he? Why isn't he gloating?

    As for the troopers, they have been less active lately it seems. Haven't seen a good "jump out in the fast lane" move in a while. Take care.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    My business partner has the euro. He has 35k miles on it and the tires are still in good shape. Don't buy the salesman's story. My sales guy told me the same tire story thimg but it was because the euro had a 3 month wait at the time. He wanted his commission asap.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you actually want to make use of the nav there is no way you can avoid the start-up procedure. IMMHO that's the only time the moving map display should come up automatically.

    Coming up by default makes Lexus liable IMMHO!
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    I have the Nav in my '99 LS and it is very useFUL, for me. I use it fairly regularly bcos it is easier than having to map out trips on Yahoo or Mapquest on my PC - the time saved not having to boot up my PC to map my trip is precious to me....

    wwest's complaint is based on his RX, but this is an LS forum so why the constant moan about the NAV being "useless" on the LS. The RX and LS are as similar as grapes are to apples (NOT) !

    And the "I agree" button that I touch everytime I use the Nav can only be there for a single reason - legal issue. That is the only logical reason ! I have no problem "agreeing" since it is MY choice to use the Nav, and I should accept responsibility for any eventuality afterwards. If only many people accept responsibility for their actions we would not have Lexus put a disclaimer before using a gadget in any vehicle.
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