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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    not nice to write in caps (shouting)!

    LS is a RWD car and not the most ideal on snow. With proper snow tires/chains, it should be fine. If you need a snow-capable vehicle, get a AWD or 4x4 SUV/truck.

    Good luck with your mum's car search.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I live in CT and even with an awd RX300 I have sometimes slipped around a bit. I have also seen fwd cars including an E320 have trouble on a hill leading up to a traffic light...he had to stop for the light and then when he got a green he couldn't go up...had to make a u...the hill isn't even that steep. My advice is get awd and if you're especially concerned then if it has more sedan-oriented tires, like the RX, then replace with something like the Michelin CrossTerrain SUV tires (which I put on my LX).
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
      Both my LS430 and LS400 are fine in the New England weather. Granted, I don't drive the 430 with the summer tires, but simply investing in a set of 4 snow tires ought to take care of that. I honestly think this notion of Luxury cars performing poorly in the snow is a myth.

    After all, how did you think people in the 1950's and 60's drove in the snow? Having lived in NE for over 20 years, I feel that getting an 4WD vehicle just for the winter weather is pure nonsense. I don't even have Snow's on the LS400, just Michelin MXV4 tires. It does skid somewhat on unplowed roads, but I have never been stranded. (I live in a Hilly area). Don't let the weather detract you from buying a great car.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    When FWD didn't exist and we all (those of us that HAD to get around) carried snowchains and knew how to install them?

    It isn't just the snow that will be a problem, it's the idiots with 4WD that in the process of proving the vehicle's ability forget that the driver is the primary portion of the equation.

    If we could get everyone to drive sensibly, and well, in adverse roadbed conditions then I wouldn't hesitate taking an LS430 out.


    If you can stay in, DO.

    If you are caught OUT, go home.

    If you have rear bias 4WD, have snowchains on board.
  • mheni1mheni1 Posts: 41
    On 9/30 Lexus dealer performed service bulletin repair to correct steering column groan noise on on my 01 LS 430. 27k miles on car. This am 10/1 heard unidentified noise 5 minutes after leaving my garage. Sounded like a fan. Seemed to come from under gear shift lever. Lever resistant to move from reverse to park. Lever had slight shimmy. Returned to dealer with noise continuing. Dealer road tested with no noise. I road tested with Lexus tech with no noise. Advised to return to dealer if noise returns.
    Any ideas on what the problem may be? Will appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.
  • jsb16jsb16 Posts: 64
    I had a harrowing experience with my 1990 LS doing a 360 degree spin on a highway in light snow while I was doing 45 mph. It was amazing no one hit me and I recovered control of the vehicle. I went out and bought Bridgestone Blizzaks and used them for years. Even in the flat midwest, I would strongly encourage others to buy snows for this vehicle. Since I never bought a second set of wheels I had to do a change over/balance twice a year but my tire place threw that in when I paid a some b.s. $80 tire protection fee at time of purchase. Boy they lost money on that deal after 5 years and 10 sets of tire changes!
  • skip30skip30 Posts: 33
    My mother (89 years old) has a white/ivory 90 LS 400. The car has about 14,500 miles on it. The car spends most of its life inside a locked garage in Los Angeles Ca. This car looks like new. Even the floor mats have never had a foot on them. Put rubber mats over the Lexus mats before driving it home. The passenger seat probably has been sat in for only maybe about 200 to 300 miles. I am not sure if anyone has ever rode in the rear seat. The car still smells new inside. Still has the factory Goodyear tires. No door dings or dents. What is this car worth? It is serial #516. No, there has never been any smoking in the car. The seats and carpet look new. I need a true value of this car. It is not for sale unless I decide to get her a new one. Skip
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Sorry I can't answer your question, but I wonder if this car may be worth keeping. Not too many Japanese cars have entered the "classic" realm, but I would think your example has a good chance at it, if it hasn't already. This model marked the first serious challenge to the Germans in the luxury car segment, and forever changed the competitive landscape, so I have to believe this has serious implications for the long-term value of '90 models that are in pristine condition. I know that there are many huge fans of the original LS400, and I doubt that there are many better examples than your mother's to be found anywhere. I would be very hesitant to sell it right now, unless you know for sure you would be getting top dollar (which probably explains why you are asking here - you already know what I just said).

    Good luck.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    you are of course aware that not having done another 360 in the intervening years might just be due to pure dumb luck rather than the Blizzaks??

    That slippery lightly snow covered bridge deck is still out there somewhere awaiting your unwary arrival.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    If you repost your message in our Real-World Trade-In Values discussion, the folks there will be glad to help you assess the car.

    Good luck.
  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    "But is all this enough to lure buyers away from Jag, BMW and Mercedes showrooms? Sadly not. While the LS will continue to appeal to those wanting sybaritic comfort, benchmark refinement and a not-too-demanding driving experience, its lack of soul and continued me-too styling is unlikely to win it any new friends"

    That has to be pretty harsh !

    My apologies to those who consider themselves as car-enthusiast ! BUT, can anyone explain to me why there is this desire/need to have the car "... provide more feedback to the driver." A luxury car should be all about luxury features, smoothness, refinement, quality, ride and handling, and functional gizmos. Throw in excellent customer relationship/service.

    Maybe I cannot understand, ever ! IMHO, the LS is the best overall luxury car under $75K. If anyone can find another car better than the LS in that price range, I'd like to hear it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But when you get up into these elevations you must oftentime exclude price as a criteria.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    It's the best luxury sedan under $100k actually.

    I don't know how often you go to the UK or Europe (I often do) but you have to understand that there is a deep rooted nationalistic feeling there. If products are not made there they don't like them and they want them to fail. Much of this stems from a great sense of pride that European products and cultural interests are superior to all others. Remember all the bad press on Euro-Disneyland. The press literally drove it into the ground before it opened by trying to turn off the people. They viewed a theme park like that as beneath them.

    Lexus sales in Great Britain are growing fast now so the the threat is greater than ever. Hence the bad press - particularly about the one luxury sedan that can really be called a "poor man's Rolls Royce" or maybe given price point it should be phrased as a less wealthy man. On top of that the real joke here is that the Jag is a cushiony ride car and hardly a performance sedan. The other funny thing is this writer said that the euro suspension hurt the ride while automobile magazine said the exact opposite. I'll side with automobile for a simple reason. A friend and neighbor of mine has a 2001 LS lease expiring next month. He has the base suspension now. He just test drove a euro suspension and told me the ride is phenomenal - better than his 2001. He ordered a black 2004 euro on the spot which he will take next weekend..

    Somewhere way back when on this board or the high end board someone posted a story from a mag where an MB or BMW exec called a writer about a story he had written. It was an early Lexus story in which the writer predicted success for Lexus in America and that the Germans would have to change how they do things quickly. If I remember correctly the exec said that wouldn't be the case and wanted the writer to amend his statements. The writer said Lexus will be a strong competitive threat and would not change his opinion. Naturally he was right and the exec was wrong as MB and BMW had to do a number of things - including update technology much quicker (which is now leading to a host of reliability problems), provide bigger engines and reduce prices - all of which happened pretty soon aftewrward. Don't think for a second the writers in Europe and the UK are not being pressed by execs of the luxury brands. But nothing stops a great product in the long-term. And no automotive company has deeper pockets than Toyota.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It didn't hurt Lexus at all that within the US Lincohn and Cadillac were no serious competition.

    I suspect they'll have trouble making inroads in Germany and no where else for the same reasons.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Anybody know what a LS430 costs compared to a 7 or S class in Germany?
  • mheni1mheni1 Posts: 41
    It will soon be time to replace the original Dunlop tires on my '01 LS 430. I am looking for a quite, smooth ride. Have noted several posts recommending Michelin. Will appreciate any current thoughts on Michelin v. Dunlop. Thanks.
  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    Read somewhere about the Bridgestone Turanza's as meeting all of your requirements. Ditto the Michelin MXV4. I have the Dunlop Sport A2 on my '99, but IMO it isn't as quiet as the previous ones I had on (Continental). If I had to do it all over again, I'll get the summer Turanzas in the H-rated.

    Check out for comparisons on these tires.
  • My 03 LS430 came with Turanzas and they are very quiet. I just got my new issue of Consumer Reports; they choose Turanza as the best all-season sedan tire. CU also finally broke down and tested luxury sedans in this issue (they just hate expensive cars!). Guess who won? The LS430 of course!
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
      That's great news! Some more ammo to use against the MB loyalists. I don't think anyone can argue with Consumer Reports being biased.

    As for tires, The MXV4's give a superb ride, but are costly. I felt the Turanza to be a better value and slightly better performer. I don't know what it is with Lexus, they really ought to spend more $$$ on tires. These Dunolop Sport 270's on my LS430 are too noisy and incredibly expensive..I'll probably get some Turanza's when they wear out.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    To an MB loyalist, anything that doesn't put MB on top is either biased or using the wrong criteria to judge cars.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    It doesn't have the bias of car mags. It has instead the interest of the buying public and test cars the way the public will drive them. It also will only recommend cars that score well in reliability. For some of those who choose to dismiss CR's independent view, it should be noted that CR raves about the 5 series, and if I remember right rated it the best car ever, but for different reasons than the car mags do. However cars like the S, 7 and LS were not rated with the 5 series because of price point.
  • I'm a big fan of CR. But, sometimes I think they're a little "stuff shirted" in their reviews. They have a hard time really appreciating the character and personality of different cars. They can be kind of a boring lot. "Just the facts, ma'am."

    fwiw - I really am a big fan of CR. I bought a '96 Infiniti G20 in large part because of their review. I have really enjoyed that car. [OK, ok. No 4-banger comments! :-)]
  • swidaswida Posts: 2
    I just test-drove an '04 LS430 this afternoon. Compared to the 03's...Is it my imagination? My experience was that 1) the seats are firmer 2) the suspension is stiffer (I test-drove the regular suspension) and 3) EGADS it seemed less quiet. It really felt more like a GS vs. a luxury sedan. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • sidgriggssidgriggs Posts: 122
    Has anyone had experience using a bluetooth phone with the Nav system on the 04 LS430. The phone models which Lexus says are compatible with AT&T are Nokia 6310i and SonyEricsson T68i; with T-mobile: SonyEricsson T610. Those AT&T models have been out for a while and are being replaced by new models per the AT&T salesman I just talked to--it would also seem that the SonyEricsson (model T616) for AT&T which is the same as the T-mobile model T610 should work with the system. Any thoughts on the new models working--or any experience with these???
  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    Excellent tire,should meet all your requirments.Please note,...if you decide on this tire, be sure to get the "PLUS" model.There is a MXV4, without the "plus". This is not the same tire.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      I saw the new LS430 at the dealer. While the changes aren't drastic enough to make my '02 look old, I do find these frequent model changes annoying. Is there any specific reason Lexus updates so frequently. I could swear that MB and BMW keep their designs around longer.

    The technical changes are pretty interesting. I'm going to avoid driving a new one, lest I be tempted to trade the '02. I'll try and wait until the 2006 Hybrid model. Hmm so much for the Japanese being lacking in pursing innovative technology. This trumps MB's Traction control systems and their so called innovation.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I posted this here sometime ago, but if you didn't see it there is a euro Lexus hybrid site:
  • whybuy1whybuy1 Posts: 43
    I have the Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tire and previously posted that they were not as quiet as the Dunlops from the factory. After about 6k miles and a tire pressure change they are now very quiet. I am very satisfied with these tires.
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 266
    What pressure's are you running now?
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