Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Do you currently own a 2019 or newer RAM pickup? A reporter would like to speak with you. Please reach out to [email protected] by 1/27 for more info.

Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • Just back from test-driving the LS 430.

    Wow! Even surpassed my lofty expectations. Dealer had an Ultra Luxury car in showroom but had to settle for the "un-loaded" version for the drive.

    This car is smooth as "buttah". The auto leveling air vents were very effective. Salesman told me that there would be a 6 month wait if I didn't want to put down a $1K deposit. Hey, I can wait.

    Most cars will arrive at dealers with the UL package (a $12K option). I think that is the one that I'll choose. The Levinson audio system was pretty amazing.

    Lexus has thought of everything. They even provide a slot in your front visors for "security cards".

    The control center in the armrest of the backseat is phenomenal! The back seat bottoms adjust to your comfort level. Of course, audio system controls, massager/vibrators in seats, climate controls...the works.

    Base MSRP Quoted: $54,550

    Car I drove (SR/HH options): $58,015 Drive-out $61,700.

    Ultra Luxury Price: $68,740 plus TTL

    This dealer has 100+ on waiting list. Expects to get shipment of 20-25 per month. I expect to get a call from him just after the new year.

    In conclusion, I believe Lexus has just turned up the heat on Mercedes. One of the salesmen at this dealership just came over from a local Mercedes dealer. He was #1 in sales for Mercedes in this whole southern region last year. Said he was very concerned about the increasing amount of service issues with the S-class.

    All sales hype aside....In my opinion, the new LS is as close as you'll get to perfection in an automobile. The attention to details and the subtle accents in and out of the car really impressed me. You should have been there when I floored it entering the freeway. The salesman reached for the restraints. He knew I meaned bidness. I could barely hear the engine shift into overdrive. Very smooth.

    When you get a chance, get behind the wheel and let me know what you think. It's pretty awesome!
  • I always get a free ES300 delivered to my office for service.

    rollo, I agree with everything you said.
  • cfg1cfg1 Posts: 85
    I always got a Camry loaner. I think it is up to the dealer.
  • RictraRictra Posts: 11
    We don't have a Lexus dealer here in Georgia's second largest city -- Augusta. Hard to believe. My dealer is 150 miles from here. Whenever I need service they send a man in a new RX300 (or whatever it's called) to swap with me. The next day he comes back with my serviced car and takes his back. I think this is great service. I do tip the guy $100 for his effort though, but at least I don't have to drive over there myself.

    I've owned Mercedes and BMW's in the past and they never thought of doing something like that for me. Lexus has their dealers well trained in the art of true customer service. And another thing that is different from Mercedes and BMW is that my Lexus dealer does not charge outrageous prices for maintenance services.
  • RictraRictra Posts: 11
    I know there is another thread for discussion of the SC430, but just wondered if some of you have heard what the availability of that car will be and the pricing.

    Also, I drive the LS400 because I am 6'4" tall and it is about the only car that I sit in it comfortably -- driver, passenger, or rear seats. Would like to know if you think the SC430 will be equally as comfortable in the driver's seat.
  • It wont be as spacious no.
  • bmw888bmw888 Posts: 3
    Here in Silicon Valley, there is already a 2 year wait for the SC430. My dealer told me that the price is around $65,000 but there may be a dealer markup of another $25,000 because of the demand.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I also very much disagreed with C&D. But that's the interest of a car mag. I've driven many LSs and have always been astounded at the utter smoothness and quietness-it's eerie! Sometimes the main criticism of journalists is that the LS is too perfect!? I've loved cars my whole life,but ironically I don't see sportiness as the very heart of an automobile,espically one like the LS430. I think it's more intangibles like the feel of the car's hardware and the joy of beholding the patina of an ageing fine thing.I think I'm going to buy one when the price settles down a little bit.
  • scongroscongro Posts: 80
    Yes, it is up to the individual dealer. My dealer gives me either an ES of an RX, basically the easiet thing for them to pull out for me. I've actually never heard of someone getting something other than a Lexus for a loaner

  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Well, I finally answered my question about headroom in the LS430. My dealer called yesterday when they got their 1st one in and invited me down to sit and look (can't drive this one). Headroom is no issue for me now. I got to play with the nav screen a little also. Great features and excellent visibility (of course it was nighttime and the panels glowed). One neat feature of the nav was that as you move your finger around the screen, the map will scroll under it to let you look around. The large 7" screen is a plus as well. My wife asked if we could start it up, only to be told it was already running. Can you say "quiet running"?
  • edspider1edspider1 Posts: 195
    I've been watching and reading and I've decided that the new LS will be my next car. I still like my 1998 MB E320, but I'm sold the LS is a MUCH better VALUE. However, even though I paid list for my MB, I really don't want to do that again. Since I purchase, I don't really have any date where I must replace my cars. And the E320 is still in perfect condition and really a very nice car. How spoiled we've become! I want to wait until I can at least get a token discount.

    Still leaning towards the Ultra. Its got a lot of toys that will give years of fun for only $12K. If you priced the options separately, I think you'd hit $24,000 easily.
  • Best Ever!!! I drove the 430 yesterday and it exceeded my every expectation. My wife has a 2000 M-B E320 which doesn't compare. The only decision is what color.
  • RictraRictra Posts: 11
    I did not read what C&D wrote that you refer to.
    However, I have read many reviews on the LS in the
    past and all refer to its lack of sportiness and
    handling. My 1998 LS400 is my first experience
    with Lexus and I tend to agree that it does not
    handle as well as the Mercedes, BMW's, and of
    course, the Porsche I have had previously. But with those cars I wore out my tires prematurely and had to pay too much for regular maintenance. I will say this that the Lexus LS car is the finest vehicle I ever drove and certainly the most
    comfortable. I feel very safe in it. But as for
    sportiness, this car is mistaken by many at the red light. I enjoy the thrill of beating most all
    from standing still at the red light without
    spinning wheels. In fact, it is almost effortless
    -- certainly no strain on the engine. It is fast
    as all get out and I like that. On the interstate
    I can easily pass anyone and everyone. The older I get the less I really care about going around
    corners at 60 MPH and with this car I would not
    dream of treating it that way. This car is above
    that sort of juvenile stuff anyway. :-)
  • Rictra, I have a 98 LS400 and feel the very same way.
  • The week we got our '98 LS400, I replaced the marshmallow Dunlop SP4000's with Michelin Pilot HX MXM's. The increase in turn-in response and general crispness in handling was dramatic. Yes, we could now detect pavement joints, and some course asphalt could be heard, but it was an acceptable compromise. I think the handling is comparable to my daughter-in-law's 540i. These tires now have 45,000 miles on them and will probably go another 5000. Overall ride is still superb. Needless to say, our LS430 will have the euro suspension option.
  • warnerfwarnerf Posts: 19
    I went over to my local dealer last night. They originally had 3 LS430s on Wednesday but were down to a single demo by Friday. I had to wait until the guy ahead of me got done. The car wasn't even on the lot. We had to literally drive it straight of out the detail shop.

    I first checked the car inside and out. I really don't care for the front-end styling at all (neither did my wife) but they did a nice job on the rear-end even if it is wholly or largely copied from the S Class. This one had the Ultra-Lux Package with all that crap in the back seat that I, for one, will probably never use. This car also had the driver-adjustable euro suspension. The perforated leather was nice but I'm not sure about its long-term durability. As for the wood inlays, this car had gray wood and I honestly can't tell the difference between laminated real wood and laminated fake wood. It all looks about the same. Very nice I might add.

    I took this car on some local road near the dealership in Mission Viejo, CA. I had my wife in the back seat so I couldn't really push the car too hard. I did hit it fairly hard through a few twisties and although there was noticeable roll, even with the Sport mode enabled and 17" wheels, the car didn't break or fish tail. Nor did the tires squeal. The ride was quiet as always but unfortunately, I didn't get to push it up to 80 or 90 mph on the freeway to check out that 0.25 wind drag coefficient. Maybe next time.

    I would opt for the euro suspension but only if it's available as a separate option and not a requirement to buy the full Ultra-Lux package just to get euro.

    As for price I got the usual sales BS - "If you're waiting in hopes the price will drop, you might actually see a price increase next year." Yeah, Right!

    This car is a big improvement over the previous generation LS but bear in mind, it's still an LS and sportiness is not it's strong point but it is definitely more fun to drive than the LS400. You can feel the road more. I've said this before - Wait until it's been on the market a while. It's a great car but it's just a car. A production car. We're not talking about a limited edition collectable here.

  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    From reading the LS430 brochure, I see that the previously hinted at Custom Lux. option (as opposed to the Ultra Lux) will not be available until "Spring 2001". That pkg gives almost all of the Ultra Lux features minus the back seat upgrades. Were it available now, that is how I would order. But, I really don't think I want to wait until next Spring. So, Ultra Lux here I come. I don't really mind the back seat stuff, I just won't get much use out of it. And I do mind losing the trunk space to the rear A/C unit. Lastly, I must say, the photos in the brochure still make the ecru wood look flat and grey. My wife likes it though, says it looks elegant and less flashy than the lighter woods, which are often cheaply imitated in other cars. Can't wait to drive one now, then take delivery!
  • cainepcainep Posts: 35
    Just got my first look at one close up at Jim Falk Lexus in Beverly Hills. Surprisingly, the showroom model wasn't an ultra-lux model, the only options being moonroof, heated front seats, Lexus link and chrome wheels. Sticker was just under 60K.

    The rear looks better than the front, reminding me more of a RL than a MB. The trunk goes much further back than the outgoing model, and (a real surprise to me) there's a trunk passthrough! I hadn't heard this mentioned before, but it will be a real bonus as we go skiing almost every weekend in winter - no more carrying the skis inside the car!

    Of well, there's 2 years of my current lease left, so I can start counting the days.

    Is anyone going for a 2-year lease?
  • Here in Arizona the North dealer Bell Lexus has ES300's or RX 300's. The South dealer Scottsdale has Toyota Corolla's. So we always go to Bell Lexus. In Chicago McGrath has a stock of ES 300's when they were out they gave the Corolla's or they would go as far as to rent you a car free of charge. That's the beauty of a Lexus, when you have it in for service you receive a Lexus as a loaner. Some of the other Lexus dealers should get on the stick and have a Lexus loaner too.
  • It appears that the earlier speculation that almost all early cars would be Ultra-Lux is incorrect. My dealer had a private showing last Thursday night and showed 3 cars, of which only 1 was UL. The other two had neither the Nav system nor the adjustable back seats. I don't know about other options. But it appears that we may get quite a variety of configurations, so even those who have specific option desires may not need to wait till next spring after all.

    Anxiously waiting for my number to come up . . .
  • yeah, my trip to the local lexus dealership did indeed confirm that there are a lot of non-UL 430's coming in. Out of his 15 cars for the month of October, only 4 were the UL's. He showed me a western region production schedule that had for October delivery some 350 non-UL's, 165 UL's, and 65 or some other variety (may have been the European suspension). This production schedule also shows the colors and sub-options for each car. I do think if one wants to be real picky, they could be waiting a long time for their "ideal car" as the allocation scheme between dealers appears to be somewhat by chance. Someone will have your car, however I don't think dealers will trade among themselves and going to another dealer, at least for the near term, means you go to the end of the line. He is getting his November production schedule and allotment next week so I should know more.

    The model I test drove had the European suspension, Levinson stereo, and navigation system. As many of you have written, the car is extremely quiet, has every creature comfort and is a pleasure to drive. BTW, I am 6'5 inches tall and the car had plenty of leg room (the center console didn't bother my leg at all either) and plenty of headroom also. Quite amazingly, with the front seat all the way back, I could still fit in the back seat.

    I will wait for the UL and pick between a couple of colors so I can get one sooner. Even though the European one looked great, I do not want to buy a luxury car and change tires every 15,000 miles (did you all see the disclaimer in the brochure? "....Tire life may be substantially less than 20,000 miles, depending on driving conditions. Please consider all this when selecting an LS43 with this option."

    Anyway, another convert. I have researched many cars, done a lot of window and showroom shopping and am convinced this is the car for me. Once I sat in the car today and found out how comfortable and roomy it was, all questions were answered. Good luck everyone.
  • aimanaiman Posts: 61
    Well, today (Oct. 16) is the special day for LS430. says LS430 is officially available today. I checked earlier and they still have the old site with LS400. Now about almost 12 noon, central time, I tried and the page can't be displayed. Maybe they're updating the site for the LS430. Can't wait to see the new site and order the brochure. The joy of waiting :)

    Anxiously waiting.
  • ifpskenifpsken Posts: 39
    I owned a '95 LS and experienced excessive tire wear on the outside edge and was told by the service mgr and factory rep that it was due to the tight turning radius of the car. The factory rep replaced the four tires at their expense. I now have a '99 and observe better outside tire wear (Bridgestone again) but still am not observing even wear. The tires have 17000 miles on them and have been rotated every 5,000 miles during regular service. I read in a previous comment by sfmartin that his replacement Michelins have reached 40,000 miles!! What has been the experience of other LS owners?
  • My Dunlops lasted about 40,000 miles. My current Dunlop SP Sport 50000s have been on there for about 30,000 and they're fine.

    Stephen, 98 LS
  • aimanaiman Posts: 61
    Speaking of tire rotating. Just in case u don't know, NTB and, maybe even, Discount Tires offer tire lifetime rotation and balance for 40-50 dollars. Imo, that is cheap in the long run compared to paying per service at dealers or other shops.
  • msemmsem Posts: 6
    Had similar problem with outside tire wear with "91 Volvo. Tow-in was within specs, but tire outside wear problem was ended when the tow-in was adjusted to zero. Have tire reps check tow-in and request it be set to zero or only 1 or 2 from zero, not just within "Specs".
  • is more like white pearl in daylight.

    I think it looks better than the crystal white.

    Can anyone tell me if you can order Sport package with the UL package (I know that to get the Sport package, you have to add the $ 100 for the 17" tire upgrade)?

    I was under the impression that the Euro Sport package is a lowered coil spring, and since the UL is equipped with air suspension, so, how do they do that, or is it just a switch in front of the shifter?
  • Has anyone tried the power windows in the LS 430? Man, they're really quiet.
  • aimanaiman Posts: 61
    I've tried all 2000 Lexus windows at autoshows, and man, they are all extremely smooth and quiet. I love the very soft and subtle "thunk" when the window completely shuts. Makes me drool. Lexus is simply the master of smooth and quietness.

    If you love little things like how smooth and quiet the window rolls, try out other parts in the cabin. For example, the smooth sound and feel when the rear seat cup holder slides out and the smooth click and release of the coat hanger. I also love the padded leather inserts on the inside door handles (where u slide ur fingers in to close the door) and handle on the roof near the doors. These guys take into account all these little details.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I taped the PBS Motorweek review of the LS 430 from Saturday and watched it finally. They did a fairly extensive review with only the "slab sided Mercedes S styling" as a negative. Nice views of the car in action plus the integrated nav/stereo/ climate screens. They called the ride "sweet" and said the Germans were in for real competition, especially at this price point. I want to drive this car badly, especially after having sat in it. I'm in the top 10 at my dealer, so maybe after Thanksgiving or early Dec. Unveiling party is next week here on the east coast. Hope there are more models to look at (only 1 last week).
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Did you notice that the smart key system
    previously mentioned (no need for key, card on your person sends signal to open doors, etc.) is no longer mentioned? It has silently, and mysteriously, disappeared. There is still mention of it for the Japanese version - maybe to come here later on or next year.
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Posts: 128
    I wouldn't have expected the smart key system to make it here. It'll probably be tested in other countries, then if successful, it will come here.
  • mhammy84mhammy84 Posts: 167
    Got an invitation to go see the LS430 at my local dealership. They are also providing wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres. I may go down to take a look. I never bought a Lexus, but was about to take delivery of one 3 years ago, and cancelled and took delivery of an Infiniti instead. I regret that move. Have always wanted to purchase a Lexus, but they seemed to have always looked too bland. I recently opted for two Acuras, and they are good products. However, after owning two Toyotas, I KNOW that Lexus products are very good. Does anybody experience any major problems with their older LS400's? Anything along the lines of poor customer service responsiveness, or major mechanical problems (transmissions, engine troubles, rattles/squeaks, etc.)? Thanks...
  • This option also silently faded from MB's 2000 S-Class once it started shipping in the US. Now, it appears that MB's KeylessGo will be an option in early 2001. I think GM offered a similar feature on the C4 Corvette towards the end of its cycle, but I haven't heard about it at all for the C5. On the surface, it seems like a simple idea, but I think the delays suggest that it's a complicated problem.
  • scongroscongro Posts: 80
    Older LS 400's have proven to be very reliable, with the only two main problems being a leaky Power Steering Pump and a leaky LCD screen for the Climate Control. Those two problems have since been fixed, as shown by the LS 400 winning the JD Power and Assoc. award for reliability at the 5-Year mark every eligible year.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    I also asked about "smartkey" --empty stares

    would like more low end torque, but probably so smooth can't tell the power. Millions of gadgets, love the way the climate control temp button is separate from the touch screen and just right where your finger would touch it.
    wife loved the car. the ecru wood--steel grey, doesn't look like wood, but my wife said it is well intergrated into the dash colors. I like the real wood look, maple, birdseye, etc. funny how the ultra lux has just two woods-ecru for light interior and reddish walnut for the darker tones.

    lots of head and rear seat room. the vibrating seats is more like a "buzz" then like the cadillac sciatzu deep kneeding. didn't like that. as far as all those options, i'll never use them, the vibra seats my wife hates.

    they told me the lexus link had to be ordered with the $ 2300 phone, i asked them to check that. I'm sure the lexus link can be a separate option.

    so i'll probably order the following

    white/ecru leather/nav-lev/ lexus link

    +/- euro tuned suspension

    if the tires last only 15-17k miles, maybe i shouldn't get the upgrade--and just stay with the standard tires and suspension. what do you think.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I finally sat in an Ultra with the ecru (white ext. with ecru ivory int. and grey wood). It's not as bad as the photos show, but I like the "normal" woods better. However, I agree with nofeer's wife, it integrates well and I think will look especially good with the dark blue exterior. I don't think you need the phone ($2300!?!?) for Lexuslink. I want the integrated phone for the nav but object to being forced into Sprint service and $2300 is very high! With a $68.5 ultra lux price, that brings the total well over the 70K mark Lexus swore wouldn't happen. I suppose they'll say that the phone and other "dealer added" options weren't included in what they called a "fully loaded" ultra that would stay under $70k. Sorry Lexus, it IS over (but I'll still pay it, I guess).
    I agree about the buzzy back seats and that I'll never (hardly ever) use it either.
    Interesting allotment among the 4 dealers around here. Mine got one, can't sell yet, he says. Thirty miles away, the dealer got 3 and already sold one, he says.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    One other note: I was playing with the voice function of the nav and found some of the commands it understands humorous. If you want to see all the restaurants, for instance, you can press the voice button and say "show me restaurants" OR you can just say "I'm hungry". In either case, the nice lady responds by saying and displaying restaurants on the screen. You can even say "Italian restaurants" and the icon becomes a small Italian flag where the Italian restaurants are. Pretty cool.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    What if you say "I'm horny", does the nice lady show you where all the Hooter's restaurants are and display the orange flag with the big eye'd owl on it?


    (just a joke enigma. Having fun here. Sounds like a very neat system)
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I like the joke, but I am not enigma. Actually, he's been rather low profile lately. Hey, enigma, what's going on, why so quiet?
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Posts: 128
    I'm chillin'. Been a weak week around here!


    You're not funny at all!

    (haha. just a joke)
  • aimanaiman Posts: 61
    actually i thought about that too. what would happen if u say those kind of stuff to the system?

    what i have in my mind right now is if you say "hello" will it say "hello" back?
  • edspider1edspider1 Posts: 195
    I went the "party" last night. I thought the ecru wood looked like formica. The other wood in black looked very elegant.

    My dealer says Lexus Link does NOT require cell phone. Lexus Link is actually kind of like an analog cell phone that can only call Lexus.

    Custom Luxury removes Lexus Link, back seat stuff and active suspension. Personally, I don't care if I loose the Link and the "buzz". But I do want the smoothest possible ride.

    Does anyone know if you can actually feel the difference between the standard suspension and the active suspension? Under what conditions?
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Anybody prepared to "walk" on their order if the dealer won't move off MSRP? I suspect all dealers will insist on MSRP. Anyone being told anything about price by their dealer yet? I am going to the "party" next week and guess I will approach the subject then.
    I see Edmund's posted their review today. Pretty much the same as the others, less style bashing.
    Back to price, I understand why dealers will insist on MSRP due to pent up demand, but the invoice and list prices are SUBSTANTIALLY apart. You would think they should consider some negotiation - the demand won't last that long and then they will be forced to deal. Granted, the car is a great value compared to the Benz and Bummer, but the profit margin is pretty steep. Paying, for instance, an added $2300 for a $200 phone and some wiring, on top of $68.5K for the supposedly loaded car sort of annoys me. Judging by the Autosite report, there is approx $10K in profit built in already, plus holdback. Still, it is a good value versus the competition.
  • Edmund's review of the 2001 LS 430 is now available. Here's the direct link to the First Drive of the 2001 Lexus LS 430, by John Clor. What do you think?

    Happy Motoring. ;-)

    Pocahontas, Host
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    What do you think, if the tires wear fast, then they will need replacement before my 36 month lease is up. so should i just get the standard tires and suspension. i can't find a review of the various suspensions. I"ll probalbly order mine next week.
    I need insight as to the "value" of the tire upgrade. Also, i thought the 17" tires where more touring and not low profile. the brochure says "v" rated.

    what do you guys think--
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Reading the USA Today review, they liked the car a lot - here's a snip: "The thing moves. The bigger engine yanks the sedan from a stop as if responding to a medical emergency. The climb through the gears and the speeds is so smoothly intoxicating, so carefully accompanied by the mechanical chorale of precision-made parts moving ever faster, that letting up on the gas pedal is enough to cause tears of disappointment."
    Wasn't as impressed with the Mark Lev. stereo, but generally scored it better than the Benz.
  • edspider1edspider1 Posts: 195
    After doing all my homework, I decided my E320 replacement was to be the new LS. It was just a matter of color and when. I was leaning towards silver/ecru, but was totally turned off by the grey wood that looks like formica to me. That leaves black with the darker birdseye. The dealer had one unsold and due next week, so I dived in and said yes. I paid full list $69,400. There are two things which you all should check before you buy.

    (1) The front seat do heat and cool, but not much. My MB heated seats would get hot and feel real good on a cold day. These take the chill out, but don't really got hot.

    (2) The wood boeardox wood looks really back in bright direct sunlight. Really bad. A sort of shiny purple.

    But the value still is better than anything else for $70K and the car road so smoothly...
  • anonymousanonymous Posts: 314
    In answer to nofeer's question about the 17 inch tire option for the ultra: the LEXUS brochure states that the tires are "H" (not "V" speed rated, contrary to some published stats). This should give a tread wear rating of 340 to 360, which is more than twice the rating of the "W" Sport 17 inch tires. I believe this $100 add-on is well worth it.

  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    spoke with my "elite lexus" dealer. I let the ultra lux go, since i didn't like the grey formica looking wood. prefer maple birdeye.
    So now the quest for a ls430. when i said i wanted the lexus link, get this--eurotuned with lexus link+nav not available till spring. so i may have to drop the eurotuned suspension. i want the lexus link for safety (mb it is standard on that class vehicle). This bums me out, i would also like to get sonar parking, but noooooo not available. when is lexus going to loosen up with the options. from a business sense, doing it right with lots of options pays off the bottom line but leaves customers lacking. some of us want a new car waiting this long to find out that perhaps we should have gone with another make, gets frustrating. I hope lexus reads these boards, because customers see rigidity rather than customer care. so do i wait till spring? maybe something else. i'll wait as the year comes to a close maybe things will change.
Sign In or Register to comment.