Howdy, Stranger!

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

Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • beltfedbeltfed Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info....appreciate it.

    After looking over the brochure for awhile....I just can't get over how much more equipment is in the Lexus Ultra as compared to the Benz- you would seriously have to add like $10k in options to the S500 $80k mark to match it (thats crazy).

    Mill Silver/Black U-L Aniline leather.....nice.
  • i have sports suspension LS430, with the 17 inch summer tires...and i was just wondering that if driving on unpaved roads(gravel, dirt, pebbles) would affect any part of the vehicle, or damage anything...or if it would be no problem and wouldnt matter...thanks for the input.
    btw, car is the best in the world.
  • rob8rob8 Posts: 16
    the problem may be with the cd changer/fm modulator unit you tried. I have a 91 LS400 and about a year ago decided I wanted a cd player. I went to al and ed's in pasadena,ca and had them install an Alpine 6 cd changer which runs through an fm modulator to the radio wires. It sounds very good. The installer even mounted the changer in the glove compartment and the controller in the ash tray. (By the way, I first tried the pioneer changer/modulator and it really sounded terrible--muted sound and way too much distortion) The Alpine really sounds great--obviously not as good as a direct connection, but way above acceptable. If you go w/ the Alpine unit be aware that the modulator has a gain setting which is adjustable via screwdriver. So before your installer tucks the unit in a hard to reach place, play a few CDs to figure out what level gives you good sound quality w/o distortion. I turned mine down a bit less than 50% and it's good for 90% of my music.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I read everything here. And where did you see where Mercedes is coming out with that color wood?

  • sfmartinsfmartin Posts: 59
    They already have "black birdseye maple" in the AMG vehicles.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I have a question for those with the nav system. I currently have a 1995 ES 300 that I bought new (I only have 36,000 miles), and most likely I will be trading in this fall for the 2002 ES 300.

    Since the nav system will be optional, I'm wondering what owners who have it think of it. Do you use it a lot? Is it easy to use? Does it make it difficult to use the radio?

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Useless TOY! I tried using mine (RX300) at first and found it leads me astray more often than not. Basically not enough resolution outside of 50 major US urban areas.
  • fabtfabt Posts: 22
    Lenscap, I have the nav system on the LS430. At first, I did not even want it, but had to take it because it was bundled with the Mark Levinson stereo that I really wanted.

    Boy, am I glad I have the Nav!! It's incredible; easy to use, very, very helpful, I don't think I could live without it now, even for quick trips around my neighborhood. You will be amazed by it's technical prowess, and ease of use.

    In the LS, the driver side speaker mutes out when the nav. 'speaks' so you can hear it over the radio. If it is still unclear, you can lower your radio manually, hit the 'voice' button, and the message will repeat itself.

    Definitely get it when you have the chance.
  • sfmartinsfmartin Posts: 59
    I don't know the vintage of wwest's system, but beginning with the '01 DVD based systems, nearly every street in the country is shown. We find it very useful, whether at home or in the boonies.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    version 2000.

    My problem more amounts to serious software bugs than loss of map resolution.

    Twice now I have entered distination addresses and had the system "successfully" compute a route and off we went. As we neared the distination out in the toolies north of monroe WA the nice lady's voice came on and annouced that due to lack of resolution we could now follow the compass for general directions.

    My cell phone bailed us out of that one.

    The second one was in downtown Bellingham and I simply stopped and asked for directions at a service station.

    The second BUG has the effect of placing the vehicle where it is not. I was travelling, under system guidance, on a roadbed next to I5 and suddenly it decided that I was on I5 and started giving me directions accordingly. Note please that it was the system itself that had guided me to the adjacent roadbed so other than a software bug there is no excuse for "jumping" me to I5.

    I haven't used my NAV now fro many months as I just can say when it can be trusted.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    lenscap - wwest has strong feelings about a lot of things. He's right that if you live in the boonies, the system is much less acurate and useful. I live in metro Atlanta, and my older (hard drive) system is still IMMENSELY valuable.

    I use it at least once a week to find a new address or a previously visited place. It takes the headache out of trying to read signs or figure out where to turn, etc. In hundreds of trips it's only lead my slightly wrong once, and that was WAY outside Atlanta.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Excellent system, in my opinion.

    One of MANY features I find valuable is the audible notification of the lane (left or right) that I'll be using when I exit an expressway.

    I agree that it CAN be a distraction, but overall I believe it to be a safety factor. Reason: MUCH less time looking for street signs, exit ramps, etc.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Srongly disagree with wwest on the nav. I find it to be extremely helpful, almost always accurate and the database functions are very nice as well. ANY computerized system is prone to an occasional fault or glitch (how's your computer running these days?), but in the overall, the DVD nav system is terrific. Way out in the boonies, I too have had it change from "turn by turn" guidance to "follow the arrow". But even this helps. And besides, I would bet over 90% of the average driving is not out in the boonies. I am planning several cross country trips with my system and expect excellent results based on what I have seen so far. It even "sees" traffic circles coming and gives you advance voice warning of it and which exit to take out of the circle. When the split screen comes on, it clearly shows on the rt. side of the screen exactly what the road sign will say at your exit. Very helpful info. Of course, any database goes out of date and some minor inaccuracies can occur, but rarely in my case. I would HIGHLY recommend the system. Even my non-tech oriented wife has come to love, admire and use it.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I don't recall, but I might have read it at Curt Rich's MB site (great newsletter for you BenzNuts, by the way, if you're not familiar -

    He also adds that Benz is going to forego the silly "ergo" seat button and put in a #3 memory position - copying again :) ? And fix the A/C problems and add one-touch autofolding mirrors - sounds like another blatant copy ploy to me!!

    Seriously, though, as a true Benzaholic, you should visit his site if you haven't already. The newsletters are very informative and usually quite humorous.
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    I too love the Nav system, and found it amazingly complete and accurate, and very easy to operate.

    On a recent trip to Santa Cruz, CA, to visit a friend living in the wild mountain forest, it guided me to the right place but as I approached it, the little "Me" icon started to drift off the road. I was still driving on the road that the map showed, but the Nav seemed to think that I had left the road and driven into the woods. It drifted way off the road, maybe 2 inches or so, and didn't even seem to know which way the car was pointing.

    I figured the huge and lovely trees had blocked the GPS signal, and the Nav was trying to dead-reckon where I was, with very little success. Maybe I was even in a canyon shadowed by the mountains from the GPS signal.

    Anyway, that was the only time I had any problem with the Nav, and even that didn't really hurt me because I was already on the right road and just had to look for the mail box sign.

    So I say, get it, you'll love it.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    I had to meet someone the other day... they told me the name of the restaurant and were trying to explain where it was relative to an intersection. I said don't worry, I'll find it. While driving over, (yes, while in motion), I touched 'POI' (points of interest), then touched 'restaurants'. All the restaurants known to the system come on the map as icons. I touched the icon for one, its name pops up, that wasn't it, then I touched 'next' and it moved the map to the next one showed it's name, that was it! I could have told it to just give me directions there, but there was no need because I was close enough, but it was incredibly useful.

    You might ask 'is that worth 2K' or whatever the feature costs? Maybe not for one time, but I've done this over and over, plus it's helped me find numerous ways out of traffic messes, let's me find the brand of gas station I want when I'm somewhere unfamiliar, etc. Its value just goes on and on. Is it perfect? (And I of course have the older, less capable, and less detailed hard drive system.) No, but do I regret getting it? HECK no!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yep they've had that for years and years, so I'm still trying to figure out where the coping that Flint350 was talking about. The wood in AMG vehicles has been there long before the 2001 LS430, and it isn't the same looking as the marble looking wood in the LS430. It's not even close.


    Just as I thought you have nothing to back up the copying claim. A third memory button is hardly coping see as though Mercedes had memory seats before anyone thought up the name Lexus. Folding mirrors, you're kidding right? Again this feature was present on certain Mercedes models since 1992. Joking right, right? I'll check out the site, thanks.


    P.S. Let me know when you find out about this so-called wood trim that looks like Lexus'.
  • kcfankcfan Posts: 2
    I want to get a new luxury car and have already narrowed it down to a ultra luxury LS430 or a mercedes S430/500. I love the LS430's interior and features that I want like park assist, laser cruise control, the mark levinson audio system, and the DVD NAV is great. My huge problem is the exterior. It looks just like a Toyoata Avalon and looks like in an old S class from the side a little. I don't know if that look can grow on me. I was offerd 65k at a local auto show for an ultra in March but I didn't know how rare that opportunity was because I wasn't in the market. I called back up today and they offered me 68k. The S class has an awesome sleek design that I love. In fact if I had to say one bad thing about the design it would be that it looks too much like a c class, but you can tell the s class is much bigger though. I wasn't so sure about the command system but my co-worker has one and says it isn't that bad after you learn it. My problem with the s class though is the plastic used in the interior and the price. By the time I get the 6 disc cd changer, the phone, distronic, parktronic, and ventalaited front seats I am looking at 80 grand and one local dealer is pretty set on or about the msrp price? I have a 98 ls 400 and I love it and I want to keep this next car till or about 2010. I know the lexus will last and I do know that the benz can be very expensive to repair but to me there just doesn't seem to be a clear cut winner. Any opinions and advice will be appreciated.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Sounds to me like the issue is:

    A) How do I feel about what others & myself think about the appearance of the car?

    B) How do I feel when I'm driving the car?

    It's probably a combination of the two. A STEP toward resolution would be to assign an importance factor (1-10) for each, then rate each car in it's satisfaction of each (1-10 scale). Get a total score by multiplying IMPORTANCE * SATISFACTION.

    Or, add more factors; e.g. quality, reliability, dealer reputation, etc.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    I had the same problem. my MB dealer is 3 miles away and my lexus is either 62 or 142 miles away. My problem with MB is that engineering should make things transparent. the command system uses cd technology and is very difficult for even my salesman to use. also, quality lots of gliches in my last two MB's. So i agree that the styling of the s class from the front and side is nicer (rear is bland) the quality of the lexus, ride, power and price went over the top. granted the ls has a phone problem but i got the mounting bracket from pro-fit to fit my nokia.

    Though the exterior is better, the interior and quality of a vehicle is what you and your passengers live with EVERY DAY!!!!! The interior is like a private jet, my friend who has an s class asked how much (61k) and was shocked that his s500 had poorer quality interior pieces and a poor command system. Remember that as you adjust the temp at 80mph. try anything at 80 with the s class. adjust the radio, mute the radio, change the temp, ask for points of intererest with the s class command system. try it with winter driving gloves. Let your wife drive it ---the ls ergonomics are class perfect. easy for anyone to intuitively use. short learning curve.

    NAV--no contest--command system buttons are too many, cluttered, small and i have to take my eyes off the road to deal with them--how much is your safty worth??????
    ERGONOMICS--no contest
    QUALITY--no contest (we plan a weekend trip to columbus easton mall when we go--but that is every 5 months)

    SERVICE EXPERIENCE--no contest--when we go to lexus, i am greeted by the service tech, helped into the lexus loaner which is already running to get cooled down. MY WIFE WAS SHOCKED. SHE WON'T GET AN MB AFTER OUR EXPERIENCE WITH LEXUS SERVICE.
    MB lost me to lexus,and they will have a tough time winning me back. Will you get an MB loaner when you get service. I got ultima's and maybe a honda accord--i had to keep insisting on a non-smoker car. my friend who got the ML 55, gets a honda loaner. for the money he spent and my other friend you shouldn't have to even ask for a similar safe product. I came to work with a 1 year old rx300 lexus loaner, he came with an accord. GEE MB what are you thinking.

    Summary---even at the same price i'd go with the ls it has the best driving experience and ergonomics, best quiet, best ride, best trunk, best service, best owners experience--it's the benchmark for quality and service. then when you see it's 15k --25k less I JUST LOVE THIS THING MORE AND MORE EACH TIME I GET IT.

    sorry for the winded response, but am passionate about this TOTAL EXPERIENCE. when i send my wife (if i ever have to) to lexus i know she will be well taken care of. Not so with MB service, i had my wife come home angry that they didn't believe her when she told them what was wrong, and didn't give her a loaner, to do a test drive. When we need a new suv, quess where we are going
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I wear bifocals all the time and it was a dissapointment to discover that the GUI icons for radio and A/c on the 2001 nav screen were so much smaller and of lower contrast than the 2000 LCD that I must lean forward in order to discern most of the readings.

    I can't say about the LS but on the RX I can turn off the moving map display but I can't find a way to have the ancillary icons remain in place, so I must "hit" some function to have these icons displayed to check the condition/status of these functions.... DAMN NUISANCE!

    Oh, if my computer fails I have numerous resources I can call on to fix it. Lexus, at, doesn't seem to know its "behind" from a hole in the ground, for every inquiry their answer is the positional inaccurracy of the GPS signal.

    And yes, I have had it simply wonder off and get completely lost even with it indicating a strong GPS signal. Thankfully I almost immediately recognized that it was leading me astray and used my own sense of direction to get us back on the right route. THEN it figured out where it was supposed to be going.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Thanks for all the nav responses, I appreciate it. I'll make a decision as the time gets closer to purchase.

    One more question: how does the nav work when you are using both the nav and the CD player? If the screen is showing a map, do you then have to switch to a different screen to change a song, etc.?
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    Lenscap -

    Yup, you get to switch to a different screen for CD sounds. All such functions need the one display unit.

    It's not perfect, I agree. But as far as the Lexus Nav system in my wife's 2001 RX goes, she'll never buy another vehicle without it or a similar unit.

    Of course, if you and/or a Significant Other NEVER drive somewhere where the route is unfamiliar, or you have to take alternative routes because of traffic problems...then you'd have no NAV requirement.

    For example, I KNOW where I'm going when I visit my regular clients - but I use the NAV anyway so I be on the cell phone all the time and not have to even look at the road ahead of me (:()!
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    Jeff, that's not true on my GS400 (and presumably LS as well).

    lens - there's physical rocker buttons for next/prev track (does tuning too), next/prev CD (does seek too), which operate whether you've got audio, nav, or climate displayed. If you've got the map going and press the 'next track' (which on the 2001 GS and LS is also on the steering wheel), a 'pop-up' box shows up briefly over the map showing the new track # and cd #. It works great.

    Same goes for changing climate for example, while the map or audio is on. Pressing temp up/down (real rocker) button shows a pop up briefly with the new setting.

    It's cake.
  • seadog7seadog7 Posts: 18
    I almost did not get a "custom" because it forced me to get NAV, I feature I did not want at all. I have a good sense of direction and seldom get lost. I looked at NAV as just another complicated gizmo for people who can't read maps that will lower the car's MTBF. Wow was I wrong. It is intuitive and accurate. Within 75 yards of leaving the planned route to avoid a traffic jam the system comes up with a new route. Also, numbered steet addresses, which are hard to find on most paper maps, are a piece of cake for NAV. The system did require me to get bifocal sunglsses. I just worry that the update DVD's will cost an arm and a leg.
  • Haven't you all read the screen that you must hit "I agree" to every time you start the car??? It says, in not so few words, USE YOUR BRAIN. Yes, the NAV system can be imperfect, but it is FAR SUPERIOR to using a paper Thomas Guide (for west coast people). With the updated DVD (which Lexus says will be delivered sometime this fall), it should be more accurate with new street additions. Here in Los Angeles, it is almost always correct, except for brand new streets that don't exist on the DVD yet. The Lexus NAV system is far easier to use that that of MB, Infiniti, or Acura. The problem that Lexus has is that most luxury car buyers tend to be older and not as technology savvy. (I am the exception to that rule as I am a young LS430 owner). The people that could most use a NAV system are younger buyers in more cost conscious cars. But most people who buy a Honda Civic aren't going to spend an extra $3000 for a NAV option (if it even existed). So for now, I will be the "gen X'r" who loves his NAV system in his Ultra Lux LS430.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    A slick feature is the ability to locate yourself to within a second of latitude and longitude.

    Go to 'Destination' > 'Emergency' and the data are displayed.

    FYI: One second of latitude ~ 100ft.
    One degree of longitude ~ 69 miles @ equator, and 0 at the poles.

    I checked out the north-south dimension of my yard, which according to survey is 300'. I got a three second difference. Cool.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Thomas guide nor mapquest has NEVER mislead me to believe they could "route" me to my destination and then dropped me off in never never land somewhere in between.

    The only safe way to use the Lexus Nav outside of the 50 major urban areas is to first double check it against a Thomas Guide or Mapquest. I might get lost in a major city but there will always be someone to ask directions of, not so out there in the toolies.
  • bitkahunabitkahuna Posts: 206
    we all know you hate the nav system, but it won't leave you LOST. It may given bad directions once in a while, but you're not lost. You can always zoom out and see a state road, or some town, or even lake or something. No way you can be lost with it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You are right of course, regardless of how lost I might think I am I will always likely still be on planet Earth (or is it planet Huston?).

    I have neevr said I hated the Lexus Nav, I simply do not understand why Lexus gives no response to my inquiries about what are clearly serious software BUGS other than blame it on GPS inaccurracies.

    I think I have said before there have been times that I have used the system quite successfully, but the times it has failed me are basically inexcuseable and thus I have learned to never trust it.

    I have had people in New England, Boston, intentionally give me bad directions, I really don't need help of that kind from a machine!
Sign In or Register to comment.