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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • Fred,

    My question regarding Lexus dealer LS 430 "price fixing" was meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek.

    Nobody likes to pay MSRP for a new vehicle. But the fact of the matter is there's a significant demand for the new LS 430. As long as people are willing to wait in line to buy a LS 430 there will be *NO* discounts. I suspect this will change early next year when the novelty wears off.

    No dealer in his right mind is going to forgo profits if the supply/demand curve doesn't require it.

    Accordingly, I was "forced" to pay full MSRP for my LS 430 Nav/Lev/Euro-tune. I don't like it...but it's a sad fact of life at the moment. Hey, it's only money.

  • I received good news last week in that my LS430 was on its way (via Japan)and would be arriving by the 19th. Actually my dealer traded with another dealer (which I didn't think was happening too much). I ordered the UL version, 17" wheels, with the midnight pine color (was originally going with the mystic opal color but the midnight pine looks great....when clean).

    Any recommendations regarding the dealer installed phone system? It appears really pricy to me (yeah, as if a $70k car isn't). Does the functionality, re-sale value, convenience warrant the extra cost? I've read all of the posts regarding service providers, so no new comments are needed thanks.
  • mky, I've never bought into the "German is God" bit. In fact, in general German cars dont appeal to me at all. Too hard and sterile.
  • The following is a not-so-flattering review of the LS 430 which appears in the November issue. Many of Car & Driver's writers have had great difficulty accepting the concept of Japanese Luxury vehicles. The author of this article, Frank Marcus, appears very pro-German in the following article:

    The November article is quite a contrast to that which appeared in Car & Driver October edition as follows:

    Kind of makes you wonder who's paying who to say what...

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I have a 99 RX and a 2000 LX and will be getting an LS430 once the CL option group is available. I have ivory leather in my SUVs and in the older one, the RX, the driver's seat (basically the only seat that gets much use) is much darker/dirty-looking as compared to the other seats. Have tried Lexoil leather cleaner to little effect. Any suggestions anyone?

    Would like to get ecru leather in the LS but since it is even lighter than the ivory, I might have to reconsider if I can't find a good leather cleaner.
  • swiftmswiftm Posts: 68
    syswei: Try Zaino polish and leather cleaner; excellent product. U can do a search in edmunds or I have 00LX and 01RX also. Swiftm
  • Well, after an excruciatingly long gestation period, the baby has finally arrived. And is she a beauty!! She is a silver Ultra-Lux, with the ecru leather and gorgeous grey Japanese wood, so beautifully grained.

    I took delivery last evening, and was very impressed by the car's quietness. It was as if I had turned off my hearing aids (I'm 73, but as excited about this car as a teenager). In this car, my hair is no longer grey, it is now silver :-)

    Among the many little special touches, I was impressed by the sun visors. In addition to the standard visor that pivots to the front or to the left, there is a narrow auxiliary sun shade just above the rear mirror. I have often wished for such a visor when traveling west late in the afternoon.

    For those of you still waiting: Don't lose hope. It's worth the wait.
  • That is good news, rennybosch. I'm happy that you are so pleased, especially considering my order for the same car (silver Ultra-Lux) is due Thanksgiving week. I've got you beat a year (74) but with good enough hearing that I hope to really enjoy the Mark Levinson.

    Incidently, the center visor has been on the LS ab initio. See what you've missed.


  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    So how do you guys like the silver with the ecru wood and leather. My "baby" arrives late december but because of the tax situation in KY (they don't prorate your taxes, and we pay 1% personal prop tax each year) I asked them to have transaction date jan 2 and deliver the car to me (140 miles away). They were very accomodating. They are an elite lexus dealer, now i know why. i have a closer dealer (60 miles) but they are not an elite dealer.
    I got the crystal white with the ecru standard leather. i didn't like the grey wood on my original order so even though it was there for the taking, my wife and i just "passed" this car by.
    I did have to fight to get nav/lev/ecru leather with lexus link--called customer service, and they returned the call after contacting my dealer and setting up the order. wow!!! MB better wake up.

    do you guys have placemarks....mine don't work and customer service at edmunds said it doesn't work with this new software upgrade. ????????
  • The latest issue of AutoWeek magazine has the new Jaguar X-Type (X400) on the cover. In the article, there's picture of the interior with grey wood all over the dash. Is this some sort of new trend? Is the grey stuff cheaper to manufacture?
  • Flint350 and others: I don't think dealers are trading among themselves much. Buy the car from the dealer that can get it or the dealer that will work to get it. I live 3 miles from a dealer. He wanted me to give him a deposit and then he would "find me a car". I knew it would be December or later. Don't worry about service. The service department and sales department are different profit centers. Both want your business. I also found the distant dealer to be a lot more responsive and not so "chummy".
  • My closest Lexus dealer wanted (demanded) a non-refundable deposit and a $3000 markup for an Ultra-Lux order. I went 50 miles away and got the same car to be delivered at the same time and at MSRP plus other considerations. This is the second LS I've bought from Seth Dryer at Pohanka Lexus. This is not an ELITE dealer and I don't know why. Over 11 years, I've had experience with 3 other dealerships, including ELITE, and I rate Pohanka head of the pack.

    ELITE may not necessarly be your best bet- it may be, but check out others. There are Dealers and there are dealers. Personal experience can be better than relying on title alone.

  • Fred,

    Please describe an "ELITE" dealer. Are they Lexus dealers in some sort of special category?

  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    Well I finally had the chance to drive the LS430 with the UL package, and I've finally awakened to the naked truth. Lexus has built the finest, most comfortable, quietest, technilogically superior sedan the world has ever seen. All for 68740!!!. Although I liked the MB styling, when I drove the LS I was taken by surprise at how nimble and powerful and smooth the acceleration really was. And quiet is not a good enough word to describe this car. Here I was doing 70mph, with the climate control on, and I could actually hear the salesman's watch ticking ! Simply amazing. I already own a 99 GS300 and it's loaded to the gills. After driving the new LS I didn't even want to get back in my needless to say.. I've ordered one. Silver/Black.. UL package. The one I drove had the ECRU.. interesting, actually very nice, but I keep thinking.. "you buy the ecru thingy first.. hey let's get Mickey.. he'll buy it.. he'll buy anything!!" thanks for the input ladies adn gents.. love it...
  • jimeister,

    "Elite of Lexus" dealers are in a special category so to say. Every Lexus dealer in the US is graded every month in about 8 different areas. 1 is Sales satisfaction. 2 is Service satisfaction. 3 is sales figures as opposed to targets set forth by Lexus. 4 is Follow-up procedure and there are 4 more but I don't know them off the top of my head. I believe every Lexus dealer has the graphs for all of them located somewhere in the dealership.

    To be a "elite of Lexus" dealer they have to score for the calender year above certain percentages every year. I believe the average % is around 92% out of all of the categories.

    The "elite of Lexus" system is basically a way of recognizing Lexus dealers that go out of their way to offer exceptional customer service.
  • And the moon's made out of green cheese!

  • There have been a few comments dismissing the laser cruise control as not very useful because it leaves too long a distance between you and the car in front of you. I found that by setting the mode to the shortest option (by pressing the DISP2 button on the steering wheel), it left just about the right distance for my driving style -- I don't tailgate but I do follow close enough so as not to make the guy behind me impatient.

    I think they designed it right. You can now use cruise control on the LA freeways without having to constantly override it. Of course you still do have to be alert to any sudden unexpected changes in front of you. As they point out, this is not a collision avoidance system. But it is a great improvement in cruise control convenience.

  • Renny is right. The default following distance is fine for Nebraska at 90 mph, but in urban settings, you'll want to knock it down using the DSP2 button on your steering wheel. I find that if I just use cruise control and stop trying to watch what the car is doing, I'll notice that I might go 15 miles before hitting the brake. On the negative side, I find it does not work well on winding roads. It can only see cars pretty much straigh ahead, so it might inappropriately speed up in curves.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    For those who have an ls430 how's it been, any glitches? are there web sites to post these. I don't expect any. but just wondering if the ls430 intro will have the gliches of the gs series.
  • Anyone in Houston or San Antonio doing better than MSRP?
  • odyceeodycee Posts: 33
    I have a 94 ls400 when step on brakes when engine is cold it made loud noise, after engine warmed up the noise goes away. Any ideas?
    Thanks for your help
  • Forgive too brief post above... what I meant was on the ls430, curious if Houston or San Antonio dealers will deal, unlike Dallas. Thanks.
  • odycee,

    Probably a normal noise. HOw loud is it? unbearable? is it a squeal? Squeak?
  • Looks like the power steering pump on my '93 LS400 is leaking. My car has 88k miles. Seems like the power steering pump leak is a common problem. I'm wondering if anyone out there was able to get any assistance ($$$) from the dealer for this expensive repair.

  • rtboonrtboon Posts: 21
    Curious as to how you discovered PS leak? It seems everyone has encountered these leaks in early LS models. Did Lexus fix this problem and what model year did the change take place? I have a 94 LS with 76,000 miles and have not encountered this problem yet nor have my LCD screens failed or my speedo lights. Yet these 3 problems seem to occur in most LS's.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    What has been the lease payments for variously equiped ls430?
    how's the ownership experience so far.
    Any unexpected things plus or minus with this car?
    I should be hearing from my dealer when mine will arrive (white/ecru/lexus link/nav-lev)

    can you guys still use placemarks? mine don't work.
  • Not every one with older LS 400's have had PS leaks. My '90 LS that's 11+ years old with 130,000 has never had a problem. ( Just sold to make way for the LS 430 Ulra due next week)

    It seems to me that turning the wheels to their max twist (frequently) may contribute to future leakage since the power steering is being stressed under these conditions. I rarely ever do that. You may want to consider restricting the full turn to help prevent future failure.

    Good luck,
  • Help,

    Need info re aftermarket wheels, preferably 16" that closely resemble the 17" upgrade, chromed that will actually fit over the calipers.

    Any links?


    Thank you!
    Bill Mullen
    [email protected]
  • Nofeer: My Placemarks have been working fine. You mentioned something about a software upgrade; that must be what is causing your problem. What browser do you use?


    PS. Re. user experience: The car is a dream -- however, just to be totally candid, it isn't as quiet as the publicity hype had led me to believe. Still, it IS the quietest car I've ever been in. Just don't expect total "tomb quiet" -- I don't think we'll experience that until we're in the real thing :-)
  • billmullen,

    WHy would you want 16" wheels that closely resemble those ugly 17 inchers on the LS430?

    Also, the old LS400 16" wheels will fit on the LS430. And wheels available for the GS400/430 will also fit on the LS430.

    Anyway, I looked on Tire Rack's website and Discount Tire Directs and I couldn't find any wheels that closely resemble the 17" LS430 wheels in 16" size.
  • Thank you once again...but...

    My Customers usual the impossible... so I have to go find. I like the 17" better than the 16", the 16" look a little too plain to me.

    Those Borbet look very nice...wonder if they'll go on the LS... spoke to one rep who told me to search his wheels under the front wheel drive section, those wheels may have a chance of fitting, but he had no specific info on which really would work.

    Service tells me that because of the redesign of the brake calipers, larger, stronger, safer, blah blah blah, the old LS wheels and silimilar aftermarket will not work, the 'clearance distance' around the calipers is like nill. Wheels that worked very well on my Dad's GS430 would scrape on high speed corners on the LS430.

    Anyway...I'll keep you folks posted if I stumble across any aftermarket wheels that WILL work!

    Thanks again enigmaone!

    Thank you,
    Bill Mullen
  • How has Lexus' rear wheel drive performed during heavy rain and snow? I'm concerned about it's traction versus the DTS' front wheel drive.

    I'm interested in hearing from long time Lexus 4 series owners to learn about maintenance costs. Are parts expensive versus a GM car like the DTS?

    It seems Lexus owners value the car's ability to retain its value versus other cars such as the Cadillac. The cars are pretty similar - except for rear v front wheel drive, about $6,000, and CD changer.
  • Not to correct you, but the Lexus is much better built than the Cadillac. Yes, parts will be more than the cadillac, but look at the tradeoff, less things will break.

    AS far as the RWD vs. FWD, stick with Rear. The Lexus has enought computers to deal with any traction problems it encounters
  • douglask2,

    the DTS will be better in the snow because of FWD and its inherent advantages in the slippery stuff.

    In rain you shouldn't have a problem with either.

    And the LS430 does come with Traction control, VSC, and a snow mode for the transmission which does make RWD cars alot better than RWD cars were in snow before these innovations came to market.

    Ultimately, it depends on where you live, how much snow fall you get, and ultimately if a RWD LS430 will suit your needs based on your circumstances.

    Personally, the cars are very different from each other. The DTS is definately bigger but the LS430 has the DTS beat by a long shot in terms of quality & reliability.
  • rob8rob8 Posts: 16
    I have a 91 LS400 and also experienced the PS pump leak. I think it started at around 60 or 70,000 miles. A couple of mechanics tried to reseal the pump, but that was a waste of both time and money. The resealed pumps only last for about a year (if lucky) before the leak and grinding noises started again. I eventually bought a new pump and also changed my steering habits (good advice from Fred Don't overcrank!). I suspect the new pump should last until I decide to sell this car. Get the pump fixed ASAP bec. it can drip into the alternator and then you are talking about a lot more money.

    Fred--how much did you get for your '90 LS. Just curious,as I have a '91 that I have been contemplating selling. Although, it's tough bec. this car still looks and runs like new and people compliment me on it all the time. I was at a parking lot overlooking the SF Bay the other night and a woman I was speaking to looked at my car and said "Wow! What a beautiful car. It looks like a commercial."
  • I vowed never again to buy another RWD, but all the best cars seem to be RWD. Anyway, my 98 Benz had ESP (same as VSC in Lexus). It worked extremely well, kicking in constantly when driving on snow. The only downside, is you won't be driving as fast. These sophisticated systems ensure you only move as fast as they can correct for conditions.

    I expect Lexus VSC to work as well or better.

    One thing for sure. NEVER buy a new or used RWD car that doesn't have skid control if you plan on driving in snow. Also, don't confuse traction control with skid control. Traction control is a component of skid control, but it doesn't make corrections needed to correct a skidding or fish tailing car. It just helps you get moving or move ahead on a slippery surface.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    I know some of your placemarks work, mine don't so i asked the problem solver at edmund's and here is the respons

    Unfortunately, the Placemark feature is no longer being supported by this version of the Well Engaged discussion software, and will soon be unavailable.

    Our apologies for the frustration and confusion.

    let them know that it needs to come back.
  • Don't get it - placemarks work fine for me.

    I'm on Internet Explorer 5.x and Win 98 if that matters.
  • Working fine for me. Netscape 4.75 - Win98
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    I use iMac, netscape 4.61 and soon after edmunds came back up with its "upgrade" i couldn't get placemarks. the way the above is worded "it soon will be unavailable". if placemarks will not be supported why is it still listed. I've tried on a windows unit at work and still can't get them. we'll wait. now i just bookmark this page and place in a separate edmunds folder. hope you are right, then i can go back and complain. the bookmark feature adds a lot to the edmunds enjoyment.

    to be continued.

    my ls430 comes dec but will take delivery first week of jan. excited. how many of you have ordered the lexus link (ultra lux its standard). i feel it should be standard just like in the s430

    recent car mag, automobile etc. had a comparo of the lux sedans. they used the s500 to compare to the ls430 as i suggested, if you consider the power/torque and features the $$$$ value of the s500 vs the ls430 grows. the s500 not the s430 is the ls430 direct competition. so we are getting much more for our $$$$$.
  • Robert,

    Sold my 90 LS for $9,500. Kelley Blue Book listed it (@my zip code) at $12,200 retail and $6,800 wholesale.

    It has velour seats and the public seems to feel that leather seats are more luxurious and therefore more desirable. In my opinion, Lexus velour is much more comfortable than the leather. My wife has a 98 LS 400 and I have a Suburban with leather. I'll take the velour over the leather any time. Unfortunately, Lexus stopped making the velour after the 90-91 models. I would have been willing to pay extra for it on the 430, but what can you do when public perception nixes its availability. Oh well, another subject.

    I know how you feel about your Lexus, like an old friend. Good luck if you decide to sell.

  • I have had placemark problems with sites that have upgraded in the past. I found that a program in my computer designed to speed up finding and loading sites had somehow changed the IP numbered address within itself. I had to go into my program and make corrections. My program was "hosts".
    I have backed off in my purchase of the 430 until spring due to the uncertainty of the economy. A beautfil car though.
  • The Lexus Link has been described as a connection to a human operator somewhere who can tell you where the best local restaurants are, make a reservation for you, tell you where to get tickets to the hottest shows, etc. And the first year's fee is included in the price of the car; thereafter you have to pay an annual fee (how much they didn't say).

    So the other night when I was in an unfamiliar area I decided to try it. A polite lady answered (calling me by name -- I was impressed with that), and asked what I wanted. When I told her to find me a restaurant, she informed me that I didn't have the luxury service, only the basic service which only entitles me to have her contact the police or fire department for me, in case of an emergency. She offered to sign me up for the luxury service right then and there, but I declined.

    So if any of you took the "Luxury" service, I'd be interested to know how much it cost and whether you think it's worth it.

  • I pushed the button and asked how much the luxury service is. $200 a year more than the basic service. After the first "free" year of basic service it costs $225 for that. Since the navigation system can find local restaurants and I can call them on my cell and make reservations, I will probably never pay for this "luxury" service.
  • rob8rob8 Posts: 16

    Thanks for sharing your selling price. I agree with you on the velour. I would have preferred the velour on my LS but bec. of low supplies and Lexus marketing I got the leather instead. In retrospect, I think the velour is a better choice bec. #1 it seems to wear better than the leather (I've got cracks and tears in my leather driver's seat)and #2 the cloth is more plush than the rather hard leather Lexus had in its early LS's. I saw a 91 LS at the dealership w/ cloth and it had recently been detailed w/ an interior shampoo and it looked incredible. Most people shopping for a luxury car do seem to prefer leather seats which is too bad for the few who like the feel of cloth. That said, I sat in an LS430 w/ leather and I must say, VERY NICE! Enjoy your new LS. It's a beautiful car.
  • msemmsem Posts: 6
    Very disappointed by in a list of the "2000 model vehicles that State Farm (Insurance) named the 36 Best for Safety" NOT one LEXUS is listed.
    Volvos, MB, BMW, Buick Regal, Dodge B2500 Ram, Infiniti Q45, Jaguars, Acura RL, Audi A6, Suburan C1500,K1500, Yukon SL C1500, etc to list a few. What happened to the Lexus cars?
  • The Q45 is listed but no Lexus? that's a joke. The Q45 is not rated too well by all the safety surveys i've seen, while just about every Lexus(ES300, GS300/400, LS400, RX300) are all rated at or near the top of each segment. It would be nice to see what their criteria is for selecting the "safe" cars.
  • msemmsem Posts: 6
    Rechecked the list NO LEXUS but the Q45 is listed. Also Ford Econoline E150, E250, E350 and F150 and F250. Maybe Lexus should be contacting State Farm.
  • mlevkmlevk Posts: 7
    This is what I found at the site:
    The BMW 5 Series and the Lexus LS 400 came out on top in the Insurance
    Institute for Highway Safety’s latest crash tests of six large-size luxury cars.

    The vehicles -- which also included the Mercedes E Class, Lincoln Continental,
    Infiniti Q45 and Cadillac Seville -- were put through the institute’s 40 mph
    frontal offset crash test. Officials then evaluated how well each vehicle and its
    two crash-test-dummy occupants survived the test, which simulates a collision
    between two similarly sized vehicles.

    Besides measuring the likelihood of injury to the occupants, officials tested the
    design of the head restraints and performance of the bumpers in low-speed

    You might expect such expensive cars to fare well in crash tests, but high
    price doesn’t always add up to high safety.

    One of the most important factors to surviving any crash is the ability of the
    vehicle to absorb the impact without affecting the passenger compartment.
    Serious or even fatal injuries can result if the engine is pushed into the
    passenger compartment in a head-on crash.

    The Lexus, BMW and Mercedes models tested maintained the integrity of the
    passenger compartment, but the driver’s door of the Mercedes popped open
    during the crash test. Although the dummies in the car were not affected by
    the opening door, officials said occupants could be thrown from the vehicle if
    the door opens.

    The dummies didn’t fare as well in the Lincoln, Infiniti and Cadillac models. In
    the Lincoln Continental, forces measured on the dummies’ legs were high
    enough to break the driver’s leg. Dummies in the Infiniti Q45 indicated the
    likelihood of head and leg injuries.

    The Cadillac Seville came out on the bottom of the list. The vehicle suffered
    "major intrusion" of the passenger compartment during the offset crash test,
    and the tests indicated a high likelihood of right-leg injuries.

    IIHS President Brian O’Neill blamed the old design of the Seville for its poor
    performance. "The rest have been recently redesigned, and this could be a
    reason the Cadillac didn’t perform up to the other models," he said. General
    Motors has redesigned the Seville for the 1998 model year, which could help
    improve its scores, O’Neill said.

    The institute gave the BMW and Lexus models high marks despite their poor
    bumper designs. The Lincoln Continental was the only one of the six cars
    tested to earn a "good" mark on the bumper test.

    Crashworthiness Evaluations
    see the site
  • Well, I went from Cadillac to Lexus so I'll help ya out. To put it simply, that $6,000 difference in price comes straight out of the interior. The interior of the DTS looks so cheap and awful after sitting in an LS430, or ANY Lexus for that matter. In short, my 98 LS400 is better in ever way than my 95 STS was. Also, wanna know something suprising? With the trunk full of sandbags my LS400 is better in the snow than the STS ever hoped to be. Yes its FWD, but its also 300hp.

    Go Lexus, I did and I'll never go back. Its just a better car in every way.
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