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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    so with the ls430 and its traction control and antislip, and intermitant snow how many sandbags necessary? or should you have to do this or get snow tires? i'm getting the 16" all season tires, won't that be enough?

    Any of you leasing the ls430 mine comes first week of jan what rates are you getting and what can i expect. they talk about credit "points", scale, and how can i predict if i qualify for the best rates. are they negotiable with a lexus link?

    i'll be doing a 36month/36k mile lease on my nav-lev-lexus link ls430
  • msemmsem Posts: 6
    After testing all the large, luxury cars, we decided on the Lexus 430. Did not like the Cadallic STS at all. Poor visibility, noisy, poor ride. Liked the Lexus much better than the MB or BMW. Also did not like the Nag system in any vehicle. We have very little use for Nag system. When the Neg system is a "real on-line" and updated often it would be more useful to us. We ranked the Toyota Avalon much higher than the Cadallic. Picked up our Lexus 430 Basic package on Friday evening. Wonderful ride, very quite, very comfortable driving and great audio system. No second thoughts about buying the LS430. The LS430 is easy to park and maneuver in close quarters.
  • I put one 50lb sandbag over each rear wheel and one in the center of the trunk.
  • I am contemplating the purchase of a used LS 400 ('97. Having driven, for the most part, front-wheel drive automobiles, I am concerned about the performance of the LS's rear-wheel drive in the midwest's hefty snows. I would appreciate your responses because they will definitely help to determine my purchase decision.
  • rtboonrtboon Posts: 21
    Can anyone tell me how you replace the center stoplight bulb? It appears that somehow you have to remove the luggage deck? Nearest Lexus dealer is 80 miles away and it seems like replacing a bulb should be something I can do.

    Bob 94 LS400
  • rob8rob8 Posts: 16
    I have a 91 LS and replaced the third brake light bulbs (there's two of them in there) recently. Very easy. There are directions in the manual. I took a flathead screwdriver (tip wrapped in cloth so as not to scratch the decklid) and then pryed the subwoofer speaker cover/third brakelight grill off. It took a bit of muscle but I managed to pop it off w/o damaging the lid. I changed the two bulbs and that was it. The bulb type/number is printed on the bulbs themselves and should be listed in the owner's manual.
  • You need a set of 4 snow tires for the winter. I have driven my 91 LS with traction control with 4 snows in the Buffalo area with few problems.
  • Can a technically-savvy person help me? The "check engine" light in my 91 LS recently went on. The "traction control off" light also went on. The dealer thought the gas cap was not tight enough, so we tightened it and the lights went off. Now the lights go on and off intermittently and the dealer say that I have a bad oxygen sensor in the exhaust system. Replacing the oxygen sensor will be $350. Does this make sense? Both lights have been off for two days and the car is running just fine.
  • As long as you put sandbags in the trunk you'll be fine.
  • In snow that is.....forgot to mention that sorry.
  • Tonig1, I also have a 91 LS. However, I don't think that the OBD II (On-board diagnostics) went into effect until ModelYear 1992. I think many cars, from many manufacturers, in 92-94 had check-engine light issues...often related to the gas cap. In your case, I think the dealer should do a complete diagnostic of your car, just to be safe. I'm skeptical about the gas-cap explanation, since you have a '91.
    Good luck
  • Well, Chicago got its first minor snow/ice conditions. My LS 430 equipped with 17" wheels and "summer" tires was just fine. Never got over 35mph, but I felt in control. Vehicle Skid light went on a few times. Of course the tires have only 2000 miles on them. I do not plan on adding weight to the trunk. My only plan is to make sure I buy all weather tires when these need replacing.

    Compared to my 1998 MB skid control, I was impressed. The MB was safe, but it would make the car shudder and would activate a lot more than the Lexus did. At this point, I think the 2001 VSC from Lexus outperforms the 1998 ESP from MB. The next test will be driving in snow more than an inch deep.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Is anyone confused by the leases being offered by Lexus? I'm coming off 98 ls400 at $811 per month (0 down but had $2,000 loyalty coupon). I also had 95 ls 400 (0 down) at $840 per month. Couldn't be happier with cars or Lexus service. But when I went to price a new lease I was quoted $1,150 (with $500 loyalty credit) on car equipped with nav/mark levinson stereo - sticker price of around 61k and fully loaded ultra-lux would be in $1,350 range. Got so frustrated that I went to see Mercedes where I can get a S430 with cd, heated seats and xenon headlights (73,995 sticker) for $1,240 per month ($1,210 on 39 month lease). I was also quoted a 1,375 lease payment for an $83,000 S500. Mercedes leases are 0 down, 0 security deposit and new Mercedes include 4 years of scheduled maintenance at no cost. How is it possible that higher priced Mercedes are cheaper than Lexus LS 430 in lease deals? I'm sure Mercedes residuals are substantially higher allowing for less of a depreciation payment in lease. For example S430 buyout is about 51k or 69% of original sticker. On top of this Lexus dealer said colors other than white or black are hard to get unless I extend current lease one or two months. I was a slam dunk for Lexus about 2 weeks ago but I'm about to take that S430. Great car - rides about 95% as good and is about 90% as quiet as LS 430 but handles better and has nice luxury/sport feel inside and spectacular styling outside. Anyone else have same experience as me?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Please note that last posting includes sales tax (i'm in New Jersey) in lease payments but not in residuals.
  • With all due respect, leases are really a bad deal all the way around for the consumer.

    Did you know that dealers get compensated more for doing a lease...and beware of hidden charges!

    Wouldn't it be more prudent to put a large amount down and do a regular finance (shop around)...or just pay cash?

    Or as my Dad always taught me, if you can't afford the payments, get a less expensive car.

    Just a thought....the Lexus LS 430 is one awesome vehicle...but why do a "fleece" and line the dealer's pockets?

    Thanks for the time!
  • I'm taking delivery of my new LS430 this afternoon (pant). I looked at both leasing and buying. My experience on leasing the LS430 was similar to the ones posted. I found 6 year purchase money for 8.65% and ended up with a monthly payment equal to that a shorter lease. The difference is after three years, (or before), I have control of the auto. I've leased several cars but with new long term car loans, I prefer to buy.

    By the way, my baby is a black ultra lux with black leather. I got on the dealer's waiting list in July and yes I paid full sticker. Somethings are worth waiting for.
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    The major reason to lease (according to my accountant) is if you use it for business it is easier to deduct the business portion of the usage. I am also trying to decide between a LS430 and S 500 and suspect that the leases will be better on the MB until the discounts on the LS start at which time they will more approximate the numbers given above. Now would not be a good time to lease a LS but next year discounts should be available and most likely the MB will still be going for close to list(they have been out for 1.5 years and are still in short supply).
  • I find the buying cars is always better than leasing. Who really drives 12,000 miles per year and manages to get their next car lined up and available in X months later?

    That aside, it seems MB is responding to market pressure. Their car is over priced so increase the residual value and lower the money factor to equalize it to the better priced LS. LS is using realistic and profitable money factors because they can. Makes sense to me. I'd do the same!

    If you can have the S430 or the LS 430 and both cost $1350 on a lease, which are going to get? The LS because its a better car, or the S because its a better deal?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Leasing is advantageous over buying if you can deduct lease vs. business income. I'm in such a situation and stay within 12k-15k mileage limits so it works well for me. My Lexus dealer came back to me with a much better lease deal today after my complaining - $1,050 per month and 60% reidual on $61,139 car (nav/levinson/lexus link as priciest options) for 36 months at 12k milers per year. I'm a finance executive and if you present value the lease payments plus the buyout at 7% discount rate you'll find the amount is only $1,000 more than buying plus the $495 bank fee. So leasing with a buy option is noy as bad as some posters may think.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Drove both cars today and think I'm leaning back to Lexus if they can get me my color in time. The LS has a drop dead gorgeous interior and incredible ride (much improved over a great riding 98 LS 400) even though handling and road feel have been improved. Usually this compromises ride quality but not at Lexus. The MB still performs better but the ride is not as good and the interior is no match. But you have a different feeling driving it. I tried the S500 as well and it still doesn't measure up against the lexus' luxurious interior and buttery soft ride. Great engine and performance but noisier on the outside and definitely more tire noise. Someone else mentioned they are considering S class vs LS 430. Do you have same feeling. By the way except for tire wear once (my fault as I didn't get wheel alignment) I have never had a problem with LS 400 in 6 years of ownership. A friend bought my 95 and is at 120k miles and just normal maintenance has been needed.
  • Of course you're a finance exec., why else would you be promoting a car "fleece".

    With all due respect, a car lease puts more money in the dealer's pocket. Cars are not investments. You can still deduct for business expense on a regular purchase or conventional finance plan.

    And come on, $1,050/mo. payment on a CAR? That's a house note....without the appreciation.

    Beware buyers! Pass on the Lexus lease!
  • When I evaluated the lease option, I found that the California sales tax is only applied to the lease payments, not to the entire value of the car. So if I buy, I pay our 7.75% sales tax on the entire original purchase price. Then if I sell the car after 3 years for 60% of its original cost, I don't get back any of that sales tax.

    But if I lease the car, my 7.75% sales tax is only applied to the lease payments that I make. If the lease ends after 3 years, and the residual value of the car is 60%, then I have only paid 40% of the amount of sales tax that I would have paid in the buy option. (Well, actually it's more than 40%, but not a lot more.)

    Alternatively, if after 3 years of leasing I decide to buy the car outright for 60% of the original price, I still have to pay 7.75% on that lease-end purchase price.

    Despite all this, in my case financing through my credit union, at 7.55% APR, turned out to be my best option.
  • See, I lease for business. I write the business lease of my taxes, leasing only makes sense for me.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    If you were to run the math on a present value calculation you'll find that a lease with a buy at a discount rate of 7% (about the interest rates you can get on a 18-36 month cd)after 36 months works out to be around $1,000 more than buying up front. If you think that you can get a better return than 7% than you are losing money by buying. Given that I'd prefer to pay that $1k premium to decide if I want to buy the car after 3 years as opposed to being committed up front by an outright purchase. Leasing is also a much easier tax deduction than buying and depreciating the asset. If you don't have a present value calculator than just calculate whole dollars on a forward basis. A 61,130 car plus 6% sales tax purchased today comes to $79,400 after 3 years if you compound interest annually at 7% (mbna is offering over 7% on such a 3 year cd). if you lease than buy the lease plus buyout with sales tax amounts to $80,500 when you take into consideration interest income you would lose on your lease payments. All of this is of course pre-tax. So where exactly is the fleecing.
  • Chicago just got dumped with 12" of snow. My LS 430 with 17" "summer" tires was just fine. I never felt at risk. The VSC is outstanding. I found that if I shut it off, the car would either just spin the wheels or fish tail. Turn it on and it slowly pulls ahead. Very smoothly, too. Now, I'm sure all season tires would work better, but I suspect the only difference is they would make the car get moving a little faster. Of course braking is a bit more compromised, so I maintained a safe following distance.
  • Does anyone know where you can buy Lexus parts wholesale and/or significantly cheaper than just walking into your local Lexus dealer and buying them?
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    My dealer with my deposit won't have a car for me until Jan at the earliest. Next closest dealer (20 miles vs. 10 miles) has a gold ultra in this weekend and will let me have it (not on his list). My wife and I both like the black cherry and might wait, but the gold is tempting. Since my dealer can't tell me when he may get a black cherry, if at all, I may consider the gold. Interesting how I have been on the first dealer's list since March and am not on the 2nd list, yet the 2nd dealer can sell me a car quickly. He is more high volume, but I thought any ultra would be spoken for. Guess not.
  • a, the ways of the interned. a friend of mine wanted to lease an s. the local dealer wanted $900+ per month with the usual nexus contract. the dealer in the next county south would take 900. his wife got a list of all florid nexus dealers. taxed an offer of 750 per month. one dealer 2 counties north accepted and delivered the car. moral of the story : shop round. generate some competition. good luck.
  • ljflx - No, I never got a houseplant. Maybe it was because I got a "no frills" great price instead..a trade I'm happy with. Well, ljflx-spotting just got harder if you don't have an Ultra. I think I still have a shot because while silver is more common, the combination with ecru interior is still unusual.

    dave - Customs are very few and far between. Many of the people here wanted customs, including me, but either went up to an Ultra or took a basic car with Nav/ML/LLink.
  • Considering a purchase of a 1991 LS400 for $10,000. 122,000 miles. Timing chain, water pump replaced recently. Would a newer Acura (97) 3.5 for $17,900 be a better buy. Greatest concern is the age of the Lexus. Possible Christmas present. Never owned a luxury auto before.
    Car is black, tan leather, moon roof, cd changer in trunk, appears to be in great shape. Possible purchase from individual I trust.Recommendations? Suggestions?
  • If it has maintenenve records, go for it. The LS 400 has set a benchmark for reliability, so as long as it was maintained, it should be ok.

    BTW, the price is pretty good, too.
  • Has anyone else noticed that the speakers in the Mark Levinson package rattle when the music is moderately loud and the bass is set at the maximum level? The speakers in my '99 LS400 never rattled at any volume or bass level. I thought this sound system was supposed to be the best. Also, the low range sounds seem a little strained and are much weaker than the previous premium sound system. I don't doubt that the electrical components are state-of-the-art, but what does that matter if the speakers cannot handle the full range of the audio components? I know everyone has been wowed by the marketing Lexus put into this system, but I have to be honest and say that I am thoroughly disappointed in the Mark Levinson sound system in my Lexus. I love the LS430, but I wish I had the Nakamichi system or the base audio system from the previous LS model. Either of these systems were better than the Levinson system. The only good thing about this system is that it is better than the base system currently being put into the LS430 which I might add is much worse than the base system put into the LS400's.
  • Gone shopping yesterday and spotted a new Lexus LS430 in the parking lot.
    The front is Mercedes S430.
    The side is Mercedes E320.
    The tail lights are ... stolen from ... Acura.
    Ho Ho Ho, Merry ThiefMas to Lexus since it has turned itself from international to domestic styling thief.
  • Actually the tailights are very similar to the current LS400 lights, they bear no reseblence to those from Acura. The front looks nothing like the front of the Benz S Class, the only thing I agree about is the side.

    Stephen, 98LS
  • There are many similarities between all cars. But why must we defend the LS to certain people who like nothing better than to post incendiary remarks?? Let's enjoy the LS for what it is: a world class automobile that delights, and also keeps the competition on its toes. People who buy MB, BMW, and Audi would all be paying much more for their cars if not for the likes of Lexus/Acura/Infiniti. They should be grateful, not critical! :)

    The LS has always had evocative styling. That's how one establishes oneself in a market--by identifying the market leaders and refining what makes them appealing to their target markets.

    I am looking forward to upgrading to a top level sedan in the next year or two. I like my 98 ES very much (a little less so my 01 RX), but the new LS is a very compelling car. A couple of things I'd like to see added before I buy, though, are a massage option for the front passenger seat, and a reclining feature for the back seat. (I think only the seat bottom moves back and forth.)
  • I don't understand all the talk about the LS 430 looking like some other car. As far as I can tell all these cars look exactly alike. They all have those long slopy noses drooping down in front, and those fat little short rear ends sticking up in back. I bought the car for its quiet smooth ride, plus the legendary Lexus reliability.
  • So what if the AS 430 resembles the Mercedes! That doesn't take away from the fact that it is a more superior vehicle.

    The drive is no comparison. The AS is the smoothest and quietest car I have ever driven. The interior is in a class by itself. With the nexus nameplate and it's service reputation, it's really no contest!

    Rennybosch is right. Most cars do have similar styling, but he knows where his bread is buttered. This car is THE BEST!
  • Hey Apex, what's going on? Kinks in the system?
  • barry5barry5 Posts: 49
    Now that we are having snowstorms,can any one tell me of the handling properties of the LS430 under these conditions.
  • barry5,

    The car handles the snow very well as long as the road is flat. If you have to travel up a hill that is longer than 30 feet, you will be in serious trouble. The VSC will cause the vehicle to come to a complete stop. When you try to move the car, the rear will move from side to side in an attempt to stabilize the car. Unfortunately, you are stuck by this time. If you turn off the VSC system, the tires will spin and you will inch up the hill a little bit or begin to slide back down, depending on the grade of the hill. The best thing to do is put the car in reverse and try to get to the side of the road. You can control the car better in reverse, but not much better. You will at least be able back over to the side of the road. You wont be able to drive to the side of the road while driving foward.

    Over the past few snow storms, I have gotten stuck trying to go up small to moderately steep hills. Trying to start out in low gear will not help either. I thought the all season tires would help, but they do not help very much. I feel sorry for the people with summer tires who live in the south and are getting ice and snow. Trust me, it will be very embarrassing when you are stuck on a small hill in your LS430 and a 1987 Sentra is flying up the hill with no problems. I think snow tires will help, though. Maybe?
  • Hi rolloman,

    This forum has a built in automatic misspeller. When you select "Check Spelling", it marks words it thinks are misspelled and offers corrections. If you don't notice that and simply say "Post", it will automatically insert the erroneous spelling "corrections". To prevent that, you have to click on the pull-down menu triangle next to each "misspelled" word, and select the original word that you meant to use (it'll be there even though the program thinks it's misspelled).

    Advanced technology!
  • So let me get this straight...even though I correctly spelled every word in my post, such as LS 430...if the system thinks "LS" should be "AS", it will post as "AS" if I don't change in the pull down menu.

    That's a pretty obnoxious feature. Hopefully Edmunds will work out the kinks soon or I might bolt.

    Thanks and Merry Krismus!
  • barry5barry5 Posts: 49

    Thank you for the snow information. Perhaps the next LS will have a 4 wheel drive.

    I am seriously considering this car, but in need it to work in all weather conditions. Thanks again... hope we get more posts regarding weather conditions and the cars performance.
  • Since he is the foremost authority on everything that is LEXUS, I'm a bit concerned that we haven't heard from him in several weeks.

    Probably on a sun-drenched beach somewhere scanning a Lexus Owner's Manual with an Evian spritz.

    Enigma, where are you?
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    My new ls430 (crystal white/ecru) has all season 16" tires, the problems listed above, could they be related to the tires? I know there are several choices summer, sport, all season. what kind of tires do you have cul8ter. Would sand bags in the trunk help, we have lots of hills here in kentucky. what about getting some studded tires and put them on the rear? or would i have to have all four snow tires?
  • rolloman,

    Not on a sun-drenched beach just yet! Have been really busy the last few weeks and haven't found the time to come join you guys!

    But I'm back, at least for now.
  • I agree, the cars look nothing alike. The LS430 is much chunkier than the S Class. if anything, the side of the LS resembles the E Class, but the front resembles the current LS400, as does the rear. The rear of the S Class looks like a Honda Accord from a distance, and I see a little resemblence of the 98-00 LS400 in the front facia.
  • I thought maybe you were down in Australia playing "Survivor". Sounds like you aged a bit though...from "Enigmaone" to "Enigma32".

    Hey glad to know you're still around.
    Hope you get some time off for the holidays.

    By the all you great posters at Edmunds.....


    Rolloman in Houston
  • I aged a bit!! 32 whole years!! haha.

    I'll be going on vacation next saturday for the next 2 months. So, I'll catch everyone later. but I'm still here for the next week.

    Merry christmas to you too & to all else. Or should I just say "Happy Holidays" to all? And a HAPPY NEW MILLENIUM!
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 381
    We've been there before, some like some dislike the ls look, and some think they copied MB--let's move on. this car is wonderful, we should be sharing experiences that enhance this and to make it better. I have already "voted" for lexus ls by buying one, those of you who think the MB s430 or s500 is "better" vote your pocket book. The exterior aside, the interior room, fit, ergonomics are class leaders, in my opinion, the new standard for luxury cars. It was engineered to be intuitive, like the Macintosh I'm using now. MB needs to address their "over engineered" presence. the buttons on its command system will now be compared to the elegantly simple approach of lexus(how simple is it to change the temperature while listening to the cd try that at 70mph)--i feel all lux cars will use this as the standard, and people will start asking why didn't others (MB) think of this. 750miles and not a single flaw. nothing, tire pressure, alignment, every system works perfectly. no glitches out of the box, ask that of MB.

    I spoke to someone recently about his decision to buy MB s430 designo series (about $83k) "but lexus isn't that 3 pointed star, it doesn't have the status" I buy the product, not the status, and considering that i got the same wood and color interior (almost, MB leather in the designo is too yellowish, and lexus has better and more wood) for 22k less his mouth dropped. ""But the status isn't there". Well i said you get what you pay for, though i can afford to buy MB i can also afford not to. and i won't have the troubles some of other MB owners have had, not to mention better service experience.

    I am pleased, i'll wait for long term comparo's to MB, BMW etc. Lexus has made a grand move and the bar is much higher.
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