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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That's all well and good, but it (LS430) still doesn't satisfy that sport craving as well as all the other cars in the class. No matter which way you want to word it. If the LS430 is quieter than the LS400 it's a coffin to me. What Mercedes "enthusiast" thinks they look like Fords?


    Well I tell you what. If were my age and color and not wearing a suit/tie you'd understand what I'm talking about. I've never been in a Mercedes dealership that didn't appreciate the chance to ask me if I needed help. The Lexus dealer here in Naperville IL is so snotty to the point that even when "younger" (i.e under 30) people come in to look at their younger car (IS300) they still don't want to be bothered. I've never had that happen at a Mercedes dealer unless I was looking at something over 100K, then they kinda look at you funny. Which is *somewhat* understandable. You can't tell me what I've experienced. Period. So swallow now... Yeah they're selling 30K hatchbacks, right along with 130K SL600's too. My point Lexus has some gall to try and come off like they are amoung the upper car brands of this world, like Bentley, Ferrari and the like. Especially when their most expensive car is around 70K. All that fuss over an extension of Toyota. Please.

    Please tell me what Mercedes "advertising claim" wasn't based on truth? I'm dying to hear that one.
    Who even said anything about what Mercedes was claiming? They aren't claiming anything along the lines of AMCI does when asked by the same company to "verify" claims.

  • Keep talking, Merc1, but "me thinks you protests too much." Thankfully, we are all friends, I hope.
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    Toyota already has a 12 cylinder engine in the Japan market. As soon as the bean counters think it's time, there will be a 12 cyl Lexus.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    They ruled it out on the 2001 as an option at the last second. It'll probably be out on the next edition in 04 along with a bigger v-8. Inevitable!
  • Merc1 - A person as young as you (under 30, I gather from what you said) will probably have more of a "sport craving" than the target market for the LS430 (probably 45+ yrs old).

    The LS430 is all about smoothness and refinement with easy power and great ergonomics, not squealing tires, burnouts, and aggressive turns.

    It's not trying to be all things to all people.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    For sure......always. Just some of the things that certain Lexus fans post is ridiculous.


    On the LS430's target demographic, I'm not so sure you're right about that. It is trying to be everything to everyone in it's class, which it isn't. Just about all Toyota products try an do just that. The other cars in the LS430's class are simply more "fun". And it's not like the others are completely noise-filled hard riding cars either, the S-Class surely isn't. We're talking about being quieter by a decibel or two right? Yet the LS430's "Euro" suspension option does very little to liven the car up compared to say an S500 Sport or A8.

  • As I said before, calm down merc1.
    YOur local Lexus dealer in Naperville is just one dealer. How did you come to the conclusion that all must be snoty or alot, or most? As I said before, alot of Benz dealers are much more snooty than Lexus dealers. And how many $120K cars do you think the average Mercedes dealer sells in a month? I would bet the average dealer would be lucky to sell ONE. What cars are they selling the vast majority of? $30K to $40K C-class's and $45K to $60K E-class's. Nothing to get snooty about. Even though, I'm white and in my 40's, I have gotten the arrogant attitude from more than one Mercedes dealer in the Pennsylvania area.

    And wake up, all car makers use false claims. YOu're telling me mercedes ads don't make outrageous claims, sometimes? I can't think of any particular recent ads, because I haven't been watching to much TV lately, but I sure as hell remember early ML ads making far out claims. My point: Every car maker over exaggerates the truth.

    To reply to your post to bitkahuna, how ironic you say that, considering alot of things a certain Mercedes fan says are insanely ludicrous.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I don't think you get it about the LS430 interior. Whether its quieter by a decibel or two I don't know. It certainly feels a lot more quieter than that vs. the S. It's not that the S is noisy it's just that the LS430 is serene. The reality is that the LS430 provides a different experience than an S-Class. It just is a more luxurious feeling car. You need to ride on a real gravelly road to even hear tire noise. The engine noise doesn't penetrate the cabin and even at high speeds you hardly ever hear it. The engine itself is quieter. Just stand outside both cars. You don't feel gear shifts when you are changing speeds the engine is so fluid. The materials used in the LS430 are better quality, there's so much more wood and last but not least it doesn't ever squeak or rattle because it has superior build quality. The new 7 seems to be trying to emulate all this as well.

    I always love your comments about all the fun and performance the other cars provide. Most of that engineering is going to waste. Just look at how the people drive them on the road. It hardly befits all the excess performance they build in. Yes some drivers go real fast but thats about equal to the percentage of LS430 drivers that do the same. It's not the cars - its the demographic segment. That's why the auto mag reviews are nonsense. They evaluate them vs. a Porsche not vs. the driver segment that will buy them. None of these cars are sports cars. All of them are luxury cars and the latter is what the segment wants. That also accounts for the many German lux car buyers who, when they finally sit in a Lexus LS430 are amazed at how well it rides and how well it's made.

    Bitkahuna - glad to see you back.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok then I'll go you one further. How about Naperville, Westmont, Orland Park, and McGrath Lexus all have the same attitude. I've been to them all and they're all the same, and that's "most" in the Chicagoland area. They don't want to be bothered unless the person is of YOUR demographic. Period. Mercedes dealers on the other hand have been much more friendlier and generally more pleasant. You can't possibly tell me other wise because you haven't been in my shoes. Doesn't matter how many SL600's they sell in one month. You missed the point. Point being that this is the type of person that will and does come in no matter how infrequent it may be. Lexus has no such buyer, yet they still have the gall to act as though they are on the same plane with other HIGHER end brands. If a Benz dealer treated you indifferently, maybe you shouldn't have drove up in your Lexus (joking here). I'm still waiting on that false claim that Mercedes has made. Sure everyone shows cars doing incredible things at times, but we know that is make believe.


    All that performace goes to waste right? Well if thats the case a 290hp LS430 is a waste too because according to you the performance side of the car is never needed or warranted. That doesn't hold up because the 7-Series is a very popular car that trades on being "sporty". Not hearing the engine no fun at all to me and obviously some others who enjoy a true European style car, not one that's trying to be European. If you're going to look at it like that then nobody needs a V8 car period a nice 6-cylinder car will suit just fine. I have yet to see a luxury car compared to a Porsche..and if performance doesn't matter they why is every single manufacturer out their trying their best to be "sportier" with each re-do of their cars? Somehow I doubt 7-Series, especially the 740i Sport and S55 drivers putt along like LS430 drivers do...again on average.

  • I'm interested in a new LS but am also hearing from BMW owners who speak alot about the awesome handling of BMWs and speak about the "soul" of the BMW. But, what bothers me about BMW are the reliability and QC issues that don't seem to plague Lexuses. Curious of whether any Lexus owners used to own BMWs and how the two cars stack up. Are you dissatisfied with your Lexuses and thinking of going back to BMW? Thanks!
  • Hey, Merc1, did you ever consider that you may have presented an attitude to the Lexus dealers you've contacted? I mean you make your prejudices pretty evident and that can produce a turn-off. I suspect your demeanor may be quite different with the Mercedes folks.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    Before I got my LS430 I was convinced that I wouldn't like the ride quality with 17 inch wheels, but after a test drive I was impressed. The ride is quite nice, IMO. The 16 inch wheels are really ugly, IMO, so I'm glad the 17 inchers worked out OK. They look a lot better chromed. A friend of mine got a LS430 at the same time I did. It had the chrome 17 inch wheels, but he thought they didn't have enough pizazz, so he got BBS wheels and sold his old wheels to me.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Nope not at all. I was very enthusiastic about the IS300 when it first came out. Just merely walking in a being totally ignored is well enough. It's hard to explain, but they only grudgingly helped out, and isn't just me...friends of mine have had the same experience with 3 of the dealers I listed, and they were actually trying to buy.

  • I suspect the problem you're experiencing at dealers is in large part due to your own attitude. I wouldn't be surprised if you go into Lexus dealer with an 'attitude' and dealers salespeople have 'seen it all' and they recognize someone who has no intention of buying a mile off.

    On the other hand, when you go into a MB dealer, you're probably drooling...
  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    my 93' Civic dressed in a grey jogging suit and test drove the IS300 no problem. Lady came right up to me started talking right away. I'm 32 lookin' like plain Joe Blow. So I can't agree with the snotty Lexus accusation.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    merc1 isn't the first person to complain about the chicago dealers. It certainly isn't the case in NY/NJ and dealers have very high reputation across the US. So maybe its a local Chicagoland problem.
  • I guess if you are a youthful looking person under thirty, a person may decide you are not a candidate to buy at first. Almost all of the times I have gone to a dealership , it has been slow, and the salespersons have plenty of time on their hand. I guess it is their job to asertain what you, the customer, are interested in. I personally , after reading some of your posts, would conclude you not to be a valid customer of a sedan like ls 430, or s500, but maybe more of a chance for a smaller sportier car. A salesman needs to make a living, and a good one would be courteous but quick. Most of the times I go into Lowes, Walmart etc. no one pays the slightest attention to me. I have to do cartwheels just to pay for what I have picked up. I have gotten use to it, and if you really want something, you will also get use to it. Tony
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Wrong again my friend. I actually couldn't wait to drive/see the IS300 when it first came out. Let me set the record straight here. I like CARS period. Yes I have my German bias, but I still read about, test drive (when I can) and try to acquire knowledge about all cars. You'd be surprised how much time I spend looking at non-German cars. I just this past Saturday spent a inappropiate amount of time "drooling" over the new Hyundai Tiburon GT. Believe it or not. The car is gorgeous by the way, but that's another subject. My point is that I don't carry one bit of attitude when I visit a Lexus, Benz, Audi, Cadillac, Saab, or any other brand's dealership. So your theory is incorrect. You don't have to believe it, nor can you tell me it's just me. Point is that's whats happening here. And it has happened to more than a few people that I know, of which some bought a Lexus and some didn't.


    You're probably missing one key aspect of the whole thing. Just maybe.


    There is one dealer that I would buy a Lexus from if I ever wanted one. Woodfield Lexus in Schaumburg. Different attitude all together from the rest. Naperville Lexus is the worst.

  • fxashunfxashun Posts: 747
    I hope it's not a race thing caus' sorry I'm a black guy too.
  • Gee, merc1,there is disquieting news in this morning's Wall Street Journal about the deterioating quality of the Mercedes luxury line. One German report, "The report conducted for the auto makers themselves, showed Mercedes quality and customer satisfaction falling since 1999 to levels below Opel, the German unit of General Motors and a brand with one of the worst images in Europe." It also notes that the J.p. Power rating slipped from 9 (not good) in 2000 to 10 in 2001. Hmmmm....
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I think Chicago has some of the best dealers around. Bredemann Lexus has been an Elite dealer eight years in a row, and Arlington Lexus is very good also.

    I bought my car at age 27, and my friend bought his at age 26. The age was never an issue with the delaers we visited.

    The only problem I had was with Lexus of Highland Park. But that was with the owner, not the salesperson.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well maybe I went on the wrong day(s) because the dealers I listed wanted nothing to do with a 26-27 year old at the time. Period. Hadn't ever been there before either.


    Yep saw it. No disclosure on what exactly they found. I addressed that article in the Cadillac forum "Break through" in the News and Views" section. According to Auto, Motor und Sport, Mercedes is still in the top three in Germany so unless they want to disclose what they found I'm not too wooried about that particular "finding". Though I never said Mercedes didn't have their issues to begin with.


    I forgot about Bredemann. How could I have forgotten. That is where I actually drove the IS300. Now they were "right" in every way.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Do you tend to go on a Saturday? I know my Lexus dealership is ultra busy between shoppers and those picking up their cars on that day of the week.

    That was some super bowl. I was going to mention that I was pulling for the Pats and thought that they had a decent shot. But you'd probably not believe me at this point.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Nope. I know that dealers are very busy on Saturday so I tend to stay away on those days.

  • pcbrspcbrs Posts: 57
    Wow, I was surprised to see so many new messages. To share with you my own account... I've been very happy with my own dealership experience. I'm a 23 year old medical student, and I had some problems test driving an LS430 at our local dealership. I guess there will always be people who feel they were slighted in some way. Perhaps merc1 has justifiable reason to be angry, although he also comes across as having a major chip on his shoulder, and not all related to automobiles. And really, I have to agree that the LS430 was neither designed nor manufactured with you (merc1) in mind. You obviously crave prestige, power and performance, in that order, while LS430 is about restrained elegance and sophistication.

    I also happen to know several people with LS430s, making over $300K a year, as the average LS430 buyer tends to be financially well off. They could easily lease or purchase the $100K cars you speak of, but I believe they became wealthy, because they recognized the virtue of value over longstanding prestige.

    When I went, the salesman did look at me funny, and probably didn't give me as much attention as he would someone older. A bit put off, I later called up the sales manager, who promptly spent his afternoon explaining the virtues of the car, and offering us over $3000 off MSRP to start negotiations. He was a really nice guy, and wanted to make amends. I don't blame them for initally being incredulous given my age, but I brought my parents and we drove away 3 days later with a new mystic sea opalescent LS430.

    Basically, merc1 seems to be judging the car based on his bad experiences at the dealerships, when the car itself is not at fault. Really, aren't you judging the car by the awful salespeople you met, and most likely this has made you despise the car they sell. Evaluating the car on its own, will probably leave a different impression.

    But, whatever you decide, the group on this discussion board made the choice they did, because this car fit their lifestyle. There is no doubt that most on this board can also afford the S class or SL that you dream about, so no need to argue about who can afford what at what dealership. Just enjoy the cars and be thankful that not all cars are the same. Honestly, I don't think my mom would like the S series as much, and there's no way my dad could figure out the new 7 series. He still hasn't figured out our VCR. =D Cheers.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You could be right on certain things. Yes the dealership experience was the last straw on top of me not really liking Lexuses to begin with. True. But I never at any time displayed this to the sales people. I just wanted to see the car to get a real evaluation of one. Like I said before they all aren't that way, just most. As far as me having a chip on my shoulder, nope. Just get argumentive when Lexus fans try to make it seem that Lexus is the saviour of the luxury car market and nothing else before Lexus mattered. I never stated what anyone here could/couldn't afford, my point about that was that Lexus dealers arent' quite getting the same high end buyer (on average) because they simply don't have a car over 70K when Mercedes has eight.

  • I think merc1 needs to get used to the occasional rude salesman when shopping for higher-end cars. I think pcbrs has the right approach in handling it. I've always looked a bit young for my age and recall when I was in my early 30's, after my wife and I were told by a salesman to let him know if we wanted the keys to any of the cars in the lot and after we asked him for the keys to a new Bonneville SSEI, he said, "before I go inside for the keys, take a look at the sticker and let me know if you can even afford the car." My wife was incredibly offended, but I was amused because not only could I afford the car, but I could likely have afforded the dealership! Bottom line merc1: You can't sweat the small stuff. My LS430 is almost a year old now, and it's the first non-American car I've ever purchased and it's positively the best. Moreover, my buying and ownership experience has been terrific. I compared the LS to the usually suspects (BMW, MB, Caddy) and the car sold itself. The great treatment that I received from the dealership and Lexus corporate was just a bonus.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    In my opinion, pcbrs got it right. merc1 is an unrelenting Benz fan as most on these boards realize. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but it drastically colors his views, sometimes beyond the logical or reasonable. Conclusions that "most" Lexus dealers are snotty based on his exhaustive experience with 3 or 4 out of how many? And given his attitude going in? I know he believes he doesn't show that attitude, but it is so fervent here, that it would be hard to mask elsewhere.

    He adds that he "just gets argumentative when Lexus fans try to make it seem that Lexus is the saviour of the luxury car market and nothing else before Lexus mattered." First, this is a Lexus board and is most likely to have Lexus "fans". We also do a fair amount of Lexus criticism. But I don't really recall anyone claiming Lexus as a saviour or that nothing before Lexus mattered.

    This has all come up before and we all tried to agree to disagree. It seems it all re-started when merc1 vehemently objected to Lexus winning a survey on overall quality, etc. Given his extraordinary bias to Benz, he just couldn't accept it. Fine, he doesn't have to. Nor does he have to accept a separate finding by Automobile Mag, or others. Nor does he have to accept the survey in Germany stating the hefty continual drop in Benz quality - which even the Benz corporate types admitted to.

    But I must say, in my opinion, I can understand how a professional salesperson in a Lexus dealership can get a sense of these issues when approached by someone so totally opposed to the product. Merc1 might not think he shows his attitude, but it's there for many to see.

    Nothing personal in this, merc1, I just don't agree with you on these subjects. As we've said so many times in the past, much of this is very subjective and we all have the right to our opinions. You included. But really, buddy, you need to lighten up. They're just cars (very fine cars, all). Nothing to get so angry over. If you ever buy a Benz, I hope you are happy with it. But allow us to be happy with our choice as well. (apologies to all for length)
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Like you, I was pulling for the Patriots as well. The Rams just kept letting them hang around.

    Want to talk about busy dealers on Saturday? One dealer near me, Bredemann, only washes cars on Saturday. Therefore, the line is really long, especially in the summer. So when the building was built they included a room off to the side where breakfast is served while people wait for their car to be washed.

    This became so big that the dealer two years ago enlarged this room so it is now huge. The breakfast is now all catered and tables and chairs are set up for the masses of people that come every Saturday.

    Of course, you must have bought your car there to get these perks.

    It's like a Lexus country club.
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