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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • bmms8bmms8 Posts: 86
    i was wondering what wasthe "cool knob" in the custom luxur option. i was also wondering if u had to buy the nappa leather to get the custom luxury, is that true, or no??
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    ALL of the CL's have front seat cooling and I think that REQUIRES the perforated Nappa leather.
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    I've just ordered an LS 430 with sport suspension. I found the handling pretty good for a car of this size but feel one of the reasons it doesn't quite hold up to the German competition (i. e., BMW and Audi) is the relatively tall and narrow tires (225/55/17).

    I'm considering increasing wheel size to 18" with 245/45/18 tires (almost identical rolling diameter, so gearing and speedo stays to spec). Has anyone had any experience with this kind of changeover on the LS 430? Thanks.
  • feverhartfeverhart Posts: 144
    You may want to consider how it would impact the turning radius. The LS has a shorter turning radius than compable cars in this class. You wouldn't want any scrubbing.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You should have bought the GS, the LS will never be sporty, and you're probably headed for TOO FIRM.
  • pai7pai7 Posts: 35
    This week marks 10 years of my ownership of 92 Lexus SC400.It has slightly more than 102k miles but still drives like new.Apart from routine scheduled maintainence ,2sets of tires ,2 batteries and a window motor nothing else has been replaced.The paint,finish leather have held up well.Based on this ownership experience I bought an 01 Lexus 430 with Nav and ML after seriously considering Mercedes S 500.I am glad about my choice.During last 4 to 5 years Mercedes has had Quality issues and this has been validated in the recent Consumer Reports.My wife and daughter Drive MB ML ( 99 ML430 and 98 ML 320).They had to take their vehicles for more number of times in one year for repair than I had to take my 92 SC400 in 10 years.They are looking at Lexus for their next vehicle.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You have a 92 SC400 and yet you still "seriously" considered an S500. I'm very dissapointed, I wouldn't have thought that would happen, EVER.

    But..Girly vehicles...

    The early ML's did have relaibility problems, no question, but to sorta compare apples to oranges, so did the early Ford Escapes. All indications are that ML has addressed its problems with the ML and it's pretty clear that Ford is also on that road.

    We had a really heavy snowstorm here on the eastside of Seattle, pretty much localized to Bellevue though.


    Because of my expressed concerns about the AWD setup I wasn't as brave with it as I might have been with either of my previous Jeeps, but it was clear that the ABS was up to the task at hand and seemingly the AWD was kicking in at some level when appropreate.

    Two things did surprise me, I got it into a large vacant parking lot and was able to create s significant level of yaw yet the VSC, seemingly, never kicked in. This really surprised me because I'm quite sure that previously I have had it go to work as I turned left and "plowed" through a water puddle. Maybe the yaw I cranked in last night was so quick and extreme it "bailed"?

    Same was true of the TRAC. I was able to get the wheels "spinning" in the deep snow but as far as I could tell the TRAC applied no braking, not even moderately so, and it certainly didn't dethrottle the engine.

    Of course it could have been that all four wheels "spun" at the same rate, but that would mean the AWD is more up to snuff than I have ever though, so I won't go there.

    But for a multiplicity of reasons I would still suggest that the ML and X5 represent better SUV implementations overall. As far as AWD setups are concerned I'm beginning to suspect the Ford Escape engineers have that one figured out best.
  • pai7pai7 Posts: 35
    wwest--- The S 500 came out in Aug 99 and since that time every car magazine available was raving about it.One of my friend purchased it but I wanted to see what the redesigned Lexus LS had to offer in 2001.My experience previously with Mercedes has been good.My 1986 300 E was an excellent vehicle which I drove for 12 years and 125K miles.Intrestingly the 86 300 E outperformed 1986 560 SEL (the flagship) in both 0 to 60 and also the top speed.A year or so later they detuned 300 E to correct this anamoly.IMO 300 E was one of the best vehicle on road at that time.The deterioration of the quality has been a recent phenomenon and I hear the fix is on the way.I agree with you that a Lexus owner will probably look at Lexus again but as a car enthusiast one should critically look at the competition.The new Lexus LS430 is also way ahead in design,performance and comfort over the past LS400.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    IMMHO the MB "E" series is just a cut above the Lexus GS series, and just a cut below the LS series. If the E430 were just a tad more roomier then I might consider it a competitor to the base LS430.

    Somehow, I cannot think of the LS and the MB "S" series as being competitors, the MB is undoubtedly roomier, but along with that comes a disproportionaty much higher purchase price.

    Also, in the GS and MB E class I see absolutely no need for anything larger than the V6, except if you happen to be of the "boy racer" mindset.

    Given the size and weight of these vehicles you simply don't need anything larger to "haul" them, at least in "normal" driving fashion.

    My sincerest appologies to mooretorque.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I'm with pai7 on this one. Why limit your choices. I also looked at the S, coming out of two flawless LS400 leases. I'll do it again at the end of this lease. Most probably I'll stay Lexus because the experience all around is very satisfying and it's wonderful to almost know nothing will go wrong with the car. The E is far removed from the LS430. Not even close to the car in any way but price. Size-wise it's got the dimensions of the old Camry. The LS430 may only be 7 inches longer but it's laid out like a large luxury car and the rear is plenty spacious. Still I would hope they lengthen it to about 200 inches on the next go round. The E is narrow and confining with a small trunk and a totally different mid-size type of ride.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    Has anyone read the CAR magazine (UK) review of the new 7? It is pretty brutal; not about the styling (although they are dubious there too) but about idrive. They note that accomplishing two discrete functions (radio and HVAC mods that can be done with 2 twists of a knob in an ordinary car) take 12 or 14 separate steps with idrive. They express two dominant reactions: (a) fear. i.e., real apprehension about the ability of drivers to keep the car on the road while engaging in routine operations (especially when the car is new to the driver) and (b) confusion; even when you have learned the system and it has theoretically become "intuitive," it does not even arguably make operation of the car EASIER which is, of course, the only legitimate reason to adopt the technology. If it doesn't make these operations EASIER, the only reason to use it is to have a wiz-bang gimmick that MB and Lexus don't have. Maybe that is a valid purpose from a marketing standpoint and maybe folks that trade their car every year or two will be willing to "suffer" so they can show off the latest stuff, but from the perspective of someone who plans to keep a luxury car for a while, it makes absolutely no sense to me.

    I bought my LS last March specifically because I feared that this model year Lexus would make the Nav system/user interface standard. I would love to have the Nav toy, but until Lexus learns to make functinality foremost and de-couples the nav from the ac, stereo, phone, etc., I will not buy one. They do it on the SC (I think), why can't they manage it on the LS?
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Not sure I understand what you mean by Lexus de-coupling the nav from the stereo and hvac. The only real part of either in the nav is the use of the large display screen for the displays. After all, they have to be displayed somewhere, so why not the nav screen which is large. But the controls for those functions are not part of the nav - rather there are separate buttons on the dash and steering wheel. Just like any car without the nav. Granted, vent selection is a graphic in the nav display, but maybe I'm missing your point.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Nealm1 - I agree with flint350 that the operation of virtually all of the controls are independent of the nav system if you want it so. You can also adjust some things with the touch screen but by no means do you have to. Temperature controls etc are in the same place with or without nav. The manual controls on the dash (in non-nav cars) for changing stereo settings - am/fm1&2/disc/tape etc. - are in the nav screen if you want to go that route or all can be done with the steering wheel controls. The only non-nav things I do through the touch screen is the speaker controls and the ASL. But once I set these I never touch them again.
  • pai7pai7 Posts: 35
    you feel that the MB-S is roomier than the LS 430.Then you are in for a surprise.... The LS430 interior volume is 105.5 cubic feet and the trunk is 20.2 c.ft..whereas the interior volume of the long wheelbase MB-S is 105 c.ft and the and the trunk capacity is 15.4 c.ft (according to the brochure).Inspite of MB-S being more than 6 inches longer than LS 430,the Lexus LS is a "larger" car.The new BMW 7 Series-- 745i interior(passenger) volume..104 c.ft , trunk 18 c.ft.The new 745 Li has a passenger volume of 105 c.ft.The Friday March 8th issue of USA TODAY has a very intresting test drive of the new 7 Series.
    Ijflx -- The LS has always been barely 5 meters in lenght.Its 197.6 inches length translates to 4.996 meters which is 4 mm short of 5 meters.There is a punitive tax in some countries(also in Japan) on vehicles which are 5 meters or longer.When the LS was first introduced in 1990 it had the same overall length as it is today.However they have made the car "bigger"by stretching the wheelbase,increasing the height,and inovating packaging ,as a result of which the car which was classified as compact by the EPA during introduction in 1990 is now classified as "Large"sedan because of the increased interior volume.
  • swiftmswiftm Posts: 68
    ron36330: just a advise and hoping this will save you some money. I had a LX and RX shipped to Hunts, AL 2 yrs ago to near invoice plus 1.2 k shipping to my front door, try dealers in southern CA area, you can email me direct if you need further information, swiftm
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I didn't realize the tax consequences. The rear is quite spacious indeed. I'm a pretty big guy and I have plenty of room in the back even with the front seat as far back as possible. But of course I'm never in the rear seat anyway. My point about the stretching of the car is more marketing oriented as it would attract the limo crowd. But I've noticed several chaffeured LS430's on the road now. They are usually outfitted with special rear lighting and sophisticated rear phones and based on the interior leather are either custom or ultra-lux.

    Anyone ever feel how nice it is to sit as a front passenger in the car. My business partner has a sport suspension model and from time to time I ride as a passenger - seems to be the only times that happens. I appreciate the ride even more in those rare passenger moments.

    nealm1 - on the nav outfitted cars you can access stereo controls in 3 places - on the steering column, within the touch screen of the nav or via the buttons around and under the cassette deck.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    You folks are obviously more knowledgable about these aspects of the car than I am, but from my test drives a yr ago I recall that there were numerous settings that could only be accessed through the nav screen (balance, fade, treble/mid/bass, etc). The steering wheel controls are only a partial answer for me; they don't access all of the features and if you are on CD and want to go to FM, you have to cycle through all the other functions. Same for radio PBs etc. In some Volvos, and I think in the SC (although I could be wrong), the Nav screen controls the Nav only, and there are actual buttons and knobs for everything else. That, IMHO, is the preferred method.

    The point of my comment is that BMW has moved in the wrong direction. The more stuff you pack into the CRT display, the HARDER it becomes to access them. That is contrary to the whole purpose of the luxury car class; life should be easier and more enjoyable in one of these cars, not more difficult and exasperating.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    BMW went way over the top here. Someone should have told them the internet bubble burst and the techies who may have loved the I-drive control, were now job hunting. I'm glad to see MB is not following suit in its new E-class and I doubt Lexus will either. By the way other than a handful of posters on these boards have you come across anyone who likes the styling of the new 7 anyway?
  • I find the screen easy to use, but the voice recognition is poor. Most of the time I just punch the button as to turn the screen back off is troublesome. I guess I mean to say, from the map mode. When the car was very new I was dangerous on the road, trying to get different functions to work,and just generally looking around. Tony
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    What do people think of the info being tossed around on the GS board? Apparently the sheet metal on the 2003 LS 430 will be completely redesigned (not a freshening).
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    It's been rumored that Lexus wants to introduce a bigger V-8 and the V-12 pretty soon so it could well be true. Why not do it in a new design and try to get away from the copying nonsense. The styles of the Camry and ES300 were certainly more aggressive and they probably will go that route with the LS and GS as well. But I think the LS will always lean toward conservatism though without question Lexus wants to attract younger buyers. They also should want to be more aggressive forcing restyles more often. They have the deepest pockets and most resources and the government would probably even help subsidize any job development. That would indeed be a smart strategy particularly because that is the year MB is supposed to update the S (but not really introduce major changes). But 2004 still makes more sense for any change given all the renewable 2001 leases.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    There's a great group test of LS430,S500,and 745i in this month's issue.
    I guess I like it so because it is exactly my personal opinion.I do admire the LSgreatly,but i do think the Merc is better and worth the extra money.
    The S is hardier,more flinty,if you will. And that quality has traditionally appealed to car-loving drivers. The LS does have that "ball of silk"that Rolls-Royce talked about,and that is not easy to achieve. But the Benz,I think,is a better compromise of other qualities.
  • Having owned three over ten years or so, I have ever really seen much outward change. When my turn comes up to get a new one, the improvements have been there, but not to such an extent that you would relly notice. The price has therefore held up. If the price does not hold up, where would the money come to buy a new one? I for one would not buy if I felt the depreciation would be too great. I do not think Lexus would have had near the success if they didn`t protect the customer. No one wants to take that first step particularly if it costs sixty five or seventy thousand dollars, and if they do they surely don`t want to do it again. Tony ps the moral is I doubt if the proposed change when it comes will be too noticeable
  • tdo123tdo123 Posts: 102
    A few posts back, someone talked of the rumors that are around next years LS. Any one else heard of anything to come? I think that Lexus is feeling a bit behind by still having the car produce only 290hp vs. the 315+ of the Q, 745 and new E500, although it gives more torque than all the others and can beat most in 0 - 60.

    I know one thing I am looking forward to seeing change - who came up with the idea of offering the grey wood on the Ultra and Custom series cars. That is the only option if you go with the lighter interior. I hope they offer some new colors.

    Any thoughts or rumors on the street?
  • If there is any hint of veracity to the rumors, why would Lexus make changes to the LS 430 so early? The car is still a formidable competitor to the S-Class, 7-series and Q45. I'm thinking that Lexus would wait until the fourth model year of the generation, probably fall 2004, to make any dramatic changes.

    Lexus probably has the legacy of the LS already planned. Starting with the second-generation, Lexus already had the third-generation in concept stages and gave us a hint at the future styling with the 1998 update. The rumored restyling of the third-generation, possible increase in horsepower and improved cabin, will possibly give us a clue to the styling of the fourth-generation model.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I would bet that the S will re-do at least moderately in 2004. Lexus has a lot of lease renewals in that year from the big year in 2001. So rather than sit back and wait a year to the 2005 model year, and risk losing any of the business they gained, they may very well match the S in its redesign year. They know they won a decent amount of business in 2001 from would be or forner S owners. Time to up the ante and get more aggressive. If I had their cash rich position, and past year success I'd certainly go that route. It would also silence some of the critics who always complain that Lexus waits until MB has committed - though I doubt Lexus is concerned about them. Plus the Yen remains in such a favorable position for them vs. their German competition.
  • So, what will the next redesigned be called? Will this still be the third-generation of models or generation 3.5?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I think it's definitely an LS500. Is the re-do a complete body re-do, maybe lengthened 3 inches or so, and potentially will it havea v-12 as an option? Could be.
  • tdo123tdo123 Posts: 102
    I struggle to think that Lexus would go the the extreme of a V12, but I sure hope you are right. As for the idea of a 500 series, you could be right on. MB just changed the E430 to an E500 for this summer debut. Maybe Lexus will go that route.

    I agree that a major change is 2 years or so off, but is there anything that they may tweak for 2003? The 430 today is a great car, but there are many things that I think could be improved.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    considering a redo ever since the car was released to very negative press in Europe in early 2000. Lexus has long been against the need or implimentation of the Century's V12. When Lexus decides to break the 5 meter barrier and make a car that competes in size with the Germans, then the V12 will be implimented, but not before. I have ot heard ANYTHING on a 5L V8! Lexus can tune the 4.3 to 350HP+ if necessary with Vvti-i and a higher compression ratio. Power with THIS engine was never a question. Sales have been over the 25k they predicted, so WHATEVER the Lexus plan was for the next five years, it hasn't changed for poor sales. The buzz is the change will come THIS fall, but you make valid points for it not coming so soon. I'm sure Lexus feels the same way. If raising horsepower to.....320, and giving the exterior a major facelift does come around, it should be NEXT fall. If it is super successful, the redesign may be pushed back to 2007......
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