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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The tighter suspension is great and it hardly compromises the glorious ride of the standard LS430 suspension. The LS430 standard suspension is tighter than the older 2000 and earlier models of the LS400 to begin with. Thus it would be expected that you'd see a big difference between an LS430 sport and a prior gen LS400 suspension.
  • barry5barry5 Posts: 49
    Dear Responders:

         First thank you for your responses. I do not equate a car AWD with a SUV-AWD. These SUV drivers feel invincible and that somehow they can overcome some basic laws of physics. Fact is that most snow accidents I see are with SUV,s. However, I agree that whatever vehicle you are driving you have to stop and having AWD will not stop you quicker. I consider myself a cautious driver and my concern is how to keep going; the VSC will stop the Lexus in its tracks if it cannot keep you straight. You wont be fish tailing as you are dead in the water [Snow].

        Chains are Illegal in NY but it is a good solution in States that they are legal.

        It makes sense to have an AWD that will allow the Lexus to go through a winter in our snow states.

         I reiterate ... we drive the best automobile made it just needs some tweaking.

        Again my thanks to all that keep the Lexus Car Discussions going, as it is very helpful and informative.
  • Bought a 2003 LS430 last summer. After driving front wheel drive cars for 25 years, was a little leery of how it would handle the snow, especially after reading some of the posts on this board. Have the standard all-season Dunlops, and so far, have not had any problems with the snow we've had in Michigan this season. Doesn't accelerate as well as my Toyota Avalon, but haven't been stuck yet.
  • helmarhelmar Posts: 15
    I'm in New Hampshire and I have an '03 LS430 with Nokian WR tires.

    The Nokian WR tires substantially improve the handling in snow over the standard tires, and they're quiet as well.

    Having said that, if an AWD version of the LS became available, I'd purchase one immediately.
  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    I'm currently taxing my research skills to come to a decision on what car to buy. I have a 45,000 yearly commute in a Northeastern state. My current car is a '95 Avalon XL with 252,000 highway miles on it that still rides like a champ and has never stranded me or needed more than fluid changes, preventative timing belt change, battery, brakes. I have access to auctions, thus lower prices and am considering a step up in comfort without risking reliability. I've test driven a '99 GS 300 and '99 Es 300 both have great amenities and qualities but not enough room in back seat for my three kids. I can get 1997-1999 Lexus LS 400 from $15k-$19k w/45k+miles , 2000 Acura RL w/ under 35k miles for $17k and under, 2000& 2001 Avalon XLS w/30-40kmiles for $16k-$20K. I've wanted the LS400 for years now and hope to test drive one soon but am very impressed with the Avalon ride and amenities for the price. My mantra is to get the best deal for the money. Is it unreasonable to think that I could expect to get close to 300,000 miles from the Acura RL, LS 400 and 2000-2001 Avalon with routine maintenance? Am I incredibly fortunate but naive to the prohibitive costs of maintaining a more upsacle car under the strain of such a commute? Your opinions and expertise are most welcome.
  • I'm getting ready to replace the tires on my '01 LS430 and am looking at the Bridgestones. Can anyone explain the difference in laymans terms between the Turenza LS line (which seems to be the most popular recommendation) and the Potenza RE950? I'm not a sporty driver, my major concerns are low noise and quiet, with a minor for snow traction. Tirerack classifies the Turenza as"grand touring" the Potenza a "high performance" and the OEM Dunlops as "ultra high performance", but their descriptions of the categories doesn't really provide alot of info.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Get a 98 or later LS with HID and air suspension.
  • jfz219jfz219 Posts: 63
    If ride, noise, and snow traction are your priorities, I recommend the Dunlop Sport 5000 (OEM for 2004), the Turanza LH, and the latest version of the Michelin MXV4. My experience with the 2000 vintage MXV4 was that it is quite, smooth-riding, very low rolling resistance, but poor in rain and worthless in snow. I replaced the MXV4 with the Turanza on my E320. The ride and noise were similar, the rain traction was far superior, and the snow handling was slightly improved. The rolling resistance was greater and I observed a 2-3 mpg drop in fuel economy. My son has the latest version of the MXV4 and is quite happy with the rain and snow traction. So far, I have been impressed with the ride and handling of the Dunlops in my 2004 LS430. I still went with the Winter Sport M-3 snow tires.

    I would not recommend the RE950. In comparison to the Turanza LH, it may provide an increase in dry handling, but at the price of noise, smooth ride, wear, and possibly wet/snow traction. The LH is a newer design.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I have those dunlops - replaced original tires when I had 40k miles. I have the Z rated and they grip real well (are great in rain and pretty good in snow), are quiet and will noticably improve your handling. The turanzas though are supposed to be ultraquiet per wwest.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Use your auction capability to check out 01' or 02' LS430...what's your budget? LS is your best bet at any px.
  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    I appreciate your replies. At this time the 98 and 99 at auction are within my budget. I regret that the 01 and 02 aren't just yet. I'm strongly considering the 98 or 99 at 45-70k miles and keeping it for 5-6 yrs with a plan for snagging a newer body styled '05 LS 430 in the year 2009 when my 45,000 mile yearly commute will be nearing an end. I love highway driving and look forward to doing it in a high-quality car. Early on (5-6 yrs ago)I quizzed my car dealer/mechanic friends about the Benz 350S TD 94-97 relative to it's ability to last 400,000+ and they told me I was thinking the right way however the maintenance costs associated with the S-class and turbos at that time where prohibitive and they steered me to Lexus products. Although the old Big Benzes are still alluring to me, from a practical standpoint I think I was given good advice. Thanks again.
  • 1stavy,

    I have not really seen gasoline engine S-Calss cars with over 400K but I have seen S-Calss diesels with over 400K. However, I did see a '92 LS400 at the Lexus dealer in Austin with 485K on it (and that was three years ago). The only serious work had been the alternator, air compressor and a transmission rebuild. The owner said that these all had been after 300K or 400K.

    The only thing that was noteworthy was that he had used Mobil1 since the car was new (like I do with all of mine). He had also switched to Mobil1 synthetic transmission fluid. With the use of synthetics I believe that an LS can exceed 500K and more.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    My 95 LS which a friend bought out at my lease end also has high mileage (in the high 2's) and is still going on maintenance. It doesn't even rattle according to my friend. This guy also uses mobil 1. He lets Lexus change the oil but he brings the mobil 1 to them.
  • ljflx,

    That is exactly what I do. We (typically my wife or son) bring them the Mobil1 motor oil plus the Mobil1 transmission fluid. I just started with the Mobil1 transmission fluid in the last year.

    I am trying to get the Lexus dealer I am using to switch to Mobil1 from Castrol. Castrol cheapened their synthetic oil over a year ago where it is not a true synthetic anymore. Interestingly, they cheapened their synthetic but did not lower the price.

    Mobil, Amsoil and other manufacturers have been fighting Castrol through their petroleum industry engineering organization. What Porsche, AMG and GM have done is adopt a true synthetic oil specification from the SAE that is meet by Mobil, Amsoil, Texaco and the other manufacturers that meet the true synthetic specification.

    Unfortunately, Castrol seems to have a real beach head established in new car dealerships.

  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    jamesfletcher2& Ijklx. If I purchase an LS 400 with 60 or 70k miles am I at a great disadvantage in my attempt to achieve great longevity with the car due to my inability to bottlefeed it with Mobil 1 earlier?
  • The answers to these questions were addressed a while ago, but I'd have to spend 1/2 the day going over thousands of posts to find them. So...
    1. When does the next navigation DVD come out? (I have an 02 version) I think the last one was in the Fall where they added a bunch of preset locations, but wanted to wait until they added street addresses.
    2. What is the website that has good deals on lexus parts?
    Thanks everyone!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The only thing I can tell you is I had about 40k miles on the car when the lease was up. I hadn't used mobil 1 on it but my friend switched immediately. He's been a mobil 1 user since it came out. He also uses Mobil gas whenever he can (93 octane only) and has always felt it was the best. He thinks the car will go another 200k miles so maybe JF is right about that 500k mileage point. Lexus cars (and the the way they are built) are awesome. I haven't had a problem in nine years on 4 LS cars, an LX truck or on a TLC (practically a Lexus). My new GX is fabulous and I expect it and the 2004 LS I'll take in two months to run letter perfect as well.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most use recycled oil.
  • 1stavy1stavy Posts: 18
    Thanks, for sharing your experience.I'll be much better prepared to take care of an LS 400.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I believe the date on my 2004 LS430 Nav DVD is 3/03. They upgraded from around 700,000 points to something like 5.3 Million points. I saw a lot of posts on this point about two or three months back on this forum.
  • Were you thinking of ? I think it's a PA Lexus dealer but I'm not sure. I remember it being mentioned quite a while ago.
  • I am about to pick up my new LS430, was waiting for the SAT Radio to be installed. Then learned the antenna is an ugly black box about 5" long and 2" high, installed on top of the trunk lid.
    Can ANYONE relate whether they know of a better way that has evolved for mounting that? Would be very grateful for a solution.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Lexus has to get this integated as an option excuse. Even GM and Ford have had this for some time...everyone wants it. Come on Lexus.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    I have had a great Lexus experience with an 01' 430 for the past few years. My first recent contact with the salesman (who I like) re: purchase of a new LS or GX resulted in him telling all about the new features that I already new about...and all he he told me was what the MSRP was...I replied that I knew every thing about the vehicles, the changes and problems (if any), the invoice price, the going prices, etc.

    There is no question in my mind that I will use this local sale rep for my test drives and then put my business out to bid with 10 dealers within a 100 miles. I expect to buy a GX for $2500 over invoice or an LS for $3000 over..or better. It can be done.

    My point is that the one thing I find negative about Lexus sale reps is the arrogance on pricing. When push comes to shove, the local dealer will almost always match any other verified dealer price to do the deal...if you get the "these are in short supply" or "we sell every one we get", just tell them you will take you business elsewhere....then the cars magically become available real fast. And yes, I will buy another Lexus question at all about that.

    Sorry to rant, but I really support the folks on the Lexus boards who take the time to shop their business. It's worth it and doable.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    My lexus sales rep (internet sales rep) has been an absolute doll. Reminder - I'm getting a car that we had to wait for two allocations for, it is so in demand/rare (Ultra Pkg, Moonlight Pearl/Ecru). She came down $4k from MSRP ($4,900 over invoice) with little negotiation AND I am picking up a loaner from her tomorrow until mine gets here (target date - March 5, 2004) because my '01 STS has to go back on Saturday and she "feels bad that the car isn't here yet" (we just ordered it the 30th of January.

    Overall, for a luxury brand, these people are the most courteous and NON-ARROGANT I have ever come across.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    The XM Radio Antenna is a small square ugly black box that was installed on the left side of the trunk lid. It measures about 3 inches square and 3/4 inch thick. I sent the following to Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department:

    I want to provide some feedback on my recently installed XM Radio that controls through the LS 430 Nav/Audio system. I am very pleased with the display, controls, and performance of the Lexus XM Radio. The sound fidelity is impressive. The only concern that I want to share with you is the "antenna" installation. The little "black" blob sitting on the left side of my trunk lid on the "Crystal White" paint looks very much out of place, very prominant, and unsymetrical on a $62,000 luxury automobile. Further, the install tech wound the wire from the antenna around the retracting wires that feed the electrical components in the trunk lid area, thus restricting the movement of the wire cable in and out of its retract area. I believe I would have been more pleased if the "black" antenna had been mounted in the center of the trunk lid. However; this may have impeded the operation of the antenna. I can also understand that to paint the antenna in a color coordinated color to match the car might also impede the antenna's reception abiltiy. I just wanted to share my views and thoughts with you.

    Their response is quoted below:

    ....."I apologize for the dissatisfaction with some of the features in your vehicle. I have documented your concerns at our national headquarters.

    We appreciate the feedback on your vehicle so that we may consider these concerns when designing future models"......
    PS: I find it interesting that they are not using the little black verticle antenna near the top of the rear window (formerly used for Lexus Link, and no longer offered). I agree they should come up with a better place for the antenna and possibly color code it to match the vehicle.
  • I read an earlier post where the dealer painted the antenna to match the car. The author was very pleased and did not mention any reception impact. I doubt the paint will last long, though. I'll be suprised if Lexus doesn't fix in the next MY. I didn't order it because it was ugly, but otherwise would have. I did write to XM and told them it was a pretty sloppy implementation and priced at $800 not a very good value since it has to stay with the car.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Why not on a bracket mounted near/at the inside front of the sunroof?
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    The satellite antenna for a Honda Accord is body color and mounted above the center of the rear window. You'd think that Lexus could do as well.
  • I too have an 04 LS430 and wanted to get satellite radio. I did some research on pricing and installation and came up with $414 for the unit prior to install and did check out the Kit which is a Pioneer(Thailand) brand unit that does require install of the antenna outside the left side of the trunk.

    This is the sickness of Toyota/Lexus- for some reason it takes them some time, compared to the germans (BMW/MB) to integrate new features/options to their mainstream cars.For example, my 2000 LX never had HID lights or autolock doors while my 2000 540 had it as standard.My LX, just to get autodim rear view mirror, had to have a wire sticking out from the ceiling to the mirror unlike the flush install of the bimmer.Granted, the 2 are not in the same segment, it goes to show you the issue. Look at the Smart Access they use on the O4-you twist the starter "wedge" when everybody else is implementing the more "cool" push button start.

    Anyway, the XM seems overpriced and a rushed implementation and will only get "fixed" in 05 or 06,in usual Toyota/Lexus fashion.
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