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Previous STS' 1995/97/99/01/03
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Discussion Starter #1
I've enjoyed reading Chad's search for a new car ... especially his original comments about the Lexus LS400.

Last June, I sold my 2000 LS400. Gas had spiked, and I had a new job which involved commuting. 3 weeks later, I returned to my in-town job, and tried to buy back my Lexus ... the dealer wouldn't budge.
I compromised and bought a very clean 2000 ES300.

I've spent the last 10 months searching for a nice LS400 or LS430.
Chad reminded me why I loved this car. It's large, dead quiet, pretty rare,
and is often considered to be the most reliable car ever built.



For fun, I advertised my ES300 and Mazda3 last Saturday night.
I included a link to about 20 pics of each car, including pics of every service invoice. My ads went live at 8pm, and both cars were sold by 8:30pm. I got full asking price.

We have a 98 Maxima GLE as a backup car, and I wanted to go from 3 cars to just two.

I found a performance shop in west Toronto who specialize in LS430's.
This 2004 LS430 was a lease return from Lexus Richmond Hill.





Honestly, I almost didn't buy the LS430. They are not cheap, and pretty rare up here.
A friend at a local Lexus dealer had just taken a 2002 Crimson White STS car in on trade. The body was very clean, and it only had 45,000 miles on her.
Best of all, I could grab it for about $5500 USD, certified.
But, I've owned 4 of these cars, and it only would've been a band-aid.
Within a few months, I would start looking for an LS430 again, so I sadly passed on this cheap alternative.

This LS430 worked out to be $16 USD, with about 70k on her. Barely broken in on these drivetrains.
The interior was spotless ... the only faults are the rear bumper needs to be blown in to cover a scuff, and two of the parking sensors have had the paint chip off .. both will be fixed next week.







The LS430 is much more refined than my LS400.
It has radar cruise, parking sensors with pictograms, power sunshade, suede headliner, adaptive turning headlights, birdseye maple trim, air conditioned seats, Mark Levinson sound, etc.
No rattles, tracks perfect, bank vault solid, and a huge interior.
I'm 6'1", and have about 6 inches of headroom to spare.

The 6spd tranny and 295hp/320 lb of torque is really fast for a car of this size. Gas mileage is low 30's on the hwy at about 75-80 mph. Some magazines had 0-60 down to 5.9 seconds on this car.

The fit, finish, panel seams, and soft, tactile luxury touches are all world class. Little things, like the inside of the driver's leather door handle show attention to detail . Lexus added a softer leather on the inside handle as a bonus ... the RH side of the seats have velvet wings, so you don't lose coins down the side.
Every hidden compartment silently glides out with a gentle push of the birdseye maple.
As good as the Nakamichi system was in my LS400, or the Bose was in my various STS', the Mark Levinson sound system sets a different standard.
It doesn't matter where you are sitting, the sound is spatialized around you. Their are tweeters everywhere, and the music highs are the best I've heard in an OEM system.
It doesn't hurt that this car provides the perfect acoustical environment for any audio system.







Thanks to Chad for reminding me how much I missed the quality of my old LS400. Also, thanks to Ian for giving this car the thumbs up in a PM.
I briefly considered an ES330, until I drove two of them.
Terrible car ... the drive by wire throttle, matched to a 5spd auto with only 225hp, results in a very jerky, weird driving experience.

I would've jumped at the STS, had this LS430 not come along.
This car isn't perfect, it has it's cosmetic flaws, but its very nice.
The colour is called Blue Onyx Pearl over Ecru leather.

It should fill my needs for a quiet, dependable luxury cruiser.
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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3,718 Posts
I will honestly say as much as I love my STS if I saw both of those cars next to each other, I would have probably gotten the Lexus as well (and that isn't something that is easy for me to say). Lexus makes a great car, I don't give a damn what anyone says. Yeah they are soulless but when it comes down to the overall package they are perfect.

Absolutely gorgeous. Congrats on the new ride! I'm sure one day you'll be back in an STS... :sneaky:
 

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1998 Seville STS / 2013 Chevrolet Impala
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1,889 Posts
I never thought I'd say I'm impressed by a Lexus, but I am. It looks absolutely staggering. The only car from that vintage (2000-2005) I really liked was the Audi A8/S8, but my opinions have been swayed. :thumbsup:

Question: whats the "radar ready" for? Adaptive Cruise Control?
 

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Previous STS' 1995/97/99/01/03
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1,194 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
To answer Rick's question, I've seen the cars with a California Walnut, a gray bird's eye maple (yech), and a really interesting
fire-burned wood. The sides of that one are blackened, then they kind of morph into a dark walnut.
My favourite, for detail, is the medium birds-eye. It has so much detail in it.

Ryan, I actually got on the QEW hwy to take the 02 STS for a test drive. I'd seen the car, it was very clean cosmetically, and had very few
mile on it. The price was a giveaway at about $5500 USD.
I made it about 500 yds onto the highway, and it was closed during rush hour due to a crime investigation.
I called my wife on the cell, and she said buy the Lexus.
I've gone down the STS road 4 other times 1995/97/99/01.
I pay for my service, and any little mechanical noise drives me nuts. My STS' always kept me pulling codes and ordering
parts. It was a love/hate relationship ... I loved the style and personality, but hated the constant mechanical surprises.

I wasn't going to post this purchase on this board ... I have too much respect for the member's love of their Caddy's.
I love STS' and DTS', and would never suggest that this is a better car.
It's simply a different, very rare car up this way ... and I've never owned an LS430, but I loved my LS400.
Now,I would never buy one of these LS430's new. First of all, its out of my price league, Secondly, they are terribly overpriced.
But, at $16k USD, its a helluva ride, and I didn't need to finance any of the purchase. It drives as though it was brand new.
More importantly, it was designed and engineered to drive like new for many years of enjoyment.

My favourite "excess" toy is the vent sweep.
Mazda had a simple system back in the mid eighties. This one is slightly more complex.
The vents silently sweep the interior, but they are adaptive. Three sensors are employed (occupancy, solar, and ambient).
So, if I'm solo in the car, the sweep spends more time on the driver's seat.
Hold the key fob down, and all 4 windows and sunroof open. Tap the unlock fob twice, and puddle lamps turn on under the mirrors.
Tap a secret button under the seats, and a concealed compartment slides out for valuables.
Too much rear glare ... tap a button, and a huge sunscreen silently glides up to cover the back window ... engage reverse, and it
slides out of the way.
I cranked up the Mark Levinson sound system today, and kept looking around when I'd hear strange sounds.
The sound really travels around the interior, and the separation is incredible.
The headlights automatically level, and a smaller light projects/swivels when you corner above 10mph.

The cabin air filter took me 1 minute to remove ... a small door in the glovebox opens up, reach in and pull out the filter.
(My STS just about crippled me when I tried to replace the filters).
All 4 seats also have filters .... press a button, they glide out for cleaning, which improves airflow for the air conditioned seats.
The doors silently, electrically close, as does the trunk.

It really does feel like the Japanese equivalent to Chad's S type.
With my annual mileage of about 5000 miles, this car should last awhile.
I hope I keep it, but my track record (54 cars so far) suggests otherwise.
 

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Previous STS' 1995/97/99/01/03
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Discussion Starter #6
For Rodya 234's question, here's how the cruise works.

Push a button, and cruise is engaged.
The words "Radar Ready" show up.
Then, a "likeness" of your own car shows up on the panel.
When you close in on another car, that car shows up ahead of yours on the panel.
Then, a pulsing radar wave turns on, acknowledging that the radar is pacing your car's speed with the one ahead of you.

It actually works quite seamlessly, and is a fatigue reducing accessory.
The radar shoots a signal out from behind the Lexus "L" logo in the front grill.
The first time I used the cruise, I thought I was driving "Black Beauty" from the old Green Hornet TV show.
 

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2002 Seville STS F55, 2006 Mazda Miata
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Congratulations Ted! Should last you a million years. I thought the ML system was pretty lame compared to Nakamichi. I find it to be punchier, but it lacks real cleanliness and purity. Gimmicky. Can't blame Toyota though. Nakamichi ran into financial trouble so they picked something out of the Harman Kardon bin like everyone else.

I've never been fond of this generation's styling. I thought Gen 1 and 2 looked conservatively attractive while this one looked like an awkward mashup between a Deville and an Acura RL.

I'm glad they kept the interior traditional and tasteful. They did that right from day one.
 

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2016 Honda Accord LX. Previous: 2004 Deville, 2000 STS
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As I'm sure everyone on this board knows I adore my STS, but it always surprises me with something new. Just last week my taillights were filling with water so they had to drill two holes underneath the lenses instead of fishing out $400+ for a new decklight light. 95% of people don't even notice the holes, but I sure do. It bothers me. As does my warped dashpad, my security message, my slight vibration, my broken motor mount, my foggy headlight, and my burned out passenger side heated seat. I would have ended up with a Lexus if I needed something that didn't give me as much trouble.

I'm beyond the point of being OCD about my car, and at this point it's worthless to throw money at a 9 year old, 70k mile car that is honestly worth about $7k on the market now. I'm gonna drive the bitch until I get that one repair that is worth more than the car. I'm moving up to an '06-'07 STS or CTS next time around. Certified of course.
 

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77 CDV, 06 DTS III, 69 FWB
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Ever helpful, our Chad, even if he is still dithering over what to do with his S. Outstanding car, Ted. It's kind of odd to me that Lexuses are considered a rarity anywhere. I think I've been living in the SoCal bubble too long lol!
 

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Previous STS' 1995/97/99/01/03
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Discussion Starter #12

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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11,694 Posts
Hmm, I'd have to respectfully disagree with both of you. That particular generation of LS430 (2004-2008), to me looks better than the strange LS430 and the LS400 that came before it.

I do agree with Jesda (as much as it pains me) that the fancy HKML system does not hold up to the Nak when it comes to clarity and detail. The Nak also has a very concise and tight subwoofer.

That LS430 must be a Canada special, because that would indeed be a very strange lot of options down here. I've never seen one with Radar Cruise AND Mark levinson that did NOT have the Ultra Luxury package or at least Satellite navigation. My LS430 (2001) had the Nav system and Mark Levinson but I did not have Radar cruise.

I wonder how hard it would be to buy an STS from Canada down here Ted? Your friend's STS sounds EXTREMELY tempting for 5500!! Did it have the 16 or 17" wheel option and did it have the Xenon headlights? That would a Premium Luxury and for 5500.00 an 02 would be right up my alley since Chad won't make up his mind on selling me his W140 :p Hehe, he knows I want him to get the most he can for his car.

Anyway, very curious about that STS!
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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I love the Lexus LS. Along with the S Class, the LS is the finest mass produced luxury sedan humanity has ever produced. The S was the original, but the LS took what the S did, perfected it and sold it for cheaper. Like Jesda and Ian though, I think the 98-00 LS400 is their high water mark though...it was just so perfect. But you had both and say that the 430 is the superior car, so I'll believe it. The LS460 is my favorite brand new non-performance luxury sedan.

Glad I could be of assistance though. :)
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville STS 73k Miles, '90 Chevy 1500 Reg Cab
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Sweet new car.....sure its not a Caddy but I can't really blame ya, even though that STS is a very nice price that Lexus should keep you happy for quite some time.....assuming you don't sell it first.
 

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Previous STS' 1995/97/99/01/03
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Discussion Starter #20
The LS430 has a stretched wheelbase, is wider, and taller.
The engine is larger, more torque, and adds an extra gear. The drag coefficient is also lower on a larger car ... impressive
The panel fits are 10 times tighter, the car is vastly quieter (quite a feat), it is faster and gets better fuel economy.

The leather is softer, it ages better, the cd changer is in the dash, there is much more wood in the interior, and it has twice as many
gadgets.
On the Lexus boards, many LS460 customers complain that their new cars are noisier than their older LS430s.
About the only problem I hear of is a flashing AFS light ... the headlights still work, but a sensor on the rear axle wears out with
snow and road debris
There are virtually no posts referring to any major mechanical failure of any kind.

I beleive the legend of the LS400 is due to the fact that it was the original ... plus, 19 yr old LS400's have had the chance to accumulate
upwards of 1 million miles on original drivetrains.

The mechanicals in my 2000 LS400 were amazing ... but, it always bothered me that many interior trim pieces were identical to a 1990 LS400.
Stereo controls, seats, interior switchgear, instruments .... the car didn't really change much inside over 10 years, and the toys were seriously
lacking for a car that had crept up in list price.

I'd buy another LS400 in a hearbeat ... solid, refined, fast, dependable, quiet, stately road presence, efficient, and very dependable.
They are also much cheaper than the newer LS430's.
Now that LS400's have been around, their problem areas are showing up.
Leaking power steering pumps, blackened LCD climate and stero controls, burned out alternators (covered in P/S fluid), dark speedo needles,
cracking leather, and worn out front suspension components.
That's not too bad a list for an old car ... the motors and transmissions really are bulletproof. Just change the T-belt, water pump, idler wheels
and tensioners every 90k.

Rick, you like the Panther platform ... I've driven my father's 92 and 95 Town Car's to Florida and back.
Nice large RWD cars, very quiet and plush.
The LS430 would remind you of a polished, finely executed Town Car, one manufactured with extreme pride.
 
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