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From Bmw To Lexus, Need Advice


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Hello, this is my first post and I am hoping to get good feedback before my first lexus purchase. A little backdrop...I currently own a bmw 5 series which has been great. I decided to upgrade to the 740 (2000-2001 series for both price and body style). I really love this car but after doing my homework, i have come to the conclusion that it is nearly a ticking timebomb with engine service lights and other mechanical failures. This was very troublesome b/c I love the look, performance and sophistication of the car. Even if covered by warranty (extended), this car offers too much hassle factor b/c I hate going to the shop and dealing with the whole process. Upon this realization, i went to consumers report and did some research and found the Lexus LS series has incredible reliability records and comfort. I am not in love with the lines, though they are decent.

My question is this, I am not prepared to spend $60k+ on a new LS, so I am looking at 2001 430's and 2000 400's. The price drop between the two is huge (about $10-12k), so i am leaning toward the 2000 series. I know the engine improved, body style changed a bit, other...but is the 430 really worth the premium? What are the major differences?

Also, are these cars really that reliable? Consumers reports shows them to have an impeccable repair history. If I end up getting the 2000 series, which is about 5 years old and 45000 miles, what kind of problems should I expect (obviously some things will break at that age)?

Any and all input is greatly appreciated, but the above questions are the first ones to come to mind. Thx in advance.

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First of all I absolutely love the way the late 90's BMW 5-series handles having participated in the BMW challenge at Kansas City International Raceway some years ago. The 5-er handled like a race car on the short course. But I know a few BMW owners and the repairs they have to deal with on low mileage cars seem bizarre to me. I thought heater cores had been perfected many years ago but I know an owner of a previous gen BMW 740IL who is putting off having his replaced because of the incredible high price.

Except for a water pump (which also took out the timing belt), almost nothing failed on my first LS (1990, first year of production) during the first 125,000 miles. The 2000 LS400 I bought in 2003 at 38000 miles is now at about 55,000 miles - nothing has broken and I expect to drive it past the mileage (183,000) that I sold my previous LS.

Our 2000 LS400 was the first used car we had purchased since the 70's and I doubt if we will purchase other used cars other than Toyota/Lexus products. While I don't particularly like the styling of the LS430, the LS430 has a bit more head room and rear seat leg room and a few nice improvements. And if you want to go all out, nothing in the Lexus 2000 model year can compare to the LS430 Utra Luxury. Is a 2001 LS430 worth the big premium? It depends on what you want.

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