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Purchasing Info 01-05 Ls 430.


bcmayo
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I have owned a 98 GS 300 and 97 LS 400 several years ago. I am really interested in finding a nice 01 to 05 LS 430. What are some of the differences that I need to know about? What years should I avoid? What are the best? What kind of mileage can I expect? Thanks in advance for your response.

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Personally I would try and swing an 04-05 LS because the updates made to the car in '04 made it a much more appealing car (IMHO).

Really no years to avoid...

I have a 2005 LS430 and plan to buy it out at end of lease next month. I can't think of another car I'd want.

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Yes the LS is the best luxury car EVER as decided by Consumer Reports :) I saved that article! :lol: haha

Definately 04-05!!!!!!! Also first years of new generations always have a quirk or two that get worked out in the latter half of the generation, and the later years of the 3rd gen LS are simply amazing!

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What are some of the differences that I need to know about?
For the differences, the most notable additions in 2004 were the restyled front end (and slightly different tail lights with LEDs) and the smart access, but I don't know how notable it really is since you still have to twist a knob to start the car--no push button. A lot of people really prefer the new front clip of the 2004-2006, and I think it's a couple ticks quicker to 60 with the newer transmission. To me, I'm not sure those changes warrant the extra $$ over the older 430s.
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Fun reading while you decide... Here is the link to much more info..

http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com...exus-ls-430.htm

For 2001, Toyota's luxury division introduced the successor to the 1990-2000 LS 400 sedan, which had been known for hushed accommodations, V8 muscle, and Camry-like dependability. Named for its new 4.3-liter V8, the new second-generation LS 430 sedan offered greater interior space, thanks to a taller roofline and a wheelbase 3 inches longer than its predecessor's. Horsepower remained at 290, but the new LS engine delivered more torque for improved throttle response. A five-speed automatic transmission was used. Rather than continuing the prior one-model lineup, Lexus offered a base model, a base sedan with sport suspension, and an Ultra-Luxury variant. All had side curtain airbags, front lower-body side airbags, high-intensity-discharge headlights, leather upholstery, and an antiskid control system. An available Lexus Line assistance service was provided, in conjunction with the similar GM OnStar system. Antilock four-wheel disc brakes were standard. Sport-suspension versions of the rear-drive four-door got tauter suspension tuning and 17-inch wheels, instead of the usual 16-inchers. Ultra-Luxury models included a dual-mode air suspension, navigation system, Mark Levinson audio system, laminated side glass, power door closers, heated/cooled front seats, and upgraded leather/wood trim with a suede headliner. In addition, the LS featured rear audio and climate controls, a refrigerated armrest, power sunshade, and manual side window shades. Seat adjusters included memory, heat, and massage functions. The LS 430 also offered front and rear parking assistance and laser-operated cruise control, which could maintain a set distance from the vehicle ahead.

Year to Year Changes

2002 Lexus LS: Lexus's flagship sedan got a new lower-priced luxury package for 2002. A firm Euro-tuned suspension was a no-charge option, but required available 17-inch wheels. The new $6895 Custom Luxury Package included a navigation system, heated/cooled front seats, heated rear seats, rear-seat audio controls, and cruise control that automatically maintains a safe following distance. This equipment had been in the $12,505 Ultra Luxury Package, which returned for 2002 at $12,485 and added rear-seat climate controls, massaging rear seats, a self-adjusting air suspension, and Lexus Link service. Both packages required optional upgraded leather upholstery.

2003 Lexus LS: Larger (17-inch) wheels went on all 2003 models, which got some revisions to available features. A firmer Euro-tuned suspension was now a no-charge option. So were all-season tires, to replace the performance treads. The available Custom Luxury Package included a navigation system, heated/cooled rear seats, rear audio controls, and "Smart" cruise control. The Ultra Luxury Group added rear climate controls, massaging seats, a self-adjusting rear suspension, and Lexus Link. Both packages also had heated/cooled front seats and front/rear obstacle-detection systems, each newly available as a separate option.

2004 Lexus LS: Lexus' flagship sedan retains a 4.3-liter V8, but swaps a 5-speed automatic transmission with a 6-speed with manual shift gate. Suspension, steering, and ABS systems are also revised. Driver and front-passenger knee airbags were added as were a tire-pressure monitor, steering-linked headlights, and a power rear sunshade. New options included heated/cooled rear seats, satellite radio, and a rearview camera that uses the navigation system's screen to display a image of the area directly behind the car when backing up. Front and rear styling were also revised slightly.

2005 Lexus LS: An assistance and concierge service is no longer available on Lexus' LS 430 for 2005. A firmer Euro-Tuned Suspension option substitutes 18-inch wheels for the standard 17s. Gone is the optional Lexus Link service, which provided assistance through GM's OnStar network.

2006 Lexus LS: No changes of note for the LS 430 in 2006.

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I have an '04. I recently had occasion to drive a friend's '02--wow was there a world of difference. His car has not been cosmetically maintained to LS standards, so that may have been some of my reaction. The 6-speed transmission (new in '04) is noticeably smoother than the older version. The '04 feels much more solid and quiet, and the luxury amenities seem to be higher quality.

By way of comparison, I also have an '04 S430 Mercedes Benz. The two are very different automobiles, and each is superb in its own way. The Lexus is much more a "luxury" car in the best sense of the word. It is not a driver's car and gets unhappy when it's pushed in the twisties, even though it has plenty of power and the suspension is plenty firm. The Benz is less coddling, although it is quite luxurious in its own right, and has adjustable suspension that allows it to turn in with more precision. The Benz also seems to stop with more determination than the Lexus.

I like them both very much for different reasons. My wife drives the Lexus and has no interest in the S-class except as a touring car with me driving. I prefer the Mercedes because of its sporting disposition. If you soften the suspension and set the transmission (a 7-speed) to start in 2nd gear, it is pretty luxurious. The Mercedes has a build cost about $20k higher than a similar Lexus and you have to make your own decision whether it's worth the premium.

I think you'll be happier with an '04 or later LS430 when compared to the older versions.

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Having had both generations (first an '03, now an '05), you can't go wrong with either one. I strongly agree with Steve, though, about the styling and various other improvements introduced on the '04 model. There are quite a few refinements on the '04-05 models; more than just the obvious, like the transmission and styling changes. I don't mind the "twist" smart key at all. Sometimes I find the starter buttons a little boring. The point is, you can still leave the key in your pocket and get into and start the car.

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll be very happy!

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