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paulk27

Euro Tuned Suspension

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I am ordering a 2004 LS 430. I would like feedback from anyone who drives a 2004 model equiped with the "Sports" ,Euro Tuned suspension option.

Does it make that much of a diffrerence? I have driven BMW's for many years and do like that type of suspension.

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unfortunately people who are gettin those 2004 Ls dont usually bother to chat in forums so you prolly gonna be the first person with 2004 LS in here if u will get it:)

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I have a '04 LS430 with sports suspension and I love it! It feels very close to a Euro type car. It is not as harsh a ride as a M5 but it is definately firm. If you have very bad roads in your area, I do not know if I would recommend it but otherwise it is awesome. I've owned BMW's and Mercedes and I would not have bought the LS without this option. I would test drive one just to make sure you like it.

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One thing interesting that all European cars do not have firm suspension, but all tend to have excellent handing, even with soft suspension. Mercedes is one of these cars. There are many Mercedes that do have a firm ride, but the larger (and even some of the smaller ones) 1980s Mercedes have a soft, supple and floaty ride- even when new. I have driven a couple of 1980s Mercedes S-Class sedans and while both had a soft, floaty ride, the handling was still excellent.

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I have an LS430 on order and specified the Euro tuned suspension. The primary reason was actually that I wanted the 18" sport wheels since I find the standard 17" wheels a little uninspiring. The tighter suspension settings was a bonus (I think). Apparently the Euro suspension is in high demand - it's hard to find new vehicles with that option that aren't already spoken for.

I wonder what difference the Euro suspension would have made to the Car and Driver handling tests?

Car and Driver LS430 review

I currently drive a BMW and I test drove an LS430 with the Euro suspension and it felt like a good balance between comfort and handling. Truth is I am not going to be throwing the car around a lot (I'd buy a 911 if that was my plan) but I do want a car that will be predictable and flat into sweeping curves such as freeway on-ramps.

My BMW (2001 X5) was in and out of the shop for the first 6 months I had it for cosmetic (but irritating) quality problems and that basically ruined the car experience for me since then - first impressions really count. I still have 2 problems that were never resolved 2 years later - I have just given up on ever getting them addressed. I won't ever buy a BMW again - the dealer has tried to get me into a 745i and offered some incredible discounts ($10,000 off MSRP) but I'm not biting - I don't trust their quality and the interior of the 745i is dark, cramped and ugly and don't even get me started on the iDrive. My brother has a 745i and had the car exchanged once. The car drives beautifully but you spend the majority of your time inside driving in "normal" conditions and that's where the interior and controls need to shine - in the 745i they just don't. He's still unhappy with the car.

I recall my ES300 from a few years back being flawless and that really endeared the Lexus brand for me forever - I hope to have an equally good experience with the LS430.

Fingers crossed.

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Mandingo, your story is a lot like mine. I too owned a X5 (01) and it had way to many problems, enough that I too will never buy another BMW (unless they really change). Plus, the new styling sucks big-time. Bangle ruined (for me away) the few things I did like about BMW. BTW, I still own a 3 series, which has been pretty good and before the X5 I had a 5 series (it was almost a perfect car). I never particularly noticed the styling on the LS430 until the '04 facelift, little improvements all added up and when I test drove one with the sport suspension * I liked it * :D . Add bluetooth, AFS, DVD nav, etc. and it is the best value for a sports luxury model on the market. So far I am really enjoying my ride but unfortunately, the weather here is both sucking and blowing and it seems I can not drive anywhere without being rained or snowed on. :angry:

Let us know how you like the LS once you get it.

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Thanks for the response xBmwMan - it does sound like you have been through a very similar experience.

How would you compare the ride quality/firmness of the LS430 Sport versus the X5 (non Sport)?

Are you getting better gas mileage in the LS (I average 15-16mpg in X5)?

So no regrets then about choosing the LS (apart from the weather :ph34r: )?

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Mandingo, the LS ride quality is excellent compared to the X5 (non-sport) and handling is better as well. I've been getting about 17mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway and it seems to be getting better as the engine is breaking in. I can't think of anything I miss about the X5, except the 4 wheel drive :unsure: and I am sure I won't miss that when the streets are ice/snow free! My friend, who owns a 2002 LS430 was by yesterday and I took him for a spin (he has standard suspension) he said my LS felt like a completely different car. He also said he might have to trade for one like mine. :D

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I'm happy to say that I am taking delivery of my very first Lexus LS430 tomorrow morining! I'm actually excited about it! I took about two months deciding what to get. I drove everyhting in the price range. Really wanted to get another BMW, the new 5 series for price reason and the 7 for ride and size. Both are good cars, BUT the quality has really declined over the years. The A8 was nice, but was too expensive and did not feel like I was getting the best value. The VW Phaton was actually nice, but can't spend 70k on a VW! Forget about MB, their quality is even worse than BMW!

We currently have a Cayenne S for my wife, an '02 911 cab for the weekend, and a Toyota Seqouia which is being traded in for the LS430. I love the way the 430 feels! Its by far the best car for the money in the price range. So much stuff! I test drove both the euro suspension and the std and decided to go with the std. Also getting Nav and Levinson. Got a great deal: $55.5 and 32k for my trade! The car stickered for 61k. The car will be used mostly for highway and around town. I felt some difference between the two, but not enough to make a clear distinction. These cars do not compare to the BMW/MB drives, but they are close enough and provide more luxery and value than the German cars. I will say that Lexus defnitely made the std suspension and steering better than the 03 which we drove in the summer and thought was too soft. I plan to replace the stock tires with something better, also possibly increasing to 18" wheels which will further improve the hadnling. Any suggesitons from anyone out there on past expereinces?

Anyway, I'll report back on the drive home from the dealer and let you know what I think. I think my wife might want to make it her car which means I get to live with the Cayenne everyday, which would not be a bad thing! I'm very pleased that I decided to save thousands by getting this car and look forward to not living with loaner cars from the dealer!

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The dealer gave me a 04 430 with a standad suspension and turned me lose with it. I felt that some twisties and highway driving would tell the tale. It did.

On the way to the highway it was evident that the six speed transmission makes this car very quick in the lower gears. On the highway I took every on and off ramp to guage the competancy of the steering/suspension. I was suprised how hard I had to push it to reach it's limits. Mostly in body lean. If I could take a exit ramp at 45 in my BMW then the 430 was a push at 40. Probably would do better with a more agressive tire. The steering was perfect.

When all was said and done I decided to stay with the standard set up. This car is so good that I did not want to fool with it. I was unable to test a Euro suspension but this was really ok. Sure a 745 would have been a better ride but the rest the BMW package killed it for me. The Lexus controls were intuitive while the 745 made driving a chore. I've driven BMW's for 20 years 533 through 750, M-5 but the Lexus is the better automobile. For now. Thanks for all of your help, I take delivery next week.

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Are you buying the same car that you took the little handling test drive in? I know a lot of people like to see what a car will do before they buy it, but I think if I was going to buy a car, even on test drive- I would not be able to drive it aggressively. I would probably be the slowest driver in town. :D

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Beartrap,

Since you were thinking of upgrading to an 18" wheel to improve your handling it would have been more cost effective if you got the EURO TUNED suspension. It does come with 18" rims, 245/45/18 tires and bigger sway bars if I am not mistaken. It does indeed feel more muscular and gives better handling.

Just a thought.

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I have owned an '04 LS430 with the Sport Suspension for about a week. I also have a BMW330Ci, a Porsche Boxster and an M-B ML320. Previously, I've owned a couple of 5-Series BMWs. To my taste, the Lexus still feels heavy and somewhat cumbersome around tight turns, compared to the 3-Series and 5-Series BMWs. But I like it better than the E320, E500 Sport and XJ8 that I also drove. I would have liked to buy another BMW, but the current models are just too ugly, not to mention the iDrive stuff. To me, the Lexus is a great compromise between a luxurious ride and decent handling (just as long as you remember to slow down for the tight corners). The ride certainly is not too rough! My only real complaint is that the Sport Suspension option dictates all kinds of other option choices, including colors. For example, I wanted burgundy with a black interior--no can do with the Sport Suspension. So I have black/black. And you can't get certain options (like the rear-seat luxury package) while having to take others (such as SmartAccess or whatever it's called, which may soon get on my nerves).

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Lexus is like that with their package options. The cars all come a certain way and unless you want to do a special order you have to take what you get.

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Lexus is like that with their package options. The cars all come a certain way and unless you want to do a special order you have to take what you get.

Man, I feel like buying the 04 LS. Know what you mean sw03es. I do believe Lexus is trying to keep their current luxury customers, and at the same time, they're offering German auto owners to try out a very reliable, and cheap Japanese auto. All though, that $70k price is really high. :(

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The euro car is closer to 63k.

I love my dad's LS430, he has the UL pkg with all the gizmos, thats the 70k car.

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i test drove the euro-tuned in 2 different occasions along with the base car and i felt the euro-tuned lost the "luxurious" ride a bit and i heard a bit more road noise.

i've driven sports sedans for more than a decade and becasue of my age it seems i'm beginning to prefer the cadillac ride-the cushy ride. so i'm going with the base car ride although the euro-tuned option sounds like a steal.

i wanted to find out if the people here really prefer the ML/Nav option and whether it's really worth the extra money? :)

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djn, you said "And you can't get certain options (like the rear-seat luxury package) while having to take others (such as SmartAccess or whatever it's called, which may soon get on my nerves)."

I personally love SmartAccess, it is pretty damn cool if you ask me. You CAN disable it by turning if off, then you can use the remote key like any other car.

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When I was looking for my 2004 LS 430. I could not get a base car with just the Euro Tuned Suspension. The LS 430 with Euro Tuned Suspension is packaged with Modern Luxury Package (Mark Levinson stereo, NAV, Bluetooth, Backup Camera, Front and Rear Seat heaters/coolers, Intuitive Parking Assist), together with SmartAccess, Mats, Wheel Locks and Cargo Net). The total MSRP was $62,159.

I had to have the Sports Euro Tuned Suspension, so I did not have a choice but to get the rest of the package.

The selling dealer sold it to me for $56,735. I think it was a good deal.

My 1st Lexus was a 1991 LS 400 and was trouble free and later sold it to my in law. Replaced it with 1997 BMW 740iL. The BMW is indeed the great car as long as it was not in service or repair. After 6 years of BMW ownership, it was time to replace it. I originally planned on buying the new BMW 745i/iL but the iDrive and more care needed to own a BMW discouraged me from buying it. What convinced me to finally buy a 2004 Lexus LS430 was after receiving my December issue of Car and Driver and they pick the LS 430 first place and the 745i 3rd.

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I'm on my 3rd LS one 400 and two 430's. The 430's both have the Euro Suspension and with the 04' I think they have improved over the 01'. It feels flatter in the turns and more stable with the 18 x 7.5 rims. There is an on-ramp I take regularly that does a complete 360 as you drop down and onto the freeway. The 01' LS 430 Sport would squeel some when you pushed it, but the 04' is like riding on a rail at the same speed. Very stable, no squeel or slip. I tried the active suspension on the U/L in "Sport Mode" not even close to the real thing. It stiffend a bit but still felt like it was riding on airbags. If you want the real luxury ride, go with the U/L, but if you like to drive and want a feel more like MB or BMW without the regular shop visits and depreciation go with the LS 430 Sport and - for bells & whistles the Modern Luxury Package. The only thing I'd add, but it's not available (at least on the west coast) with this configuration is the radar cruise & collision avoidance system.

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Some interesting comments guys,nice to here all about the newer versions of the LS models,i want one my self now :rolleyes: but i will have to wait until they come down in price over here :(

The LS430 is a very rare animal over here,only ever seen one or two on our roads..in fact dont see many LS400s of any series,people see them as big gas guzzers in the uk,and most people dont drive cars of more than 2 litres :o

Ive always owned big cars and to date the V8 4 litre Lexus is the biggest so far,mostly had 3 litre cars...the old engine on my series 1 LS 400 with 130k is the smoothest ive ever driven,so ive got alot to look forward to by the sounds of it.

:cheers:

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Since the first LS400, Lexus has been changing there suspension to be firmer. I think

the Euro-tuned LS430 is very positive step in grabbing even more BMW and Mercedes-Benz customers. If you really think about it has much different is each

car no matter who manufactor the vehicle. The suspension in use today, all have

one thing in common; they all use the same principles of geometry. The brakes

are sliding caliper, floating caliper or fixed caliper using a different number of

pistons to stop the vehicle. The key to me is who is the automobile company supplier!

I can go on and on ...

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Hey, Mr. Ferrari

I hope you don't mind my asking, but what happened to all your hot cars? Traded in? Just curious, because they're all cars I'd love to have (in addition to my LS, of course) and noticed that they were all GONE.

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wucantstop,

Most of them were traded-in for a newer car, except for the MB S500 which I sold

out right. My wife still can not believe I went out an purchase a used car. :) I

have some many stories about each car, I could be here for days taking about them.

I just got tried of buying new cars, if you can believe it, my wife doesn't. I still debating

about even getting the new 2006 S500. I just don't feel the same about cars. I am only

37 years old. Working in the computer industry has been and still is very good to

me.

I better stop for now,

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