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My Impressions Of My 99 Ls


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Thought I would write down my overall impressions with my 99 LS that I have had for almost a month now.

Background – I was driving a 1990 Miata that I’ve owned for 10 years, that I purchased from my father and who purchased it back from me when I moved to the LS. With a roll bar and anti sway bars installed, the car cornered as if on rails. Blazing amounts of fun on the right road, but not a lot of power to the engine. It’s part of the fun to keep the engine singing!

However, my life situation has changed and I needed a car that could haul my family and serve well on long interstate trips that I occasionally do (800+ mile trips).

I have wanted an LS 400 since the day my parents test drove one back around 1992. Timing and budget never seemed right during the ensuing years because of one thing or another. But with a little work and a little savings, I ended up with some cash to buy what I hoped to be a well maintained car. Thus, I came across a black 1999 LS 400 with a tan interior in Kansas City. Thanks to the forum here for letting me know that I wasn’t getting bowled over on price and for what to look for regarding the car.

The LS is the smoothest car that I have ever been in, both in terms of vibration and road going manners. There is nothing “nervous” about the ride. I get to drive lots of nice rental cars, including Expeditions, Suburbans, Chrysler 300’s, and so on as a part of my travels for work. The LS is just as smooth as any of the newest V8s I have driven, and it’s still quieter at all engine speeds. I think with a proper set of tires on my car, the ambient road noise would diminish considerably. The car currently has Goodyear Integrity tires, of which I’ve read fairly poor reviews on Tire Rack. The poor reviews, plus the road noise at 65+ mph will have me searching for the right pair of Michelins when the time comes to replace them.

The LS is deceptively quick. I have floored it twice, and have been very impressed at how speed increases. Feels like all 290 horses are under the hood, and oh yes… THAT’s what torque feels like! The quiet nature and smooth running of the car mean that I exceed the speed limit with out realizing it. I am developing a habit of using the cruise control, and I’m going to install my Valentine 1, just for a little extra heads-up.

While driving it, I am aware that I am piloting a large car – which is probably accentuated by the soft suspension and also having owned a Miata. Everything is muted within the driving experience. Bumps and potholes are gone over gracefully, if I can use that word. As a consequence of the soft suspension, I don’t feel as though the car is “tossable” into corners, but oddly, it doesn’t float while in sweepers as I’ve experienced in my mother-in-law’s Lincoln Towncar. I am trying to figure out how the damping rates might have been designed to make the LS not float, yet absorb bumps so as not to transmit them into the cabin. I think it’s pretty incredible.

The seats are all day comfortable. Based on the information in this forum, I have purchased and used the Leatherique Rejuvenating Oil and Woolite/Water mix for clean up. The seats weren’t too bad to begin with, and the oil has increased the suppleness of the leather somewhat. It was $40 for a 16 oz. bottle, and I’m not sure that I will repurchase.

My wife and I did a 200 mile trip last Friday, and the car did superbly. It’s first “real” roadtrip will be in a couple weeks when I take my wife and two friends to Dallas for a couple days. That’s a 500 mile round trip. The following week, I will be completing a 1200 mile round trip for my work, where most of the trip, my manager will be with me. I expect that the LS will impress with its cabin comforts and ride, and I am thoroughly pleased that I made the purchase!

I hope this car lasts a long time. I have become a sedate car driver of late. With an easy driving style and doing all the required maintenance, I would like to drive this car for a long time!

:cheers:

Micah

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Thanks Landar. I have paid attention to your posts as they have been helpful to me learning about what I should expect.

One other note. The tape player didn't accept tapes when I bought the LS. I didn't realize it until I tried to input my cassette adapter that plugs into my iPhone. I took the radio out (thank you Lexus Owners Forum) and sent it to Jodies Repair in Connecticut. They fixed the alignment of the cassette tray and went even further by working to quiet the little motors. All this was completed in about a day for $95. Very satisfied with the service, especially considering that a used radio was going for more than $200 on Ebay. I found the shop on Ebay as it was advertising changing out the LCD screens for something like $140 or $150. Somewhere, I have their number if anyone wants it.

Happy motoring!

Micah

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It is a timeless machine for sure - I keep pushing mine everyday and it pushes right back. Road trips are much better in the LS, and it seems you bought the car for all the right reasons - it will serve you very well.

Thanks again by the way for finding that Passenger sideview mirror on Ebay for me - didnt get it in time - next time i will be faster on the draw. hope you found what you needed. enjoy the LS and have a good time in Dallas - will be traveling to San Antonio in June myself for a wedding.

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No problem on the mirror. I would like to help others the way I have been helped! I still haven't found a mirror, but I haven't been searching lately. It's a cosmetic flaw, and I'll replace it eventually, but we had some powerful storms roll through my area that have taken my attention from the LS to my house. Though, I have the itch to get new Lexus floor mats. The ones that are in there now are Wal-Mart cheapos. They're smaller than the foot well, so they slide around.

Micah

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