2004 Lexus LS 430 4.3

Summary:

The sensible choice over its german counterparts

Faults:

Adaptive headlight sensor needs replacing.

General Comments:

My LS430 has the sport tuned suspension 'sport package', modern luxury package and smart access. Mercury metallic paint.

The '04 facelift turned the LS430 into a great looking luxury cruiser. It looks better than than any S Class Mercedes, especially the interior. This is the car Mercedes should have made; the only drawback would have been its reliability would have plummeted if they did. This car's engine, transmission and ride are so smooth it's unbelievable. 0-60 in 5.9 seconds is also very respectable. I'm averaging 27 miles per gallon when travelling highway with the A/C on. About 22 MPG in mixed city driving. Not bad for a full size luxury sedan.

This car seems to have enough features to fill out a phone book. There are so many 'hidden' features about this car that it reminds me of my old 90s model S Class Mercedes; it seems to surprise you every so often with neat features. I could sit here and write about all the features. Speaking of the 90's S class, the design is a nod to one of the greatest exterior designs on a luxury car of all time.

Some will argue the LS430 isn't fun to drive. To them I say drive the sport package, turn on the ECT power button and put it into manual shift mode. It turns into a monster.

Now I've always been a Mercedes guy. I still like Mercedes a lot. Brand and emblems aside, the quietness, power, styling, features and comfort have placed this car in a category of its own. The reliability and ease of working on things on this car have made it possibly the best luxury car to own long term.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2014

2004 Lexus LS 430

Summary:

Rock solid, affordable, and oh so luxurious!

Faults:

(2) power door lock motors have failed. Fortunately I looked up the DIY instructions to repair this common weak spot on the LS430. Fairly easy & inexpensive self repair, if you are mechanically skilled. But quite expensive if repaired thru a dealer.

No other issues at all.

General Comments:

The LS430, like previous models of the LS series, is immensely sturdy, reliable, & understated.

Large Lexus sedans have historically not been hot handling machines like a BMW or Mercedes. But they have not been floating, numb barges like many American luxury cars. The LS430 hits a particularly sweet spot somewhere in between, that is quite satisfying to many.

Until purchasing this 430 in Feb 2012, I had owned & absolutely loved a 1998 LS400 for several years. My only reason to trade up to the LS430 was the increased assortment of whistles & bells found in the LS430. The 430 is also roomier, more fuel efficient, & has more safety equipment.

The 430 is also quieter & handles slightly more crisply than the 400, but by no means is it a nimble drivers car. Rather, it is built to cosset & cradle the occupants, & does so wonderfully. The big leather seats have a wide range of power adjustments, you are well surrounded in beautifully finished woodwork, & your feet rest on fine carpets. My car has the "Modern Luxury" package. A mid level upgrade that adds GPS navigation, Mark Levinson sound system, parking assist & backup camera.

The excellent build quality is quite evident. No screws are visible to the passengers or driver inside this car. Nor are there any flimsy fittings that crack, squeak or rattle. The leather & all interior fittings are high quality.

The ride is extremely quiet, with virtually no engine noise unless you are accelerating hard, & then it is just a distant din. Some mild wind noise can be heard under certain road & driving conditions.

The Mark Levinson sound system is really quite nice, my CD's sound spectacular. I have yet to have a satellite radio installed.

Externally the car is flawless, thanks to clearly excellent care by the prior owner. The paintwork on 430's is very fine, with little or no "orange peel" texture in the paint, which is much more evident on MBZ or BMW vehicles. Styling is a personal choice, & the LS430 is free of excessive trim or flashy styling trends. Again, the German offerings tend to be more noticeable in that department.

This particular car was a one owner, low mileage vehicle. I had been looking at 430's for several months & waited until I found the right one. Only repair issue has been (2) power door lock motors have needed replacing. I was able to service this problem myself at very little cost; the dealer would have charged an excessive amount if the car had been sent out for repair. However, power door locks are hardly major repair problems; the drivelines & suspensions on these cars are famously durable & reliable.

Anyhow, I hope my observations have been helpful or at least interesting. I'll post updates from time to time as time & mileage accumulate.

All the best to you!

C.B., Los Angeles, Calif.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2012

26th Mar 2013, 22:45

Greetings to all.

I am following up on my initial posting from last year... My 2004 LS430 now has just over 58,000 miles and is simply delightful in every way! I've had the car just over a year at this time. As I'd mentioned in my original posting, (2) power door lock actuators needed changing out, which was not a big deal since I installed the new parts myself. I also installed new brake pads in January of this year, and it was the easiest brake job ever; the old pads come out and new pads re-install very simply. Those have been the only items needing attention. The car rides and drives beautifully, and gets admiring comments several times a week.

I maintain the finish and leather interior with Zaino Show Car products inside and out; the Zaino line is amazing!

My LS 430 is nearing the 60,000 mile major servicing point, which involves changing of all fluids. There is a reliable independent Lexus servicing agency near my home in Pasadena, Calif., who will do the job at a very fair price.

Honestly, these are truly solid and reliable vehicles for those who seek a roomy and luxurious ride.

All the best until next time!

C. B. - Los Angeles, Calif.