Rock solid, affordable, and oh so luxurious!
(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.
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