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Thread: 2006 Lexus LS430

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    2006 Lexus LS430

    new car review: 2006 Lexus LS430
    By Eric Peters
    for immediate release

    If you want to know why the Lexus LS sedan has routinely cleaned the clocks of its German competition, consider this:

    For $56,525 you can buy a fully-equipped brand-new '06 LS430 -- or pay about two grand more for a smaller (shorter wheelbase, not as long, smaller trunk) Benz E500. To get a bigger Benz (or at any rate, a Benz bigger than the Lexus) you'll need to step up to the S-Class -- and a choke-your-accountant base price of $64,900. That'll only get you a V-6, though. If you want a bigger Benz -- and a V-8 engine (standard in the LS) -- you'll need to dig deeper. A hefty $77,250 deeper, to be exact. And you still won't get a bigger trunk (the LS430's huge "three body" 20.2 cubic footer dwarfs the embarrassingly puny 15.4 cubic foot trunk of the supposedly "full-size" S-Class).

    Toss in the better warranty (six years, 70,000 miles for the LS430's powertrain vs. a "less than your loan term" four years/50,000 miles for the Benz), a well-deserved reputation for engineering excellence and an established reputation for the industry's best dealership service/treatment of its customers -- not to mention some of the lowest depreciation rates in the business -- and it's not hard to understand why Lexus (and the LS430) enjoys such a loyal following.

    And why so many onetime Mercedes (and BMW) owners are now Lexus owners.

    The '06 LS430 continues the tradition of no-compromises luxury at a price point the Germans can't seem to match -- along with the understated style that has long been among the LS sedan's major selling points.

    All models come standard with a 4.3 liter DOHC V-8 that's been lauded for its quiet operation, smooth power delivery and Swiss clock reliability. This engine is a carryover from the '05 model and identical in every respect -- but buyers may notice a change in the horsepower rating, which is down to 278 from 290 last year. The change arises from new SAE standards for rating an engine's output, however -- and don't reflect any real-world change in the LS430's power or performance. A six speed automatic is the standard transmission -- with "sport" and "normal" modes as well as a dual-gate shifter for semi-automatic control of up and downshifts.

    One nice feature of this transmission is that it will upshift for you to the next highest gear if you tickle the redline, but will then drop back to the next-lower selected gear and hold it there -- so you don't get stuck with an engine that's gone mushy in a high-speed corner entry. Most drivers won't ever treat their LS this way, of course. But the big Lexus can move out with surprising agility if you ever feel need to play the role of "The Transporter" -- and mess with the head of that guy in the next lane in his 750Li. A 5.9 second to 60 mph clocking is certainly quick enough to thrill, too -- and about half a second quicker than the V-6 powered Benz E350 (and exactly as quick as the V-8 powered, two grand more expensive E500).

    But this is a luxury car -- not a sport sedan (though it can keep pace with most of them if it needs to). And when it comes to the things that define a luxury car, the LS430's picture should be right there next to the dictionary entry. Objectively, it is at the top of its class in terms of interior space, quiet ride and power/performance. It boasts features such as adaptive headlights that turn with you in a corner for superior illumination, dual zone climate control with oscillating air outlets, a power rear sunshade and 14-way driver's seat -- and offers available reclining rear seats (with heaters and built-in massagers), power door closers, sonar-guided Park Assist, an air-adjustable suspension, voice-activated GPS with closed-circuit back-up camera -- and either radar or laser-guided "smart" cruise control that automatically maintains the proper following distance between you and the cars ahead. It has --or can be fitted with -- any luxury/convenience gadget you can think of. Or at least, any that are offered or available in competitor models (and many that are not, such as those reclining back seats with built-in heaters and massagers).

    There are also dual front, side, knee and head/curtain air bags -- with an available Pre-Collision system that uses radar and accelerometers to detect an impending crash (violent deceleration/braking, etc.) and prepares the car (and its occupants) for the impact by cinching tight the seat belts, lowering the suspension and boosting the brakes for maximum emergency stopping power. VSC stability control, traction control and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard.

    Audiophiles can order the symphonic Mark Levinson premium audio upgrade; this is an extremely high-end system custom-tailored to the acoustics of the LS430's interior -- with speakers positioned to deliver a surround sound experience and the power (240 watts) to do justice to a Caruso aria -- or a (pre-Hagar) Eddie Van Halen guitar solo.

    But these are just the dry facts. To appreciate this car, you must sample it yourself. Close the door and the din of the outside world disappears; the coarse unpleasantness of public spaces replaced by the custom-crafted elegance of a private suite just for you -- and perhaps a few well-chosen and fortunate travel companions. Leather and wood trim are par for the course in a car such as this, so it's the quality and fit of these materials and the way they complement one another -- the tactile and visual sense experience -- that makes the acceptable transcend to the exceptional.

    Everything about the LS has a metronome-like calming quality. Driving this car after a stressful day at the office is as relaxing as a shiatsu massage and a foot rub -- with a box of Godiva chocolates by your hand. And those gentle ruminations about all the money you saved both at purchase and in the years ahead -- since the value of your new LS won't depreciate like the currency of a Third World people's republic -- are a constant psychological salve.

    Buyer's note: Lexus will bring a revised/updated LS sedan to market in mid-2006 as a 2007 model, so now is a great time to get an even better deal on a new '06.

    END

  2. #2
    jillsuncle
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    Re: 2006 Lexus LS430

    A Lexus is a Toyota. A Mercedes is a marque that has been respected around the World for over 100 years. Does it take 2 thousand more dollars to get a world-class car - Yes. Is it worth it - DUHHHHHHHHHH!

    I lived in Saudi Arabia for a year and dude I befriended (owned a Mercedes), put it best - If it is 130 degrees and you are 300 miles from the nearest oasis, what car do you want to be driving in? He also noted that a Lexus is a "plastic car" and a Mercedes is a "Leather car".

    Buy a Scion instead.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 Lexus LS430

    Quote Originally Posted by jillsuncle
    A Lexus is a Toyota. A Mercedes is a marque that has been respected around the World for over 100 years. Does it take 2 thousand more dollars to get a world-class car - Yes. Is it worth it - DUHHHHHHHHHH!

    I lived in Saudi Arabia for a year and dude I befriended (owned a Mercedes), put it best - If it is 130 degrees and you are 300 miles from the nearest oasis, what car do you want to be driving in? He also noted that a Lexus is a "plastic car" and a Mercedes is a "Leather car".

    Buy a Scion instead.
    Well, Toyota owns Lexus - and Lexus is Toyota's luxury brand - but with the exception of the ES330, none of the Lexus passengercar models have Toyota equivalents and do not share major parts (chassis, drivetrains, etc.) with Toyota models - just as most Cadillac passenger cars are not "rebadged Chevys," etc. The GS series, the LS, etc. are rear-drivecars; Toyota doesn't sell a rear-drive passenger car. Etc.

    I've gotta tell ya - Mercedes cars are over-priced and over-rated. $50k gets you a V-6 E-CLass with few options. The same money gets you a loaded V-8 LS430 that will hold its value longer and (based on reports of problems, etc.) run reliably longer, too.


  4. #4
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    Re: 2006 Lexus LS430

    It's funny that ya'll are talking about this --- just got off the phone with my sister who is looking to replace her ES-300 with a new larger car (it's 9 years old and has 146k on the odometer).

    She was looking for a used S430, but after she & I did some searching online, it turns out the Lexus LS-430 (both in a 2003 model) was cheaper, larger inside, and got better milage. She's also always been treated very well at the local Lexus dealership, despite her having an ancient example of their cheapest model.

    Plus, the S-Class has the reputation of being fragile and expensive to repair, while her ES-300 has never had anything break on it other than lightbulbs. Since she keeps cars a long time, reliability is important to her.

    I suggested a Ford FiveHundred, which is cheaper, gets better milage, is a top safety pick, and she would just replace it in 7 years, but for about $3000 more she can get the used Lexus and have a more luxurious driving experience.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 Lexus LS430

    A Lexus is a Toyota.

    I tend to agree...... Mutton dressed as lamb so to speak

    I think they look frumpy
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 Lexus LS430

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    A Lexus is a Toyota.

    I tend to agree...... Mutton dressed as lamb so to speak

    I think they look frumpy
    But they aren't. A Lexus is not a rebadged/dressed-up/overpriced Toyota - anymore than a Cadillac is a dressed up Chevy. With the sole exception of the ES330 (the entry level Lexus), all Lexus passenger cars are rear-drive and completely distinct from the Toyota passengercar lineup. There is no rear-drive Toyota passenger car, for example. And no V-8 passengere car. Etc. Etc.

    I understand not liking Lexus for whatever reason - but it's inaccurate to describe them as glorified Toyotas....

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 Lexus LS430

    I understand not liking Lexus for whatever reason - but it's inaccurate to describe them as glorified Toyotas....


    Guess they just don't spin my wheels
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 Lexus LS430

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    I understand not liking Lexus for whatever reason - but it's inaccurate to describe them as glorified Toyotas....


    Guess they just don't spin my wheels
    And that's perfectly reasonable! (I don't especially like the current crop of Cadillacs and Benzes; pretentious and and over-priced, among other things.)

    We all have our likes and dislikes - and that's neither "right" nor "wrong." I was just pointing out that it's not fair to say that Lexus cars are just over-priced Toyotas, etc.


  9. #9
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: 2006 Lexus LS430

    I was just pointing out that it's not fair to say that Lexus cars are just over-priced Toyotas, etc.

    I guess having come from NZ where they had Lexus sharing same body as Toyota Soarer..,,, it is hard to change that perception... Also here the Lexus 480 is just a glorified Toyota Landruiser.......that said I have NEVER driven one
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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