Thursday, October 18, 2012

Goodbye Lexus LS 430

My ownership of the flagship 2005 Lexus LS 430 - Ultra Luxury edition has come to a close. This was my second time around with this model and version, having owned a 2001 LS 430 Ultra Luxury several years ago. As expected, this car has been mostly trouble-free. In the three years I owned this car (from 60,000 to 71,000) only a few things became a problem. The list includes;

  • air suspension,
  • power locks,
  • power folding mirrors,
  • hood/trunk lift supports,
  • PCS ECU module,
  • power tilt/telescopic steering wheel,
  • window rubber trim,
  • parking sensor (replaced by dealer just before purchase), 
  • and passenger seat sensor. 
This list seems rather long for a car that is supposed to be at the top of the class for reliability. I was surprised with the number of problems that showed up on this car. These are not isolated defects or problems, as many other Lexus owners have experienced similar problems on their cars too (across the model lineup). For instance, the power tilt/telescopic motors have been used on several models for years and there has been numerous DIY write-ups on how to replace the motors or disable the feature to prevent problems.The same can be said for the power lock problems. The parts in the doors are prone to failure and have been problems for other models. The total cost of fixing all of these problems on my LS430 have exceeded $3,500. In terms of total cost of ownership, this maintenance bill seems to put a significant dent on my overall experience. For a low mileage car, I did not anticipate these costly repairs.

On the positive side, this car has been a good, comfortable, and reliable (in terms of getting me from point A to point B). Other than replacing the battery, the car has not left me stranded or stuck on the side of the road due to major mechanical or electronic problems. Of course this is to be expected from a sub-100,000 mi Lexus automobile. The comfort and convenience this car has provided for the last three years is already missed. The most missed features on this car include:

  • rain/speed sensing wipers
  • automatic electroluminicient rear view mirrors (inside and outside)
  • radar/laser cruise control
  • heated and cooled perforated seats
  • soft semi-aniline leather
  • serene, quiet interior
  • soft closing doors
  • AFS (headlight swivel during turns)
  • smooth and quiet power delivery
  • keyless entry and ignition
I'm currently looking for a replacement for this LS 430 but have not identified what the final candidate looks like. I'm still impressed with the Lexus SC430, Infiniti G37 Convertible, Lexus LS460L, Hyundai Equus, and the Acura MDX Advance package. This list is very diverse but includes all top quality cars/SUV. 

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