Automotive perfection does not come at a prohibitive price. The new Lexus LS430 may boast unprecedented refinement, finish and ultra-low NVH levels, but its superiority is not reflected in higher prices than its less accomplished premium market competitors.
In fact the new LS430 is more competitively priced than all its key rivals when its comprehensive standard specification is taken into account. Lining up against the Jaguar XJ 4.2, Mercedes-Benz S430, Audi A8 4.2 quattro and BMW 7 Series, the Lexus is up to £11,300 better value.
As is typical of Lexus, the LS430 enjoys an unmatched package of safety and convenience features, some of which are not offered, even as an extra-cost option, by key market rivals.
For example, only the Jaguar XJ can offer rear seat audio controls but they come with a £350 price tag. Adaptive headlights, standard on the Lexus, are not available on Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz models and the £405 optional system on the BMW is range sensitive only. Mercedes-Benz can provide air conditioning controls for rear seat passenger and a built-in rear seat cool box, but both will cost the customer extra. Touch-screen operation of the satellite navigation system is another special feature of the LS430, a system only Jaguar can offer as a £2,000 option.
None of the prestige marques can provide the intelligent front air vents and the Electronic Traffic Avoidance system that feature as standard on the LS430.
The cost of ownership benefits of the new Lexus LS430 are not confined just to the sale price. Compared to the same key competitor models, front and rear crash replacement parts for the LS430 are substantially cheaper, but with no compromise on quality or durability. For example, parts required for a Jaguar XJ after a similar rear end collision would cost 42 per cent more than the Lexus. This has helped the LS430 to achieve its 17E insurance grouping.
The LS430 requires a full service only every 20,000 miles and will require a health check, taking less than an hour to complete, every 10,000 miles or once a year. Special iridium-tipped spark plugs are fitted that only require replacement every 60,000 miles and the timing belt will require replacement only every 90,000 miles.Published 8 November 2003