and a bit faster on the uptake, the Lexus LS 430 luxury sedan moves through the
year with some refinements and technological advancements, but subtle rather than
breakthrough styling changes. Not that Lexus needs a breakthrough.
it's a dominant factor in the high-toned luxury car field, with a reputation for
sumptuous, super-quiet cruising as it rides on a high-powered V-8. This is Lexus
in mid-cycle, maintaining its position with others still having to chase it as
it adds a six-speed automatic transmission for more smooth shifting and punch
throughout the gear range.
towards the aggressive performance side sometimes criticized as lacking, it offers
a sport package version with the more solid suspension indigenous to European
competitors, with larger 18-inch wheels replacing standard 17-inch ones. The 4.3-liter
V-8 generates 290-hp, enhanced for quicker starts especially in semi-manual mode.
Optimized brake pressure at each wheel keeps stability during hard maneuvers.
safety side is a new tire pressure monitor, added for driving security. A rear-mounted
television pickup, displayed on the optional voice-command navigation system screen
keeps backing up safer especially with children or pets nearby. And during the
current '04 model year, Lexus added a front radar sensor to anticipate an impending
crash and ratchet in seat belts for added passenger protection.
on the inside are heated and cooled seats for rear passengers, who are sometimes
forgotten when thinking about comfort amenities. Though this is only offered as
an option, it is a thoughtful addition nonetheless. Massaging rear seats in the
Ultra Luxury model adds yet another indulgent touch. (Does "personal limousine"
have a nice ring to it?) Self-adjusting air suspension and adaptive cruise control
are other upmodel features. Unlocking the door with loaded arms is no problem
with the available, pocket-bound keyfob called "Smart Access," that
automatically signals it to open. Lexus enhances the package with the available,
highly rated Mark Levinson premium audio system.
a known winner starting in the mid-$50,000 range, Lexus seems determined to prove
you just can't go wrong with the third generation of a classic.