silence is golden, Lexus's LS 430 must be basking in an
amber glow. An uncompromisingly quiet ride has been a Lexus
trademark since the Japanese luxury brand launched its first
auto in Detroit, the heart of the American auto industry,
back in 1989.
has expanded since then, capturing a following for its quality,
subtle design, and overflow of amenities, at what for a
time were surprisingly affordable prices. But wouldn't you
know it. Success has bred in the inevitable sticker price
hikes, and Lexus has been creeping up toward the heady atmosphere
of premium pricing as well. (The LS 430 checked in at $55,675
base when '05 models went on sale, a $300 bump up from its
redesigned '04 models.)
what does one get for the dollar? Actually, a lot. Lexus
has learned that luxury amenities heaped on grateful buyers
along with a smooth, powerful driving experience keeps the
brand in mind when its time for something new. And you can't
blame Lexus for enjoying its bragging rights when it immediately
points out that it has earned more of the prestigious J.
D. Power customer satisfaction awards than any other luxury
car. It's acknowledged as
the benchmark for opulent pampering, a fact that has pushed
up the bar for almost every competitor -- making consumers
the ultimate winners.
the "everything but the kitchen sink" mode, what
does LS 430 for '05 offer? For ride, powered by a standard
4.3-liter, 290-HP V8, there's: Intuitive Powertrain Control
for smooth, yet controlled ride, sequential shift for simulated
manual trans driving. For safety, there's an optional
Pre-Collision System (PCS) with laser cruise control to
help lessen the severity of unavoidable impact, and adaptive
headlamps that follow curves.
pure pampering, besides the obligatory leather and wood
trim, there's a 240-watt Mark Levinson premium audio system,
voice command DVD-based navigation system, cooled (and heated)
front seats, an optional Smart Access feature to unlock
doors and start ignition by radio signal, and an available
optical deodorizing filtered rear air conditioner. Then
there are the power adjustable massaging rear seats. (Can
you say "decadent?") Why would anyone want to
ride anywhere else?