The folks at Lexus had a decision to make back in 2000. They already had an unqualified success with the LS 400, considered by many to be one of the finest luxury sedans on the market. Now it was time to decide whether to leave well enough alone and ride the LS 400 for as far as it would take them, or go beyond anyone’s expectations and try to improve on a near-perfect car. The answer came in 2001 with the introduction of the LS430.
From 2001-2006 the Lexus LS 430 sat at the top of the luxury car division, twice winning the Edmonds.com Most Wanted award and consistently ranking at the top of the J.D. Power and Associates Most Reliable List. How did the folks at Lexus accomplish this feat? Simply by improving everything about the LS 400.
First the technicians at Lexus improved the engine, featuring a 4.3-liter V8 capable of 278 horsepower with a five-speed automatic transmission. In 2004 this was upgraded to a six-speed with power flowing to the rear wheels. A new suspension was added improving upon an already incredibly smooth ride. Safety was increased with antilock brakes, traction control, and other control systems. And of course the interior was made more plush and comfortable so that no matter where you sat in the LS430 you had ample legroom and headroom.
The Lexus staple of a quiet and smooth ride was enhanced by technology as well, making this luxury sedan as close to perfection as possible. The only downside to this marvelous road machine was one that is said about nearly every Lexus model, that it is not made for excitement, so that on challenging roads the driver does not feel like, oh say, a road warrior. Set that minor detraction aside and you have a luxury Japanese import car that takes on the best that Europe has to offer and suffers no embarrassment in doing so.
After 2006 a new line was developed featuring the LS 460, a fine car in its own right, but looking back with the microscope of hindsight it is easy to see how the LS430 was ranked so highly. A round of applause is in order for a company who would not settle for near-perfection. On the open road or running to the store for eggs and bacon, the Lexus LS 430 promises a luxurious ride to the gates of perfection.