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Last month my LS 460 marked its 10th anniversary. I bought it 5 years ago - it now has about 80,000 miles on the odometer - and thought this would be a good time to reflect on my ownership experience.

I had, previously, owned an LS 400 for 15 years and would like to think I can keep this machine for a similar length of time. I did consider an LS 600 but decided that the extra complications presented by the hybrid set-up might be too costly in the future.

I found the transition from 400 to 460 very easy. They are, however, different in a few ways. We all agree that the engineering on the 400 is second to none, and that it is a wonderfully quiet and smooth automobile. The 460 is NOT as quiet, mine has the 19" wheels which I would not recommend. It is still a very quiet car.

The seats are not as robust as the 400 because they are heated and air-conditioned. After 10 years, my leather still looks like new.

It has air suspension with 3 settings. I find it very comfortable although the 19" wheels mean that it doesn't 'waft' like the 400.

The 400 was very well equipped, electronically, for its day - and the 460 is a natural progression. However, I think that some of the features are a waste of time: the Self Parking for instance.......I never use it.

If you read the US Lexus Forum you would think that the 460 has lots of problems......the air suspension, wind noise, upper and lower steering links etc.

I have my car serviced at my local Lexus dealer, here, in Holland. Apart from the annual service I have only had 2 problems; a shattered wheel bearing, caused by an evil road in Scotland (during my annual visit) and a glitch in the parking computer which caused my steering wheel to sit 'off-centre'. The 460 has electric steering and a computer re-set fixed the problem.

I had to have a new Battery in 2015 - replaced free because it was still under warranty - and then another one 2 months ago (again replaced free). When I took my car in for its service last week they did some investigating. Here, on the Continent, there is a lively 'trade' in stolen, nearly new, luxury cars - which usually end up in Eastern Europe or Russia. Some insurance companies insist that new high-end cars have a 'Track and Trace' device fitted. This involves a monthly subscription and most owners stop paying the subscription after about 2 years. The device, however, is still fitted and hot-wired to the Battery. The power drain is the equivalent of leaving the boot light on.  The dealer found the problem and disconnected the device. I did not have to pay for this......they want to stop giving me free batteries   :)

The Service Manager is an acquaintance of mine and gives me lots of good information. There are very few LS 460/600s in Holland but, as far as problems go, here is what he has told me:  they have changed 2 air struts on a 600 which had 200,000 miles on it. Steering links; one so far - at 150,000 miles. They do have computer glitches which require a system re-set.

Remember I said I had chosen a 460 over a 600?  They haven't changed a 600 hybrid Battery ever!   The dealer is a combined Toyota/Lexus franchise - separate receptions, workshops and, of course, far better biscuits in the Lexus coffee room :)   They have only changed a handful of hybrid batteries, and only on the early model Prius. Perhaps I was too hasty opting for the 460 over the 600.

I know that, as LS owners, we are fiercely loyal to our cars. Unfortunately your 400s, 430s and, indeed my 460, will eventually become uneconomical to keep. Moving up the LS ladder isn't a problem!

 

 

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Excellent reflections and insight into potential problems from a dealer perspective

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  thank you for this, it's good to know and gives me more confidence to change to a used Ls600 at some time ( maybe ) when my 1995 Ls400, now at 201500 miles finally departs this life:winkiss:

Malc

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Brian, thanks for your report.

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thanks for this post, it helps them in a wider perspective

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Interesting review. My 460 is 10 years old.  Serviced only by Lexus Carlisle from new and I am the second owner.  I travel from Yorkshire to have it's annual service because the dealer is outstanding.   One rear drive shaft and one rear air ride suspension strut replaced, both under extended warranty at around 65000 miles.  Very surprised that one of my rear struts failed at this mileage.  In fairness the drive shaft was replaced due to a split gaiter and not failure of the CV joints.

19 out 20 possible extras were specified by the first owner, around 14 of them within the 3 major upgrades you could opt for and they all work or are in first class condition. 

I too considered a 600 but held back because I couldn't find a 4 seat version with the Rear Relaxation Pack and a detailed Battery history.   However I think my caution was unjustified regarding the Battery pack as replacing the hybrid Battery is as common as hen's teeth.  Still looking but very rare to find in my price range.

   

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Steve, like you, I use my local dealer to do the servicing because they are so good.

As far as your suspension problems are concerned, is it possible that the appalling state of the roads in the UK were a contributory factor?

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I'm just quite astonished at how little the purchase cost of an early Ls600 can be ............  with stellar miles BUT often with Full Lexus Service History too

Malc

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Hi Brian, yes I agree, the roads in this country can be appalling but unfortunately a high percentage of the road tax we pay is siphoned off by all Governments to fund other things. The failed strut crept up on me as an odd thump every now and then till it was every bump in the road surface felt like a drum roll from the rear end.  I try and nurture a dealer to meet my needs rather than imposing their idea of my needs on me.    Lexus Carlisle have been great from day one of crossing their threshold. 

Hi Malcolm,  you're right about LS600's.  I've seen every 600 advertised on E Bay, Lexus dealers and Autotrader and the one's around 2007-2009 which featured 4 seat versions with the Rear Relaxation Pack usually have in excess of 100,000 miles and 150,000 isn't uncommon.   However I think this is a testament to the reliability of the brand.   The asking price is remarkably low because unless you are a fan most people wouldn't touch a large V8 with a pole.   If you can stomach some of the running costs of a large car they represent amazing value when a ten year old car costing £80K new can be bought for around £12K and as you say often with full dealer history. 

   

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I think it will be a while before you will change your 400 Malc!

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11 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

I think it will be a while before you will change your 400 Malc!

absolutely BUT I am quite aware that a relatively minor " smack " will easily write the old lady off ......  my Mk2 was vandalised, written-off back in 2011 ..........  if that was to happen I might actually let the moths out of my wallet and spend some of my ££££ 

12 hours ago, SH20 said:

costing £80K new can be bought for around £12K and as you say often with full dealer history. 

new cost was emerging at about £110k I believe .......  10 years old probably do a deal at about £9/10k with FULL Lexus Service History and a new MOT ................  piece together replacement hybrid Battery stuff and air struts probably when the time comes, and then might well last similar to my legendary Mk3 Ls400 .......  and I'm otherwsie expecting up to 500k miles with no serious issues ........  apart from me then being a bit gaga ( or am I already ) :yahoo:

Malc

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9 minutes ago, Malc said:

and I'm otherwsie expecting up to 500k miles with no serious issues

Me too, I'm on 174k & don't even think about the mileage, my first LS 400 had 230k when  bought it with FSH that was not a concern at all, the only reason I sold it was the 'Must Try Other Colors' syndrome some of us go through, I'm settled now with black. 

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You might like this Malc..........

I've just spent a few months in the USA. One day I saw this old gentleman getting out of an immaculate black LS 400. We got talking and he told me that he had bought it brand-new, in 1994, from a dealer in his home town of Amarillo. He bought it on his 69th birthday !!!!

Now 92 years old, it is still his daily-use car. He was in the middle of a 2,000 mile round trip to visit his daughter. It had 180,000 miles on the clock and he calls it his 'LFT' - Lexus from Texas. He still gets it serviced at the dealership where he bought it. He told me that, last year, while picking up his car after servicing, a young salesman tried to interest him in an upgrade to a 460/600.

He said something like.....'Thanks son, but I'll stick to the 400. After all, the engine is only just getting loosened up'.

So, as long as you can keep idiots from doing any damage, you should be OK for a few years yet' :wink3:

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