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At limes, I genuinely regret buying my 1999 LS 400. The reason? It has simply spoiled me for other cars. Seriously. I've had it for a few years now, always on a classic car policy, my main car being, for the past 18 months, a newish Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI. The Audi is a really good car, just enough tech, fairly quiet and refined, quick and pretty economical.  After much research, it seemed like the perfect car for me. The problem is I just haven't jelled with it. I don't look forward to driving it, I don't go out for a drive for the sake of it. To me, it is just white goods, albeit good quality white goods. I would like to replace my daily with something better, but although I can afford something really nice, nothing appeals to me.

I read reviews avidly, looking for a clue, but nothing jumps out. I should add that I haven't yet test driven anything, because I have yet to write a short list, so my early conclusions are based on stats and other people's opinions, not ideal. Everything seems to have features that put me off. There was a time, not that long ago, when there was always a car I "lusted" after but could not afford, having different priorities at the time. It would be putting it too strongly to say it's depressing, because there are worse things to worry about for many people including me, but it is disappointing. I quite fancy an SUV for ease of getting in and out, but want some proper luxury.

 Ride comfort, refinement and the ability to deal with potholes with aplomb are major factors for me, nice handling also. I've looked at RX450s obviously, but don't like the idea of the CVT gearbox. It seems like an appalling choice for such a refined car and a poor engineering decision. I've considered a newer LS hybrid, but don't want a car that's more suited to being chauffeur driven. I considered an S Class and a 7 series. Large executive saloons seem to be real bargains and top of the range Mercs and BMWs seem to cost little more than more mundane models further down the range, with a lot more comfort (although the chauffeur thing is still a factor). I'm wary of BMWs following a £4000 repair bill to my two year old 33od in 2006,thankfully still in warranty. I hear worrying reports of reliability issues plus , I don't like run flat tyres. 

My LS 400 has been laid up during Covid, now needing a few little jobs before being put into use again. I plan to sort that over the next few weeks and return it to the road, and take it from there. Maybe spend some time having test drives, if I can put some options together.

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You are a lucky fellow. Have a car that has spoiled you and room for it plus having a new as a daily driver. Finding something that has all the qualities of the old one you are happy with might be complicated. Even though a SUV is easy to get in and out of it will never look as beautiful and stylish designed as the old one you have.

With regard to the CVT gearbox, I was a bit worried in the beginning, but after being used to it I find it a lot better than any other automatic gear shifting system, smooth gently accelerating to wanted speed, where all other automatic systems have been jumping more or less when changing gear.

Potholes are best eliminated in big cars with big wheels and not too hard suspension, so maybe new Lexus cars are not the best option. Suspension in Lexus is great but not really soft.

Bentley is to be chauffeur driven and so are most other sofas.

Maybe the best option is to keep your old car in as good as new state and be happy with that.

Only car I regret not having tried is a Porsche 959.

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57 minutes ago, harrylime said:

I quite fancy an SUV for ease of getting in and out, but want some proper luxury.

 Ride comfort, refinement and the ability to deal with potholes with aplomb are major factors for me, nice handling also. I've looked at RX450s obviously, but don't like the idea of the CVT gearbox.

Why on earth not? It's a brilliant invention and smooth as silk.

OK, when you jam your foot down on the loud pedal to overtake something the engine revs for fun, but in context how often do you do that? On a recent 90 mile drive on 'A' roads (purposely avoided motorway for the scenic route) I heard the engine noise twice. The rest of the time was just effortless, smooth, wafting and a very enjoyable drive.

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8 hours ago, Las Palmas said:

Even though a SUV is easy to get in and out of

Getting in and out can often be an issue for many people with back or leg " issues "  I just find my elderly Ls400 spot on for ease of access ........  but that's just me !

I have been in a few SUVs and quite honestly sometimes have challenges as a passenger getting in .............. not so much getting out .  I can just fall out quite easily usually :unsure:

9 hours ago, harrylime said:

I would like to replace my daily with something better,

Why, why why not your Ls400 ??? ............  you could use your Ls400 as a very respectable, comfortable, reliable daily use car ......  mine is and at 26 years old approaching and 232k miles there's not a better daily use car to my mind ......  mine thrives on being used, only being a bit of a bugger when locked down and underused ......  like many owners have experienced I'm sure

Don't keep your Ls400 in aspic, or if you want to for sentimental reasons, then buy yourself a second one for proper use .............  just my view :wink3:

Malc

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Audi Q5 are getting excellent reviews on you tube channels, as a good all round car, so is the BMW X5, if you are considering Suv.

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If you don't want to run the LS400 as a daily driver, what about an IS250 auto or ISF or IS250 F Sport? I had a 95 LS400 until Nov least year, I sorted all the issues on the car, it drove and performed as it should and loved using it daily to work everyday (50 mile round trip) rather than use the Mrs IS200 a few days a week to keep the mileage down but it was written off. At the time I didn't want another LS400 and bought a 2010 IS250 SE-I auto in silver from Lexus Wolverhampton. The IS250 is a very good car, very smooth and reliable (apparently which I don't doubt at all), comfortable, quiet, not the fastest thing in the world but fast enough, all the modern stuff if you get a SE-L or most of it if you get a SE-I.

There is the ISF if you want performance but a lot more expensive or the IS250 FSport for the sporty look etc. Not in the same class as a LS400 for smoothness, quietness and room but it's still a very very good car. Just a thought and maybe a IS250 type model is an option for you.

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10 hours ago, harrylime said:

but don't like the idea of the CVT gearbox. It seems like an appalling choice for such a refined car and a poor engineering decision.

Don't believe the hype. Or more accurately, don't believe the 15 minute reviews in the motoring press or online. I really can't stress this enough. I've owned or driven quite a few CVT gearbox cars and yes you do have to adjust your driving style a little but that muscle memory from a regular gearbox quickly passes. I'm currently in a brand new Subaru Outback, reminds me very much of my old RX 400h and I'm extremely happy with how it will hustle along when you want it to.

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The point you make about the LS400 spoiling you is the reason I have had two over the last 28 years and went out of my way to obtain the second and present car, I have no desire to get another car because this car is giving me the most sought after experience the human race seeks, "Contentment".

I have had twenty five different cars in my lifetime and driven another twenty five rentals and never have I found a car that meets all my desires and as nothing I could complain about until I bought my first LS400. The history and provenance is multitude written and video's abound on the subject of the LS400 but it is only when you own one and have driven them for three hundred mile stints sat in traffic jams for hours and taken out the boy racer at the traffic lights that you appreciate the car and all of its attributes.

I have been married to the same woman for fifty years and we have everything we could want in life and when you know what contentment is you  call off the search naturally.

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I'm in the same boat - I have a 4/5k ls430 which has every feature you could want, the best quality materials, quality and reliability.

The only think I would want to add is DAB and HUD.

I really want to try the GS for its linear acceleration 

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3 hours ago, Shahid NX300h said:

Audi Q5 are getting excellent reviews on you tube channels, as a good all round car, so is the BMW X5, if you are considering Suv.

Our neighbour has one of these X6 and I see him struggling to up on the seat. Guess the X5 is not much smaller.

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I've tried many of the SUVs on the market today and none of them, not even the Wayne Rover has as much space as my LS430.
About the only advantage I have seen to SUVs is that if you have kids in car seats, then it's easier to deal with those because yer not bent double.
I suppose the high driving position is an advantage, but only until everyone has one, then we are all back to square one.
I often end up changing lanes on the motorway simply to get out from behind yet another fat arsed opaque SUV.
Otherwise they are massive vehicles with compromised interior space, poor aerodynamics, poor road holding, and poor fuel efficiency.

I am also getting sick and tired of oncoming SUVs driving in the middle of the road.
If you don't know how wide your vehicle is, perhaps you shouldn't be driving at all.
Better yet, why not get a normal car so you can gauge it's width correctly and not end up forcing other users off the road.
 

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3 hours ago, BigBoomer said:

I've tried many of the SUVs on the market today and none of them, not even the Wayne Rover has as much space as my LS430.
About the only advantage I have seen to SUVs is that if you have kids in car seats, then it's easier to deal with those because yer not bent double.
I suppose the high driving position is an advantage, but only until everyone has one, then we are all back to square one.
I often end up changing lanes on the motorway simply to get out from behind yet another fat arsed opaque SUV.
Otherwise they are massive vehicles with compromised interior space, poor aerodynamics, poor road holding, and poor fuel efficiency.

I am also getting sick and tired of oncoming SUVs driving in the middle of the road.
If you don't know how wide your vehicle is, perhaps you shouldn't be driving at all.
Better yet, why not get a normal car so you can gauge it's width correctly and not end up forcing other users off the road.

That is one of the best posts I’ve read in a long long time😂 it made me chuckle, especially the ‘changing lanes’ bit, and has made my day……..thank you👍

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20 hours ago, Herbie said:

Why on earth not? It's a brilliant invention and smooth as silk.

OK, when you jam your foot down on the loud pedal to overtake something the engine revs for fun, but in context how often do you do that? On a recent 90 mile drive on 'A' roads (purposely avoided motorway for the scenic route) I heard the engine noise twice. The rest of the time was just effortless, smooth, wafting and a very enjoyable drive.

The criticism of the CVT is over egged. I watch car reviews by journalists with a very large pinch of salt. I much prefer to listen to owners, preferably someone who has just sold their car - you get a more balanced view. If you drive a car with a CVT like a racing driver all the time, then I can understand the revving might get a bit tiresome. Most people don't drive like that and as others have said, you adjust your driving style to the car without realising it. Seamless is the best way to describe the acceleration. I can only speak from the experience of owning a RX 300 and RX 400h. Both really good cars - try driving one over a fairly uneven cinder car park - the ride I would describe as smooth! The LS 400 is special and I feel it is fruitless to try and compare it with any SUV let alone large saloon. The engineering is a wonder to behold - you own a 22 year old car that even today has few rivals. The practicalities of life unfortunately get in the way. Kids, dogs, moving long items all really need a MPV, SUV or large estate. Imagine if Lexus had taken the LS 400 and made an estate car version? Wow! 

My advice, for an everyday car, would be to keep the Audi for practical reasons and drive the LS more.

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11 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

would be to keep the Audi for practical reasons and drive the LS more.

or indeed trade up to a more practical and sought after Morris 1000 van for transporting stuff around, from the Audi estate .............  and use the Ls400 a lot lot more:wink3:

Malc

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2 hours ago, Malc said:

or indeed trade up to a more practical and sought after Morris 1000 van for transporting stuff around, from the Audi estate .............  and use the Ls400 a lot lot more:wink3:

Malc

That is more sensible than it sounds! A Morris 1000 van unfortunately will probably cost more than the Audi! Classic vans are very pricy!

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I've possibly gone a bit mad, or sane (depending on your view) but I have just SORN'd the GSF as I had a very expensive months of 'outgoings' and the tax was due... £600! So the LS is now my daily after making her mechanically sound, been boating around, silky smooth (after adjusting the coilovers) as I was a bit optimistic on the original low setting and 'crashiness' going over bumps 😆 but I've just driven to golf with all gear in the boot, listening to some classic 90's music (my fave) and honestly have had the most relaxed driving experience in ages!

If it spoils you, why take it away 😉 in this case, too much of a good thing... is a Lexus 😛

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On 6/4/2021 at 8:38 AM, Razor61 said:

If you don't want to run the LS400 as a daily driver, what about an IS250 auto or ISF or IS250 F Sport? I had a 95 LS400 until Nov least year, I sorted all the issues on the car, it drove and performed as it should and loved using it daily to work everyday (50 mile round trip) rather than use the Mrs IS200 a few days a week to keep the mileage down but it was written off. At the time I didn't want another LS400 and bought a 2010 IS250 SE-I auto in silver from Lexus Wolverhampton. The IS250 is a very good car, very smooth and reliable (apparently which I don't doubt at all), comfortable, quiet, not the fastest thing in the world but fast enough, all the modern stuff if you get a SE-L or most of it if you get a SE-I.

There is the ISF if you want performance but a lot more expensive or the IS250 FSport for the sporty look etc. Not in the same class as a LS400 for smoothness, quietness and room but it's still a very very good car. Just a thought and maybe a IS250 type model is an option for you.

I had an is250 and although it’s decent it simply cannot match the ls400 in any way. For me the is was just too small. Also it was lacking power and fuel economy was pretty much the same as the ls400…

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We have had an LS as our 'daily drive' since 1997..........except for a few months in 2012, when we decided to try an SUV - an RX400h.  During those few months, I asked my wife (who has always loved driving the LS's) what she thought of the RX.

All she said was 'It's not an LS'.   A few days later, I took the RX back and swapped it for our current 460. 

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12 hours ago, hockeyedwards said:

listening to some classic 90's music (my fave) and honestly have had the most relaxed driving experience in ages!

from the tape deck perhaps :wink3:

Malc

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4 hours ago, Malc said:

from the tape deck perhaps :wink3:

Malc

I have the wonderfully modern 6 disc CD changer to store all my driving moods 😉

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On 6/4/2021 at 10:29 AM, ambermarine said:

The point you make about the LS400 spoiling you is the reason I have had two over the last 28 years and went out of my way to obtain the second and present car, I have no desire to get another car because this car is giving me the most sought after experience the human race seeks, "Contentment".

I have had twenty five different cars in my lifetime and driven another twenty five rentals and never have I found a car that meets all my desires and as nothing I could complain about until I bought my first LS400. The history and provenance is multitude written and video's abound on the subject of the LS400 but it is only when you own one and have driven them for three hundred mile stints sat in traffic jams for hours and taken out the boy racer at the traffic lights that you appreciate the car and all of its attributes.

I have been married to the same woman for fifty years and we have everything we could want in life and when you know what contentment is you  call off the search naturally.

I  also think that the LS400 is a very nice daily driver. 6 years now. I own two, one for winter and one for summer. Inexpensive too. Paid 1500£ for the 1995 winte r car.  Seem to increase in value a bit every year now.  
Very good reliability , smooth and silent. Only one recent problem. My rear window shattered where parked . A Stone thrown by someone it seems by marks etc. Very difficult to find a new rear glass window for a 1998 LS400 it seems. It is 5 mm thick. weighs 12 Kg  

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