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Hello Everyone

This is my baptism into the world of Lexus - my very first post and I have yet to buy the car! I've studied many reviews of luxury cars and the one that stands out as the clear winner is the Lexus LS 400. Having read the glowing reports, I'm now very sorely tempted to buy a 1996-97 LS 400 to replace my 1997 Audi A6. The trouble is I don't dislike my Audi that much and I cannot really afford the Lexus main dealer service prices. Is there anyone who could recommend a friendly independent garage in the Greater Manchester area who would do a good job at a fair price? This could give me the extra confidence that I'm looking for to take the plunge and switch loyalties from Audi to Lexus.

I just hope that not all of you consider this to be too boring to reply to. Let me put it rather more bluntly - what is so good about the LS400 to persuade me to leave a solid brand like Audi for it? persuade me, please.

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You need to test drive the LS to see if you like it.

If you do, worrying about servicing costs will soon fade away!

There is bags of info on this site [and the USA site] and someone will know a local mobile mechanic for servicing jobs.

If you are not into doing any of it yourself make sure you get one with

FSH and some sort of warranty.

This is not a car for being stuck in traffic jams or rush hour commuting

if fuel consumption is an issue. [in my opinion!!]

cheers...... :driving:

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Go for it mate as long as you get a good one you wont regret it. i was the same as you before i bought mine as i'v allways been a bmw man, having owned nearly all there models at some point including some seriously modifided alpinas, but after i test drove the ls i knew i had to have one and i havent regreted it yet. take my word for it they are without doubt the best second hand car on the market.

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Welcome to the club!

Firstly, compare like with like. Compare the LS400 with A8s, XJ8s, S-classes, 7-series. For the money, many people think it does a superior job to it's rivals. It's certainly easier on petrol and servicing than other makes which sell V8 luxury cars, but compared to your A6, any V8 engined car will cost more to run.

Parts for LS400s can be obtained reasonably cheaply from the US, even after accounting for postage and packing. Not sure about independent dealers in Manchester. There's a few down south, but generally independent Lexus dealers are still a rarity.

You will quickly get used to the torque and silence of the V8 engine. You will never look back after you get it. Well, probably a lot of looking in the rear view mirror to see the dust left behind as you smoke another hot hatch at the lights!

What do you value in a car? If you value:

Total silence

Pillowlike ride

being insulated from the road so that you have less "steering feel"

Well designed ergonomic interiors

Plenty of low down torque to make driving and overtaking simply effortless

the ability to cruise for hours and hours without feeling shattered

Plenty of room

A super high STANDARD spec with all the goodies

World class reliability (read the websites to read about electric gizmos going wrong so much on Mercs and Beemers)

This could well be your ideal car...

However, if you like a firm ride and handling and grip are top priority, go for an A8 or 7-series.

LS400s are built to a VERY high standard, and with proper maintainance they will last a long time and be problem free. However, IMHO you get two types of secondhand LS400s.

a) Cars owned and run by people neglected to replace parts at the right time because they just couldn't afford to run it, and let the car deteriorate over time.

B) Cars owned and run by people who keep the car in A1 condition all the time (more likely to be big companies who have dedicated budgets for things like servicing)

Don't simply go on mileage on these cars, find out what how regularly items been changed on the car (all fluids, brake discs, suspension items, cambelt, filters). Look at past service invoices to check whether the previous owner actually did what the garage recommended needed doing.

If you buy a car of type a) you will need to take out a second mortgage.

Good luck, you will need it, there are too many crappy cars out there.

Bear in mind, that it's a luxury car, not an executive or a regular top of the range car.

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Let me put it rather more bluntly - what is so good about the LS400 to persuade me to leave a solid brand like Audi for it? persuade me, please.

Hi dantheman...

Like Royt says have a test drive of one....to be sure... :winky: :driving:

Ive had my eye on one of these LS 400 myself since seeing the car on Topgear many years ago :) ......Never got close to driving one until i test drove mine before i bought it...To be really honest with you,really loved the car for the first couple of weeks...on the test drive i drove the car steady and didnt push it...

After a few weeks i started to push the car more and didnt like it very much :o

If you read through the posts i put up you will get the picture :D ..

I didnt like the UNDERSTEER :angry: i was getting when cornering :angry::angry:

This is just my view....remember :D :D

Anyway i put new alloys on the car..18inch with 245/40/18 instead of the 205/65/15....my view is that this is now the car it should have been...

Really Really happy with the car now :D :D :D :driving: ......NO UNDERSTEER.

The car was really just lacking front end grip.

Now it all comes down to what you want from a car...the Audi you have is a nice car,but the Lexus is something else.

My cars just a old mk1 1991 model Lexus,there first go at making THE ULTIMATE JAP CAR :D :D

Now a 96/97 could be a mk3 or mk4 what your thinking of getting?

So what ever one you get it should be more packed with gizmos than my mk1 and better sorted out with the ride/handling.

Buy one with FSH and you really cant go wrong...get a rac or aa inspection on the car and youve piece of mind.

Lets just say me next cars going to be another LS 400

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Welcome to the club!

etc, etc, etc

maneesh, what a good summary of the pros and cons of running an LS! your comments about FSH are particularly relevant. i bought one without (well, my son did 'cos it was cheap') and spent 4 grand just to get it reasonably reliable!

i love driving mine, but only done 1500 miles or so since getting it back from garage. it's like a mobile phone "whatever did i do before i had one?". but how long i'll keep my clean licence, that's another question!

it would have been great fun to have one in the 'good old days' before the 70 national limit came in! of course, if you go to germany or the isle of man, you could still make the most of it!

bite the bullet, enjoy it before you're too old! you can have the mondeo afterwards!

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They are GREAT to own. You wpn't regret it. Audis are good, but Lexus are special. And rarer, so you feel smug! Well, not really, but it's nice to feel apart from the 'herd'? And at least you won't be thinking ' is that an A6 or an A8....

You don't drive cars thinking about spares and servicing...BUT, when you need this stuff, BMW costs (and, in my limited experience, don't always satisfy!. The Lex is quite cheap, relatively, to run. And after a while you feel soooorelaxed, knowing you made a very good decision!

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:driving: Just looked on 'Autotrader' site. Some v.good value cars on there!!! 80k miles for 6k! A rather nice looking one at Smee in Black (always a great colour the show off your chrome) with grey interior; or, if you like white (good to be seen on a dark wet winter night) there's a couple . I'd guess at trade-ins being passed on, so CASH would mean even less, in my experience. Fix a price in your head, and walk away if....is he coming after you.......deal! They want quick turn over.

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I am really grateful to all of you who've replied to me. And I am soaking up all of your advice and doing more and more research into the subtle differences between the series. This means that I am now looking for my LS400 with far greater knowledge, meaning that I should end up with a wised-up motor instead of possibly being suckered by some dodgy boy. I am tempted to follow the advice that one of you kindly offered - wait for one to come up at the right price at the Lexus dealership with all the stamps and receipts for solid proof of "one careful owner". The alternative of going to a small trader claiming to have a car with FLSH is maybe just too risky for a cautious bloke like me. I want one, but I want the right one. I may have to remain 'celibate' for a little longer to truly enjoy the sweet flesh of a proper Lexus! Thanks again for your support. I appreciate it.

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What budget do you have? If possible it would be nice to get a MKIV which became available from Jan 1998. I've spoken to a couple of owners of older LS400s that now have MKIV and there are impressed.

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What budget do you have? If possible it would be nice to get a MKIV which became available from Jan 1998. I've spoken to a couple of owners of older LS400s that now have MKIV and there are impressed.

Like Colin has said the mk4 is what i wanted but didnt have that sort of money,that will be me next one :winky: .

I bought my car private,lady owner,she had the car for 10 years,fsh...there are some nice ones out there....the choice is yours...again good luck mate.

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