2002 LS 430 New Car Test Drive
Introduced last year, the Lexus LS 430 represents the third generation of this full-size flagship. The LS 430 is a direct descendent of the ground-breaking LS 400 that appeared in 1990. The LS 430 continues unchanged for 2002.
Many consumers and experts alike regard the Lexus LS 430 as the new benchmark for high-tech luxury in a meticulously crafted sedan. It offers every luxury amenity you could want, plus a few we would never have imagined. It presented a very real example of everything technology makes possible, with systems that out-think and out-perform lesser cars and, in some cases, lesser drivers. Its functional aerodynamics and exacting quality control lead the rest of the world industry.
At once a deluxe limousine and high-performance touring car, the LS 430, delivers quick acceleration and agile handling along with features designed to take the work out of driving.
The LS 430 retails for $54,405. That figure buys a premium, full-size sedan loaded with sophisticated mechanical equipment, extensive safety systems and luxurious appointments. The sole engine, a four-cam 4.3-liter aluminum V8, produces 290 horsepower and mates to an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission.
Opt for the aptly named Ultra Luxury Selection ($12,485) and the factory adds a list of hardware that reads like science fiction: laser-guided cruise control, a sonar-based parking guide, a navigation system that triangulates by satellites and coordinates with a DVD-powered data base, and an adaptive electronically controlled suspension that rides on air rather than springs. A fan inside the front seats circulates either heated or chilled air. Rear-seat passengers relax with their own air conditioning and air filtration system; plus heated seats, with electric seatback adjustment, memory control and a power lumbar massager. A power-operated sunscreen shades the backs of rear passenger's necks. Side-window screens are provided, but must be pulled down manually.