It's been a long time since I've posted on these forums. I have an 01 RX300 and an 02 IS300 Sportcross.
I traded in an 97 LS400 for the RX a few years ago. I love the RX, it's been very useful but I've always regretted trading in the LS. To this day I miss the LS so I'm thinking of selling the IS and getting an LS.
I'd like some opinions on whether I should just get an 01 - 03 LS used or is the 04 really worth it ? If you think it is, please state why.
I'm also struggling on whether I should lease or buy considering I get an itch for something else every few years.
Well, I just bought a 2001 LS-430 Ultra Lux so thats what I'd recommend. There isn't too much in changes between the 2001, 2002, and 2003 models, so really the choice comes down to 2001 vs 2004. If you get the 2001 from a private party you can get it with all options at a cost about half that of the equivalent 2004 . . . in my mind thats a no brainer for the 2001!
I'm in a similar position. This December I'm looking to get into either a 2001 ultra-lux or a 2004 with the Modern Lux Package.
Here are some of my thoughts:
2004 is expensive.. but I like the smart key option AND I think the revised front and rear give the car a sleeker look. Acceleration is quicker and the car is reported to be EVEN smoother and quieter. The navigation system is supposedly MUCH improved on the '04 models. Also, there IS something special about a brand spanking new Lexus. To fit this vehicle in my self-imposed car budget (okay, the max my wife'll let me spend without nagging) I would have to lease it for 48 months sign and drive.
2001 Ultra: I can purchase this baby outright. It has every toy known to man. BUT... I do not like the grayish wood trim on the inside (I could live with it but it's not my favorite). Also, even though a CPO Lexus is really nice, it is still a used car that's had 35++++ thousand miles put on her by who knows. I had a CPO es300 a few years back and while very nice it still felt like a "used" car to me. Also the front styling of the 01-03 seems a bit bland to me.
For me, the "logical" choice is to get a CPO '01 Ultra, but MAN those '04's are sweet. As of now I have no clue what I'm going to do.
Without a question the 2004 LS430 is well worth the price. My philosophy, which I'm not trying to push on you or anyone-else, is "you only go around once"...I'm 39 and this was my early Big 40 present to myself.
The new design, features like the Nav, rearview camera, ML stereo, smart key...etc, are all just amazing. Your thread sounded much like how I am with cars and wanting a new one in a few years...
With good negotiating, you should be able to get extra miles put onto a lease & come out smelling fine, since like most expensive cars, these quickly depreciate also. Your $60,000 car will be worth around $$30,000-$32,000 in 3 years with 60,000 miles on the odometer. Why not just lease one & save the trouble of selling it later. With competition getting stiff with new models coming out from different makers, the selling price could be lower.
If you are thinking of getting a 2001, '02 or '03--- Do not sit in, smell, look at or especially drive an '04 LS!
2005 LS430 Crystal White/Beige Leather
wow... sounds like me a couple days ago. I found a good condition 2001 LS430 for 35k. I was kinda hesitant. I got the loan processed.. but the insurance is gonna kill me. This is my first car (that I bought myself). My parents bought me a GS300 that I just recently crashed... not bad but it is inoperable. SO now, I was debating on whether I should get this LS430 or wait 3 more months to save up for a down payment on the BEEEEEAUTIFUL 04LS430. I figured... I'd probably just use this car for 3 years... sell it... then get the 04 LS in 2007 when it is $35,000-40,000. Then again, there is something about a brand spanking new Lex... I think I can live with the used LS.
If you want to trade with the grey wood interior, I want it! I got the dark brown wood all around.
Here's my .02. I had an '03 that I traded for an '04 after a deer committed suicide on it (the '03). There is not that much difference, although I do admit that I enjoy the transmission on the '04 better and I like the rear shade and the swivel headlights that were standard on the '04 versus the '03.
For MOST vehicles, a 2-3 year old one is a good deal. Because Lexus holds it's value so well, however, it seems that the brand spanking new vehicle is the better value. IFFFFFFFFF you an find a GOOD '01 or '02 at a REALLY bargain price, then go for that. It's unlikely that you'll find that however. The better move will probably be to bargain hard on a new '04 and enjoy!
Tough choices to make. It's all about your personal feeling and your willingness to spend the $ for new. I personally have bought 4 Lexus vehicles as CPO. You get a 100K warranty and you can check the vehicle history to see if it was properly maintained. Just have your Lex dealer run the VIN for service history.
Good luck with your choice and welcome back to the LS.
2000 LS400 Silver - no mods...yet
I've also had these Lexus'