The LS430 is one of the best-scoring luxury sedans we've tested. The cabin is very quiet and comfortable and the controls are intuitive to use. The powertrain is especially refined. The rear-seat area is roomy and very well equipped, especially compared to others in this class. Handling is sound. Overall, the LS430 exhibits a plush, luxurious driving experience, but lacks the exciting feel of a sports sedan -- which it is not.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. ESC standard from 2000. Head protection air bags standard from 2001. Rear side air bags available from 2007.
Road Test

The LS430 is one of the best-scoring luxury sedans we've tested. The cabin is very quiet and comfortable and the controls are intuitive to use. The powertrain is especially refined. The rear-seat area is roomy and very well equipped, especially compared to others in this class. Handling is sound. Overall, the LS430 exhibits a plush, luxurious driving experience, but lacks the exciting feel of a sports sedan -- which it is not.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4.3-liter V8 (290 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Lexus LS owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"Display lights over navigation system work intermittently for inside and outside temperatures and clock"

W T., VA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Headlights

"Left low beam headlight intermittently goes off"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Heated or cooled seats

"From the time this vehicle was brand-new, the cooling portion of the seats was never adequate. Certainly not up to Lexus standard"

William M., VA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Keyless entry

"The electronic lock in the driver's door failed. I am awaiting an appointment availability at Lexus to be able to diagnose the problem. Lexus service is booked-up for the next 2 weeks"

Mark E., WA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"The power door lock actuator in the passenger door failed this year. It is part of the door latch mechanism and so cannot be replaced as a standalone item. Instead, it is an $800 part plus labor. The power door luck mechanism in the drivers' door failed about 2 years ago and it was a $600 part back then. Toyota seems to be on the path of raising parts prices much faster than the rate of inflation."

Anonymous, WA (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)
Tire pressure monitor

"had an issue with the light going off after aligned by dealer"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"Unrsolved. One monitor apparently is intermittent; when turned off, soon reappears"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"Tire pressure light goes on despite correct pressure"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"Does not turn off. Tires fully inflated and shows low tire pressure, even after being reset by a mechanic"

Anonymous, (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"System only reports low pressure, which can usually be remedied without damage. It did not tell me of a complete pressure loss, cause total tire damage and loss before I could safely stop and call for assistance."

Anonymous, HI (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Warning lights

"Warning sensor lights keep coming on for brakes even though there is no issue. Also, the tire pressure light keeps coming up"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"It stopped working"

Anonymous, WV (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
CD player

"Changer broken"

Patrick N., NC (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)
Display screen freezes up

"Frozen display does not allow input. Climate, navigation, audio, all settings become inoperative making the crucial control panel useless. Heating/cooling continue to work in the background but no changes can be made."

Jayanth N., GA (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)
Display screen goes blank

"The computer board and display was faulty from new. There was a bad run of boards that were not properly soldered that caused multiple problems with the onboard computer system."

Anonymous, TX (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"not working at this time, but can be fixed"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)
Radio

"radio made a popping sound and stopped working."

Donald B., CA (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)
Speakers

"Foam surround on the subwoofer rotted out, had to replace. I think one of the amplifier channels is going out too. It's the mark levinson system and everything is unique and super expensive."

Anonymous, NE (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Steering wheel controls

"Steering wheel won't adjust positions"

Anonymous, KY (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

"Front bushings noisy and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Power steering leaks

"Power steering leaks fluid. Replacement costs $1200"

Thomas F., CA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"I noticed fluid leaking under the car and assumed it was an oil leak from the engine. I took it in for the normally scheduled service and told the service advisor about the leak and was told that it was a power steering leak, primarily, with a smaller oil leak. Repairs were expensive due to prolonged labor time required for the repair, but there was no down time except for when the car was in the shop."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Shocks or struts

"After 100k miles, needed new struts. I don't think this is an issue"

Stuart S., FL (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"Rear Right Strut leaking. I had to replace both left and right struts."

Anonymous, TX (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"Leaking shocks"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Rear deck clear coat"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"Clear coat disappeared from Florida climate causing some paint to fade."

Anonymous, FL (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"Pain has blistered on the hood and roof area. Primed metal shows in areas where the paint has fallen off...it's obvious that there's minimal adhesion between the paint coat and primer."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"The pressure plate on the front of the automatic transmission developed cracks that required a very expensive repair/replacement of the pressure plate. The dealer claimed to have not previously seen that type of failure before and theorized that it could be from metal fatigue or aggressive driving, however, this is a heavy luxury vehicle that doesn't handle very well so it does not make sense that I or a previous owner would have driven it like a sports car!"

Mark E., WA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"Cracked pressure plate in the transmission caused rough shifting and an unusual ticking sound. Failure would have been catastrophic to the transmission, so early diagnosis and replacement was quite fortunate."

Anonymous, (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"The pressure plate between the torque converter and crankshaft developed a crack in it, which resulted in an unusual clicking noise when I turned off the ignition. The mechanic said that if I hadn't brought the car in for diagnosis that the crack would have probably resulted in pressure plate failure at speed, which would have done catastrophic damage to the transmission. Even so, it was over $1000 to replace and they could not explain any reason for the development of the crack. This car has an easy life, is driven mostly on long freeway trips, so the transmission does not experience much stress or strain and I am disappointed in Toyota for not building a more durable transmission."

Anonymous, WA (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"The radiator failed on the highway causing massive damage to the engine. The engine had to be replaced."

Anonymous, TX (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Head gasket

"took car in for oil chnage service and the dealership indicated a problem."

Spencer S., SC (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Problem with sticking mixing valve"

Robert S., CA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

"This was 3 years ago covered under warrenty"

Anonymous, SC (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission computer

"computer problem caused the transmission to have a rough and abrupt down shift in the lowest gear"

Anonymous, AL (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"About 2 years ago the transmission would not shift from 3rd gear to 4th gear. During the past 2 years this was easily remedied by turning the car off and restarting it but about 2 weeks ago the fix no longer worked. I am taking the car into the shop today to have it repaired. Hoping it is a solenoid and not the body master, which is the more expensive part and repair of the two"

Dino F., FL (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"Cotter pins were missing on brake calipers on visit in April. It was a safety issue"

W T., VA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)
Normal routine brake wear

"Just needed new brakes"

Rick A., OH (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Salt corrosion from Chicago winters"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)
Muffler

"Not really the LS fault - salt in Chicago winters killed the muffler"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Lexus LS 430.0 4.2-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"Minor oil leak that would not have been noticed if not for the much more obvious power steering leak."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"activated Check Engine light. Sensor was replaced Lexus dealer service department for $450"

Art F., CT (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"Multiple locks have been going on the car and need replacing and it is expensive"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Lexus LS 430 4.2-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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