Fleet News

Lexus LS430

LEXUS has made a fresh attempt to knock the Mercedes-Benz S-class off its perch as the favourite of company directors.

The LS430 is a new model following 10 years of subtle evolution for the old LS400, and aims to capitalise on its strengths of refinement and more gadgets per pound than any other luxury saloon.

There are a number of other rivals in the sector and the BMW 7-series is about to get a radical look when the new model goes on sale in March.

Its list price puts it virtually on a par with its old nemesis, the Mercedes S430, which has the same size engine and costs £25 more on the road.

I am unhappy about the way the Lexus looks. By the time it faced the axe, the LS400 had matured into something looking remarkably like the previous generation S-class, but something seems to have gone wrong with the LS430.

Maybe the designers mistakenly used old Ford Scorpio genes, because although the LS430 still has a hint of S-class, the large headlights have become too bulbous and the curves at the front are not in harmony with the square-ended rear.

Compare this with the subtle curves of the new S-class, or the traditional twin-headlight front and tapered rear of the Daimler, and the clean, crisp lines of the Audi A8 and you have a car that struggles to exude the same kind of distinction.

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