February 12, 2002
Vehicle testing company says Lexus LS 430 is “Finest Luxury Sedan in America”
A U.S. automotive testing company, Automotive Marketing Consultants Incorporated (AMCI), has declared the Lexus LS 430 the “Finest Luxury Sedan in America.” AMCI’s testing program required more than one year and over 4,000 man-hours to complete.
“It was an extremely complicated testing program because we evaluated everything that would be important to a potential buyer,” said George Doganis, AMCI’s lead testing engineer. “The expectation is that luxury cars have to be excellent in every aspect; having fine appointments isn’t enough. Luxury cars also have to excel in performance, utility and quality.”
The company claims to drive and evaluate more cars each year than the U.S. federal government, car enthusiast magazines or any other American organization.
The first phase consisted of an intense study of published materials and internal AMCI research of all luxury sedans sold in America with V8 or V12 engines produced in quantities of 500 or more. The ten vehicles selected for testing were: the 2000 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph, 2000 Bentley Arnage Red
Label, 2001 Jaguar Vanden Plas Supercharged, 2001 Lexus LS 430, 2001 Mercedes Benz S600, 2001 BMW 750 iL, 2002 Infiniti Q45, 2001 Audi A8L, 2001 Lincoln Continental, and the 2001 Cadillac Seville STS.
In phase two, this field of ten was tested on a point system through a wide array of evaluations, both on the road and in the research lab. Results of the second phase narrowed the playing field to five luxury sedans for phase three. The competition pitted the Audi A8L, BMW 750 iL, Infiniti Q45, Mercedes Benz S600, and Lexus LS 430 against each other in a total of 193 arduous tests arranged in seven different categories, including Performance, Active Safety and Sportiness; Passive Safety and Advanced Technology; Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH); Maintenance, Economy and Warranty; Ergonomics, Roominess and Utility; Fit and Finish; and Luxury, Comfort and Convenience Features.
“We entered this three-phase program with an absolute commitment to impartial, objective and accurate testing, and we believe our protocol reflects that,” Doganis said. “In fact, AMCI measured only those things that can be objectively measured. For areas such as leather, paint and wood quality, that are subjective, we scoured the nation and brought in a panel of top experts to add another layer of objectivity in our testing.”
Among the independent findings:
- The LS 430 bested the BMW 750 iL in the tough 50-0 mph braking test on wet pavement. The BMW took 95.3 feet to reach a stop from 50 mph, while the LS 430 stopped more than three feet sooner.
- With a decibel reading of just 31.1 at idle in the front seat, the LS 430 was the quietest car in the competition, and the most tranquil vehicle that AMCI has ever tested (for comparison, background sound in a typical library is about 40 decibels).
- For fit and finish, Lexus’ attention to detail stood out. For example, the LS 430 has no exposed screw heads and fasteners in its cabin. The Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph has 60.
The Lexus LS 430 scored well in every category and finished first in three of seven test categories: 1) Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH), 2) Ergonomics, Roominess and Utility, and 3) Fit and Finish.