Lexus LS 400 Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.82/5 Average
186 Total Reviews

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 186.00
  • Stellar Commuter / Superb Highway Cruiser - 1998 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    Wow! What a pinnacle of design coming from before the year 2000! Buying a used ls400 for less than $20k must be the best way to get such a refined ride without paying four/five times that for something new that will be comparable. I bought mine for $14k with low miles and it is the best vehicle I have ever purchased to date. Everything about it is so great! I studied engineering and when I found out about how many engineers and designers went into building this and for how long the design process took plus the incredible budget it had, I instantly knew this car would really be something else and boy was I right. This isnt something that was put together in under a year with newly graduated engineering students to turn a quick buck. Everything about this vehicle really shows the design process, thought, and effort that went into making it to final production. I could go on about the history but there are many articles that you can find about it. I will now just write about my experience in owning it. The first thing that I noticed was how quiet the cabin is when I shut the door. Instantly I was sheltered from the outside world. The stillness and calmness of my surroundings was the only thing present. I knew this was going to be one comfortable ride from there on out. When I started the car for the first time, the start was strong, confident, and fast in turning the engine over. The 4.0 V8 came to life and the tales are true. It is a very balanced engine. I couldnt tell that the engine was running after the initial start up. The car I bought was well taken car of. The man before me was 72 years old in 1998 when he bought his LS400. I knew I wouldnt have issues with this vehicle. I have never driven a v8 and only been in trucks that had a v8 or sports cars as a passenger. This v8 was just different. Tuned for comfort, its incredible how smooth the acceleration is and competent this engine is at getting the whole car moving. I was instantly hooked! I dont want to go to v6s anymore after this. The transmission is impeccable in its timing to shift. I can only tell when it shifts from first to second but only barely. After that, its a mystery when the engine gets to its fifth speed. I had to google the specs to know when it shifts. Its that smooth! With close to 300 horsepower, you can get up to speed in a couple of heartbeats. Perfect for keeping up with modern vehicles and drivers who act like the highway is some kind of race track. No issues speeding up to merge. The brakes do a phenomenal job at doing the inverse. Actually, I had to slam on them when a car cut me off at an intersection yesterday and they did their job at erasing my speed and preventing a crash. I am thankful that the braking performance was that good. I am a fan of large capacity fuel tanks and this v8 sips on gas. I was a little nervous of going down in fuel efficiency especially from a car from the 90s but regular driving I am hitting at least 21 MPG combined. Which is the same as my last SUV from the mid 2000s with a v6. This is a perfectly acceptable efficiency for me. On the highway, I have seen almost 25mpg which is still pretty great. I live in a very mountainous state so I expect the MPGs to be closer to 30mpg on a flat stretch of road. Coupled with 22.5 gallon tank, yeah you can go far! This is great for peace of mind when travelling in smaller highways when gas stations are far from each other. Yes it is premium so the price is steeper but hot dang, i dont mind. If it was 15mpg like my truck, I would reconsider this truck but with a range over 400 miles its not too tough of a bite to swallow. The suspension is articulate in controlling the vehicle and absorbing the imperfections of the road. Going over speed bumps you can feel the suspension swallow the force of the vehicle going up and down. It is like riding on a cloud. My coworker saw me drive and could see the vehicle floating on its tires. With the tires it has and the suspension, this is a supremely vibration free ride. Going back to the interior, I really enjoy how thoughtfully placed all the central controls are. Everything just makes sense! The placement must have taken several design sessions to get just right and they did the job. Everything is grouped in priority and relevance to each other. No funky controls cluttering up the dash. The steering wheel is polite and will move out of its way when you are trying to exit and will position itself when you insert the key getting ready to drive. The seats are highly adjustable and will remember their settings once trained. Going into reverse, the side view mirror shifts down so you can make sure your parking job is perfect each and every time. The trim and material selection is top tier and nothing rattles around. It gives the feeling that this vehicle was well put together. The cabin is solid and insulated. The seats are comfortable and the leather is soft and supple. There is plenty of space on the horizontal front but vertically things get limited. I am 5'10" and have just a couple of inches of headroom. I can't wear my cowboy hat while driving. A bummer for sure but no big deal. I sit really straight up anyways and if I inclined a little I could save a couple of inches. Taller people might struggle more. That is the only really negative of the interior. It does have cavernous leg space however which allows you to spread out gratuitously. The exterior design is classic and timeless. I have already gotten countless complements from friends, coworkers, family, and even strangers (one driver rolled down his windows, nodded and gave me the a-okay sign with his hand). I did buy a vehicle with impeccable paint with no scratches or anything signing that it has aged outside. It is a beautifully designed car and quite the sight to see when driving around, you just dont see many of these anymore in the condition mine is. I can see why BMW and Mercedes started to sweat with the release of this vehicle. An gorgeous design from Japan. The germans werent the only ones capable of making a work of art. So far this vehicle has been a joy to use. It has become my new daily and that was the reason why I chose this. I realized that I am going to spend a large number of hours in this vehicle living my daily life and decided that I needed something that would spoil me during those hours with comfort. I wasnt interested in paying close to a mortgage payment for a new luxury car so new it was and a used LS400 in great shape might command a premium but it is still vastly under the price of new. That was all the justification I needed to look for a show room condition LS400 and to pay that much. I paid $14k, the price of an modern entry level domestic hunk of junk. I fully expect this vehicle to drive me at least a decade, and more probably, and for that price, it cant be beat! If you have the chance to find one in great condition with low miles like myself, please do yourself a favor and jump on it! You wont find those any more in the coming years....

  • Lexus LS400, the perfect budget luxury car. - 1999 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    The Lexus ls400 was the car that paved the way for the Japanese luxury car industry. And it was for a good reason. The car took over four years to develop since its start in 1985, and cost over a billion dollars to engineer at the time which is equivalent to well over 2 billion dollars today. It was the first car ever to sport GPS navigation in 1992. It was among the first vehicles to have a telescopic steering wheel with an airbag in 1990. Over the years, the LS400 just keep getting better. It went through 4 generations until 1998, when the final ls400 model was produced. In my humble opinion, the last generation of the ls400 was the best Lexus ever made in terms of overall quality and performance. It’s the perfect balance of quality and reliability. It has good power, and with the same amount of horsepower as its heavier older brother, can hit 60 mph in under six seconds. This might not sound like much, but it feels faster considering how torquey it is. The sport mode button raises the shift rates, and since the last generation has variable valve timing, the power feels very gradual, until it kicks in. It feels a lot livelier than its older brother, the ls430. This isn’t to say that the ls400 isn’t a luxury car to the core. It’s still heavy, torquey, smooth and refined. It has power, but it feels just so effortless, and gradual. The low range feels torquey enough to cruise everywhere at half throttle to save gas. The acceleration isn’t the only thing that feels effortless. The transmission shifts effortlessly and cruises effortlessly on the highway at around 2000 rpms. In fact, it’s geared so that in the fifth gear (that’s added to the 1998 model as well), it is able to hit 156 miles per hour. The steering feel is effortless. It isn’t direct like a newer car, it feels numb in the center, but it is very capable. The Akebono 4 piston calipers in the front of the newer model provide more braking power than the car would ever need, and it does so smoothly with a somewhat soft but responsive brake pedal. The suspension rides very smoothly. I’ve ridden in a 2004 Mercedes s class, and it honestly was on par. The cabin is so quiet that you can’t hear the motor run. The ls400 isn’t the type of car you buy for looks. I’m not saying it’s an ugly car, but it could be mistaken for a 90s Camry from someone who isn’t aware of what an ls400 is. The facelift model looks a little better in the front with its self-leveling HID headlights but when you get around to the rear, it looks like a 1992 accord again. The interior makes up for it though. There are cool features here and there that are just impressive for a car that was designed in the 80s. Even the early models had power headrests, lumbar support, and power mirrors. Most of them came with a beautiful wide electric sunroof that rolls open with the rest of the windows at the push of a button as an air out feature. The sunroof and the rear ashtrays make it the perfect hotbox car if you’re into that sort of thing. Whether you end up with the pioneer or the nakamichi stereo, the stock system is amazing for something that came out of the 90s. There’s a built-in amp and subwoofer along with a 6-cd changer in the dash. The cup holders work beautifully and the rear seats are so plush, it’s practically a sofa back there. If you haven’t driven a Lexus LS400, you should. I believe that the LS400 is truly Toyota at its very best, at least for the North American market. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. As soon as you get in it, it will make you think “Wow, this is a ‘90s car?”. Even more so when you start to drive it around. It’s so effortless and pleasant to drive. How can you not want one when you can find even a last generation that has been driven by an old guy for under 5 grand in amazing shape? With their build quality, it’s not uncommon to see them drive over 300 thousand miles if well maintained. Matt Farrah even drove one a million miles.

  • 98 Lexus LS400 - 1998 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    Superior car except transmission

  • The best!! - 1998 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    Excellent car. Luxury and comfort is the best definition for this car.This wonderful vehicle has everything than you can dream.

  • The definition of how a car should be - 1995 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    WOW is all I can say. I thought the looks were dull at first but in honesty theyre great. The car looks elegant and strong when on the road. The interior is uncomparable. Seats are excellent, stereo (standard Lexus stereo) is incredible, guages are neat, etc. Mechanically the car is awesome, with 100K all that has been changed was the antenna and front shocks. Car is smooth and powerful (I was surpsied with its speed), and it loves to cruise on the fwy with ease. Gas mileage is incredible because this V8 needs no effort to keep the car rolling. It gets better mileage then some 4 bangers because you never need to give it much pedal action.

  • Recent Purchase - 1997 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    I have found no flaws with this car. I would say that Predictable describes the LS 400 best. It rides good, good mileage on a trip. No squeaks and rattles! It can be serviced at Wal- mart for $35 using synthetic oil.

  • What a car! - 1999 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    Traded my 96 LS 400 for the 99. I thought the 96 was the finest of the 40 cars Ive bought in my lifetime. I was wrong. The 99 LS 400 tops anything Ive driven, and Ive many cars. The big changes in engine, suspension, etc. that took place in 98 through the 2000 model year were very obvious when I drove the 99. I was hooked on that drive and Im still hooked. I really think this is the finest overall production sedan built, period.

  • Best Used Car Purchase EVER! - 1998 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    I bought the car three years ago w/ 80k. I now have a bit over 140. Absolutely no problems whatsoever. I did the 90k maintenance which was about $1000, but was very extensive. The car is comfortable, quick, and surprisingly economical. Every once in a while I get the itch to buy a new car, but think what could I replace this with that would come close. The answer is nothing. I have two other Lexuss that I bought used, a 92 SC300, and a 95 ES 300 and have been just as fortunate with those. My daughter now has the ES at college with 260k, and my SC is my weekend car with 180k.

  • Great Value! - 2000 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    The vehicle handles like a dream. It is without a doubt an absolute great value. For a 10 year old car, it looks great! With over 100,000 miles, it remains extremely responsive. The fuel economy is awesome. I have gotten up to 30 mpg on the highway. This is the second Lexus I have owned. They are, without a doubt the best vehicles made.

  • the best - 1997 Lexus LS 400
    By -

    This car is the best car I have ever owned in my life. Very affordable in this year. I would definitely choose this car over buying a brand car of any type. I have 130,000 miles and I now have a power steering pump go out but once thats fixed it wont need replacing for another 100,000 miles. This car makes a lot of people jealous, if they only knew how much I paid for it. These cars will last forever. Own a LS 400 and you will be completely happy with this choice. Good luck

Lexus LS 400 Reviews By Year:
Great Deals Near You
  • Loading cars...

Selected visitor vehicle reviews Visitor Vehicle Ratings and Reviews are the property of, and may not be reproduced or distributed without the consent of Edmunds© is a trademark of, Inc., Inc. is not affiliated with this website or app.

Powered By Edmunds

× Estimated monthly payments based on 3.9% APR, 60 month financing, and 20% down payment. Tax, tags, title, administration fees, and license fees are not included in price or payment. Subject to approved buyer credit. Actual purchase terms may vary.

Payment calculations are sourced by and may not reflect actual dealer financing terms.

Send Us Feedback ×

Locating Vehicles In Your Area