1996 Lexus LS Reviews

1996 Lexus LS 400 8 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission 8 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired67000 miles
Most recent distance85000 miles

Summary:

Great car now available at great prices

Faults:

In no particular order:

1. Engine mounts.

2. Transmission mounts.

3. Tires.

4. Hood hydraulic supports failed.

5. Carpet pulled back under driver's seat.

6. Electric antenna doesn't retract.

7. Plastic "finisher" bits have fallen off -- like the interior finishers in the door pockets.

8. Plastic surround on the power seat controls has loosened.

9. Carpet on door panels fell off.

10. Leather on seats and arm rest have cracked.

11. Speedometer sometimes does not register speed.

General Comments:

This car is extremely well made. The issues I've had are less than what one would expect on a 18 year old car.

The major functions like the transmission have not failed.

The car rides very well, is quiet, is dependable, and feels sturdy.

The features on the car are very nice even by today's standards -- for example, separate automatic temperature controls.

New tires made a huge difference in the comfort and drivability.

I thought about getting rid of it, but after test driving both newer and new cars, I couldn't find anything that would be better than the Lexus for as cheap as it was to do the recent repairs it needed (see above) and insure it, etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2014

1996 Lexus LS 400 4.0L from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 4.0L Automatic
Distance when acquired150000 miles
Most recent distance155000 miles
Previous carLexus IS

Summary:

The best car I have driven (used to be a chauffeur) in 50 years of motoring

Faults:

Speedo needle was only half illuminated.

Driver's seat did not heat.

General Comments:

Both faults were present when I bought it.

Otherwise absolutely perfect condition throughout.

Expensive on petrol, so I have had an LPG conversion done.

Now get 6 miles per litre! Performance is even better than on petrol!

New LPG systems are very sophisticated and 'talk' to the car's ECU.

Capital depreciation... ZERO.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2013

1996 Lexus LS 400 4.0 V8 from UK and Ireland

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 4.0 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired218000 miles
Most recent distance226500 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz 190

Summary:

Fantastic value for money at this age

Faults:

The handbrake seized up at 220,000 miles through a combination of lack of use and British weather. Not that it is needed in an automatic with "Park". New brake lines back to front were replaced at the same time.

At 220,500 the front nearside suspension spring broke - very cold weather and poor road surfaces in the bad weather at the beginning of 2010 caused this.

General Comments:

Superbly quiet at all speeds - it really is surprising at first, and every car I travel in now sounds loud!

Seats are comfortable and hard wearing. After 15 years and 226,000 miles, they are in superb condition still.

All the electrical items (windows, seats, sunroof, climate, dash lights, etc.) all still work as they should.

The stereo is absolutely fantastic - no wonder few LS 400's have them changed, unlike most other cars.

I can get 32 mpg (British gallons) on a long run (at 80 mph), but down to 18 mpg around town or when "playing".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2011

1996 Lexus LS 400 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Previous carToyota Truck

Faults:

Head gasket blew at 160,000, despite meticulous maintenance. Required a replacement engine at $2,400.

General Comments:

Up till the head gasket blowing, it was a perfect car. Just routine maintenance (which I did mostly myself). Frankly I still can't believe it overheated one day and messed up. The timing belt and water pump were replaced at 120,000 miles, and apparently this new water pump went bad (or did the Toyota dealer REALLY replace the pump like they said??).

It IS the smoothest ride of any car I've been in. I valet parked cars in college, and this is the best, hands down. I have a 99 Jag, and it's nowhere close.

Great power. With the replacement engine, I plan to continue to see if I can get it to 300,000 miles.

Oh yeah, I did buy a 2005 LS430, and as good as the LS400 is, the 430 takes it one more step. It's so nice that I'm almost afraid to drive it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th August, 2010

1996 Lexus LS 400 1UZ-FE 4.0L V8 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1UZ-FE 4.0L V8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 miles
Most recent distance214000 miles

Summary:

The King of the used luxury car market!

Faults:

The power antenna for the radio has been replaced a few times. Best deal it to buy the generic antenna from Pepboy's for a Toyota. Works great and is only $20 or so!

The evaporator core and air conditioning compressor developed leaks around 180k or so. We just filled it up every once in a while until it got really bad. I replaced them both for $200 for used parts, and it's been perfect ever since.

The strut rod bushings, and lower ball joints were replaced around 200k with OEM parts, due to knocking in the front end.

Engine ECM went bad around 200k. The ECM turned out to be the problem with a coolant temperature circuit malfunction check engine light that would never go away, even though everything was fine. The car idled super high or super low and was running very very rich. A replacement used ECM made the car run like brand spanking new again.

I replaced the power steering rack at around 210k due to being hard to turn and a leak at the input shaft. There is also a small screen on the progressive power steering solenoid that must be kept clean or the steering will get very hard to steer. Cleaning this screen usually fixed the problem right up!

General Comments:

You can hardly buy a car today that is as nice as the mid 90's LS400's. Buying a used one with around 150k+ is an awesome investment in a luxury car. They are ultra reliable. Smaller things will go bad and need to be replaced, but that it typical with a high mileage car.

These cars can really go the distance. I hear of so many LS400's with 600k+ miles. Mine has 210k and doesn't burn oil, tick, knock, NOTHING! The core components of this car are simply bulletproof: The engine, transmission, rear axle, brakes, body, etc...

These cars must be maintained properly, however. The oil should be changed every 7,500 miles with synthetic oil. The transmission should be serviced only with Toyota T-IV fluid and the filter either cleaned or replaced. Change the brake pads before they hit the wear sensors. The timing belt, tensioner, and water pump must be changed every 90k miles. If the belt breaks, you will bend valves as the 95-97 1UZ-FE's are interference engines.

The common failures on these cars are mostly in the power steering system, especially the pre-1995 models. Power steering pumps can leak on to the alternator and also make that go out. The air control valve on the power steering can also leak fluid into the intake, causing the engine to smoke at start up. This is easily solved by simply plugging the control valve, there is no difference in the feel.

Don't expect to buy these car's with high mileage and expect ZERO problems. They have tons of life left in them with high mileage (if properly maintained), but things will break some. Catastrophic failures are few and far between on these cars, and only small things need to be fixed.

Remember to only use OEM Toyota/Lexus parts on everything. There are several online sources with very reasonable prices.

These cars ride amazing, have great power, are very quiet, super reliable, parts are readily available, and they are surprising easy to work on for DIYer's like me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2010

Average review marks: 9.2 / 10, based on 15 reviews