1996 Lexus LS 400 from North America

Summary:

Magnificent, bargain buster! GREAT car!

Faults:

Fuel pump went out at 181k.

General Comments:

Swe-e-e-et, sweet car. This is simply one of the best bargains on the road.

This Lexus lives up to their reputation. It is silky smooth on the road. The transmission and engine are so quiet and smooth. It is amazing how it goes through the gears so smoothly. Did I mention yet that this car is smooth?

The acceleration is exhilaration. It's amazing how fast you can go in such little time. I love the understated growl from the 32 cam, 8 cylinder engine when you really gun it. You are not going to take corners like a sports car, but that's not why I purchased this car anyway.

I could only afford a used car and I wanted a car with bells and whistles, that was roomy, that was fast, and that was reliable. A Lexus fit the bill. OK, here were my choices at one point: a newer Honda Accord/Toyota Corolla, etc. for $6k or an older Lexus for $6k. NO BRAINER!

I rarely drive with cruise control anymore, just because this car is so much fun to drive with complete control of the throttle and because it is so comfortable.

The ride is so comfortable. I love the room and the leather seats. This is the first car I've driven where my back doesn't ache on long trips. One of the first trips we took in it was a 12-hour straight drive.

I'm surprised at how much I can pack into the trunk.

I love the Nakamichi stereo with subwoofer. It really responds well to whatever genre of music I'm listening to, and I listen to instrumental classical, choral classical, instrumental and vocal jazz, and rock.

I love this car's looks. I think it is one of the better looking model years. Everyone who asks me is completely blown away that this car is 11 years old. They all think it is new. (Yeah, right... like I can afford a new Lexus?)

It is an incredible bargain, though. I paid $6500 for mine. Many with 20k to 40k less miles than mine were not selling for that much more. Most owners of these cars take good care of them. So buying a high mileage Lexus is not a big deal. Especially when you know that in all likelihood these are good for probably upwards of 500k with regular maintenance.

Yes, repairs and maintenance at a dealer can be pricey. It would do you well to ask other Lexus owners where they have their car serviced. I found one that used to work for Toyota and Lexus for many years. He obviously knows his stuff about them and doesn't charge dealer rates.

My only beef with the car is that the range for the remote entrance is somewhat limited to only about 25 feet tops. Sometimes it doesn't pick up unless I'm closer. I think that sometimes temperature and angle to the car have some bearing on that.

To conclude, I would absolutely buy another Lexus. The quality and level of engineering is superlative. We also own a Toyota Matrix. These cars are just going to last us forever. I just love my LS400. I love it's acceleration, handling, silky smooth drive train, looks, room, and comfort. I look for any excuse to drive this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2008

1996 Lexus LS 400 4.0 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

The LS400 is the best car in the world

Faults:

Brought my dream car with 89000 on the clock, and absolutely nothing has gone wrong with the car.

In the following months, there was a very minor rattle coming from the gear stick area. After weeks of inspection, can you believe that it was actually coming from the cigarette lighter. The cigarette lighter was rattling in its holder (and I was thinking that it was coming from the transmission itself!!! thank god it wasn't). So I just forced a small piece of card into the gap between lighter and holder, and no rattling now!!!

General Comments:

The car is fantastic; that's the first thing that comes to mind.

You have to remember that Lexus is all about luxury, quietness, and technology, and not so much handling. I know that the car does receive criticism in that aspect of driving. I have driven Mercedes and BMWs, and have to say that no car is as luxurious as the LS400.

It met all the expectations I had about the car. No car is quieter, I just can't stress that enough. The acceleration is extremely smooth and rapid, but not instantaneous, except when you put it in sports mode, when it can give some sports cars a run for their money (when you consider that the car nearly weighs two tonnes).

The rears seats are extremely comfortable, and I do actually prefer to be driven than driving the car (it's that comfortable). Just being seated in the car gives you the feeling that this is a very special car. The stereo is absolutely fantastic, and is actually designed to produce near perfect concert sound. Sometimes I just get into the car to listen to music. To get the best from the system, use original CDs than burned discs from a PC.

I think that a lot of people cannot comprehend that Lexus had what it took to develop a world class luxury car in their first attempt and succeeded at that. I understand that some people make opinions of the car without even driving it. I'm sure that if those anti-Lexus people gave it a chance to find out the actual purpose of the car (i.e providing a quiet ride, comfort etc) I'm sure they won't be disappointed (that's if they approach it with an open mind).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2007