1997 Lexus LS 400 Coach Edition 4.0 from North America

Summary:

Smooth operator!

Faults:

Nothing wrong yet. The only down side to the LS400 is the headunit/stereo configuration. I'm sure in '97, the Nakimichi sound system was great, but now it sounds a little old. I'm currently looking for a replacement, but would like to keep the clean stock appearance.

General Comments:

Here's the deal, and why I'm posting today. I have been searching for the last couple of weeks for a replacement for my convertible Mustang. I'm a big guy who was looking for a car that I could pay cash for, and would be reliable. After searching for a few weeks, and at a suggestion from a friend, I stopped looking at Cadillacs, Grand Marquis and Lincolns, and looked at Avalon/Lexus line-up. First thing I did was check Carsurvey.org for reviews, and that helped immensely. The only problem was, I didn't see too many big people leave posts, and wanted to help other people in my position.

I'm a big guy, so the car needed to be roomy, functional, fun to drive and have a moon roof. So, I went to a local used car retailer and sat in a few different models. I did find that for me at 6'2" and near the 500 mark, and healing from a back injury, most were a tight fit or uncomfortable, mostly due to shoulder width where the "B" pillars start curving in at that roof line. As I'm sliding in and out of cars, I tried an Avalon and a Lexus LS430. Both were comfortable, but the Lexus was a better fit, but I didn't want to spend $18,000 during these troubled economic times. To my amazement, I actually found one.

After calling several private owners, I finally found one who didn't sell theirs prior to my calling them. It would seem that the LS400 is a sought after vehicle, and only stays on the market a short time in South Florida.

I bought mine at 120000 miles for $7000 cash, and it already had the timing belt and other high mileage service performed. Since titling it, the car has driven unlike anything I have ridden in before, with the exception of an S430; smooth rolling, quiet, and when needed, with pep. The interior was immaculate, and the exterior was just as good, with only very minor dings. The silver jade metallic paint seems to be as nice as the day it was bought new. Seating for me was pretty comfortable, with my only complaint being that my lower back has issues, and the seat itself was a bit small (both of which shouldn't be an issue after my back is fixed), but not particularly the seat's fault.

After 13 years, the Coach Leather (to my surprise) has held up very well, with no cracks or wear. The engine has just a slight movement to it, and transmission is very smooth, with shifting almost being imperceptible. I am really impressed with the vehicle overall, and it pains me to say that as a big believer in Ford. If my initial impressions hold true for the next 60,000 miles, I will be one very happy camper.

If you can find one, that has been taken care of and you are thinking of getting it, you should. I will update after I put some real mileage on, and let you know more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2011

2nd Jun 2011, 16:20

Thank you for the great lead up. Please keep us informed!

Thanks,

Charley.

1997 Lexus LS 400 Coach Edition V8 from North America

Summary:

It is what it is, YAWN

Faults:

Aside from bringing the car into the mechanic to make sure everything is tight, and the fluids are fresh, not too much other than a brake job, but that is normal on any car.

General Comments:

I have owned BMW, Mercedes, and most recently a Volvo. I was tired of the huge repair bills that these cars can rack up. My wallet went from $500 to $0 in record time with the Euro cars.

I bought Lexus after hearing of the remarkable reliability and durability. What I found thus far is that the car lives up to its reputation to be a solid and reliable car. It has the creature comforts one would expect from a semi-upper end luxury sedan, BUT here is my personal view of the rest. I think that Lexus could have improved upon the car to be less generic Toyota looking, and add some class and style like the Euro cars.

The Nakamichi premium stereo is a joke at best, and the performance is so-so at best in comparison to the others, BUT you do get a much bigger bang for the buck with Lexus. If you have extra money to keep the Euro car on the road, I highly recommend it over Lexus. If you are looking for a bargain that keeps on ticking for little money, do the Lexus, but just be prepared to expect less performance, less style and more Japanese feel. So it has its pluses and minuses in my opinion.

When it comes down to it, I would rather have a Lexus that starts and looks like it is standing still at 100mph, rather than own a Mercedes that looks like it is going 100mph on the side of the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd June, 2009