1997 Lexus LS 400 from North America

Summary:

Expensive, heavy, and boring

Faults:

My timing belt needed replacing at 100,000 km.

Extensive brake work was likewise required at that point.

The paint finish (black) does not hold up well over time; chips and scratches to the metal accumulate easily and the surface is a sea of fine lines.

The front tires (Michelin) lose pressure independently and randomly.

The seat warmers gave up the ghost early into the cold season.

Less than a year into ownership, the right front strut mount is making a most annoying noise (say goodbye to another $500!) ; what's worse is that I had to diagnose it myself after 2 Lexus dealers couldn't get it right.

General Comments:

An expensive acquisition that, so far, has failed to deliver on the car's reputation as a solid, long-term performer.

Service work required within 2 months of acquiring the car, used, from a Lexus dealer added to 10% to my purchase cost, followed by another $500 less than a year later.

Considering the target demographic for this car, it's startling to have to fight with an interior design that is an enemy to cell phones (yes, we're talking hands-free) and garage door openers.

Add to the above cup holders that, due to an over-padded center armrest, cannot properly hold anything, but the smallest cup, and one begins to wonder where all that category-leading design is actually to be found.

Trunk space is just okay - hardly a world leader.

And what's the point of packing in that thirsty V8 muscle (with an added-power mode, to boot) when the vehicle is not going to be up to it when cornering?

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

Review Date: 29th August, 2003

3rd Jan 2007, 00:30

The timing belt and brakes are normal maintenance for almost every vehicle at this mileage, not just Lexus, the timing belt needs to be changed every 80k miles. Do you fault the car for having to have the oil changed too? The tires are not a Lexus fault either, they would be the fault of the tire manufacturer. The paint issues can be fixed with a good car detailer giving it a polish to buff out swirls. If you complain this much about this car, I would hate to hear what you say about every other car.