1998 Lexus LS 400 4.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


OK, but a well-sorted 1st generation is just as good, even if it's looking dated now


Front lower balljoint, which was bad when I got the car.

Some backlighting bulbs blown on the temperature displays, which are very time-consuming to change. This is deliberately obstructive design.

General Comments:

This review is perhaps more of a comparison with the UCF10 Mk2 (1994), A.K.A. UCF11. The car has been completely redesigned. There's not much in common with the 1990-94 (the door handles being one exception)!

Lots of people say this car is a step up from the 1st generation. In some ways that is true, in others, not so.

Performance and handling are outstanding. Acceleration and cornering are much improved. The ride is tighter, yet supple (on standard coil springs). Downside: This one has an interference engine.

Corrosion protection is clearly much more effective. This 19-year-old car has no rust at all.

Comfort is better in that the seats are softer, but for a while the base of the driver's seat back seemed intrusive, no matter what adjustments I made.

A/C is much better.

Noise is on a par. Not much improvement here.

Interior trim is much more modern, but there is evidence of cost cutting in places. For example, the door stays no longer have a cap to conceal the pin. (And why doesn't the CD player flap have the same type of handle as the glovebox? Ridiculous!) The cupholders are worse. Not only are they of much cheaper (black) plastic, they are also too wide and with no gripping flap - meaning that a bottle of water just falls over.

It's possible to pop the trunk lid with the engine running - a new feature - which has its uses (but also its dangers).

Many options can be reconfigured in software, but this will not be accessible to many people. The power tilt & telescope, and all-windows-down on the remote might be features you'll want turned off!

The touchscreen audio/navigation system is a frustration and a potential distraction. The original was way better. Here, it's multiple presses just to change the EQ settings, and likewise to turn down the navigation volume - the main volume control being for audio only. You could operate the previous system by feel whilst still watching the road; this one you can't. FM reception still sounds muffled, presumably due to US-standard de-emphasis. The power antenna goes up even when listening to a CD - which was not the case on the gen1.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th July, 2017

1998 Lexus LS 400 4.0 from Finland


Nice to drive, expensive to own


- Front upper control arms.

- Brake master cylinder.

- Front discs and pads.

- Starter motor.

- Timing belt.

- Master key.

- Door actuator.

- Rear upper control arms.

- Rear broken spring.

- A/C compressor.

General Comments:

A lot of wear and tear, and it's not so easy to fix this car. Especially in Finland, where this car is extremely rare, particularly the facelift version I have.

Service costs are really high, because of the work involved.

The car itself is really nice, relaxing to drive, and has lot of power when needed.

In the winter the car is extremely tricky, no grip at all, and the rear can step out even with the traction control and VSC on.

Much nicer to drive in the summer, when there is grip available.

I like the car, but there are things that I am not too happy about, especially the location of the starter motor and the fact that engine has a timing belt. Fixing these issues costs a lot of money.

I have also had problems with the alarm, keys and locks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th May, 2013

1998 Lexus LS 400 V8 from North America


If you have the chance - buy one!!!


The only thing that's gone wrong with this car is normal wear and tear. The brakes, tires, and a couple of fuses needed to be replaced, but I expect these issues on any car.

General Comments:

By far the best car I have ever driven and owned. I keep saying I'm going to get rid of this car and downgrade to a lower model Lexus, but I can't bring myself to sell this car. I love everything about it.

Mine has almost every bell and whistle, with the exception of heated seats. Has GPS and power everything. Driving this car long distances feels like you are sitting on your couch with a steering wheel in your hand.

The car is extremely comfortable, has great pick up for a car its size, and is deceptively quick. Also has an excellent turning radius for any car, but especially one this size. Many have been surprised to try and race me from a standing stop, and I blow right by them. The engine is very powerful yet smooth, and extremely quiet, to the point that you aren't sure if it's on or not.

Gas mileage is great on long distances. Every now and then I'll drive from Boston, MA to Montreal, Canada, and can get there easily on 3/4 of a tank (over 300 miles).

The interior is clean, with wood paneling on the center console and steering wheel. Buttons are positioned well and easy to access. I'm 6'4, and I fit comfortably in any seat, whether driving or as a passenger in the backseat.

The factory sound system is very good and crisp.

Mechanically this car is very sound. My LS has 180,000 miles on it, and still drives as though it's brand new. No issues with the engine, transmission, or anything else.

Has bright HID headlights; great for driving in darkly lit areas.

The trunk isn't very large, but is certainly very functional.

Overall, I can't say enough positive things about this car.

The only negatives I would say, is the car takes premium gas, which can be expensive, but buying this type of car, one should expect that.

The factory GPS works sporadically, however that can likely be fixed by getting an update (tough to find locally, but can find one online).

The trunk space isn't great either, as mentioned before, and as many other reviewers have said, the cup holders are very small.

Aside from that, I am totally in love with this car.

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

Review Date: 18th July, 2012

18th Jul 2012, 18:04

Since I also live in the Boston area, I have a request. Please resist the urge to race on the streets. My family could be innocent victims of one of your "drag races".

I mean really, I think it is time to act like a responsible adult behind the wheel, wouldn't you agree? And in a 14 year old luxury car of all things.

22nd Aug 2012, 12:12

For the record, I'm not drag racing, nor have I ever done so - my point is the car is very quick. I have a daughter myself, and would like to live long enough to see her grow up and get married. You took the smallest detail of what I was trying to say, and turned it into a negative. No need to lecture me about being a responsible adult!

27th Dec 2012, 20:19

Hi from the UK

I have two 98 LS 400, one on LPG, & I agree they are great cars. I also have a GS300 Sport, which is also great, but I much prefer the 400 for their unabashed luxury obtainable now at very little cost.

Regards, Jon.