2000 Lexus LS 4.0 V8 from North America


Cheapest, high quality used car ever! Has 217,000 miles now


111,000 miles: VSC light came on, radio stopped working.

Valve cover gasket started to leak.

General Comments:

Bought when it was 11 years old with over 100k miles because it was the cheapest safe car with vehicle stability control, brake assist, side airbags and HID headlights on the market.

About a month after we bought it, the VSC light came on and the radio quit AT THE SAME TIME. Dealer wanted $400 to the replace power amplifier as the 1st step in their diagnosis, paid a $40 diagnosis charge which later turned out to be wrong. I decided to invest in the factory repair manuals that cost $200. With the manuals I checked the power supply to the amplifier (blue/yellow), no power, traced it to JUNCTION CONNECTOR J4 behind the instrument cluster, opened it, cleaned and reconnected, the music came back and guess what, the VSC was fixed just by coincidence since one (red/black) of the wires in J4 feeds power to a VSC related component!

Do all scheduled maintenance yourself using the manuals, buy genuine parts online and you can keep the car in good condition at a very reasonable cost.

Except for above problems, the car has been fantastic. The engine runs smoothly, absolutely no leaks anywhere on the entire drive train, the ride is quiet, and the music is nice. Everything is working as it's supposed on day one. The 14 year old leather seats are still clean and soft, showing almost no wear. I like the simplicity of the interior layout and the classic look of the outside. The beauty of the car, in my eyes, is the quality of the material.

The V8 engine always gets 30+ miles/US gal on freeway, which is quite impressive for a 3890 lb. car that does 0-60 in 6.4 seconds.

This is not a sports car by any means, so no wonder some are disappointed when they compare its handling to BMW or Audi, but you'll find it comfortable on long trips. I don't drive often, but when I do it's a 12 hour straight drive, and I feel confident to hit the road anytime day or night in this well built baby.

Update 9/2018: The car has 217k miles, drives and looks almost the same as the day we bought. No leak, no check engine light, no rattles. Regular conventional oil change, clean inside, wax outside. New TB/WP, radiator/hoses, not for repair but for peace of mind. Can't find anything this cheap and bulletproof, period. There's a short video on Youtube as an evidence, search "200,000 miles 2000 LS400 Celsior UCF21 Reliability".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th June, 2014

12th Jul 2014, 17:26

Do you mean - Cheapest, quality used car ever?

or (Cheapest quality) used car ever?

Perhaps you could just say - An inexpensive, high quality used car.

12th Oct 2014, 02:24


Excellent review! I have a 1998 LS400 that has a Check VSC message. Can you elaborate on how you fixed yours?

Thanks a lot, Peter.

2000 Lexus LS 400 Platinum Edition UZ-FE 4.0 V8 from North America


A car that screams CHEAPNESS


- Steering wheel mechanism ($2000)

- Water in the trunk ($200 to fix)

- Headlamp leveling mechanism

- Cruise control switch is wobbly

- Mirrors become discolored

- Steering wheel shakes at 60mph

- Window switch broke

- Suspension is squeaky

General Comments:


- Breathtaking acceleration, can run at 100mph all day!

- Tons of power and torque, no downshifting.

- 32mpg TOPS, 10mpg all city; average 23.5mpg.

- Exclusively fed on 93 octane.


- Stopped in the highway because of an electronic sensor in the headlamp.

- GPS is great, but dealership will not update it!

- Sensitive to cold/wet weather.

- Squeaky in and out.

- Paint beginning to rust in door and trunk lips.


- Frighteningly quiet cabin.

- Best seats I've sat on so far.

- OK handling for such a large car.

- CHEAPLY MADE. Lots of plastic.

- Solid door thud is lost, compared to my '91.

- I am 6'2 and brush my head on the ceiling.


- OUTRAGEOUSLY overpriced, as they all are.

- Free courtesy car.

- Continuous updates, attentive service.

- Better talk to the mechanics in the dealership.

- Snotty behavior regarding older models.


- VERY HIGH, even if purchased in mint condition.

- - - - - - -

I had a 1991, and I must speak about the 2000 in utter disappointment. Every single bit of fancy electronics is a liability for VERY EXPENSIVE fixes. There is way too much that can go wrong.

Build quality is also a step down from the 1991. The steel panels are thin as a Coke can, and the interior is mostly cheap plastic. The feeling of it is very cushioned, not solid. The solid thud of my '91 doors is gone.

The 2000 LS400 is not a strong car. It is moody when temperature drops or when it rains, and its suspension seems like the automotive equivalent of a ballet dancer... smooth, yet fragile. I have taken the 1991 through unpaved roads without hesitation, the 2000 seems brittle by comparison.

In short, if you are considering this car and want the best of the best Lexus has to offer, get yourself a 1994 or earlier. That was the time in which Lexus did make an effort to compete with Mercedes in build quality and reliability. If you want the ABSOLUTE best of the best in luxury sedans, then forget about Lexus and get yourself a nice W126 or a W140; those cars are true rocks. If you still want something like the Lexus within a reasonable maintenance budget, shoot for a Mercedes 300SD / 300SDL diesel. Parts are plenty, available and reasonably priced, even more so in junkyards. You will not be disappointed. It will be ten times the amount of car you paid for, and will last as long as you maintain it properly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th November, 2010

7th Nov 2010, 22:23

Thanks for the good review. I agree that the early 90's Lexus was of better quality, as was the Infinity. Build quality has gone down for sure, and is par with domestic build quality at best. I completely agree, buying an older car is almost better these days, because they are way cheaper to fix if they break down.