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The 1990 Lexus LS400 appeared like an S-class, drove like an S-class, and was calmer than an S-class. Who bothered if it didn’t have any ancestors? It was priced similarly to an E-class. Toyota, like Lexus, created dependable, refined, high-value vehicles to rearrange the luxury car deck. There were distinctions in dynamic tone between the three, but neither had a true narrative or important competition awards. The problem was that they didn’t shatter. And they revealed some interesting facts about the folks who buy expensive cars: They worry a lot about their money, time, and how they’re generally treated.

The heritage of Lexus LS400

The XF10 was said to be the first generation of the Lexus LS400. It started from 1990 till 1992. Then came a facelift version of the XF10 from 1993 to 1994. 

With the first LS 400 setting an unmatched benchmark, Lexus got its work cut out to enhance the car for its subsequent generation. The new automobile had to be more powerful, economical, cleaner, lighter, more luxurious, rewarding, and pleasant to drive to meet its consumers’ high expectations. The XF20 was produced from 1995 to 1997. The 1UZ-FE 4.0-litre V8 engine, widely regarded as one of the world’s best, was transferred into the second-generation automobile. However, major internal and auxiliary modifications decreased weight and friction while increasing the maximum output from 250 to 260 bhp.

It was correct. As with previous versions (first and second generations), the new LS 430 used technological advances to rewrite every standard of Lexus quality and refinement, being noticeably faster, smoother, quieter, and more comfortable than the previous models. It also had the most significant power of any LS to date, 277bhp, and the quickest acceleration, 6.7 seconds to 62mph.

Because no essential parts had been carried across from the predecessor, the LS 430, the new LS became the costliest standard manufacturing project in the company’s history. The significant expenditure, however, was confirmed when it was named World Car of the Year 2007 by a committee of foreign journalists.

After 30 years, the LS is currently in its fifth generation. The LS 500 debuted for the 2017 year of manufacture and will stay mostly unchanged through 2020. Lexus’ flagship luxury sedan enters the new decade with only a few modifications to keep things interesting, the most significant of which is the introduction of an Innovation Series to the LS 500 roster. The new Lexus LS should undoubtedly be priced in the six figures, but not so since the basic LS 500 in RWD trim starts at just $75,450 for the 2020 model.

A small beginning

In January 1989, the all-new Lexus LS 400 debuted its premiere at the Detroit Auto Show, startling the auto industry with an automobile that changed the luxury car rulebook. Unlike today, when manufacturers try to tease consumers with one-off concept automobiles that may or may not hint at what is to come, Lexus just presented the final product and let journalists crawl all over it.

Some reporters were later given pre-production units to evaluate before the model’s formal global introduction in August 1989. Surprisingly, this occurred in Germany, the traditional European luxury automobile manufacturing stronghold.

A thousand automobiles were sent to the now-desperate US market, and everyone was sold. The following month, 4,500 cars arrived and were delivered from Japan, and dealerships were still inundated with new orders. Lexus had met its ambitious goal of selling 16,000 vehicles by the end of 1989, and 10 years later, the overall sales in the United States had increased to one million units.

Despite entering an expensive market segment during a severe economic downturn, Lexus has achieved extraordinary success in the United Kingdom. That initial success was even more impressive given that it had just one model in the lineup until the end of 1993. As a result, the global Lexus lineup has grown significantly. It has grown to comprise 14 unique model classes and four powerful variations throughout the years. Please see the links below to discover more about the specifics and history of these cars.

Performance for the Original Lexus LS400

There was just one engine offered, and what a jewel it was. The 4.0-litre V8 (4.2 on the current version) was one of the smoothest on the market. This large saloon is no slouch, choosing 241, 260, or 280bhp depending on the model. It can keep up with the top GTis while returning roughly 23mpg. The maximum speed was 155 miles per hour.

There was no manual gearbox option, but the automatic fits the car well because it is so smooth. Driving a Lexus LS400is best described in one word: easy. It’s exceptionally peaceful around town, yet can rocket through sluggish traffic with a quick press of the accelerator. If there was ever a car that could propel itself, it’s this Lexus.

Having to deal with the hefty and rather drab-looking Lexus LS400 was a massive beast to park or navigate around town, measuring about 16ft 6in long and 6ft wide. However, there was plenty of space and luxury in the interior. The cabin was improved even more for the 1995 model year, when the LS acquired a larger wheelbase for more spaciousness, among other changes.

How is it to own one right now?

Purchasing and owning A used Lexus LS400 is as pleasurable to own as it is to drive. Its dependability has earned it countless customer satisfaction awards. Lexus claims it has never sold an alternative automatic box since the car’s introduction. How’s that for sturdiness? However, the model’s undeniably tough character is tempered with costly spares and repair expenses, significantly raising its pence per mile. A sophisticated vehicle needs primary dealer expertise and comprehension, yet only some Lexus experts.

Regardless of the price premium, a primary dealer is the best location to buy used, even if the company recently reduced its Lexus Approved program from three to one because it was too expensive to administer. The positive aspect is that it is still an excellent program. 


What the Lexus LS400 misses in lineage and emblem snobbery, it more than compensates for in other ways. Because of its dependability and integrity, even the oldest specimens are excellent investments if adequately repaired. 

Lexus provides exceptional elegance and comfort previously only available from the most excellent manufacturers, while dealer support is unrivaled. The LS400’s regal design may be as drab as they come, but the actual beauty lies beneath the surface.

Written by: Andres S.

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