I've long admired the LS400's from Lexus..... "someday, I'm going to get me one of those...", I always said. They have such a good reputation. Also, a family we know and respect apparently has a whole fleet of LS400's because of their excellent reliability. 6 months ago, my brother bought a 1997 LS400 with 240,000 miles in sensational condition for $2000 (this is in the Pacific Northwest)..... I was blown away by the condition and the magnificent ride of this almost 20 year old car. About a month later, my brother emailed me a link to a 1995 LS400 with 135,000 miles, and the obligatory NAKAMICHI sound system! I bought it for $3700 and am very impressed by the value I got for my money. The paint and interior are superb - I feel like a king when I pull up in my Lexus. I replaced the tires and changed all fluids immediately (just regular maintenance). I replaced one sensor on the air suspension (it was leaning on one corner), and that's it! It runs like a dream. There was a complete service history with the car, including timing belt replacement at 80,000 miles. Coming from a series of performance cars (Mustang GT, etc), the performance could be described as "understated" or "elegant", but not passion inspiring. But that's OK.... that's not what I was expecting. The buttery smooth and whisper quiet ride hearken back to a different era..... of gentlemanly motoring. This experience is not about epic handling or punchy acceleration (although the car does alright). This car is a pleasure to own. I particularly like the Nakamichi sound system. Even on a 21 year old stereo, you can hear musical detail you've never heard before. I'll be making my own "AUX" input jack on the dash shortly (lots of tutorials for this on YOUTUBE) so I can plug my iPhone in, but you can achieve much of the same thing with a cassette adapter. I really like the sound when it starts. That buried starter is quite quiet, and sounds very "mechanically precise", if I can call it that. I like the fact that it sits so comfortably.... these are not overstuffed sofa cushions, but firm leather supports you sit on. I expect I'll become bored of the car before it "wears out"..... but I should be able to pass this gem onto another fortunate buyer at some point (perhaps one of my own kids will want it?)...... I highly recommend the LS400 as excellent value in the used car market. UPDATE: 11/13/17: I sold the car this past summer. It was in superb condition, and I know the new owner was thrilled with it. I had to replace the entire AC system, which was about $1200 (and which completely killed my feelings for the car)...... I hate paying someone else to work on my car, but this was one situation where I didn't have the equipment / know how to deal with something (AC system charging). I sold it to an old neighbor, and I suspect I'll see it around regularly! Still a great car. Ironically, right after I sold it, a young couple in our church bought a similar car and now look like 'up and comers' even though I know they didn't spend too much on it! Great cars, and highly recommended.
I bought a used Lexus LS 400 with 94000 miles from an auction 3 years ago thru a dealer friend for 11K. The car is now at 152000 miles and only work I have done on it is routine... brakes, timing belt/water pump, spark plugs, wires. This is the best ride you can ask for the money as it still rides and feels as if it is a brand new car. Every person who has driven my car has accepted the fact that this is a very smooth ride.
This is one of the best engineered and built cars on the road. I have 250,000 trouble free miles on my LS 400 with original engine/tranny. The engine and tranny combo are a true "match made in heaven" - both are stunningly quiet and smooth almost to the point of being nonexistent. Accelerating conservatively in the city returns 20mpg and expect north of 26mpg on the freeway. Testing the 4.0 frequently returns 16+ mpg. The reason I scored the LS so low in the comfort level is because of the seat design and lack of head and legroom, but I am 6'4. Overall, I give my LS 400 an A- rating. I definitely plan on buying another. Excellent work Lexus!!!
My brother in law had a new one and I drove it a couple of times and thought if I ever have the opportunity to own a luxury car, this will be it. Finally 10yrs later, we needed a car and had the cash. Mine has the factory sticker in the glove for $54k. I paid $10k from a private owner. After a 100 mile drive your body feels like you drove 5 miles. Driving 90mph in driving rain and feeling totally in control is what this car is all about. Mine has built in k40 radar detector and I feel like a new man every time I'm behind the wheel. My wife and I call her Christine (Possessed car movie). If you research the engine like I did, you're sold. Hands down, the finest luxury car engine (1UZFE) ever made.
It all started in 83 when Toyota chief decided to compete with the best luxury cars like Mercedes and BMW, first LS400 came to market in 1990. The rest is history. I have owned several LSes in the past few years. Currently I have two LS 400s, one has 102k miles another one 229k miles(!) There is almost no difference between those to cars. Both run perfect without any problems. My mechanic (Lexus technician) told me, that those cars are: "bullet proof". We have 4 LS400 in my family all of them high mileage. two have over 200k miles and those are much more reliable than most new cars we had. Don't be afraid of high mileage LSes any year. Those cars were over engineered.