1997 Lexus LS 400 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Impeccable construction, superb sound system, ultra quiet, powerful, perfect interior
  • With nothing to complain about, it's kind of dull
Other years
List Price Estimate
$1,578 - $3,390

Used LS 400 for Sale
None for sale nearby. Instead:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Lexus introduced an all-new LS400 two years ago, but you wouldn't know it glancing at the car. It looks the same as the original, inside and out, even though virtually every piece has been revised or redesigned. In defense of the evolutionary styling, Lexus claims it is going for a corporate look to further strengthen brand identity. We think that engineers and stylists had a pretty tough time improving upon a car that really needed no improvement. Replacing the old LS400 with a new one was akin to pouring out a gallon of milk because the expiration date is a couple of days away, or buying a new set of Goodyears when the tread is still good for another 15,000 miles, or trading an old LS400 for a new one. But, what's done is done.

The LS benefits from a roomy interior, thanks to its long wheelbase. Trunk space is commodious, and rear passengers have lots of extra leg room. The car isn't excessively large, and the 4.0-liter V8 moves this relatively light luxury sedan with alacrity. The climate and radio controls are simply designed and easy to use, and the in-dash CD changer is much handier than a trunk-mounted unit.

Outside, the LS is characterized by subtle edges, creases, and folds, which create a strong, dignified appearance for the Lexus flagship. The price hasn't increased at all for 1997, in an effort to keep the LS competitively priced against such luxury sedans as the BMW 7-Series and Jaguar's XJ sedan.

The LS400 is a wonderful car, but we question spending $53,000 when a used and perfectly luxurious LS can be had for the price of a new Lincoln Town Car, or less.

1997 Highlights

Side-impact airbags are standard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Lexus LS 400.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Well Built Car, Never broken down, Reliable.
happy59,06/07/2012
Purchased car in January of 2011 for $3800. It is very reliable. If you don't want to worry about being stranded or expensive repairs, this car is for you. You must be ready to pay for premium fuel but other than that it is a great car. Better to buy used than new and better to buy used from a rich person than from a poor person. Good luck.
My First Lexus, I Had No Idea
rickster81,12/31/2003
I wasn't really looking at the LS400 when searching for another used car after a major car accident where my 97 Camry was crushed. But after one test drive, I knew the LS400 was it. Being only 29 years old, my wife still chides me that I'm driving an 'old man' car. But the fact of the matter is, the LS400 is a feature rich luxury machine that was affordable for me and at the same time offered some prestige with a long list of standard features. I hope to drive this car up to 250K miles and then i'll be another Lexus... why pay for a Benz when you get all that luxury and comfort in a Lexus for half the price?
All I have to say is WOW!!!!!
deezeer55,12/18/2012
This car is absolutely amazing. I have owned it since 2003 and the most major problem we ever had was replacing the fuel pump ($350). We got it with 25k miles and now it has 125k. We also have a 2010 TL and I still love driving my classic around. The LS is sooo smooth and so comfortable that I havent drove many like it. She still runs like a beast and I hope she runs for years to come. Really a great and reliable car. Thanks Lexus!!!
TOP WORK/FAMILY CAR VALUE
Phil57,12/03/2004
For reliability, performance, comfort, impressing clients and safe transportation for children (son & buddies are now 7) my 97 LS 400 is unsurpassed in value and stress-free driving despite the premium you pay for driving and servicing the best car on the road. I purchased it used for $35K with 45,000 miles, qualified for a new car 5 year loan with my insurance company, now has 97,000 miles, would not hesitate to buy a used 97 model. Expect typical parts turnover as car ages, my experience so far is 1) new starter $1,600; 2) replacement valve for power steering $1,000. Lexus service is excellent, expensive, you get another Lexus for loaner, worth every penny!

Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
260 hp @ 5300 rpm
MPG
17 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
260 hp @ 5300 rpm
See all Used 1997 Lexus LS 400 features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 1997 Lexus LS 400

Used 1997 Lexus LS 400 Overview

The Used 1997 Lexus LS 400 is offered in the following submodels: LS 400 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan, and Coach 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Lexus LS 400?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Lexus LS 400s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Lexus LS 400 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Lexus LS 400.

Can't find a used 1997 Lexus LS 400s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lexus LS 400 for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $21,492.

Find a used Lexus for sale - 10 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $18,228.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus LS 400 for sale - 6 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,937.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus for sale - 1 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $11,789.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Lexus LS 400?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Lexus lease specials
Check out Lexus LS 400 lease specials