I purchased My 1997 Lexus LS400 with 150 000miles for 4000,-$ in February 2011. But I can assure you, that this car is more reliable than any German car of those years or newer. Sure '97 BMW 740,is more powerful and is a bit more fun to drive and MB-S430 is more luxurious and even a bit more spacious, but in overall performance/reliability/luxury.... this car outperform any of them by a long shot. Previous owners did not took care of it properly and didn't use premium fuel and use some shady trans fluid, but car is still awesome. Do yourself a favor and change transmission filter ,gasket and toyota t-IV ATF. keep your regular oil change and always use premium fuel.
I bought a 1997 Black Onyx with Black Leather, the Coach Edition with 120K that was driven about 7,000 miles a year. The Coach leather feels like a brand new leather couch and the paint has a mirror shine. It drives far better than any 2014 car we recently test drove. I plan to keep it showroom quality and drive it until it reaches 300K. While the premium gas isn't fun to buy, it's worth giving this limo quality Lexus the best fuel that money can buy since it will return to you a smooth ride and miles of enjoyment. My only regret is not buying one sooner. I was a Toyota fan but now I'm hooked on Lexus and while I'm young to be driving an LS400 it's a ride everyone is missing!
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?
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!