For a billion dollar investment from the factory, it’s a pretty easy find for cheap - even in great condition. Normally under $4000 from a dealer, and much much less if from a private party. It’s the perfect daily, first car, or the car you need but don’t want to finance. It’s also great if you simply don’t want it as a daily, but a toy - due to that v8. You’ll be amazed on how far this car will go without serious maintenance. (Assuming you are doing your preventative and regular maintenances.) The LS 400 is all around built extremely well. It’s the car you can actually rely on.
For years, I have been forced to see this magnificent automobile just sit in a garage...gather dust..be driven occasionally, and not very far. I begged, pleaded, and in many ways showed a willingness to damn near anything to buy that car. Finally, my sister in law gave in...and sold me the car. A true garage find. But I knew where it was all along. I no longer could just drive it once a year, to take it to the car wash and wish it were mine. I had all the fluids changed, belts (timing and serpentine) changed...the dealership screws up the belt change, but made good on the ensuing problems as I drove it back to Idaho (1300 miles) Lord, what a magnificent automobile. I have, until recently, driven Acuras....and they are great cars also. But this 1998 LS 400...is magnificent. I hesitate to take it out of the garage, leaving my 2013 Volvo out in the weather. Volvos don't need pampering. A Lexus demands it. I don't know if any of this helps you....I hope you get a Lexus that drives and performs like mine. And no, you can't have it. Now allow me to update...there is a rather strong smell in the "Queen"...can't figure out what it is or why. I tried a device that is supposed to take the smells out....just works for a while. I'm going to wait until spring to search again...but it's I'm my garage and I love it.
The value in a LS 400 is amazing! It runs better than a new car. It has been very dependable. It takes bumps in the road like a full size Lexus. I tend to have a problem with motion sickness. The LS400 is so smooth that vibrations seem to be absorbed in the suspension and the car floats on the road. Even though ours is a 1998, it is road worthy. It is a great car! 3/2018 Update: Well, last year, the dealership said it wasn't worth repairing. So, I researched a local garage that had excellent reviews and got it fixed for 3K. Because we do highway driving in Houston, I was reluctant to take it on the highway, so we gave it to my sister who still is running it in Indiana! It was such a nice car that we didn't want to sell it. The CarMax offered me $1500 for it. I wouldn't sell it for that. I knew God had a special place for it, and it is being appreciated for the nice car that it is!
Do not buy this car if you're not prepared to be awed into wondering why you considered buying anything else.
I purchased my 98 model from a local dealership owned by a friend for just under 6k with 262k miles on it from the original owner. The same day of the purchase I changed the oil and front brake pads and rotors as a precaution then proceeded to drive the car 2000+ miles down the west coast. I maintained no less than 28.6mpg average at 80+mph in supreme comfort. The car has lots of power and the 5 speed auto keeps the car in its sweet spot when maximum performance is required.
I love every aspect of this car.
The presidential and commanding presence the car maintains after all these years, my vehicle is in exceptionally good shape and still gets looks.
The interior is incredibly comfortable, the engine makes lots of power and has surprised many "sports" cars from red light to red light.
The reliability is second to none, the biggest job Ive had to do on my 260k+ vehicle is change out the original 98 starter with another OEM starter. Other than that its oil changes and brake pads.
Be sure that the starter has been serviced, also on previous LS models the fan pulley would start to wear out on high mileage examples which requires quite an operation to replace. Other than that, keep oil in it and enjoy.
Drive 400 miles on a tank of gas in serene comfort. My three young children prefer taking the LS 400 where they must sit side by side in the back versus taking our van where two of them can ride in captains seats while the third has the back row to himself. The car amazingly seems to promote family harmony.
I bought my car in January 2014 with 133K on the odometer and it has run flawlessly for 8,000 miles over the past seven months.
The original owner took excellent care of this car after he paid 60 grand for it. Although it cost much less as a used car, I am still maintaining it and treating it like new. Love this car!!
Giant sunroof makes it feel like a convertible.
The stereo delivers crisp sound even at high volume and the six disc cd player in the second glove box is easy to use.
You actually feel like you are gliding along on a magic carpet the ride is so smooth.
The vehicle is understated.
No one is looking with envy at my big V8 powered Camry with rear wheel drive.
Perfect ventilation system that gently increases in volume instead of blasting you with air.
Satisfying growl of the V8 when you turn the key.
The headlights appear to roll open on start up and flawlessly bathe the road ahead of you with light.
The LS 400 has buttons to adjuster the temperature and tune the radio.
I prefer dials.