Used 1998 Lexus LS 400 Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1998

Lexus further refines its flagship by introducing a new four-cam V8 engine that features continuously variable valve timing. Also new this year is a five-speed automatic transmission, Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) and a host of interior improvements.

Vehicle overview

The Lexus LS400 was totally redesigned three years ago and sees its first substantial update since then. The 1998 model builds on the strengths of its predecessor, while concentrating on refining the car's core competencies.

One of the areas that the 1998 LS400 sees improvement in is the powertrain. Powered by an all-new 4.0-liter four-cam aluminum V8 engine that features the first ever application of continuously variable valve timing on an eight-cylinder engine, the new LS400 has 290 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque to help it move down the road. Hooked to this engine is a new five-speed automatic transmission that helps the car achieve zero to 60 times in less than 6.5 seconds.

One of the LS400's most winning attributes has always been its interior appointments. The 1998 model goes further than ever before by increasing driver and passenger comfort to sublime levels. New this year is an optional touch screen display, which controls the car's navigation, stereo and climate controls. The navigation system uses a 1.5-gigabyte hard drive to store information on the U.S. highway system and detailed street maps of 35 major metropolitan areas, in addition to a GPS system that pinpoints the car's location using satellite technology. Other interior enhancements include a climate control feature that automatically re-circulates the airflow when a pollution sensor detects high levels of exhaust emissions in the air. The system also automatically re-circulates the air when it detects a high level of interior humidity.

The LS400 is a car that does everything for its driver. For some, however, that takes the fun out of driving. We think that this is the perfect vehicle for someone to get from point A to point B in the lap of luxury. It is quick, quiet and comfortable; better yet, it costs thousands less than premium sedans from BMW and Mercedes. The downside, however, is that those who enjoy driving may feel left out of the experience. The LS400 does almost too good a job of isolating drivers from the road.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.