1998 Lexus LS 400 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Luxurious sedan is the best premium sedan out of Japan.
  • Lacks a sporting character. High price.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$1,906 - $4,101

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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.

1998 Highlights

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Lexus LS 400.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Dont buy this car.
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.
Great Luxury Car
Smooth, quiet and powerful. 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!!
I miss my Lexus!
I once told my close friends if I ever sell this car to please take me out and shoot me! I did sell it, and to my dismay, few cars could come close to the refinement, ride quality and overall durability of this fine automobile. I bought it used with 32,000 miles on the clock, it was a one owner car. I kept it for 4 years as a second car ( I also have a company car), and traded it when I thought I needed a larger (silly me). It would avage 29 mpg, in mixed drive from a 290hp 4 litre V8, simply amazing! The sound deadening is superb. If you ever have the opportunity to own one, do it, but hold on to it, they last forever.
sweet chariot
4dr Sedan
I baught this car new in January of 1998. I paid $62500 for it and it has been worth every penny. I love it. it rides like a cloud and it will out run any Camaro or mustang on the road. I would recommend this car to anyone . repairs are a bit pricey but it is a luxery car. this car has probably the best sound system I have ever heard. 16 years later it now has 170,000 miles on it and it run and drives like brand new.

Features & Specs

17 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed automatic
290 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1998 Lexus LS 400 features & specs


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

More about the 1998 Lexus LS 400

Used 1998 Lexus LS 400 Overview

The Used 1998 Lexus LS 400 is offered in the following submodels: LS 400 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Lexus LS 400?

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Find a used Lexus LS 400 for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $17,575.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 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.

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Check out Lexus LS 400 lease specials