1998 Lexus LS 400 Review
Pros & Cons
- Luxurious sedan is the best premium sedan out of Japan.
- Lacks a sporting character. High price.
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.