Used 1999 Lexus LS 400 Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1999

After a number of improvements to the LS 400 last year, the 1999 model sees only minor upgrades to interior trim levels. Daytime running lights are now standard equipment and Mystic Gold Metallic replaces Cashmere Beige.

Vehicle overview

First introduced in 1989 as an alternative to more expensive European sedans, the LS400 continues to undercut the competition's sticker price while maintaining a high level of luxury and performance. Last year the LS received a more powerful V8 engine with variable valve timing and a five-speed automatic transmission. Capable of zero-to-60 times in 6.5 seconds, the new engine also maximizes fuel economy while cutting emissions to a level that keeps even California's smog stations happy.

Inside you'll find a high level of comfort with leather seating surfaces and plenty of wood trim on everything, including the steering wheel. In fact, Lexus reports that the steering wheel alone takes three weeks to produce! For climate, audio, and navigation purposes, a touch screen display was installed last year. 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. While it may be the perfect vehicle to get from point A to point B in the lap of luxury, it will leave driving enthusiasts wondering if the trip ever took place. It is quick, quiet and comfortable; better yet, it costs thousands less than premium sedans from BMW and Mercedes. Unfortunately, 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.