Used 2000 Lexus LS 400 Review

Edmunds expert review

A quality machine that earns a C in upscale luxury content.

What's new for 2000

Only minor changes are scheduled for 2000 LS 400s. BrakeAssist has been added to the Vehicle Skid Control system. A new onboard refueling vapor recovery system allows the LS 400 to meet transitional low emission vehicle status. Child seat anchor-brackets are standard.

Vehicle overview

The Lexus LS 400 was first introduced in 1989 as an alternative to European sedans. It offered superior build quality and refinement at a lower price. Eleven years later, the LS continues to be one of the top luxury sedans available. However, its European competition has improved considerably on the value equation, and now the LS 400's price is quite similar to that of the BMW 540i and the Mercedes-Benz E430.

A 4.0-liter V8 engine powers the LS 400. Equipped with a variable valve timing system (Lexus calls it VVT-i), this engine generates 290 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 300 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. Power delivery is exceptionally smooth and quiet. A five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission transfers power to the rear wheels. Lexus says the LS 400 can sprint from zero-to-60 in 6.4 seconds.

A Vehicle Skid Control system, which helps maintain traction under demanding conditions by detecting and correcting wheel spin, is standard. For 2000, Lexus has integrated a brake-assist system to VSC. The brake-assist system interprets a quick, hard push of the brake pedal as emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped hard enough on the brake pedal to activate the antilock braking system, supplements the applied braking pressure.

Inside you'll find a high level of comfort and features. Impressive amounts of leather and walnut wood trim are used throughout. Four different colors of leather are available. The automatic climate control features an activated charcoal filter to trap dust and pollen. A smog sensor automatically switches the system into recirculation mode when it detects certain levels of pollution outside. Both the driver and passenger get 10-way power-adjustable seats, and heated seats are optional. The electroluminescent gauge cluster is easy to read and, when combined with the optional navigation screen, gives the Lexus a very high-tech aura.

The navigation system's screen is touch-operated and incorporates the audio- and climate-control systems. The navigation system provides turn-by-turn guidance by voice and on-screen prompts. Instead of CDs, the LS 400's system uses a 2.0-gigabyte hard drive to store all major highways and about 90 U.S. metropolitan cities.

The LS 400 is a car that does everything for its driver. It is quick, exceptionally quiet, and comfortable. It is also exceptionally safe, with front and side airbags, a rigid chassis and optional high-intensity discharge xenon headlights. Lexus has crafted a near-perfect luxury car to get from point A to point B. However, some people feel that the Lexus isolates the driver too much from the driving experience.

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.