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Possible New Owner Question/advice Please!


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So I've been looking at mostly 96-98 ls sedans, but recently i found a 91 LS400, one owner, garaged, and only 78,000 miles on it. Anyone own a 91 or the earlier models? I know the car came out in late 89, but wondering about the reliability as compared to the newer one's. is it just opinion? or were these cars in the early 90's just as good as the one's today, only a little less complicated? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I'm thinking about getting it instead of my 95 bmw 5 series. Always wanted a LS, just never thought I'd be looking at this old of a car. But it looks pretty darn clean. he wants $4,800 for it. Good price? Any info would be great!

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You can find a "sticky" about buying a used LS at the top of the LS400 forum. And here is an especially useful web site comparing the various years of the LS: http://www.lexls.com/info/lsgenerations.html

I owned a 1990 LS400 from new until 183,000 miles and 13 1/2 years. When new, the gen 1 LS was about as reliable as in later years -- the biggest exception I know about being the power steering pump ... fails and has to be rebuilt over and over. And the optional air suspension seems to rarely function properly after ten or so years.

The 90-92 LS400 has small brakes, wheels and tires compared to later years although the brake discs were improved a little in either 91 or 92 -- I forget which. Braking improves -- a lot! -- on the 93-up LS.

IMO, the biggest challenge with the 90-94 LS400 is the headlights -- the lens design causes a horrible "blob" beam pattern. The 93-94 LS was slightly better due to the use of H4 headlight bulbs. The 95-up LS has far better headlights with HID being introduced as an option in 1998.

The 95-up LS is substantially larger inside -- much better rear seat legroom. The body structure of the 95-00 LS is essentially the same.

The huge bump in technology on the LS came in 1998 -- optional HID headlights, side airbags, vehicle stability control (VSC), 5 speed automatic transmission, trip computer -- the list goes on and on. I'll bet if you look around, you could find a fairly low mileage 98 LS for not that much more than the 91 LS you are looking at.

In today's depressed market, if I was selling my 2000 LS400 today in a private party sale, I doubt if I could get much more than $8,000 for it -- even though it has fairly low miles (107K), looks wonderful, is fully optioned except without air suspension and navigation, is fully up-to-date on maintenance and drives like new.

You can see the specs for all model years of the LS400s at http://www.lexus.com/contact/pdf/1991/1991LSspecs.pdf

Modify the model year in both places in the URL to see the specs for other model years.

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