Retro Cars Wiki

The LS 400 was the other of the first cars ever produced by Lexus.

A modern-day Lexus ES 350 is just slightly bigger than an LS 400.

Year-to-year changes[]


The first models featured 250 horsepower, which made it quite faster than the ES 250. Other than that, it saw no changes for 1992.


A new passenger airbag and new alloy wheels were added this year.


The LS 400 only got minor trim revisions for the 1994 model year.

During the early '90s, the original LS 400 was a shock to all of its competitors: from its semiformal grill and Mercedes/BMW amalgam styling to its dealership network to the smallest detail of pricing, the Lexus people seemed to have done everything right.

What slight criticism there was concerned "lack of character" and too soft a ride for the likes of the enthusiast driver. Of course it was never intended for enthusiasts, but for luxury sedan buyers. Competitors included the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-Series and 7-Series, Infiniti Q45 and Cadillac Seville STS.


The second generation made some major improvements. Horsepower, torque and fuel economy were all up. Engine weight was decreased, and so has body weight. At the same time interior volume and legroom were increased, aerodynamic drag has been reduced. In fact, according to Lexus, 90% of the new car's components were all new or significantly revised.

Most of what would be optional on other cars was standard on the LS 400, such as a power tilt/telescope steering column and 10-way power driver's and passenger's seats. Optional air suspension was still available, now operating with adaptive 4-channel shock absorber damping, giving the same effect as the active hydraulic suspension on the Infiniti Q45 with a bit less complexity. 

Polished chrome wheels were now a factory option. The LS 400 was the first car to have an in-dash full-size CD changer. The ultimate sound system upgrade was the Lexus/Nakamichi 280-watt 7-speaker unit.

The 1995 LS 400 went on sale beginning on November 15, 1994.

Retail prices[]

As of December 27, 1993:

  • $51,200 (1994 Lexus LS 400)

As of December 4, 1994:

  • $51,200 (1995 Lexus LS 400)

As of July 28, 1995:

  • $52,000 (1995 Lexus LS 400)

As of September 1, 1995:

  • $52,900 (1996 Lexus LS 400)