The first-generation Lexus LS 400 made its North American debut in 1989 as a 1990’s model, and Toyota hasn’t looked back since. At launch, it even presented multiple features that in some ways made it superior to rivals from Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
But that was then, and this review by Doug DeMuro takes place now, in the age of semi-autonomous systems, battery-electric powertrains and wi-fi connectivity.
Still, the first-ever LS came with air suspension, an extremely quiet cabin, automatic tilt and telescoping steering wheel with airbag, power adjustable seat belts and more. In fact, you could even get it with a premium sound system and an integrated cell phone with hands-free, a rare sight in the early 90s.
Surprisingly, it even came with a sport mode that firmed up the suspension, although, the end result wasn’t tremendously sporty – obvious really.
During his time with the car, DeMuro also noticed that aside from the quiet interior and smooth power delivery, the LS 400 did turn out to be a bit on the firm side, or at least certainly not on the same level as high-end modern cars with regards to ride quality.
As for the engine and 4-speed gearbox, while they work well together at city speeds, when you punch it, the long gears and the 250 HP will probably feel insufficient to most people.