First-Gen Lexus LS Is How Japan Came To Conquer US Luxury Market

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.

  • BlackPegasus

    Doug’s videos would be much more enjoyable if he had more than just one cheap camera. He never does a 360 panoramic view of the car and when he’s inside of the vehicle he positions the damn camera outside of the car looking in. ?

  • rodriguez256

    While I enjoy Doug’s reviews, which is aunpopular option on here, I do wish you could feature SavageGeese. He’s one of the best car reviewers out there. Quality production and the only one I’ve seen actually lift the car and show what’s going on underneath the car. I’d suggest taking a look at his YouTube channel, pretty inlightening and unbiased reviews.

    • bd0007

      Along with Alex on Autos and The Straight Pipes.

  • One of the best car in the world that you can get for below 4k GBP, man if only I had the garage to store it.

  • Christian Wimmer

    When the LS400 came out it competed for a short time with European cars that were at the end of their product life cycle. The Mercedes W126 S-Class for example was released in 1979 and work on it most likely began in 1972 when its predecessor, the W116, debuted.

    I like the original LS400 but I’ve always found the interior to be butt ugly and bland. The W126 interior may not have been futuristic, but it was elegant, luxurious and felt old-school. It was also well made. I miss my 1985 300SE W126.

    • Carl

      I like the way the LS400 looks but the interior seems Camry and definitely not fullsize. I’m not ripping on it, this is a old car. I respect it and I don’t think the current model is as elegant as the original. However the previous generation was gorgeous. The current generation is trying hard to be both GS and LS the way Cadillac wants the CT6 to be in the middle between 5 and 7 series. Another beautiful car that needs to pick a class and stick with it.

Holden’s Auctioning Some Of Its Historic Models Including First 2001 Monaro

The auction includes an assortment of Commodores including a 1995 rally car.

2011 Mercedes S65 AMG Might Just Help You Gain Baller Status

The W211 Mercedes S65 AMG is powered by a twin-turbo V12 that puts out 604 HP and 738 lb-ft of torque.

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS Will Cost You Upwards Of AU$144,600 In Australia

The new Mercedes-Benz GLS is available with two engines.

A 2020 Corvette C8 Just Crashed In Detroit’s First Snowfall

It’s hard to tell if the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray suffered any significant damage.

New Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Truck To Be Produced In Alabama And Go On Sale In 2021

Hyundai will finally start production of the Santa Cruz truck in 2021 .

Ferrari Roma Is A 2+ Coupe With Understated Styling And A 612 HP Turbo V8 (New Photos)

Ferrari’s latest model can rocket from 0-62 mph (that’s 100km/h) in 3.4 seconds.

2020 Toyota Supra Gets Into Apparent Hit And Run With Civic While Trying To Flee Car Meet

As police closed in, the 2020 Supra slammed into a Civic and then took off.

New Delhi Authorities Enforce Driving Restrictions To Reduce Smog

The World Health Organization reported in 2018 that India has the world’s 10 most polluted cities.

VW Begins Expanding Chattanooga Plant, Will Build ID.4 In 2022

The first American-made ID.4s are slated to go into production in 2022.

Maserati’s All-New Sports Car Coming In May 2020

The upcoming model will be offered with an electric powertrain that could have three different motors.