1995 Lexus LS 400

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1995 Lexus LS 400

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Available in 1 styles:  LS400 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
$2,898–$7,898
Estimated MPG

19 city / 25 hwy

Expert Reviews

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IndyStar.com
A couple of decades ago there basically were three major competitors for the luxury-car market in the United States - Cadillac, Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz.

Now there's no dearth of luxury makes, with some faring better than others.

One of the better success stories is Lexus, and this division of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. has introduced an entirely new LS 400 model for 1995.

A four-door sedan, it exceeds its predecessor in virtually every respect, from technology to exterior and interior styling, and to the personal attributes demanded by luxury-car buyers.

"It's the hardest model that we have to keep in inventory," said Michael Drumwright, master sales consultant for Tom Wood Lexus. "Most are sold before we even get them."

From the front to the back, from the bottom to the top, this 1995 model features change.

Take styling. The exterior has a more muscular, sharply chiseled look, without abandoning the Lexus identity.

The grille is farther forward and its corners have been beveled for a sharper-edged look. Complex fender character lines flow from the headlights to the windshield to give a twisted-ribbon effect. A raised belt line flows from the front fenders to the rear fenders.

But when all is said and done, it still looks like a Lexus.

Inside, convenience features abound in all directions.

Lexus says it's the first automaker to offer an in-dash six-disc CD autochanger (most are in the trunk).

The space-efficient packaging of the instrument panel is made possible by a unique film-dampening heating and air conditioning system that has a higher capacity, yet is 25 percent more compact than the previous system. With automatic temperature controls, solar sensors differentiate temperatures for the sunny and shady sides of the car.

Lexus, which sort of pioneered the power tilt and telescope steering wheel on the American market, offers a newly standardized system for its '95 LS 400.

Luxury-sedan buyers are a fussy bunch with definite ideas of what they like and don't like. One of the prime features they like is room and comfort, and the LS addresses this in a rather fundamental way: A lengthened wheelbase.

It's now out to 112.2 inches, a stretch of 1.4 inches, giving rear-seat occupants 2.6 inches more legroom. The company claims total legroom rivals that of many larger and heavier competitors.

As luxury cars go, the LS 400 isn't a particularly heavy automobile, with a rated curb weight of 3,650 pounds. You can chalk that up to computer analysis and design that trimmed the weight by more than 200 pounds. And this, in turn, has improved performance and operating efficiency.

The engine is a redesigned 4.0-liter (242-cubic-inch), 32- valve aluminum V8. Thanks to more power and torque and the lighter weight, acceleration matches or exceeds that of some 4.5-liter engines.

While all upscale luxury cars are going to overhead cams for their powerplants, the LS 400 has always had one.

With four overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, this upgraded 242-cubic-incher now develops 260 horsepower, up from 250. Torque also is increased 10 foot-pounds to 270 foot-pounds.

The basic design of the V8 is unchanged, but by raising the compression ratio, increasing the valve lift and revising the exhaust manifolds for improved scavenging, more power has been obtained from the same 242 inches.

Coupled with the lighter weight, 0-60 mph acceleration times are 1 second quicker. And for flat-to-the-floor running, be sure you've got it pointed in the right direction. Top speed is rated at 150 mph.

The transmission is an electronically controlled four-speed automatic, of course. But as a concession to those with a yearning to do it themselves but who don't really want to be bothered most of the time, there's a stepped shift-gate that allows manual shifting.

The LS 400 is a driver-oriented car, with its double-wishbone independent front suspension redesigned for more precise steering control. Front-whee l caster h as been reduced so the initial turn-in is much more accurate.

While the wheelbase has been lengthened, the turning circle is reduced to 34.8 feet, down from the predecessor's 36 feet. Steering with this car is dead-on, with only minute movements of the wheel needed to change lanes or pull out to pass.

1995 Lexus LS 400 Base price: $51,200.Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive, five-passenger, luxury sedan.Engine: 4.0-liters, DOHC V-8, 32 valves, fuel injected, 260-horsepower, 270 foot-pounds of torque.Transmission: Four-speed automatic.Mileage: 19 mpg city; 25 mpg highway,Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds.Top speed: 150 mph.Wheelbase: 112.2 inches.Length: 196.7 inches.Width: 72.0 inches.Height: 55.7 inches.Curb weight: 3,650 pounds.Options: Premium stereo system, CD/Autochanger, memory seating, Trac-Control, power sunroof, air suspension.


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