The top-of-the-line Lexus sedan bolsters its brakes as the biggest change for 2000. The new Brake Assist feature senses when the driver is making a panic stop and applies maximum braking force faster than the driver's foot can travel.
The rear-drive LS400 is the most expensive sedan from Lexus, Toyota's luxury division. With a starting price of around $54,000, it competes with luxury sedans such as the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series, Infiniti Q45, Jaguar XJ8 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class.
Lexus will replace the LS400 for 2001 with a redesigned model powered by a new 4.3-liter V-8 and dubbed the LS430.
From some angles, the understated styling of the LS400 makes it look smaller than its 197-inch overall length, which is about the same as the BMW 740i and Jaguar XJ8.
Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, and chromed alloy wheels are optional. This year, buyers who order the chromed version also get a chrome wheel for the full-size spare.
Interior attractions in the lavishly outfitted LS400 include a dazzling light show every time you turn on the ignition and the bright, colorful electronic gauges spring into action. The interior is trimmed with leather upholstery and California walnut wood.
The Lexus LS400 features an optional navigation system with a 6-inch LCD screen to point you in the right direction.
Adults have ample room to stretch their legs in the outboard seating positions. The middle rear passenger has to straddle the driveshaft tunnel in the rear-drive LS400, making the rear seat better suited for two.
Under the Hood
The LS400 is powered by a smooth, refined 4.0-liter V-8 engine with 290 horsepower. The engine teams with a five-speed automatic transmission that is shared with the GS300/400.
LS400 sales have slipped as buyers have turned to other luxury sedans, sport utility vehicles and sports cars, many of which offer more excitement, either dynamically or visually. The best things about the LS400 are its impeccable quality and the excellent service Lexus gives its customers.