Posts Tagged ‘1996’

1996 Acura RL Commercial (KA9)


Test Drive: 1996 Lexus LS400

On November 19, 2011, I test drove a 1996 Lexus LS400 at The Import Connection in Redlands, California. This car has about 157,000 miles, and the asking price was $4,999. This particular Lexus was in very good condition, with minimal wear and tear. The LS400 had a 4.0 liter V8 engine that produces 261 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. The engine’s codename is 1UZ-UFE, and it was the only engine offered in the Lexus LS400 from 1990-2000. The transmission is a 4 speed automatic, and if I’m right, the transmission’s code name is A340E. In Japan, the Lexus LS400 is known as the Toyota Celsior. The Celsior’s chassis code is UCF20, and the LS400’s is XF20. Other than the Toyota badge the name plate, and the steering wheel being on the right hand side, there’s not much of a difference between the Celsior and LS400. The day I went to the dealer to test drive the car, the salesman was really friendly and he immediately scanned my license and gave me the keys. He didn’t go with me to test drive the car, and that’s always a plus. In one of the pictures, it looks like the driver’s side door handle was broken off; however, that was fixed. The interior was in good shape for its age too. I admired the appearance of the gauge cluster lighting up when I started the car. While driving out of the dealer’s lot, it did feel like a big car. I had to be careful not to hit anything on the way out. I noticed when I started driving that the low fuel light was on. I was hoping that I would have enough gas for the drive. Fortunately, I did. The LS400 did have a luxury car feeling. It was quiet, smooth and had some power. It didn’t have a sporty feel to it at all. The radio and the A/C worked great. I have read reviews and I’ve heard that the Lexus LS is one of the best cars ever built. It’s not quite the finest, but I think the Lexus LS, new and old ones, are indeed the most reliable luxury cars built. Perhaps some might say that they’re more reliable than Camrys. A week before I test drove the LS400, I test drove a 1996 Infiniti Q45, so that I can compare the two cars for myself. As I’ve already mentioned, the Lexus LS400 is from Toyota, and the Infiniti Q45 is from Nissan. Both cars debuted in 1989 as 1990 models and they’ve been butting heads since. In my honest opinion, the LS400 is the better car. It’s not as good performance wise, but it’s more of a true luxury car than the Q45. I believe the Lexus LS400 has better fit and finish, and better quality than the Q45. The resale values also prove what makes the Lexus a good car. I’ve noticed that out of all the luxury cars on the market, Lexus overall has the best resale value. It also has a look of its own, when the Infiniti Q45 looks similar to a Jaguar XJ. Still, both the LS400 and Q45 are good cars. I looked on Kelley Blue Book to see if the price was fair. The suggested retail value is $6,185. The private party value in fair condition is $3635. This car was in great shape, so the asking price of $4,999 in my opinion is a good bargain. An offer of $4,500 wouldn’t be a bad idea though. This automobile would be perfect for anyone that wants a big, dependable luxury car for a reasonable price. It’s not really a type of car that would be appealing for a lot of younger people like me, but hey, I think it an excellent vehicle for anyone! Overall, the Lexus LS400 is an excellent car in many ways. This car was well built, well designed, and reliable. If well cared for, it will certainly last many more years into the future.

Photos taken by The Import Connection.