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Lexus LS Saloon engines, drive and performance

1990 - 2000 (change model)
Performance rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by Parkers Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

With a sprightly performance and great aerodynamics, the LS400 delivers plenty of power with the minimum of fuss. The V8 cylinder, 3969cc engine boasts rapid, silently surging acceleration – smoothly sprinting from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds – and a more than impressive 155mph restricted top speed, too. There are no choices in terms of engine size, but the solitary 4-litre unit is more than capable of cruising for hours on end down the motorway and never fails to live up to its expectations.

Although the LS excels on straight roads, it handles poorly on tight bends and loses traction in adverse conditions. The steering is sharper than an XJ Jaguar, but still feels a little vague and disappointing. However, after Lexus’ revisions to the LS in 1993, the supple suspension is better and newer models certainly handle better than before. The introduction of the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system on the youngest LS400s, monitors cornering behaviour and maintains stability, providing safer and more assured handling on bends.