Cars & Bids Bargain of the Week: 2000 Lexus LS 400

2000 Lexus LS 400 on Cars & Bids article highlights:

  • 2000 was the last year for the Lexus LS 400, but as the second-gen model, it was even faster and more refined than the original
  • There’s a well-maintained, sub-100,000-mile 2000 LS 400 with the Platinum Series and Nakamichi Audio Packages on Cars & Bids right now
  • With the timing belt still good, this second-gen LS has all the markings of a reliable bargain luxury sedan

While ‘luxury’ has increasingly meant ‘fancy technology’ in the automotive industry, it’s as much if not more about quality standards. And though Lexus has kept up with the tech growth, it hasn’t disregarded build quality, either. Having both at once, though, gets expensive quickly. Fortunately, many used Lexus cars offer the same level of refinement as their newer incarnations, but at noticeably lower prices. And if you want that old-school quality for not a lot of cash, the 2000 Lexus LS 400 on Cars & Bids is worth a look.

The 2000 Lexus LS 400 is still a smooth and comfortable luxury sedan—and faster than you think

The rear 3/4 view of a beige 2000 Lexus LS 400 by a fountain
2000 Lexus LS 400 rear 3/4 | Lexus
2000 ‘XF20’ Lexus LS 400
Engine4.0-liter ‘1UZ-FE’ V8
Horsepower290 hp
Torque300 lb-ft
TransmissionFive-speed automatic
Curb weight3890 lbs
0-60 mph time6.3 seconds (MotorTrend)

Know how the original Acura NSX basically reset the supercar world by being reliable, easy to live with, and affordable? That’s what the first-gen Lexus LS did to luxury cars back in 1989. This comfortable, refined, RWD sedan did everything as good or better than its German rivals but cost noticeably less. But after a brief period of shock, those rivals started retaliating, which meant Lexus had to up its game.

So, in 1995, it released the second-gen LS 400, the XF20. And by 2000, the Lexus LS 400 was in its final form. No, literally, 2000 was the model’s last year before the LS 430 replaced it. Still, by that point, while the LS 400 was still the sedate cruiser it’d been in 1989, it had some more pep in its step.

Like the original, the 2000 Lexus LS 400 has a 4.0-liter V8. But it now features variable valve timing (VVTi) and a five-speed, not a four-speed automatic. So, it makes 30 more horsepower and hits 60 mph roughly 1.5 seconds faster. That also makes the 2000 LS 400 faster than the contemporary Jaguar XJ8 and Audi A8 Quattro, MT says. And keep in mind, the XF20 LS has a longer wheelbase and more interior space than the first-gen car.

However, it’s not the speed that impresses most about the 2000 Lexus LS 400, but the smoothness. And we’re not just talking about the engine. The 1UZ-FE does have a smooth, wide powerband and never feels or sounds stressed, though, MT notes. But the LS 400 also rides and handles smoothly thanks to adaptive shocks, traction control, stability control, and some minor steering and suspension tweaks. It’s no sports sedan, but it devours highways and city streets with aplomb.

Yes, the latest LS has more tech and safety features. Yet its predecessor’s ability to serenely cruise remains impressive.

A 2000 XF20 Platinum Series is up for grabs on Cars & Bids

A silver 2000 Lexus LS 400 Platinum Series in a parking lot
2000 Lexus LS 400 Platinum Series | Cars & Bids

RELATED: Cars & Bids Bargain of the Week: 1991 Toyota Crown

Admittedly, the 2000 Lexus LS 400 currently listed on Cars & Bids isn’t exactly barren. But that’s also because it’s not ‘just’ a base model—it has the Platinum Series and Nakamichi Audio Packages, too. Basically, this is a near-fully-loaded second-gen LS.

As standard, this 2000 LS 400 has automatic dual-zone climate control, remote entry, power seats, four-wheel disc brakes, auto-tilting side mirrors, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column. Meanwhile, the Platinum Series Package adds birds-eye maple interior trim, upgraded leather upholstery, auto-leveling HID headlights, blacked-out badging, embroidered floor mats, and a power moonroof. And thanks to the other package, this sedan also has a six-disc CD changer, Nakamichi audio system, and heated front seats.

The black-leather front seats and black dashboard of a silver 2000 Lexus LS 400 Platinum Series seen from the passenger's side
2000 Lexus LS 400 Platinum Series front interior side | Cars & Bids

RELATED: Old School Is the Best School When Driving the 2022 Lexus GX 460 Luxury SUV

Despite its age, this 2000 Lexus LS 400 is in great shape. The only flaws are some scattered scratches, rock chips, and interior wear. In addition, the only modifications are the tinted windows and windshield and a Pioneer touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, this LS has a clean, zero-accident history and just under 84,000 miles on the clock. The current owner even has the factory tool kit and car phone.

Furthermore, this car has an extensive service history. The current owner replaced the battery, spark plugs, and air filter, rebuilt the alternator, and flushed the brake and transmission fluids. Also, previous owners variously replaced the rear brake pads and rotors, coolant hose, timing belt, and water pump.

Will this bargain-priced 2000 Lexus LS 400 be a reliable used luxury car?

RELATED: Engine Knocking and Weak? The EGR Valve Might Need Cleaning

As of this writing, this 2000 Lexus LS 400 is listed at $7700 with three days left in the auction. Keep in mind, in 2000 the LS started at $53,605—that’s roughly $88,320 in today’s money. And the cheapest XF20s with similar mileages on Autotrader cost almost twice as much as this car.

Given that it’s a used luxury car, a pre-purchase inspection is still recommended. But then, this is a second-gen Lexus LS. It’s from the same vintage as the car that Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire took to 1,000,000 miles. That’s quite the credential where reliability is concerned. And it’s not like this LS is trashed.

That doesn’t mean it’s immune to entropy and age, mind you. Also, the starter motor and EGR pipes are difficult to replace when they inevitably fail. But overall, if you change the timing belt and water pump every 60,000-100,000 miles, the 1UZ is a stalwart powerplant. Though GarageDreams recommends changing the tensioner, idler and tensioner pulleys, as well as the camshaft, crankshaft, and VVTi gear seals at the same time.

Still, if you maintain it properly, this bargain-priced LS 400 should be a steady, serene steed.

Follow more updates from MotorBiscuit on our Facebook page.

RELATED: 2021 Lexus LS 500 Review, Pricing, and Specs