Lexus LS 400 Honored in Car Magazine’s 50 Greatest Cars of the Past Fifty Years

1990 Lexus LS 400

Car Magazine has put together a list of the 50 greatest cars of the past fifty years, and the first-generation Lexus LS 400 placed 40th overall:

…the LS 400 exposed the contemporary S-Class as unrefined and crudely made: Lexus didn’t so much as raise the bar in mechanical refinement and body engineering, as heave it heavenwards. It eclipsed the BMW 7 and Jaguar XJ.

A pretty decent finish for the LS — too bad Car Magazine decides to use the honor as an opportunity to criticize Lexus in general — one quote stood out in particular:

So why has Lexus subsequently failed to ignite as a global premium player? Why are BMW, Audi and Mercedes now all pulling ahead? (They all outsell Lexus by more than three-to-one globally.) Last year, BMW and Mercedes both overtook Lexus in the US.

It’s worth pointing out that Lexus as a global brand is a relatively new thing — it’s only been six years since Lexus entered the Japan and China, and there are several other major markets (like India) where the brand has yet to be introduced. It stands to reason that sales would trail behind brands with decades of international experience.

(Also, bringing up last year’s drop in sales without mentioning the Japanese tsunami seems disingenuous.)

[Source: German Car Forums] (Thanks Jimbo!)


  1. The LS400 is arguably the greatest and most unexpected car of all time.. It's such a beautiful car.. Pure timeless elegance..
  2. they should rename it to the greatest sports cars in the last 50 years.
  3. The S-Class was The Karate Kid, and the Lexus LS was Mr Miyagi BD
  4. well actually down here in SA. lexus is not selling in huge numbers, this has caused the people to see lexus as a very exclusive brand. it something you buy if you want to be unique and different fro the norm
  5. not only the brand - Lexus is rising but also its customer support is no. one compare to all 3 germans put together
  6. I agree with the criticism. Lexus is very slow to respond to customer demands.
  7. As of July, it's actually been 7 years. I remember them slowly adding new L-finesse models to the production line up from July 2005-February 2009.
  8. What is more important to me is, what they really missed. Arguably, literally everyone has hailed Lexus LFA as the greatest exotic supercar/sports car ever to have come out of Japan and it is definitely one of the greatest exotic supercar of all times. What was it not on the list??? The only explanation for it could be that the list consists only of mass produced cars that have atleast 1000 per year production numbers. Porsche Carrera GT and Lexus LFA are the two of the biggest game changers in the exotic supercar business, but both of them were built in extremely exclusive numbers.
  9. They just wanna get intention from every brands.
  10. 335k miles still runs like day one...I have gone through 4 timing belt changes....1 starter....Shift Solenoid in the transmission. Oil change every 5k using Amsoil. The best car I have ever owned and will never sell my 1991 LS400
  11. My 1991 LS 400 has over 500,000 miles. It runs fantastically well and still looks great.