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1995 vs 1998 LS: Which would you choose?

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Old 04-02-04, 09:50 PM   #1
Hackman
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Default 1995 vs 1998 LS: Which would you choose?

As most of you here know by now, my '91 LS was totaled last week (see the thread titled "A moment of silence please...") The insurance company has settled and so now I'm looking for a replacement.

I have found two LS's that I'm considering:

The first candidate is a pearl white '95 with 100k and immaculate condition. I was told by the salesman that I should be able to get it for around $11,500. I'm thinking more like $11,000. Not sure yet if it has any extras except for the built-in Lexus phone (no use for me here) and heated seats.

The second candidate is a black '98 with 71k and also in immaculate condition. It has the Nakamichi and the gold package. For sale by an individual he says he needs somewhere just under $19,000.

I plan on test driving both of them tomorrow.

So, I'm torn between the newer, lower mileage '98 and the ($8,000) cheaper '95. Any suggestions or advice for helping me make up my mind?
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Old 04-02-04, 10:02 PM   #2
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Not a doubt. You buy the newer car. The difference in features/content between a '95 and a '98 are quite significant, but may not be $8K different. I'd recommend you post your question to a guy on edmunds who will give you buy numbers for these two cars (retail and private party sale)

See here:
http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/Web....ee9c851/18213

Good luck
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Old 04-02-04, 10:55 PM   #3
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Cool! Thanks, Bluestar. Signing up now!

So, do you have a list of the changes/improvements between the two handy?

Last edited by Hackman; 04-02-04 at 10:55 PM..
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Old 04-02-04, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default Go with the '98...

I guess my opinion would be biased because the '98-'00 LS's were my fave before the '04s came out.

Some of the improvements on the '98 over would be more hp (290hp) vs the '95 (260 hp), factory HIDs (if it has that option), better styling (IMO), Nak system over stock (obvious), and from what I recall, more comfortable seats than the '95. And on top of all that, it has about 30k less miles....I'd go with the '98.
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Old 04-03-04, 12:24 AM   #5
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ok Gene,

Is 30k miles and a little bit of difference here and there worth $8000 to you? If I were you, I'd go with the '95 car and save myself the money. It's certainly not that significant a difference. 30k miles for a lexus is really nothing; so mileage wise, I see them at about the same level. Go with the '95, it's smarter!
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Old 04-03-04, 12:43 AM   #6
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If you liked your older model you will love the newer model 95' & 98'....... the quality and styling just gets better and better. You can save the 8000 & get the 95' to have money to Mod the car with or you get the nicer 98' and not have any money for a while to MOD the car. I would rather have NO MODS and have the newer style. The MODS can wait........... why not keep looking and maybe you can get an even newer model 99' ========> at a good deal.
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Old 04-03-04, 02:22 AM   #7
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I would opt for the '98. Key points being the side impact air bags and ignition immobilizer. I think it also has auto an auto passenger side mirror that lowers when put in reverse and trip pooter. Little stuff but nice to have if you have the budget.

Here is the info from the Lexus site:

The 1998 LS 400 was the third-generation LS that received numerous exterior and interior refinements.

For 1998, the front of the LS 400 received a major face-lift. The hood lines were revised from a traditional chiseled look to a more dynamic shape. The rectangular headlight units were replaced with four distinctive parabolic multireflector headlamps with clear lens covers. The turn signals, previously located on the bumper corners, were moved to the headlights. The front grille is wider, and now incorporates eight horizontal lines instead of seven. The halogen foglamps have been relocated to the outer corners of the front air dam. The front air inlet was reshaped to improve the airflow to the engine compartment. The outside rearview mirrors were revised to reduce wind noise. With the coefficient of drag at 0.28, the LS 400 remains one of the most aerodynamic production cars in the world.

The LS 400's taillamps have been slightly modified. The restyled taillamps are 40 mm wider.

Five new exterior colors have been added: Baroque Red Metallic, Antique Bronze Mica, Imperial Jade Mica, Atlantis Blue Mica and Antique Sterling Mica replace Ebony Teal Pearl, Moonstone Pearl, Deep Jewel Green Pearl, Star Sapphire Pearl and Crystal Quartz Metallic, respectively.

Optional High-Intensity Discharge (HID) low-beam headlamps with dynamic auto leveling have been made available. The illumination of HID headlamps is almost three times that of conventional halogen headlights, while power consumption is reduced by roughly 30%. Arc discharge within a xenon-gas environment replaces conventional filament design within halogen gas. HID headlamps give the 1998 LS 400 a distinctive nighttime appearance.

The sportier, yet clean five-spoke wheel design replaces 1997's multispoke disc-type design. Introduced on the 1997 Coach® Edition LS 400, the wheel now has a shiny, machined finish with a protective clear coat for a crisp appearance.

A reverse auto tilt-down feature has been added to the front passenger's rearview mirror. The feature can be switched on and off using the mirror control switch on the instrument panel.

Selected Standard Features

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Driver's and front passenger's airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)1
Front seat-mounted side-impact airbags (SRS)1
Three-point seatbelts front and rear, fronts with height-adjustable anchors, pre-tensioners and force limiters
Vehicle Skid Control (VSC)2
Strong cabin structure with front and rear crumple zones
Side impact beams (front gusseted)
Rear-window defogger with auto-off timer
Variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle
Halogen headlamps with integrated foglamps
Electrochromic rearview mirrors, outsides with defoggers
Vehicle theft-deterrent and immobilizer system, with in-key transponder
Four-wheel ventilated Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
First aid kit
Tool kit
LUXURY & CONVENIENCE

Multi-information-display with drive computer
Multi-adjustable power front seats
Power windows with auto open/close feature with pinch protection
Dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter and smog sensor
Headrests for all seats, including rear-center
Lexus Memory System to control power driver's seat (except lumbar), outside rearview mirrors, driver's shoulder belt anchor height and steering wheel
Leather-trimmed seating surfaces and interior
Walnut interior trim
Three-way programmable transmitter to activate garage door, driveway gate
Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column with automatic tilt-away
Power door locks with driver's two-turn unlock feature
Dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors
Sliding left and right sun visors, center sun visor
AM/FM/cassette seven-speaker 195-watt (max power) audio system
Multifunction remote entry system
Retained accessory power
Dual-compartment center console with accessory power outlet and Lexus Cellular Phone storage capability
Floor mats
Headrests for all seats, including rear-center
AVAILABLE OPTIONS

Individual Options


One-touch open, power tilt-and-slide moonroof with sliding sunshade
Lexus Navigation System3 with touch screen (not available with Nakamichi Premium Sound System)
In-dash, six-disc CD auto-changer
Lexus/Nakamichi 280-watt (max power) Premium Sound System (requires CD auto-changer)
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with self-leveling system
Wood-and-leather trimmed steering wheel and shift ****
Electronic Air Suspension (requires moonroof)
Heated front seats
Lexus Chrome Wheels
All-season tires (no-cost option)
DIMENSIONS

Overall length 196.7 in
Width 72.0 in
Height 56.5 in
Wheelbase 112.2 in
Curb weight 3,890 lb
Trunk space 13.9 cubic feet
Fuel-tank capacity 22.5 gallons
ENGINE

90º V8, aluminum block and heads, with continuous Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
Horsepower at rpm 290 hp @ 6,000
Torque at rpm 300 lb-ft @ 4,000
TRANSMISSION

Five-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). Overdrive fifth gear, auto-select shift program, engine/transmission networking, flex-lockup torque converter
PERFORMANCE

0 - 60 mph acceleration 6.4 seconds4
1/4-mile acceleration 14.9 seconds5
Top track speed 149 mph5
Fuel consumption 19/25 mpg city/highway6
Aerodynamic drag coefficient 0.28
CHANGES MADE TO THE 1998 LS 400

Standard Features:


Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
All new five-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i)
Gated transmission shift system
Revised rear suspension subframe mounts
Adoption of Electronic Throttle Control System (ETCS)
Added vibration - and noise-dampening materials
Vehicle Skid Control (VSC)2 standardized
Front seatbelt with pre-tensioner and force limiter
Lexus Memory System standardized
New, more distinctive headlamps, turn signals relocated next to headlamps
New grille shape, chrome surround, number of horizontal bars, sheet metal now between grille and headlamps
New, shapely front fenders
Integrated key design
New lower fascia and bumper cover
New relocated foglamps, more aggressive air dam
Wider taillamps
New wheel design
Lower interior noise
Glass-imprinted radio antenna with FM-diversity system
Right-side mirror with auto tilt-down in reverse
Programmable garage-door opener
Customized Body Electronics System (C-BEST)
Improved rear reading lamps
Adoption of audio ASL (Automatic Sound Levelizer)
Multi-information-display drive computer
Headrest for all seats, including rear-center
Enlarged front headrests
Improved HVAC system with air filter and new auto-recirculation function
One-touch open/close feature with pinch protection added to all windows
Extension of wood trim in the center console
Revised stainless-steel scuff plate with Lexus logo
Fabric-covered sun visors and front headliner replaces vinyl
New, softer leather material
Optional Features:


Five new exterior colors: Antique Sterling Metallic, Imperial Jade Mica, Baroque Red Metallic, Atlantis Blue Mica and Antique Bronze Mica replace Crystal Quartz Metallic, Star Sapphire Pearl, Ebony Teal Pearl and Deep Jewel Green Pearl
One-touch open/close feature with pinch protection added to optional moonroof
Lexus Navigation System3
Availability of wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift ****
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with dynamic auto leveling
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Old 04-03-04, 09:37 AM   #8
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Thanks, all, for the tips. You've all helped to reinforce my indecision!

I love the look of the '98 but I'm just not sure if the relatively small number of improvements justifies a 72% increase in price.

Bottom line: I will NOT lose either way.
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Old 04-03-04, 09:37 AM   #9
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I would pick the 98 because it's newer and has more HP. Found four pages of 98-99 under $20K at autotrader and some with less mileage:
http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/r...=used&x=20&y=7
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Old 04-03-04, 09:46 AM   #10
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yet another vote for the 98, I have driven both the 95 and the 2000 (same hp as 98) and it is just a better machine, from the power to the improved amenities!!
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Old 04-03-04, 01:10 PM   #11
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Default Decision made!

Well, I've made my decision and the '98 wins! After driving both cars, I decided that there was no comparison and it was worth the extra bucks.

Especially, when the guy gave me a price of $18.5k and he threw in a remote-control helicopter (he knew that I have *always* wanted one).

Thanks again to everyone for your help in making this decision.
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Old 04-03-04, 01:12 PM   #12
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Mike--what Lexus site are you getting all that info !!! I can't find it on lexus.com

tks----
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Old 04-03-04, 02:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by **-.-}
If you liked your older model you will love the newer model 95' & 98'....... the quality and styling just gets better and better. You can save the 8000 & get the 95' to have money to Mod the car with or you get the nicer 98' and not have any money for a while to MOD the car. I would rather have NO MODS and have the newer style. The MODS can wait........... why not keep looking and maybe you can get an even newer model 99' ========> at a good deal.

Nope. Now way. Modding a car is a fruitless, long drawn out process. It will make your car idle funny (usually) use more gas, wear and tear on the engine, so on and so forth. Buy a fast car and do not touch it. The 98 is obviously the better choice here... The mileage is not overly significant (about 3 years worth) but the VVT-i and other features of the newer car definitely are.

Do not buy an older cheaper car under the premise that the saved money could be spent on modding.
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Old 04-03-04, 03:00 PM   #14
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I have to agree with SC400-V8 that modding the engine and suspension on a car as sophistocated as a Lexus rarely provides results in the same league as what comes from the factory. Even the simple tire size alterations I tried on my first LS mainly gave the car a crappy ride and p-o'ed my wife. Lexus and other companies selling high-end vehicles use a level of engineering that can rarely be duplicated by an after market tuner, suspension part maker or an individual owner. But if modding "floats your boat", then have fun doing it! Having fun with cars is what this forum is really all about.

The only "modding" I do now are things to make a car last longer and to be more confortable, convenient and safe.

I think you will love the 98. I hope it has HID's but even if it doesn't, the lights should be quite good.
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Old 04-03-04, 03:16 PM   #15
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Default Kudos to everyone on CL

It is simply great to see how we all pulled together to help Hackman in his LS quest. That is CL working as it should be. Kudos to everyone who pitched in.

Hackman: You are absolutely right by buying the '98. You will love it. Here are *key* features in the 3rd gen (98 - 00) that you won't find in the '95:

1998-2000 (1995-1997)
5-speed tranny (4-speed tranny)
VVT-i (non-VVT-i)
290hp (260hp)
HID (NA)
Nak (NA)
side airbags (NA)
Nav (NA)
better suspension

At $18.5K, that is a sweet deal. Enjoy the new ride, and welcome to CL.

congratulations
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