: 1992 Seville STS 4.9 vs. 1998 Lexus LS400



Jesda
09-16-07, 08:42 AM
This is a silly comparison. However, I have and regularly drive both cars. If Motor Trend can get away with such ridiculous comparos, then so can I!

Engine -- The 4.9 is old-tech. You can feel it in the somewhat lumpy idle and coarse sounds. On the other hand, power comes on immediately and there's plenty of it. 200hp, yes, but its all made up for with gobs of torque. Merging is swift and takeoffs are instantaneous. Without care, its easy to spin the hell out of the drive wheels on a perfectly dry day. At about 90-100mph it runs out of breath.
The 1JZUFXCZREwfasdfasdg4334fasdf 290hp V8 in the Lexus is ridiculously smooth, to the point of not being felt or heard from inside the cabin -- I have to assume it makes nice sounds from the outside. Power comes on strong at 4000rpm but there's plenty below, thanks to the 5-speed transmission, to get moving in almost any situation.

Economy -- Both are very efficient fuel sippers. The Lexus gets credit for achieving 290hp and 27mpg.
Lexus: 19/27 mpg
Cadillac: 18/26 mpg

Transmission -- Props to GM for the Hydramatic. 4T80-E is a perfect match and does its job without making itself known.
I keep the Lexus's 5-speed in 4th gear around town, because the two lurches from 5th to 3rd under heavy acceleration reduce performance (wasted time shifting) and feel a bit obnoxious. Otherwise, shifts are completely imperceptible.

Style -- Both are clean and beautiful, but the STS is gorgeous. Even with its faded bumpers and fogged up tail lights, I find myself looking back at it over and over as I walk away. The STS's sharp lines are convey performance and assertion.
The Lexus holds it own in this regard. Its a clean MB knockoff design. The look conveys wealth and intelligence. Its the kind of car you can be completely ignored in, but still respected.
Both cars have spoilers elegantly integrated into their trunklids. Both cars have nice OEM wheels. Both cars have a nice stance.
The Seville STS is just the prettiest damn four-door ever.

Handling -- No question. The Lexus loses, big time. Despite being lighter, the LS400 feels like its going to roll over on to its side every time I approach a curve. The STS is, to my own surprise, very well-controlled and balanced in routine handling. Its actually a good bit of fun to carve corners in the big Seville.

Braking -- The LS has a comfortable initial bite followed by smooth and even modulation. The Seville feels somewhat wooden and requires a lot more effort from my right foot.

Ride -- No question. The Cadillac loses, big time. Blame the use of leaf springs and the lack of any kind of high-tech goodies (like CCR, air ride, or CVRSS) in this particular Seville. Over normal surfaces its nice, but expansion joints and ruts are somewhat jarring. I'm not sure if these Good Year Allegras make the ride better or worse than stock.

Steering -- The Lexus's worst feature is its massive yacht-like steering wheel and its yacht-like behavior. When changing lanes or cornering, I have to keep correcting the wheel to get it to finally hit the intended target. The whole experience is nervous. The Seville, though it doesn't offer enough road feel, is reasonably accurate and reasonably quick. In fairness to the Lexus, its a far far cry from the rubber band feel of most old Cadillacs.
The Seville has a terrible turning radius (41+ ft).

Comfort -- Toyota must have surveyed a lot of fat Americans before designing the LS400's seats. They are absolutely perfect. Air conditioning in both cars is fiercely cold. Both have effective rear seat fan and ventilation controls.

Room -- The Lexus seems bigger because of its apparent height, but I can fit more boxes into the Seville. That has more to do with the Cadillac's more space-efficient FWD configuration.

Features -- This Lexus came with an eargasmic Nakamichi sound system ($2600 option). No OEM sound system compares. Late 90s LS400s also have American-style computer displays (range, mpg, error messages, etc).

Quality -- The Seville was slapped together by union slobs. The Lexus was meticulously assembled in Japan.

Overall -- The Lexus is a far superior 'luxury' car. The Seville is sportier, about as quiet, roomier, and much better looking. I suspect that as I pour money into the Seville's restoration including structural bits (bushings, etc) and cosmetics, I might find myself driving it more often.


This comparison is, I repeat, silly.

Jesda
09-16-07, 08:57 AM
The Seville also has much quieter power windows. I don't know why; they just are.

ted tcb
09-16-07, 12:16 PM
Fantastic ... I was hoping to see something written about your 2 cars.
As you know, I've owned 4 STS's, and pick up an LS400 on Tuesday.

I agree on the styling issue ... the 1992-2004 STS is the most elegant yet muscular designed sedan on the road, IMHO.
After a test drive in the Lexus, I would call it a soft limousine, whereas my STS is a rip snorting sports sedan by comparison.

The seats in the STS have many adjustments, but I can never get completely comfortable in them ... it sounds like the STS wins here.
I'm looking forward to comparing the Nakamichi sound system to the Bose 425 watt STS stereo ... it sounds like the Nak system is
world class.
My big preference is the longevity engineered into the 4.0l Toyota V8 over the N* ... many LS owners run these motors up to well over
300k.
The body roll on the LS400 reminded me of driving my old 1971 Marquis on bias ply tires ... lots of roll.
I agree that the STS tracks straight as a train on rails.
On the racetrack, I'll take the STS.
Over the frost cracked, pot hole lined streets I live on, I think I'll enjoy the LS400.

BTW, with some newer style OEM wheels, your STS will look just like a 1997 model.
It should clean up nicely, after some paint touch ups and a new driver's seat.

Enjoy.

JC316
09-16-07, 06:13 PM
The 4.9l isn't teamed with the 4t80-e, you have a 4t60-e. Nice review though, honest and accurate.

Jesda
09-16-07, 08:23 PM
The 4.9l isn't teamed with the 4t80-e, you have a 4t60-e.

Ah! What are the main differences? How much power they can handle? I assume I can interchange mine with one out of a Deville or Eldo if it ever fails.

caddycruiser
09-16-07, 09:10 PM
Great, joking review (though a magazine probably would do such a comparo), and this....



Quality -- The Seville was slapped together by union slobs. The Lexus was meticulously assembled in Japan.

...was just TOO exact. One is boring but engineered and assembled like a space craft, and the other can be fun, but feels like it was made in a barn. Thank god this difference is finally evaporating, however.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-17-07, 12:11 AM
It's funny, we both own a Cadillac and a foreign made exective class luxury sedan. Now your Cadillac handles better than your foreign car, and my foreign car handles better than my Cadillac.

Cadillacboy
09-17-07, 05:52 AM
Cool comparison !
LOL at Chad reply :D

AMGoff
09-17-07, 12:52 PM
... and feel a bit obnoxious...

Jesda... obnoxious... NOOOOOOOOO! :canttalk::o::yup:

Anyway... good comparo... I've never driven an LS so I can't comment on most of the things you said except for the looks.

The only difference between the earlier LS and the LS of today is that the earlier ones were boring and the new ones are bloated and boring. You're exactly right - the Lexus is THE perfect car to blend in with. I think that's a big part of the reason why the few *really* wealthy people I know drive them. They want a top-notch car that's built almost perfectly, that no one will notice them in.

The Seville on the other hand is a head-turner... I remember when the '92 redesign came out... Compared to the boring little boxes they replaced the '92 was a show-stopper, It was something no one would have expected from GM at that time.

Despite the fact that I prefer the '98 and up's sleeker, more rounded look I still love the original body. My uncle still has his red '96 and whenever I go by his house I always slow down just to look at it.

You've got yourself a great car... and while it's a little rough around the edges, the 4.9 is a great engine! Even though it's 15 years old now, I suspect you'll get many more years out of it!

:thumbsup:

JC316
09-19-07, 11:40 PM
Ah! What are the main differences? How much power they can handle? I assume I can interchange mine with one out of a Deville or Eldo if it ever fails.

I dunno, I think that some of the early SC Riverias had it, so thats like 230HP.

illumina
09-20-07, 02:16 PM
Correction Jesda, any 4.9 model will have the 4T60-E transaxle; the Northstar had the 4T80-E tranny...:p

JC316
09-20-07, 03:54 PM
Correction Jesda, any 4.9 model will have the 4T60-E transaxle; the Northstar had the 4T80-E tranny...:p

Already beat you to it :annoyed: lol.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-28-07, 07:19 PM
On a related note, I got to ride in Brian's (90Brougham350) dad's '94 LS400 today and would like to compare it to my S320, and the '90 (?) Q45 Jesda had, that I rode in and drove during the May meet.

LS400 v. S320.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1650-1.jpg

The LS400 was smaller, a lot actually, and felt a lot more intimate inside. There's not nearly as much headroom as in the S and the legroom in rear is paltry in comparison. But on the plus side, the LS400 had much softer seats, with better upper back support...well they just seemed like they were much better bolstered overall. The LS400 seemed like it had less squeaks and rattles, and it seemed like it had less ambient noise, around town atleast...we didn't take it out on the highway at all. The V8 in the LS seemed like it propelled the car pretty good, maybe a bit quicker than the S, hard to tell though, I'd have to say that the peak powerband wasn't as wide as it is in the 320, but those I-6's were always known for a wide powerband anyways.

I really like how the LS looks though, it's sleek and somewhat sporty, yet very subtle. It was a beautifiul midnight jade color, with tan leather, and the Torque Thrusts really complimented the car. The tail light is especially reminescent of the 92+ STS, just the way the tail lights are designed and the way they flow into the bumper...nice looking car. The LS looks a lot leaner than the W140...the W140 is very tall and stately...the LS is low and lean.

I wanted to race the S and the LS, but we didn't have enough time. It would be neat to see how the 3.2 I-6 in the 4500 lb car would stack up against the 4.0L V8 in the 3800lb car. The 3.2 makes 228hp and 232 lb/ft....the 4.0 makes 250hp and 260 lb/ft. I'm pretty sure I'd get beat, but it would be interesting to see how badly. The LS had that "power, normal, econ" transmission control switch....the S only has "standard and winter", I wish it had the sport and econ modes too...

Interior of the S
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1660.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1661.jpg

Interior of the LS
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1653-1.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1651-1.jpg





'94 LS400 v. '90 Q45.

This is from memory, so bear with me, but from what I can remember, the Q definitely felt a lot more sporty than the LS...the seats were firmer, engine louder (but then again, Jesda did have the aftermarket exhaust on), steering stiffer, etc etc. I like the way the Q looks more...the lack of a grille and neat tail lights, and those wheels!! I love the base Q45 wheels from that era! But the LS would definitely be more comfortable over the long run....the seats in the Q were far too stiff for me!

Glad I've had the opportunity to ride/drive in these cars and hope I didn't offend anyone during my review. :)

Jesda
09-28-07, 11:34 PM
Wow, that LS400 stood up well to time!!!!

And yes, absolutely, the Q's stiff seats can make road trips uncomfortable.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-28-07, 11:43 PM
Wow, that LS400 stood up well to time!!!!

Most definitely! I haven't seen many cars look that nice after 175k!



And yes, absolutely, the Q's stiff seats can make road trips uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable like when you've got bad gas and a hot chick sitting shotgun.

Jesda
09-28-07, 11:47 PM
Uncomfortable like when you've got bad gas and a hot chick sitting shotgun.


For her maybe. I happen to like the smell of my own farts.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-28-07, 11:48 PM
.......And then you hit the "recirc" button and put fan speed to "MAX".

"Enjoy it baby....breath deep, for now Jesda is inside of you"

Night Wolf
09-29-07, 12:58 AM
Isn't the LS series Camry-based? They sure look alot like them.....

I dunno, guess I am of the few that think the styling dosn't do anything for me.


The LS400 seemed like it had less squeaks and rattles

The S320 actually has squeeks and rattles?!?

Anyway... the '92 STS vs '98 LS400.... there is a reason why the old beat up Caddy gets chosen over the new fancy Lexus.... Caddy has soul, its got a unique character to it that the Lexus just dosn't have.... I understand that feeling first hand.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-29-07, 10:29 AM
Isn't the LS series Camry-based? They sure look alot like them.....

I dunno, guess I am of the few that think the styling dosn't do anything for me.


The ES is the one that's Camry based...the LS is based off of some high end Toyota made only for Japan... The Century perhaps?

For the most part, the styling doesn't do much for me either...I just like how they did the rear end.

ted tcb
09-29-07, 04:44 PM
You're thinking the Celsior, the rh drive version of the LS400.
The LS400 is total Lexus, as it doesn't share any drivetrain components or sheetmetal with Toyota product.
A couple of minor switchgear pieces are shared, like the cruise control paddle.
I've read that Toyota accepts 50 parts failure per 1 million units, whereas the Lexus division finds 10 units per million as the acceptable level.
There is no question that the Lexus brand holds up very well over time.

Jesda
09-30-07, 05:12 AM
LS400's V8 engine finds its way into a few Toyota and Lexus products including the Aristo, Soarer, Crown, and Celsior. I cant remember which Lexus products those Toyota models correspond to. Aristo is our Lexus GS.

I won't miss the LS400, but it was a damn fine automobile, and perfect in most measurable ways. Most of all, I miss the Nakamichi sound system.

I don't miss the handling. At all. This Range Rover is more accurate, safe, and secure in corners than the LS400 was.

ted tcb
09-30-07, 09:54 AM
I'm looking forward to a review on the Range Rover ... I've always wanted one.
My comments on the LS400 not sharing Toyota platforms was aimed at the North American market ... Avalon and Camry, specifically.
The truck engines over here are not aluminum OHC ... I'm currently looking for a tech who has worked on the 4L LS motor, as I want
the timing belt done right. The Toyota dealership in town has only worked on the truck V8's ... a different motor.
Worth the drive to Toronto for me, anyway, to get a tech who is familiar with the motor for peace of mind.

omarg
09-30-07, 07:56 PM
dude, nice review! My sister has the same 94 black jade ls400. Hers has about 216k on it and its an amazing vehicle. smooth and quiet. and fast. The S is in a whole different class though. I'm pretty sure the LS has you beat in 0-60. should be around 7.7-8.1. It isn't that big inside. where the S is HUGE! IMHO though the LS is an amzing value new or used. high miles mean nothing on a maintained LS. As much as i want an S-class, the thought od somthing breaking would give me nightmares. LS parts aren't that expensive if you know where to look. My white 93 just turned 236k and has never let me down since ive owned it. I bought it in jul 06 with 210k. UGH your s320 is so expensive looking though. i want one. kinda...


On a related note, I got to ride in Brian's (90Brougham350) dad's '94 LS400 today and would like to compare it to my S320, and the '90 (?) Q45 Jesda had, that I rode in and drove during the May meet.

LS400 v. S320.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1650-1.jpg

The LS400 was smaller, a lot actually, and felt a lot more intimate inside. There's not nearly as much headroom as in the S and the legroom in rear is paltry in comparison. But on the plus side, the LS400 had much softer seats, with better upper back support...well they just seemed like they were much better bolstered overall. The LS400 seemed like it had less squeaks and rattles, and it seemed like it had less ambient noise, around town atleast...we didn't take it out on the highway at all. The V8 in the LS seemed like it propelled the car pretty good, maybe a bit quicker than the S, hard to tell though, I'd have to say that the peak powerband wasn't as wide as it is in the 320, but those I-6's were always known for a wide powerband anyways.

I really like how the LS looks though, it's sleek and somewhat sporty, yet very subtle. It was a beautifiul midnight jade color, with tan leather, and the Torque Thrusts really complimented the car. The tail light is especially reminescent of the 92+ STS, just the way the tail lights are designed and the way they flow into the bumper...nice looking car. The LS looks a lot leaner than the W140...the W140 is very tall and stately...the LS is low and lean.

I wanted to race the S and the LS, but we didn't have enough time. It would be neat to see how the 3.2 I-6 in the 4500 lb car would stack up against the 4.0L V8 in the 3800lb car. The 3.2 makes 228hp and 232 lb/ft....the 4.0 makes 250hp and 260 lb/ft. I'm pretty sure I'd get beat, but it would be interesting to see how badly. The LS had that "power, normal, econ" transmission control switch....the S only has "standard and winter", I wish it had the sport and econ modes too...

Interior of the S
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1660.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1661.jpg

Interior of the LS
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1653-1.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_1651-1.jpg





'94 LS400 v. '90 Q45.

This is from memory, so bear with me, but from what I can remember, the Q definitely felt a lot more sporty than the LS...the seats were firmer, engine louder (but then again, Jesda did have the aftermarket exhaust on), steering stiffer, etc etc. I like the way the Q looks more...the lack of a grille and neat tail lights, and those wheels!! I love the base Q45 wheels from that era! But the LS would definitely be more comfortable over the long run....the seats in the Q were far too stiff for me!

Glad I've had the opportunity to ride/drive in these cars and hope I didn't offend anyone during my review. :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
09-30-07, 10:48 PM
Thanks for the compliments, I always enjoy and appreciate them!

Before I bought the Benz, I considered a '98-'00 LS400 also, I was always fond of the styling, inside and out, and the reliability and Lexus cache. I searched my area for any '98-00 in my price range (less than $15,000) and found one...it was a silver 1998 with 115k miles on it...more mileage than I wanted, but still a nice car. By that time though, I was so dead set on a W140, I didn't even go out and drive the LS, but I'm willing to bet that if I did, I still would have gone with the W140....even though the LS is MUCH quicker, after they upped the power from 250 to 290 in 1998.

omarg
10-01-07, 01:21 AM
dude, that lex was clean but your S-class is mint. You bought a gem. it looks new.

Cadillacboy
10-01-07, 01:29 PM
Lex looks nice inside but using too many plastic parts both onto the dash and the door panels just damages the car considering it's class . MB W140 looks much classier due to wood trims and using less plastic ! . However that's just me keep in mind I am a chrome and wood fan yet a plastic trim hater lol

Jesda
10-01-07, 06:40 PM
The Lexus isnt very plasticky at all. Most of the surfaces are soft and even the little out of the way spots are covered in leather. The S-class actually has more hard surfaces, but theyre better looking.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-01-07, 11:20 PM
The Lexus isnt very plasticky at all. Most of the surfaces are soft and even the little out of the way spots are covered in leather. The S-class actually has more hard surfaces, but theyre better looking.


I dunno Jesda, I'm gonna have to argue that. In that '94, the vast majority of the dashboard was a hard plastic, except for the passenger side airbag cover...that was a nice leather, but it was covered in tacks.
:hide:

gothicaleigh
10-02-07, 09:09 AM
How do people actually drive Lexii? I grow sleepy just looking at pics of them...




http://www.8thdaycreations.com/images/gothicaleigh/gothiraspberry.gif

Jesda
10-02-07, 11:40 PM
Yeah maybe youre right about the interior. I've spent most of my time in the second-gen LS, not the first gen.

omarg
10-03-07, 12:43 PM
all the plastic inside an LS is soft. There is no leather on the dash or airbags. Its a high quality plastic. Much nicer than similar bmw's.

omarg
10-03-07, 12:47 PM
the LS uses only soft pliable plastics. There is no leather on the dash or a airbags. The interior is much nicer feeling than comparable germans. But the s-class looks nicer.

covered in tacks?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-04-07, 01:24 AM
covered in tacks?

My futile attempt at humor. :o

omarg
10-04-07, 08:16 PM
:) its all good I don't get most jokes. double post oops

Jesda
10-04-07, 09:53 PM
How do people actually drive Lexii? I grow sleepy just looking at pics of them...

http://www.8thdaycreations.com/images/gothicaleigh/gothiraspberry.gif

Takes a lot of coffee!