The 10 Best Old Lexus Cars of All Time

From the original LS to the screaming fast LFA, Lexus has produced some of the best luxury cars in history.
Written by Brad Marley
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The Lexus brand is synonymous with luxury—and it’s produced some pretty amazing vehicles. A few of the best include the original LS 400, the full-size GX, and the elegant ES.
An offshoot of the Toyota brand, Lexus originated as a secret project to build a new premium sedan for its customers to compete with Acura and Infiniti luxury cars. In this article, we’ve listed ten of our favorite Lexus vehicles.
We've compiled this guide to all the best Lexuses that have been produced. Whether you’re in the market for a Lexus because of its reputation or are just curious about the history of these vehicles, we’re breaking it all down for you.
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What makes an old car great? 

Toyota knew they had to come up with a way to compete in the luxury space, so corporate set out to design and build a luxury sedan that could compete with the other brands rolling out luxury vehicles.
What followed was a car that would allow Toyota to market the Lexus brand as one of the finest automobile specimens on the planet. To this day, when you hear someone talk about a Lexus, you know they are talking about a stylish and luxurious automobile that can hold up against everything auto manufacturers have to offer when it comes to riding in style.
What follows is a list of the best Lexus cars of all time. All came standard with a luxurious touch and feel, but some were more classy than others—so we’ve captured the best in this list.

10. Lexus LS 400 (1989-present): the original

Lexus LS 400
is the one that started it all for Lexus—the flagship vehicle that continues to be sold today after five generations of the car (albeit now called the 430) and counting. 
The “LS” in the name stands for luxury sedan, which is just about the most straightforward and obvious representation of the car. But for a brand that wants to claim dominion of this segment of the car industry, we would expect nothing less when it comes to telling consumers what they get when they get behind the wheel.
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9. Lexus LC (1982-1989): revolutionizing engine power

In keeping with their no-nonsense naming conventions, Lexus branded their new luxury coupe the “LC” and debuted it at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
The LC was the first vehicle to use the company’s front-engine, rear-wheel-drive program, which consisted of high-strength steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. The platform was put on the LC to improve weight distribution and provide a low center of gravity to allow for greater acceleration and cornering.

8. Lexus RX (1998-present): a first for luxury

Lexus RX
can officially be deemed the first luxury crossover SUV. The first compact version hit dealerships from 1998 until 2003, followed by a mid-size version that is still produced to this day.
The idea for this SUV was born when executives at Toyota dreamed of a vehicle that would be a mash-up of a luxury sedan and SUV. Just over five years later, the dream became a reality and this premium crossover remains a hot item for those who want aggressive styling in something the whole family can ride in.

7. Lexus GX (2003-present): full-size luxury

Not to be confused with the RX, the
Lexus GX
is a liter version of the Land Cruiser—albeit more luxurious and comfortable than its Middle Eastern counterpart.
Power for the first generation of the vehicle came from a 4.7-liter engine that maintained 235 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. Four-wheel drive came standard with low-range gearing that added to the vehicle’s power.

6. Lexus IS (1998-present): a shift in direction

Lexus IS
was the first entry-level sports edition built by the Japanese automaker. Like many Lexus vehicles that were produced, it was created in response to vehicles their competitors were building.
If you were a young professional, this was the car to get your hands on. It exuded style and put you on the map as someone to be reckoned with.
The IS has undergone a few different style changes since its inception, but with greater performance emphasis than was typically seen on Japanese cars to date.

5. Lexus CT (2011-2017): a hybrid approach

CT was a hybrid electric hatchback built in the mold of the Toyota Prius drivetrain, and it’s the first luxury compact and hatchback hybrid.  While mainly marketed to a European market, it is currently sold worldwide—though the company plans to sunset the CT at the end of 2022.
In the United States, the CT gets 43 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, with 42 mpg combined. When you think of a Lexus, you don’t necessarily equate a hybrid electric with a brand so entrenched in champagne and caviar dreams. But Lexus has always strived to build the best car for the consumer, and this one happens to capture the best of both worlds.
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4. Lexus ES (1989-present): the definition of elegant

Lexus ES
was part of the official launch of the Lexus brand at the North American International Auto Show way back in 1989. This was done so the company wouldn’t just introduce one vehicle when they pulled back the curtain on the LS 400.
You wouldn’t be wrong to call it the OG of Lexus. 
The ES was built to compete against the
Legend, another mid-size car that appealed to executives looking for everyday luxury on their way to and from work. After a hard day at the office, they wanted a smooth and comfortable ride, and the Lexus ES was their after-work oasis on wheels.
The car has gone through facelifts in the more than three decades since it was rolled out, but its purpose remains the same.

3. Lexus RC (2015-present): luxury coupe

Like almost every other Lexus on this list, the “RC” modifier stood for something—in this case, radical coupe, and we can’t think of a more proper description.
Borrowing styling from other Lexuses on the market, the
Lexus RC
was built as a more compact executive two-door coupe that still retained the premium look and features of other cars in the segment.
The RC has maintained its status as one of the more reliable cars that Lexus produces, with sales in the United States holding steady after six years. 

2. Lexus UX (1973-2017): small but fierce

The Lexus UX is the smallest crossover in the Lexus fleet, but its bold and stylish design makes it look anything but as it prowls urban thoroughfares as one of the latest installments from the brand.
To compete with other brands like Mercedes and Volvo, Lexus launched the UX as its first entry into their subscription service—even though it acts more like a traditional leasing option. Regardless, customers who get the UX through the program pay one monthly fee that covers the vehicle, maintenance, and insurance.

1. Lexus LFA (2010-2012): the supercar

The Lexus LFA was built to show off its sports car muscle and performance capabilities.
Before it was officially launched to the public, car spies saw the prototype taking regular turns at Nürburgring. These vehicles were equipped with retractable rear spoilers and carbon-ceramic brake discs.
In 2008, Lexus launched a roadster version complete with a V-10 engine and displacement of 5.0-liters. The production announcement of the car coincided with the 20th anniversary of the launching of the Lexus brand.

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Thanks to quality craftsmanship and luxurious interiors, Lexus remains a steady option in the used car market. The challenge can be finding the right
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