By Natasha M.
- Responsive handling, yet smooth as a limousine ride
- Super luxurious interior design
- Innovative features (i.e. 8-speed auto-transmission, Advanced Parking Guidance System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control)
- Exterior styling – more subtle, less “flashy” than its competitors
- Does not fit in those compact car parking spaces
- You might get a speeding ticket!
The Lexus LS 460L has the look and comfort of a luxury sedan, the energy of an SUV and the heart of a sports car. And what I enjoyed most was that it evoked euphoric feelings instantaneously by doing exactly what I wanted it to do and with such ease. Whether it was to quickly reach high speeds at a moments notice or cruise quietly with grace and style, the LS 460L definitely reminds you that cars can really have great physical and expressive design that is so desirable by any discerning car lover. Add to that a reputation of reliability and safety, and then you really have something that’s really close to perfection.
Approaching the car from a distance, I saw the attractive new L-finesse design cues that create a long, sleek silhouette. Then as you come within reach of the LS 460L you’ll see how substantial in size it actually is. I knew instantly that meant there would be plenty of room for all occupants. Lexus ensured a solid design with its ultra deep drawn fenders, crystal lens headlamps, stylish front low grille, and 18” aluminum alloy wheels. The one touch power open/close button for the spacious trunk was a nice detail to mention. I believe the exterior design also has subtlety to it, a quality I think will attract (or detract) certain buyers. I assume that all depends on how much “flash” you want to show.
Performance and Handling
The Lexus LS 460L features (the first of its kind) an eight-speed automatic transmission that can bring you from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. Feel free to test that number because like I said, this car can move! We gave it a go, uphill for that matter, and it was just under or right at 5 seconds. What a thrill that was! The 4.6-liter V-8 engine is an all-new design that generates up to 380 hp and 367 pounds-feet of torque. You will feel that pull back into your seat as it goes.
Normally, a high-output V8 engine translates into fewer miles per gallon. This is not the case with the LS 460. The new LS 460 features the world’s first electric-motor driven Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and Electronically controlled intake cam (VVT-iE). Combine the powerplant with an innovative 8-speed automatic transmission and the 4.6 liter, 8-cylinder engine gets a combined fuel economy at about 22 miles per gallon. Performance highlights of this new V8 engine include a dual fuel-injection system that increases efficiency and a semi-dual exhaust manifold that carries the exhaust gas in a smoother, more economical fashion.
In the future, the LS 600h hybrid version will deliver the equivalent power of a 6.0-liter V-12 while consuming the fuel equivalent of a V6. So that is another fine option worth considering. But you’ll typically get around 19 MPG city and 27 MPG highway with an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV II) rating for the V8 according to EPA testing.
Just as important as its performance, the handling was awesome. The brakes are super smooth and highly responsive. I was also pleased that it had great shock absorbency and minimized the vibration due to uneven road conditions. The LS 460 uses a front and rear multi-link suspension system that adapts to unevenness in road surfaces. An optional air suspension control system can smooth the ride even further by minimizing road vibrations and roll sensations due to rough road conditions. Overall, the ride was very comfortable and silky-smooth.
I thoroughly enjoyed the interior design during my test drive. The standard and optional features are excellent and one of the Lexus LS 460L’s biggest triumphs. The Mark Levinson audio system features 19 speakers and has a hard drive that holds 2,000 songs. XM® factory-installed satellite radio is great for more variety along with its coverage of live traffic reporting. The 6-CD changer, DVD player and auxiliary audio input are also available and again all adjustable by the touch screen. I even noticed the slight vibration in my rear view mirror from the subwoofers that deliver near flawless audio sound.
The Gen 5 Lexus Navigation system (voice activated HDD navigation system with backup camera, Bluetooth® technology, XM NavTraffic) itself has a simple user interface that is easy to learn and use. The driver can choose to listen to the voice prompts or read the map on a large and bright touch screen display. The console is beautifully balanced and laid out in a sensible manner, within arms reach and with such ease of use.
For the driver, it has climate control front seats, heated steering wheel with wood and leather trim, 3-position driver memory system, power seatbelt shoulder height adjuster (also available for passengers), and with the navigation system, the driver has access to all the info for general car maintenance. The sunroof has a one-touch button to open and close. Most impressive is the rear back-up camera that turns on automatically once you put the car in reverse.
For passengers it offers heated rear seats with a very cool power rear sunshade. The rear seat passengers will really thank you for a tranquil and spacious ride with its extra roomy leg space due to the 460L’s long-wheelbase that provides an added space of 4.8 inches. Rear-seat passengers can also enjoy reclining seats and an optional cooler to keep drinks chilled. Lexus designed the 460L as a chauffeured vehicle allowing that special VIP to recline up to a 45 degree angle with its available ottoman option and massage function (for the right-side rear seat only). The advanced climate control system even has infra-red sensors that measure both the cabin temperature and body temperature of the occupants (along w/ outside temp).
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