The LS is Lexus' flagship and largest sedan. It was Toyota's first big luxury success in America, which began in 1989. The LS is similar in size to the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Unlike the sport sedan bias of the 7 Series, the Lexus LS is geared toward comfort with a posh interior. It's available in short- or long-wheelbase forms, and both models have available all-wheel drive.
The LS is powered by a 4.6-liter, 380-horsepower V-8 with rear-wheel drive, or a 357-horsepower V-8 when equipped with all-wheel drive. It has an advanced fuel injection system and eight-speed automatic transmission that helps it to achieve up to 24 mpg highway and accelerate to freeway speeds in less than six seconds.
Inside, Lexus doesn't hold back with the luxury trimmings, offering the latest in infotainment and convenience, like a lumbar massage, a Mark Levinson audio system, and a rear DVD system, among others. It also has eight airbags, and a host of safety features, including vehicle stability control and a driver monitor system.
Body style: Sedan
Engines: 4.6L V-8, 5.0L V-8
Transmissions: 8-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: LS 460, LS 460 AWD, LS 460 L, LS 460 L AWD
For 2012, a Nebula Gray Pearl paint color replaces Smoky Granite Mica. Though the LS is mostly a carryover model, Lexus has introduced a Sport Special Edition featuring a two-tone interior, 19-inch wheels with Brembo brakes, and a sport-tuned air suspension.
The LS is not the most eye-grabbing car in the segment, but it has a desirable and luxurious appearance, if somewhat understated with 18-inch alloy wheels and subtle chrome pieces on the grill and door handles. Standard wheelbase is 116.9 inches; long wheelbase is 121.7.
The LS' cabin is whisper quiet and the leather-wrapped interior is comfortable, too, making this car a wonderful place to spend time on the road. The LS includes Bluetooth and iPod functionality, a push-start/stop button, rear backup camera, and a 19-speaker audio and navigation system. Executive Seating adds lumbar massage, power recline, front and rear heated seats, and rear-seat DVD system. The trunk can hold 18.0 cubic-feet of gear.
Performance & Handling
A smooth ride is the one of the strong points of the LS line, and since it's such a large car, it isn't exactly a canyon carver or track burner. When it comes to being a driver's car, however, that part of the experience is somewhat lacking. Lexus says the LS 460 reaches 60 mph in 5.4 seconds (5.9 seconds for AWD models) and brakes in 120 feet from 60 mph.
Dual front airbags, dual front side airbags, front-passenger twin-chamber airbag, side curtain airbags, and dual front knee airbags are standard across the LS lineup. So are disc brakes with four-channel ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, vehicle stability control, a pre-collision system, and a driver attention monitor system.
EPA Fuel Economy
LS 460, 460 L: 16 mpg city/23-24 mpg highway
LS 600h L: 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway
- Spacious interior
- Smooth power
- Available AWD
You Won't Like
Pure luxury -- little sport
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A8
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- BMW 7 Series