This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Lexus LS Saloon review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Unlike its rivals the LS comes with only one engine. It’s a 4.3-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 278bhp and a healthy 308lb-ft of torque. Early versions had a five-speed automatic gearbox, but it was replaced by a more modern six-speeder in 2003. This later transmission is good enough to propel the LS from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds, and there is always enough pulling power on hand for safe overtaking or to ensure the car reaches motorway speed limits briskly when joining at sliproads.

The torque of this 4.3-litre V8 is greater and far more accessible than its 4.0-litre predecessor. The engine runs almost silently, but produces a distant and muted V8 roar under hard acceleration.

The LS 430 deals competently with all manner of road conditions, with neat handling and accurate, if rather lifeless, steering. However, driver involvement is not a high priority for this type of car, with comfort and refinement taking precedence. Electronically controlled air suspension (part of the ‘premium pack’ in earlier versions) maintains a constant ride height irrespective of load.

It can be raised slightly for improved ground clearance over rough surfaces and lowers automatically at high speeds to improve the already excellent aerodynamics. There is also a ‘sport’ setting for improved body control on twisty roads.