Supreme refinement and comfort, acres of interior space, huge standard equipment list, plenty of high tech gadgets
Anonymous looks, numb steering, no diesel engine available, shares interior features with much cheaper Toyota models
The huge LS is the Lexus flagship - a luxury four-door saloon that's an alternative to cars such as the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8. The bluff styling on the Lexus LS is disappointing but the LS offers a superbly equipped and comfortable interior with acres of rear space.
Not stylish enough
Unfortunately while the materials used are first class and the finish excellent, it lacks the style or sophistication of other cars that have a similarly high list price. The Toyota switches and column stalks are a big disappointment. That said, it is supremely comfortable on the move and cocoons passengers from the outside world with superb noise insulation and cosseting seats.
It is also the first in its class to offer a fuel-saving petrol-electric 'hybrid' system giving Lexus LS buying an alternative to diesel in the LS600h. In 2012 Lexus gave the LS a major midlife refresh.
Almost 3,000 changes were made to the car overall, but most notable was the major redesign of the front end. A new front bumper, grille and headlight cluster gives the car a much more modern look as well ad improved aerodynamics. All the body panels were changed apart from the roof and doors.
The refreshed interior also features more world-first technology including the so-called climate concierge system that uses infra-red sensors to monitor the facial temperature of each occupant of the car and adjusts the air-con and heating accordingly.
For the first time the LS range includes an F Sport – a model with more sporty dynamics – and in this diesel-obsessed market, it is somewhat surprising that Lexus reintroduced the LS 460 petrol model following requests from customers. That means the LS comprises three models: LS 460 Luxury, LS 460 F Sport and LS 600h L Premier.
Lexus LS options
The LS 600h L Premier can be specified with a night view system, which captures images of the night time field of view using a near-infra red camera and displays the night vision images on the 12.3-inch central display. This feature provides the driver with a view of hazards outside of the direct beam of the headlights. Metallic or mica paint is an option across all models in the LS range.
Buyers can also choose from a number of options. Eight exterior colours are available for the new LS Luxury and Premier: Arctic Pearl, Sonic Silver, Celestial Black, Mesa Red, Mercury Grey, Atlantic Blue and Obsidian Black. The F Sport model has a range of seven exterior colours, including the newly available F Sport White.
In the cabin Luxury and Premier models can be specified with Black, Light Grey, Ivory, Topaz Brown or White upholstery. F Sport models have Sport Black upholstery as standard, but can be specified with Sport White. F Sport models feature aluminium dashboard inserts as standard, regardless of interior upholstery.
Can all these changes and personalisation options really challenge the luxury offerings from BMW and Mercedes-Benz? Read the full Lexus LS review to find out.
What owners say about this car
Great four seater. Loads of room for everyone - now none fights to get in the front, in fact there's... Read owner review
Nothing practical just a pleasure to own. 4.6 V8 yes but worth it. Every extra you could imagine,... Read owner review
The economy. For a 4.6 V8 it returns 25mpg overall but I have regularly bettered that. And on a... Read owner review