Full 2007 Lexus LS 460 Review
What's New for 2007
The 2007 Lexus LS 460 is an all-new vehicle. Compared to the LS 430 it replaces, the LS 460 is about the same size but more powerful and refined, and comes with a host of new features. An extended-wheelbase model is new, and a hybrid-powered version, dubbed the LS 600h L, is expected to debut next year.
To win over the hearts and checkbooks of large-luxury-sedan shoppers, Lexus has been methodically plying its LS in America for close to 20 years now. Originally undercutting its European competition on price while simultaneously offering more power and superior reliability, the LS has gone on to enjoy plenty of sales success and customer satisfaction. Now, for 2007, Lexus has released its most comprehensive LS to date in the fully redesigned LS 460.
Dimensions are similar to the previous LS 430. The new sedan's wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer, but there's less than an inch difference in overall length. However, this is just for the regular-wheelbase model. For the first time, Lexus is offering an extended-wheelbase model. Known as the LS 460 L, it provides significantly more legroom for rear-seat passengers.
As you may gather from the car's new designation, there's a new V8 of slightly larger displacement (4.6 liters versus 4.3). New drivetrain technologies abound, including electric-motor-driven variable valve timing and an eight-speed automatic transmission -- a first for this segment. The result is 380 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. If the increases of 102 hp and 55 pound-feet of torque over the LS 430 aren't enough to raise your eyebrows, perhaps the fact that the LS 460 also gets slightly better fuel economy will.
Additional refinement was also a main goal for the redesign. The company boasts about the LS 460's crystal-inspired headlight lenses, its ultra-smooth exterior paint and the leather on the steering wheel -- it's apparently been buffed six times longer than the LS 430's. There are also a host of new technologies, including a more advanced stability control system, adaptive headlights, separate dual-zone climate controls front and rear and even a feature that gives the car the ability to parallel-park itself.
Lexus has taken a big step forward with its new LS 460. With its new long-wheelbase model and many luxury-themed firsts, the LS should be considered a full equal to the top European luxury sedans. It's true that some potential owners might find it a little passionless when compared with competitors like the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Jaguar XJ. Others might miss the simpler and less ostentatious feel of earlier LS models. Still, the changes for the 2007 Lexus LS 460 are the right ones. This car deserves serious consideration.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Lexus LS 460 is a large luxury sedan. There are two models available: the regular 460 and the extended-wheelbase 460 L. Major standard features for the LS 460 include 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon HID headlights, a moonroof, leather upholstery, wood trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, power and heated front seats, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth connectivity and an audio system with a six-disc CD changer and an auxiliary jack. Through some optional packages, Lexus also offers a hard drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and a backup camera, heated and cooled front seats, a 19-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, satellite radio, park assist, a new Advanced Parking Guidance System and adaptive radar-based cruise control.
The LS 460 L is equipped similarly but does come standard with the navigation system and satellite radio. An adaptive air suspension is optional. There's also an exclusive package for the 460 L called the Executive Class Seating Package. It drops rear seating capacity to two but adds a fixed console with cooled storage; reclining power seats with heating, cooling and massage; a DVD entertainment system; and full dual-zone rear climate control.
Powertrains and Performance
The LS 460 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that makes 380 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. In our testing, the LS 460 hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
Standard safety features on the 2007 Lexus LS 460 include front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and knee-protecting airbags for front passengers. Side-impact airbags for outboard rear passengers are optional. Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, traction control and a stability control system that's faster and more responsive than last year's are also standard. Models equipped with adaptive cruise control have a pre-collision feature that optimizes the car's safety systems for an impending impact.
Interior Design and Special Features
In an ergonomic sense, the cockpit layout of the five-passenger LS 460 luxury sedan is near perfection. There's no great learning curve required to operate the climate controls, audio system and other features, and the Optitron electroluminescent gauges are especially handsome in design, and effective visual messengers. The interior is just as brilliant in an aesthetic sense. Rich wood trim is complemented by standard perforated leather upholstery. From the exquisite stitching in the leather to the matching of the wood grain, the fit and finish is without peer. The trunk, for which Lexus offers a power lid-closing feature, can hold 18 cubic feet of cargo, but that figure drops to 12 on the LS 460 L if the rear-seat climate control system is ordered.
On the road, the 2007 Lexus LS 460 is impressively quiet. Drivers and passengers will find themselves sheathed in a bubble of serenity. When one pilots the LS aggressively on curvy roads, however, it's apparent that Lexus, as with the earlier models, did not design the car to be overtly sporty. Demanding drivers will find the standard suspension doesn't sufficiently stifle the excessive nose dive during braking and body lean through hard corners. Plus, it doesn't do particularly well damping the jiggle that occurs over expansion joints on concrete freeways. The other troubling dynamic element is the LS 460's brakes, which are powerful but can seem grabby in stop-and-go traffic.