2013 Lexus LS 460 Sedan (4.6L V8 8-speed Automatic)
Driven On 4/16/2013
Few cars on earth can rival the LS 460's super-smooth ride, interior solitude and first-rate build quality. But the Lexus LS 460 continues to be softer and less precise than its European counterparts. Its V8 also forgoes forced induction.
PerformanceThis is where the LS loses out to its European rivals. Even though it's plenty quick in a straight line, it's still slow for the class. And its soft suspension simply offers nowhere near the control of the others.
The 386-horsepower V8 is lusciously smooth and sounds terrific. But it's naturally aspirated in a forced induction world. A world where 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds is slow.
We found the brakes annoyingly touchy around town, yet they don't feel powerful or confidence-inspiring. It stopped from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is merely average for the class.
The steering isn't overly light, but we also could barely detect any difference in assist between Normal and Sport modes. Not much in the way of steering feel.
Precision isn't this car's forte, it's sloppier than the competition. You notice the LS's weight on tight back roads, and the ESC system gets intrusive if you push too hard.
The throttle can be abrupt in Sport mode. Steering is light, but this is a big car in parking lots. The 8-speed automatic is a smooth shifter, but should be even more supple.
ComfortYou'll be hard-pressed to find a more peaceful, comfortable and quiet sedan, regardless of price, than the Lexus LS 460. It shuts the outside world out, the ride is as soft as can be. The front seats, though, could be a bit more cushy.
Front seats could be softer, we noticed some discomfort after a couple hours. Powerful, yet quiet, seat coolers. Outer rear seats are plush, center seat is high, near-pointless.
This is about as cushy as they come, with the downside being that it's a bit floaty. It's like riding down the road on a magic pillow of air.
One of the quietest cars we've taken over our coarse road test, registered barely above a thrum. Near-zero tire and wind noise. You can only hear the V8 when you boot the throttle.
InteriorThe interior is generally fantastic, with supple leather and high-quality materials and logical controls. The Remote Touch knob needs better detents, though. Well thought-out interior cubbies.
Driving position is a bit too high. Controls are logically placed, quality feeling. Even seat heater/cooler knobs have nice heft. Main controller knob needs better icon detents.
Long front doors make ingress/egress easy. You have to duck your head to avoid the roof in rear seat. But we didn't bump our feet against the B-pillars. Rear seats are low.
Excellent front headroom and good space for driver's right knee against center tunnel. Good front elbow room. Rear headroom is only okay, but excellent foot and knee room.
Narrow/short A-pillars and tall side windows, but B-pillar on driver's side blocks lane changes. C-pillars are thick, rear window slanted. Blind spot monitors and rearview camera.
Long, narrow door pockets fold out for easier access. No front bin, but has a large, two-tiered center armrest bin with a sliding upper section. Cupholders have mediocre anti-tip.
ValueThe Lexus name conjurs up images of quality, longevity and luxury. There's also real value here compared to others in the class, due to reasonable pricing and strong resale value.
Build Quality (vs. $)
High-grade, classy materials, good-looking trim pieces. Well put together, no squeaks or rattles. Lots of soft touch, although some areas need more padding under the fine leather.
At its $71,990 base price, the LS 460 comes with three-mode suspension, a hi-res 12.3-inch screen for the navigation system, a sunroof and real wood and aluminum trim.
With optional blind-spot monitoring, power rear sunshade, power trunk and a heated steering wheel, the LS 460's price rose to $75,554. Still, a decent deal versus competitors.
The EPA rates the LS 460 at 16 city/24 highway/19 mpg combined. We averaged 18.4 mpg overall. The car's 23.3 mpg run on our 116-mile evaluation route was surprisingly thrifty.
The LS has a 4 year/50,000-mile basic warranty, same as BMW and Mercedes, but 6 year/70,000-mile coverage for the drivetrain, which bests its two German counterparts.
Roadside assistance for 4 years/50,000 miles and Lexus covers the first two scheduled maintenances. BMW, though, provides free maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles.
Fun To DriveNot overly fun to drive, except when you lay into that luscious V8. It's super smooth and there's adequate power in reserve. It sounds expensive, and the music improves the more you rev it.
The LS 460 gets high marks here because it's such a fantastcially smooth, quiet and luxurious machine. It isolates occupants from the outside world, just as it's supposed to.
There's a distinct lack of personality here, not just in driving, but even the redesigned exterior styling does little to help this car stand out in a parking lot.