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The Lexus LS 600h L is an extended-wheelbase luxury sedan that brings a few compromises, but they're compromises that will already be quite familiar to those who've experienced other upscale Lexus green machines. The most significant concerns fuel efficiency. With a 20 mpg combined EPA fuel economy estimate, the LS 600h L is no Prius -- in fact, it barely beats the mileage offered by the non-hybrid LS.
Another has to do with performance. The LS 600h L teams a gasoline V8 with a duo of electric motors to offer power that Lexus claims is comparable to that of a V12. However, that additional power is offset by the added weight of the hybrid components. As such, this Lexus goes from zero to 60 in 6 seconds, which is actually slower than the regular LS 460 L.
In the end, the car's only real advantage over the regular LS is its Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) rating. Is that enough to justify its premium? We don't think so, and recommend checking out the hybrid or diesel-powered version of Mercedes' cheaper S-Class instead.
Current Lexus LS 600h L
The Lexus LS 600h L is a hybrid version of the long-wheelbase LS 460 L. Highlights of the car's standard features list include 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a heated steering wheel, leather trim on the seats and instrument panel, a 16-way power driver seat, a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with 450 watts of surround sound, a music server with 2,000-song capacity, climate-controlled front seats and a heated steering wheel and Lexus' self-parking system.
Options packages are available that offer power rear seats, a massage mode that pampers your back and a four-seat "Executive" seating option that features a rear compartment with seating for two that emulates the cabin of a business jet.
Hybrid power is provided courtesy of a 389-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 and a duo of electric motors, resulting in a combined total output of 438 hp. Governing the proceedings is a continuously variable transmission with automanual control and modes that cater to a trio of driving conditions: Normal, Power and Snow. Drivers enjoy standard all-wheel drive. With fuel economy of just 19 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, this Lexus offers mileage that's, well, not exactly hybridlike.
Ultimate luxury cars are all about the opulence of their cabins, and this Lexus certainly gets that right. Ergonomics are nearly flawless, and controls are intuitive and within easy reach. Aesthetics are nothing short of dazzling, with handsome electroluminescent gauges, finely finished wood trim, exquisitely stitched leather and superb fit and finish. One drawback, though, is trunk space. The car's hybrid components take up so much room in back that trunk space is only a meager 10.1 cubic feet.
The Lexus LS 600h L can run up to 20 mph using its electric engines alone, which translates into an ultra-quiet ride when the car is driven around town. The emphasis is on a pillow-soft ride, regardless of which of the car's air suspension settings you choose. The LS 600h L's steering is capable enough, but there isn't an abundance of feedback. When it comes to driver involvement, the award goes to the Germans, but this Lexus does an excellent job of delivering comfort.
Used Lexus LS 600h L Models
The Lexus LS 600h L debuted for the 2008 model year. For '09, there was a special Pebble Beach edition, which included several popular options. Prior to a styling freshening for 2010, the LS 600h L more closely resembled the regular LS 460. That year also saw the introduction of the Sport package and the enhancement of many of its electronics features.
Read the most recent 2013 Lexus LS 600h L review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Lexus LS 600h L page.