New Lexus LS 600h L Review

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The Lexus LS 600h L is an extended-wheelbase luxury hybrid sedan that brings a few compromises. The latter however 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 otherwise similar and much less expensive non-hybrid LS 460 L.

Furthermore, there's no appreciable gain in 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. 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 hefty price 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
Powering the current Lexus 600h L is a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 389 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque is coupled to two electric motor/generators that boost output to 438 hp. All of this power is routed to an all-wheel-drive system via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Emphasis is more on providing stronger performance rather than ultimate fuel economy. As such, this Lexus goes from zero to 60 in a claimed 5.5 seconds, impressive yet only about a half second swifter than an all-wheel-drive LS 460. And fuel economy, at 20 mpg combined, is only two mpg better than that of the LS 460 L with AWD.

Standard feature highlights include 19-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power front seats, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, power-reclining rear seats with massage functions, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, wood interior trim, power rear sunshades, a rear-seat refrigerator, a navigation system, Lexus Enform telematics, a Siri-based control system for iPhone users, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system (with six-disc changer, HD and satellite radio, iPod integration and rear-seat audio controls). Options include the Executive package, which reduces seating capacity to four and adds more leather interior trim, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and power ottoman for the right rear seat.

In reviews we noted the LS 600h L feels similar to its LS 460 L sibling, no surprise as they differ chiefly in their powertrains. So the same pampered ride and quietly confident handling are here, as is a sumptuous, silent cabin that coddles its occupants. Given that, as well as the essentially similar performance of the two, we can't justify making the $25,000 jump up to the 600. If low emissions and high efficiency are must-haves in your next large luxury sedan, there are other, less costly choices. That said, they'd be hard pressed to match Lexus' strong reputation for long-term reliability and low running costs.

Read the most recent 2015 Lexus LS 600h L review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Lexus LS 600h L page.

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