2016 Lexus LS 460 Review
Pros & Cons
- Fabulously quiet at all speeds
- ride quality is impressively supple on rough roads
- interior is meticulously appointed and carefully assembled
- opulent backseat with Executive Class package.
- Relatively slow acceleration (though it's still quick)
- imprecise steering and a general lack of sportiness
- infotainment interface can be distracting to use
- so-so fuel economy compared to other rival sedans.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Don't be fooled by the aggressive front-end styling, because the Lexus LS 460 is very much a traditional Lexus underneath. With its whisper-quiet interior and luxurious ride quality, the LS 460 is all about pampering you and your passengers to an optimum degree of comfort and refinement. Ready to find out more?
There seem to be two rather distinct schools of thought among makers of high-end luxury sedans. All aim at wealthy buyers, but the European brands have pretty much staked out the tech-savvy, style-conscious subset (and, of course, those who perceive themselves to fit into that set, regardless of what reality dictates). The other side looks to satisfy the needs of the well-to-do buyer who values comfort and quality above all else, and who doesn't have to drive the fanciest, flashiest or priciest car on the block. For them, the pinnacle of that segment is the 2016 Lexus LS 460.
Comfortable and unpretentious, the 2016 Lexus LS 460 is an alternative to European executive sedans.
This big Lexus sedan's cabin is meticulously appointed and carefully assembled. The leather is supple, the wood trim warm and rich and the rest of the interior materials substantial and attractive. Every LS 460 is well equipped, and buyers can opt for such amenities as front and rear massaging seats, a high-end Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, and an Executive Class seating package with reclining rear seats, a right-side rear ottoman and a rear entertainment system.
The Lexus LS 460's driving character is just as comfortable as its interior accommodations. Road noise is barely audible, and the growl of the smooth V8 engine is heard only during hard acceleration. Few potholes are bad enough to adversely affect ride quality, and fewer still will actually jolt an LS 460's passengers. And Lexus says it has upped its game a bit by using more structural adhesive for even greater body rigidity. Even the dealership experience is carefree, as Lexus has a well-established reputation for quality and reliability, as well as top-notch customer service.
What the LS 460 can't do is match the power and dynamics of its top European rivals. The car's 386-horsepower V8 is no slouch, but it falls short in performance and fuel economy when compared to the latest turbocharged V8 engines, and even some turbo sixes, from Europe. Those European rivals also are notable for controlled and precise handling. The LS 460, on the other hand, is rather dull to drive. While the available F Sport package sharpens the LS 460's handling, the improvement isn't enough to satisfy the most demanding drivers.
Buyers who are drawn to the comfort of the LS 460 but want a little something extra — be it in terms of performance, driver engagement, style, presence or all of the above — would be wise to consider the 2016 Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Jaguar XJ. Then there's the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which tops the luxury of the Lexus while offering leading-edge technology that's a couple steps ahead of every other sedan in this class. That's not to say you shouldn't consider the 2016 Lexus LS 460. If you believe a luxury car should deliver comfort and a trouble-free ownership experience first and foremost, the LS 460 is a fine choice, and it will save you some money versus those European competitors.
2016 Lexus LS 460 models
The 2016 Lexus LS 460 is a full-size luxury sedan available in regular- and extended-wheelbase (LS 460 L) models, with rear- or all-wheel drive. The Crafted Line model is offered only on the regular-wheelbase car. Five-passenger seating is standard, though the L is available with a four-passenger configuration that features a center console. The 2016 LS 600h L long-wheelbase hybrid is covered in a separate review.
Standard equipment on the LS 460 and LS 460 L includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic and adaptive xenon headlights, LED foglamps and running lights, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, a rearview camera, a sunroof, power door closers, cruise control, adjustable drive settings and keyless ignition and entry. Inside, there's dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats (12-way driver with four-way lumbar; 10-way passenger with two-way lumbar) with power seatbelt height adjusters and memory functions, leather upholstery, and a power tilt-and-telescoping wood and leather steering wheel. The Lexus LS 460 L also comes with heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power-closing trunk and a power rear sunshade. These amenities are optional on the regular-wheelbase LS sedan.
Standard electronics features include the Lexus Remote Touch interface, a 12.3-inch display screen, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Lexus Safety Connect emergency communications, the Lexus Enform suite of smartphone-integrated apps (now with Enform Remote smartphone control for compatible Apple and Android devices) and the Siri Eyes Free interface (which provides additional voice control functionality for newer iPhones). The standard 10-speaker sound system includes a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port and a media player interface.
The regular-wheelbase LS 460 can be livened up with the F Sport package, which includes 19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential (rear-wheel-drive models only), a sport-tuned air suspension, variable gear ratio steering, sharper adjustable drive settings and a transmission with rev-matched downshifts and shift paddles on the steering wheel. The F Sport package model also wears unique exterior and interior design elements such as darkened headlamps, a unique front fascia, blackout grille and chrome body side trim. Inside there are sport seats and special trim.
The LS 460 is offered with various other option packages. The All Weather package adds headlamp washers and a wiper de-icer (standard on all-wheel-drive models). The Ultra Luxury package adds four-zone climate control, a refrigerated rear center console, six-way power rear seats (with heating, cooling and massage functions), rear-seat side airbags and rear audio controls. The long-wheelbase LS 460 L can be equipped with an Executive-Class seating package, which includes the backseat upgrades of the Ultra Luxury package, but in a two-seat configuration with a stationary center console (including enhanced controls, a refrigerated bin and added storage). It also adds extended leather trim, a power passenger-side ottoman with a knee airbag, power rear side sunshades and a rear-seat DVD/Blu-ray entertainment system with a power drop-down screen.
A rear-seat entertainment system is included with the Executive-Class seating package, but is only available on long-wheelbase models.
Stand-alone options include 19-inch wheels, regular and run-flat summer tires, LED headlights (low- and high-beam), an adjustable air suspension (includes variable gear ratio steering, ride height adjustment and additional drive settings), a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with an enhanced pre-collision system, upgraded leather upholstery (includes a simulated suede headliner), the new Enform Service Connect feature, an advanced pre-collision system with a driver attention monitor and forward collision avoidance system, and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Lexus LS 460 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine that produces 386 hp and 367 pound-feet of torque in the standard rear-wheel-drive configuration. Those power figures drop to 360 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque on models equipped with all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on every LS 460.
In Edmunds testing, a rear-drive LS 460 went from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. That's not what we'd call slow, but it's considerably slower than average for a high-end luxury sedan with a V8 engine. The EPA's estimated fuel economy for all rear-drive LS 460 sedans is 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway). AWD versions rate 18 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway).
The 2016 Lexus LS 460 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front knee airbags, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Lexus Safety Connect — which includes automatic collision notification, an emergency assist button, enhanced roadside assistance and a stolen-vehicle locator — is also standard on all LS 460 models.
Safety-related options include lane keeping assist, a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision system that preps various vehicle systems when it detects a possible collision. The more sophisticated Advanced Pre-Collision system is sold as a separate option. It includes a driver attention monitor and can automatically initiate braking to help avert forward collisions. Rear-seat side airbags also are available.
In Edmunds testing, an LS 460 with all-season tires stopped from 60 mph in 121 feet, an average braking distance for an elite luxury sedan. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the LS 460 its highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset crash test, and the sedan's seat/head restraint design also was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2016 Lexus LS 460 is a stunningly quiet car on the highway. There's a V8 engine, but it goes largely unnoticed until you make a decisive passing maneuver. Press the gas pedal to the floor and you'll find that the 4.6-liter V8 is lusciously smooth and sounds terrific. By today's standards, though, it's not very potent. Most rivals get considerably more power (and quicker acceleration) out of their V8 engines, and there are even a few turbocharged six-cylinder luxury sedans capable of beating the LS 460 up a highway entrance ramp. The Lexus' eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but competitors provide even more seamless gear changes.
The Lexus LS 460 trails behind most competitors in terms of performance.
Predictably, the LS 460's ride quality is definitively luxurious. If you want the softest-riding car in the ultra-luxury sedan class, you've found it in the 2016 Lexus LS 460. However, this cushy demeanor comes at the expense of handling, as the big Lexus feels lazy and imprecise going around turns. The steering has more weight to it than you might expect, but there's not much feel or any semblance of sportiness. The available F Sport package provides better balance and a smidge more athleticism on tight twisty roads, but even when so equipped, the 2016 LS 460 still isn't as engaging or composed to drive as rival European sedans.
As befits a top-end luxury sedan, the interior of the Lexus LS 460 features outstanding materials, including soft leather and high-quality vinyl, and padded surfaces are joined with elegant contrast stitching. Wood trim is artfully applied, mixing with metallic surfaces and chrome details for a modern, albeit understated atmosphere. It's certainly a nice place to spend time, but the cabins of rivals tend to be a little more stylish and opulent.
The Lexus Remote Touch electronics interface controls most cabin functions. It's a mouselike device that allows the user to navigate among a variety of function icons on a horizontally oriented, 12.3-inch display at the top of the dashboard. However useful Remote Touch is for integrating basic tasks and smartphone applications, it ultimately draws too much attention away from the road (even with the new "back" and "menu" buttons added for 2016). Other companies use different solutions for their technology interface systems, and in particular, we prefer BMW's iDrive and Mercedes' COMAND. If you're planning to buy an LS 460, Remote Touch should be tested out thoroughly at a dealership.
Seat comfort, on the other hand, is simply outstanding up front, with wonderfully sculpted, multi-adjustable front buckets that can accommodate a variety of body types. Things get even better in back, especially on LS 460 L models, as the options list contains features that would be the envy of a day spa, including a massaging rear seat with near full recline and a powered ottoman. Again, this is all very special, but the seating of rivals — especially the Mercedes-Benz S-Class — can be even more special. Trunk space is generous at 18 cubic feet.