For more than 20 years, the Lexus LS has showcased the brand's top levels of technology, interior furnishings and driving refinement. From 2007 until 2017, the Lexus LS 460 was the volume model in this well-known premium luxury sedan line. It boasted a supremely smooth V8, an eight-speed automatic transmission, handsome styling, impeccable fit and finish and, for the first time, an extended-wheelbase model. Known as the LS 460 L, this longer LS provided significantly more legroom for rear passengers and competed directly against similar extended-wheelbase models offered by European luxury-brand automakers.
Lexus managed to make most of the LS 460's extensive technology intuitive. Users controlled most major functions with familiar buttons and a touchscreen. Considering that older shoppers often bought these cars, this was good news. Interfaces in competing models could be bewildering for even the most digitally astute buyers. We thought the LS 460 deserved consideration by anyone interested in a large luxury sedan, and given Lexus' reputation for exceptional build quality and longevity, the Lexus LS 460 remains a smart used-car choice.
Used Lexus LS 460 Models
The second-generation Lexus LS 460 made its debut as a redesigned 2013 model and maintained Lexus' traditional strengths of impeccable build quality, strong yet quiet performance, and a roomy, tranquil cabin stocked with the latest in luxury features. Lexus carried over most of the sheet metal, with the most notable change being Lexus' signature angular grille design. Lexus updated the cabin as well, with more fancy stitching and padded surfaces. Lexus' Remote Touch interface, featuring a large display and mouselike controller, replaced the old touchscreen.
Changes were limited over the model run. 2014 brought the addition of Siri Eyes Free and some trim revisions. Lexus upgraded the infotainment system and backup camera for 2015 and added a new Crafted Line model (a Sport with special trim and matching Tumi luggage) to the lineup. For 2016, Lexus again improved the navigation and infotainment system and offered run-flat summer tires on the LS. For 2017, the last year of production, the Lexus LS 460 did not change.
The second-generation Lexus LS 460 was powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that delivered 386 horsepower with rear-wheel drive and 360 hp (359 hp for 2017) with all-wheel drive. Although the big Lexus wrapped its occupants in a cocoon of peace and quiet, various suspension and steering tweaks made for a more involving drive. There was even an available F Sport package with firmer suspension, steering tuning and upgraded brakes.
Lexus lavishly equipped the LS 460 L, just as you'd expect for a top-of-the-line luxury sedan: Leather upholstery, navigation, heated and cooled front seats, and a power-closing trunklid were on the standard equipment list. Option highlights included power rear seats, an adjustable air suspension, adaptive cruise control, four-zone climate control and a refrigerator in the rear seat. Long-wheelbase LS 460 L models had most of these options as standard, with the notable exception of the F Sport package. The long-wheelbase car offered an optional Executive Seating package with two individually reclining rear buckets and a passenger-side ottoman.
In reviews we found the LS 460 to be the serene, comfortable cruiser we'd come to expect, but with a sharper, more responsive feel to the steering and a more composed attitude when pressed on serpentine back roads. The car's V8 wasn't quite as potent as some European rivals', which also offered ultra-high-output variants of their big sedans, but we thought the LS 460's brisk performance would be more than enough for most folks. And beyond that was the appeal of Lexus for overall quality, reliability and value.
Lexus produced the previous-generation LS 460 from 2007 through 2012. Throughout its run, it received only minor updates. This LS 460 was a full-size luxury sedan available in regular 460 and extended-wheelbase 460 L body styles.
This LS 460 was powered by a 4.6-liter V8 with 380 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. Power went to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. For 2009, all-wheel drive became optional. The following year brought a Sport package, which included bigger wheels, summer tires, upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and slightly different body styling. In our instrumented testing, the LS 460 went from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, which is on par with performance of rivals in this segment.
The LS 460's standard feature highlights included automatic xenon headlamps, automatic wipers, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood trim, a power-adjustable steering wheel and power front seats with heating. Among options, the highlights included a navigation system, heated and cooled front seats, adaptive cruise control, a parking assistance system and even an Advanced Parking Guidance System. The LS 460 L also offered available air suspension and a package that dropped rear seat capacity to two passengers and added a rear center console with cooled storage, climate-controlled reclining seats, ottomans and a DVD entertainment system.
For 2010, this generation received its most notable changes, including updated electronics (iPod interface and Bluetooth audio), Lexus' Safety Connect emergency telematics and the aforementioned Sport package. Visually, only slightly revised taillights gave it away.
We found this Lexus LS 460 to be impressively quiet. The car coddled drivers and passengers in luxurious serenity. That peace did create an isolated feeling that killed some involvement between car and driver, however. This characteristic could be viewed as good or bad depending on your point of view. The car had competent handling, but Lexus obviously calibrated it more for comfort than tight handling. But the optional adjustable air suspension did give the driver some choices.
While we found other large, premium luxury sedans were more rewarding to drive and own, the Lexus LS 460 was less expensive to purchase and likely much less expensive to maintain. We thought most consumers would find it an exquisite way to travel thanks to its smooth and effortless performance, supremely comfortable interior and full menu of high-tech gizmos.