Lexus owns the high ground in the luxury sedan segment, with the perennially best-selling LS 430 setting the standard for comfort, resale value and quality. Even so, the new 2007 LS 460L, Lexus' response to Mercedes' new S-Class, pioneers new frontiers of luxury, comfort and safety.
The car is available in a limousine-like long-wheelbase model, which stretches nearly 203 inches from bumper to bumper, and a 5-inch-shorter standard model, the LS 460 (minus the L). A faster, more efficient hybrid version, possibly with all-wheel drive, will debut at the New York International Auto Show in April. Lexus promises further details on the car's technology at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show in March. One of the highlights is that the car can parallel park itself.
Each new Lexus becomes incrementally more sculpted, with market pressure by more adventurous competitors eroding the company's traditionally stodgy lines like the Colorado River carving out the Grand Canyon over the course of millions of years. The latest LS features an aerodynamically laid-back grille, headlights and windshield at the front, and the hint of a BMW trunk at the rear.
In the long-wheelbase variant, Lexus aims to replicate the environment of a business jet with massaging, 45-degree-reclining rear seats that include an ottoman for leg support. A center console with a tray table, ventilation controls and a drink cooler divides the two rear seats. Individual DVD players mean never having to share a movie with your fellow backseat passenger. The shorter-wheelbase LS 460 has a three-passenger backseat in place of the console and buckets.
Under the Hood
Lexus stakes its claim in drivetrain leadership with a stunning 380 horsepower from its 4.6-liter V-8, which employs the world's first dual-fuel-injection system and teams with what the company says will be the world's first eight-speed-automatic transmission in a production vehicle. The engine uses direct, in-cylinder fuel injection along with traditional port fuel injection for a claimed 36 percent reduction in fuel consumption. Despite a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds, the car is estimated to achieve 25 mpg in mixed city/highway driving, according to Lexus.
This thing has so many safety features, they won't even tell us about all of them — at least until March — but all of the expected active safety goodies are present and accounted for. There are electronically controlled brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, and Lexus' Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, an advanced electronic stability system that anticipates skids and, when it intervenes, is less abrupt than some similar systems.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Mike Hanley||Cars.com National||March 15, 2007|
|Dan Carney||Cars.com National||February 23, 2006|
|Mark Glover||The Sacramento Bee||April 6, 2007|
|Bob Golfen||AZCentral.com||March 26, 2007|
|G. Chambers Williams III||Star-Telegram.com||February 1, 2007|
|Royal Ford||Boston.com||January 28, 2007|
|Steven Cole Smith||Orlando Sentinel||December 31, 2006|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||December 29, 2006|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||November 29, 2006|
|Anita And Paul Lienert||The Detroit Newspapers||November 15, 2006|
|Dan Neil||Los Angeles Times||August 30, 2006|
|Sara Lacey||Mother Proof||August 24, 2006|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||January 27, 2006|
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