In its 24th model year of production, the Lexus LS is a car we can easily take for granted, because it hasn’t really changed that much over the years. From the moment production began in 1989 until now, the LS has always been conservatively styled, extremely refined, and utterly predictable. This mild refresh, including the introduction of a marginally sportier F Sport edition, is a stopgap measure until the next-generation LS, which will, I predict, herald the biggest changes in this model since its introduction.
For now, this remains an incredibly smooth, quiet, and cossetting luxury sedan that does everything very well but lacks the panache and character of its European competitors. Yet when you slide behind the wheel, touch the interior surfaces, start the engine, and head down the road, and you will realize that there is probably no other mass-production automobile in the world that is as well built and well finished with high-quality materials as the Lexus LS460.
The craftsmanship in this car is incredible.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
This is technically the new Lexus LS, but it doesn’t exactly advance the paradigm of what an LS can be as much as even the advent of the fourth-generation model in 2006. Instead, it takes a perfectly comfortable, composed large luxury sedan and dresses it up – and nicely, I’d say. The spindle grille will remain controversial for a long time, but the interior makeover is smart and well executed. My inner obsessive-compulsive child loves all the details – the dash accent lighting, the miniature accent stitching along the steering wheel’s hub, the super-soft touch upper door panels, and even the gimmicky digital temperature displays, which roll their digits like an odometer. Lexus’ mouse-like infotainment controller is fairly intuitive to use while on the move, so I’m glad to see it finally make its way to the LS.
I’ve loved Lexus’ all-wheel-drive system in the past, but this particular car didn’t feel as sure footed on launch as prior examples did. I’ll chalk that up to the lack of snow tires – this car rode on the stock Bridgestone Turanza all-seasons. No matter, once you engage “snow mode,” which launches the car in second gear and remaps throttle input, the car helps iron out any drama while launching from a standstill. Those who frequently encounter deep snowfall might want to opt for the available air suspension, which offers a function to increase ride height, thereby improving ground clearance.
Evan McCausland, Associate Web Editor
2013 Lexus LS460L
MSRP (with destination): $79,815
PRICE AS TESTED: $83,999
4.6-liter DOHC V-8
Horsepower (hp): 360 @ 6400rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 347 @ 4100rpm
WHEELS AND TIRES:
18-inch aluminum wheels
235/50R-18 97V Bridgestone Turanza EL42
FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):
Cargo: 18.0cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): 43.7/36.7 in
Headroom (front/rear): 38.0/37.9 in
Fire Agate/Black or Saddle or Parchment
18-inch aluminum wheels
Auto-leveling xenon headlights
Navigation w/12.3-inch display
Lexus Enform w/app suite
Intuitive parking assist
Automatic door closer
Heated and ventilated front seats
Heated rear outboard seats
Power rear sunshade
Keyless entry and ignition
One-touch power trunk
10-speaker audio system
Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity
SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription
OPTIONS ON THIS VEHICLE:
All-wheel drive- $3485
Blind spot monitoring system w/rear cross-path detection- $500
Semi-Aniline leather-trimmed interior w/Alcantara headliner- $550
Heated steering wheel w/leather center armrest- $110
Cargo mat- $105
Cargo net- $64
KEY OPTIONS NOT ON THIS VEHICLE:
LED headlights, 19-inch 15-spoke aluminum wheels, and 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system- $4020
Lexus revised its LS lineup for 2013, tweaking exterior styling as well as chassis tuning. This long-wheelbase model adds 0.9 inch of rear legroom.