2013 Lexus LS460L

Patrick M Hoey

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

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