2015 Lexus LS 460

2015 Lexus LS 460 Review

The car that wasn't there.

By: David Merline

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: July 31st, 2015

The Lexus LS has everything an executive-class luxury car buyer could possibly want. It's so soft and comfortable and easy to drive, it seems almost like a virtual-reality-enabled driving simulation.

  • Exterior

    The 2015 LS is unchanged from the previous year's model, and since it is at the end of its design cycle, one can't hold too much against it. If anything, it's a testament to how slowly Lexus' style evolves. This is clearly deliberate, and obviously quite successful, and has the added advantage of making even older models look not-so-old.

    Like everything about the LS, the exterior is soft. What creases appear do so gradually, organically; no harsh edges. The corporate mascot for Lexus should be the Beveled-Edged Rectangle; a staple of the brand's design, and a fitting metaphor for the car's attention to comfort. Even the corners are soft and supple.

  • Interior

    Like its exteriors, Lexus' interiors have changed surprisingly little over the past decade or so. This is a tribute to both Lexus' intransigence and the brand's uncanny ability to deliver exactly what buyers want. Lexus knows a thing or two about rewarding loyalty. Anyone who's ever owned a Lexus will feel at home in the cabin of any current Lexus.

    The mission of the LS is to make room, and the interior has roominess turned up to 11. Full size sedans are beginning to seem like a bit of an anachronism (which might explain the decline in LS sales since 2010), thanks to everybody's favorite new room-givers, crossovers.

    That just lends the LS an old-world charm. One imagines wide-bellied corporate leaders in the early '90s feeling on top of the world in their brand new LS, and really, only the screen size has changed since then. The rest of the LS' interior is completely obsequious; the cabin is uncannily quiet, making the LS a music-lover's dream (provided they spring for the Mark Levinson upgrade), and the overall design is meant to fade into the background, so you are free to concentrate on other things.

  • On the Road

    Don't worry, driving isn't one of those things you'll need to concentrate on. The LS may not be technically a "self-driving" car, but it requires so little effort to operate that you might think it is.

    No matter which drive mode you choose - Sport, Normal, or Eco - you'll encounter a steering feel that's best described as invisible. The ride in the LS is downright ridiculous. If it one day turns out that Lexus had been secretly employing some type of hover-vehicle technology, don't be surprised.

    There almost certainly was a road beneath the LS the entire time we drove it, but we only know this from visual cues, either that or we somehow managed to only drive on perfectly smooth, perfectly level surfaces the whole time. This is unlikely, given the state of the Chicago roads on which we drive, so I'm putting it down to some top-notch comfort suspension design.

    If driving comfort is your chief aim, there's no reason to cross-shop other luxury brands, not even ones you only wish you could afford. The LS is like a first-rate footman. Always attentive, always getting the job done, and always invisible.

    And you better hope comfort is your main goal; the LS is none too sporty, although the preposterously inefficient 4.6-liter V-8 does let you open up a can of Lexus-brand whoop-ass on demand, but you'll pay dearly for that ability you'll not often use - the LS is rated for 23 mpg highway, but expect to hit closer to the minimum 16 mpg mark with typical driving.

  • Conclusion

    Although it may sound strange to say about a luxury brand that completely lacks the classy, and sophisticated heritage of the great American and European luxury marques, the LS is the perfect car for the big shot who wants to kick it old style. With the LS, O.G. doesn't have to stand for "old guy."

  • Specs & Prices

    Engine: 4.6-liter naturally aspirated V-8

    Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

    Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive

    Power Output: 386 hp / 367 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 16 city / 23 highway

    Base Price: $75,465

    As Tested: $80,630 (incl. $925 destination)

    Available Features:

    Comfort Package: Climate-comfort front seats, power rear sunshade, one-touch power truck open/close

    Individual Options: Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, 19-inch 15-spoke alloy wheels, semi-aniline leather trim interior and alcantara headliner upgrade, heated wood steering wheel with leather center pad

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