The Extra Mile: 2013 Lexus LS460L Sedan
Entry Price: $71,990
Price As Tested: $88,100
This week, we're driving the 2013 LS460L all-wheel-drive (AWD) Sedan, the manufacturer's flagship offering. Available in four trims starting at $71,990 for the LS460, $81,900 for the LS460 Sport, to $119,910 for the LS600hL, a 438-horse Hybrid.
Our tester arrived in longer wheelbase LS460L dress, assuring the absolute highest level of luxury and technology in the Lexus family of automobiles. As for nomenclature, LS stands for "Luxury Sedan" and the additional "L" equated to longer wheelbase.
The longer wheelbase model is recommended, stretching from Luxury Sedan's 116.9 to "L's" more roomy 121.7. This near five-inch stretch pays dividends especially in rear seat legroom, where passengers relax in leather, full power heated and cooled seats. The cabin features wood and leather elegance, numerous driver and passenger amenities and a one touch tilt-and-slide moonroof.
LS460L is built to attract high-end consumers worldwide whose primary goal in motoring is luxury, safety and opulence in the Lexus manner of presentation.
The updated outward shape continues to promotes the Lexus "group design" doctrine, as siblings IS, ES and GS all provide a strong family resemblance in final motif. All family Lexus members feature similar aesthetic proclamations ala impressive front grill, low profile fenders and well-defined side and rear contours.
Noteworthy, too, is Lexus' continued "new kid on the block" status when it comes to building luxury motorcars. Compared German powerhouse Mercedes-Benz (1886), Audi (1910), Cadillac (1902) and Lincoln (1922), Lexus is still in the infant stage of large luxury cars, its first LS appearing in 1989.
Lexus matches the competition in this class by offering a full-time AWD with limited slip center differential. If you choose the rear-drive LS460, Lexus utilizes a standard electronic throttle control system that controls the throttle in snow and ice so you can't spin the rear wheels, even if you hold the pedal to the floor.
All gas powered LS460's come with 4.6-liter V8 engines producing either 360-horsepower for AWD models or 386-horses for rear-drive offerings. The V8 mates to an eight-speed automatic, which is responsible for allowing 23 highway EPA ratings.
We drove our LS460L on three distinct longer trips, averaging 24.9 highway numbers, better than the window sticker EPA. In town, expect 16-mpg, which is still good for a car of this size and weight. As for acceleration, zero-to-60 mph arrives in a scant 6.0 seconds, proving a large luxury car and high performance are not mutually exclusive. A rear drive LS will do zero to 60-mph in 5.4 seconds, with a quarter mile time of 13.4 seconds. Notable is LS's very quiet interior and excellent road manners thanks to a highly sophisticated fully independent suspension.
Significant options include $1,450 for LED headlamps with intelligent high beams; $550 Semi-Aniline Leather; $1,580 Mark Levinson 450-watt 19-speaker DVD/CD system; $110 heated wood steering wheel; $500 blind spot monitor; $990 19-inch tires with 15-spoke alloys; and a $250 trunk and cargo mat system with net.
Notable standard features are many, including Navigation with backup safety camera, Bluetooth, 12.3-inch screen, Enform with App suite, HD radio, intuitive park assist, XM satellite and more than 20 other standard features. Overall, when you buy an LS460, it arrives at your dealer loaded with just about every imaginable convenience.
LS460L features forward-looking active and passive safety technologies, which combine to create one fully integrated system. Included are smart stop technology with electronically controlled brakes, vehicle stability control, antilock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, traction control, automatic parking brake, dynamic auto leveling, advanced airbag safety systems and the Lexus Safety Connect, which offers automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location, emergency assist, and enhanced roadside assistance free for one year.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 121.7 inches, 22.2 gallon fuel tank, 18-cu. ft. of cargo space and a 4,696-lb. curb weight.
The Lexus LS460L is a top line, exclusive automobile. It ranks amongst the best cars in the world.
Your Lexus dealer is awaiting your visit if shopping in this select market.
Likes: New front end design, power, elegance, safety, rear seat room.
Dislikes: Mouse controlled remote touch interface.
(Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto columnist. Next week he drives the all new Dodge Dart turbo).