Pampering Lexus LS is a fuss-free sedan
After decades of top reliability ratings, the Lexus LS 460 remains the quintessential serene, no-fuss, pampering, large, luxury sedan.
The most recent J.D. Power and Associates Dependability Study noted the LS had the fewest owner-reported problems in the industry and ranked above vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW.
Now, for 2013, the LS 460 is available in new F Sport trim with a bolder face, crisper steering and a suspension that allows a more dynamic ride.
Among the F Sport-only features: Bolstered, yet luxurious, leather front seats, Brembo performance brakes, paddle shifters for manually changing gears, aluminum trim inside in place of some wood trim and standard black Alcantara ceiling material.
Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $72,840 for a base, rear-wheel drive, 2013 LS 460 with 386-horsepower V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmission.
The lowest-priced 2013 LS with all-wheel drive is $75,785, and the F-Sport has a starting retail price of $82,840 with rear-wheel drive and $85,735 with all-wheel drive.
Note that even F-Sport models have the same 386-horsepower, naturally aspirated, gasoline V-8 as the base model, and long-wheelbase LS sedans and a hybrid also are available at higher price points.
Competitors include the well-known, large luxury sedans from Europe.
For example, the rear-wheel drive 2013 Mercedes S550 with 429-horsepower bi-turbo V-8 and seven-speed automatic transmission starts at $95,905, while a 2013 Audi A8 with all-wheel drive, 420-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmissions starts at $81,795.
Both the S-Class and A8 are available with more fuel-efficient V-6s, too.
The LS is Lexus' flagship sedan, but U.S. sales fell 13 percent last year to 8,345.
The reason, obviously, isn't the car's quality, which is well known — from its precise, small gaps between outer sheet metal to the 38-day, 67-step process just to make perfect Shimamoku layers of striped wood as an optional steering wheel design.
Indeed, the details and craftsmanship are impressive.
As an example, the analog clock on the dashboard has two types of contrasting aluminum and uses GPS to maintain accurate time, no matter the time zone.
Foglamps aren't the typical round shape. They're subtle and vertical so as to better harmonize with the new Lexus spindle grille shape. And, these fog lights are energy-efficient and high-tech light-emitting diode lamps.
It's true the 4.6-liter, double overhead cam V-8 in the LS has fewer horses than do the competing V-8s.
But the LS doesn't feel underpowered, even during hard acceleration, where strong engine sounds accompany the smooth rush of 347 or 367 foot-pounds of peak torque coming on.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Union leaders warn Post-Gazette newsroom of possible layoffs
- Covestro leader MacCleary finds stability amid change
- German financial giant Allianz SE slashes coal investments
- Black Friday loosens its hold on the holiday season
- Mall stores required to open for Thanksgiving
- Feds upgrade GDP’s growth
- Coke had hand in shaping nonprofit health group, emails show
- New rules proposed for high-speed traders
- Powder metals fabricator Atlas Pressed Metals diversifies appeal to customers
- Pfizer acquires Allergan in $160B deal
- VW adds 75,000 vehicles to emissions cheat scandal