Story: Evan ‘Evo’ Yates
There are some vehicles that make you feel ‘like a boss’ when behind the wheel and others like you’re driving your boss’s car. The LS 460 happens to be the latter and that’s OK. Standing directly in front of the LS 460, it instantly grabs your attention with its aggressive front fascia, gleaming chrome and crisp LED lamps. After the nose, though, the aesthetics fall flat pretty quickly. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the profile, it’s just blisteringly bland and you would never know it’s an $80k car from 20 feet away. Parked next to my Mom’s 2013 Chrysler 300 at a restaurant, the two sedans garnered the same amount of attention. In short, if you’re looking for a luxury sedan that’s going to turn heads at every stop light, you should stop reading right now.
But as the old adage goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Sitting in the driver seat, you’re immersed in ergonomics and technology. Upon pushing the start button, you’re greeted by an impressive Lexus graphic on the 12.3″ monitor located in the center of the dash, angled towards you. This information center serves multiple purposes as it displays the climate, radio and phone information. To commands what displays on the screen, the ergonomically excellent ‘mouse’ (Lexus calls it the Remote Touch Interface) guides you along with minimal hindrances. I found it difficult at times to change sources at a stop light and it’s definitely not something you would ever mess with while driving, though. The Bluetooth function worked without a hitch. The system paired to my iPhone 5 instantly and streamed music with perfection and the voice calls I made were crystal clear. The 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system in our test vehicle doesn’t do much at low volumes but cranked up, it’s a virtual concert. The instrument cluster directly in front of you is beautiful and clean, as you’re not bombarded with more than you need. All in all, the gadgetry is attractive and useful, not distracting.
The rest of the interior is marvelous with its perforated leather seats, wood trim and one-touch moon roof. Thankfully, the vehicle was tested in Atlanta in January so I was able to use the heated seats earlier in the week and eventually the cooled seats on the weekend. Both hot and cold are on the same dial located in the center console which I found to be much better than separate push buttons elsewhere. Days into the test drive, I never seemed to stop finding little cool innovations. One of my favorite was the center console lid, which opens up at an angle in which you would assume would be awkward to close. Yet, somehow those savvy Lexus engineers found a way for this lid to close with just the slight brush of your elbow in the most natural fashion. Innovations like these are what make people fall in love.
The LS 460 drives like a dream. Mash the gas and you simply float to your destination; no harsh shift changes, no traction issues, you simply press the pedal and GO. The eight-speed transmission plays an integral part in your frictionless travels, properly placing each of the 386 ponies the 4.6 L V8 can churn out. And although it’s a large vehicle, Lexus has done everything in their power to make it not feel that way. While driving, the lane departure warning system was literally the best I’ve used. A system that is perfect for a person like me who sometimes forgets to put the turn signal on from time-to-time. (But please, use your blinkers!) In addition, the back-up camera is crystal clear and the back-up sensors are helpful, but not over-reactive. To further enhance the driving experience, the LS 460 is ridiculously quiet inside the cabin. The sound deadening used must be extensive because the rest of the world is simply tuned out. On top of everything, this large Lexus gets some pretty impressive gas mileage for a car its size. Driving it to the office, basketball practices and restaurants, I barely used a half tank. Lexus has it rated at 16 city and 24 hwy and although I didn’t measure my trip, I would say I was right under 20 for my entire test drive. All things considered, the LS 460 is an outstanding vehicle from the inside-out and as long as you’re cool with that, the $80k price tag is certainly justified.
Power: 386hp, 367 lb.-ft.
0-60: 5.9 secs.
Gas Cash:16 city, 24 hwy
Miles Driven: 300