2007 Lexus LS460L Review


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2007 Lexus LS 460L

SEE ALSO: Compare Lexus Models - Lexus Buyers Guide

THE AUTO PAGE
by
JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Lexus LS460L
Engine: 4.6-liter DOHC V8
Horsepower/Torque: 380 hp @ 6400 rpm/367 lb.-ft. @ 4100 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 121.7 in. +4.8
Length x Width x Height: 202.8 (+4.8) x 73.8 x 58.1 in.
Tires: P235/50R18
Cargo volume: 18.0 cu. ft.
Economy: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22.2 mpg test
Price: $80,977 (includes $715 delivery, processing and handling fee and $9,262 in options)

The Bottom Line “The car that parks itself” is a trivial part of the definition of this excellent luxury car. There is enormous legroom front and back, plus more than adequate power from a smooth-running V8. If you’re saving your money for a luxury car, this is the one you’ve been waiting for.

From the day it first hit the highways, the Lexus LS flagship sedan has been the benchmark fro quality and quiet. It excels in comfort and luxury, while transporting its passengers in near silence over all road surfaces.

The new Lexus LS460L (for long wheelbase) is about as close to perfection as you can find in a car that’s “reasonably” priced. Yeah, I know, $81,000 isn’t “reasonable” for many of us, but it’s a lot less than you’d spend for a Rolls-Royce or Maybach.

The longer wheelbase adds 4.8 inches over the standard LS at least that much in rear seat legroom (and about $10,000 to the bottom line). Those rear seats are heated (as are the fronts) and can offer almost-reclining comfort.

Despite the added interior room, there is no compromise on trunk space. The trunk, listed at 18.0 cubic feet, is enormous and is a four-bagger for golfers. This means you can take your foursome (they’ll argue over who sits in back for a change) and their bags to the local course. The trunk also offered power lift and shut, a great convenience.

The 4.6-liter V8 engine is also new in the redesigned LS series that shares a lot of the body sculpting with the Camry. This isn’t a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. The “old” LS, to me, was kind of bland and almost boring, while the more sculpted `07 version has more character.

The engine offers 380 horsepower, which is more than enough to propel the LS into illegal speed territory quickly. Cruise control (standard Toyota issue behind the wheel in the lower right quadrant) is an economic necessity. The LS is so smooth and quiet that you’ll find yourself speeding without realizing it.

Without cruise, you’ll pay close attention to the instruments, which aren’t as electronic game-styled as in before, but still are clear and crisp.

The engine is hooked to the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Eight is the new luxury number and that number of gear ratios offers exceedingly smooth transitions from gear-to-gear. Personally, I don’t think eight are necessary, but they certainly do help in the comfort department.

And yes, this is the car that “parks itself.” Intuitive Parking Assist and the Advanced Parking Guidance System ($1,200 total option cost) are neat, even if they do require s lengthy learning curve. Since I only had the car for a week, I did all my automatic parking with the instruction book in front of me. My first shot at parallel parking, I discovered, was on a slight incline, and the system doesn’t work on hills. We tried it later on a flatter surface between to son-in-law cars and it worked.

My next try included pulling backward into my home driveway. The system worked again, although the car stopped in the dead center of the driveway, while I normally pull off to one side.

I takes a large leap of confidence to take your hands off the wheel, brake and accelerator and let the car “do its thing” without any input. But it does work, and I’m sure that if I had had the car for a longer time, I would have been able to park with more confidence.

I was talking with a couple of reporters at a game and one said she was totally “parallel parking challenged” while the other said that near his office, parallel parking was all that was available, so it would work for him.

The LS has an excellent Mark Levinson sound system ($2,530) with auxiliary input for iPods, etc. There’s an intuitive screen that doubles as the navigation system screen that is helpful if you’re tuned to satellite radio, for example. Audio controls are on the steering wheel, and once you figure them out, they’re fine.

Our tester was a tasteful deep maroon with a semi-aniline tan leather interior that included heated and cooled seats up front. It LOOKED expensive, and of course, it was. But in the world of luxury cars, the Lexus LS has been the benchmark from the day it was introduced. It retains its title.

2007 The Auto Page Syndicate

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