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2015/2016 Lexus LS 460 Review By Larry Nutson


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2015/2016 Lexus LS 460

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

I hope you had good Thanksgiving with your family. We did. We road-tripped from Chicago to Southeast Michigan with a Lexus LS 460 as our conveyance that helped to make for a good Thanksgiving.

My wife and I along with our millennial-age daughter and her husband were quite comfortable on our 250 miles of interstate travel between the two cities. The comfortable and spacious rear seat suited the younger two very well. My wife comfortably occupied the right front seat and was able to do some laptop work without feeling cramped.


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We would be away for four nights and therefore the trunk was loaded with four airplane carry-on size pieces of luggage, a food cooler, and various other packages and such. Nothing got squished.

I had no doubt that the 4.6-liter 360HP V8 coupled to an 8-speed automatic would move us along quickly and in spite of our cargo load give us plenty of reserve power for acceleration, merging and passing. This LS 460 that we were driving also was all-wheel drive equipped. We’ve been enjoying a mild fall and snow was not on anyone’s mind. Even so, I had the added confidence and security just in case things got slippery and such.

Natural, at least to me, is that a road trip begs for fuel mileage monitoring. I’m no hypermiler and drive rather spiritedly. That said we managed 17 mpg overall for our road trip drive of near 600 miles in total. The EPA-test rating for the LS 460 is 18 mpg combined, with 16 city mpg and 23 highway mpg. Considering the weight of four passengers and a loaded trunk that we were carrying combined with the frequent on- and off-throttle speed changes on a heavy traffic Thanksgiving weekend, I think the 17 mpg is reasonably satisfying. The currently low gasoline prices help make things even better.

The LS 460 is very quiet. The engine just purrs. There is virtually no interior noise coming from the tires and wind. At times I was traveling with no vehicle on either side of me that would reflect back road noise. I think you could hear a pin drop during those times.


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Two features I always love are a heated steering wheel and power-fold outside mirrors and both were on the Lexus. The steering wheel is only heated in the leather-wrapped three and nine o’clock positions. The rest of the wheel is a beautiful wood finish and not heated. My preference would be for more leather and more heat.

Driving between Chicago and Michigan you cross from the Central to the Eastern time zone. To our enjoyment the analog clock automatically reset itself as we changed time zones. We chuckled as we watched the clock hands move forward and then back on our return.

All these niceties cost the pretty sum of around eighty-grand. That’s the price of luxury.

The LS 460 comes in regular and long-wheelbase versions, each with the choice of rear-wheel drive or all-weather drive. I mentioned my media-loan test car had 360HP. That’s what you get on AWD models. Rear drive models have 386 HP and have the same EPA-test city mpg rating but get one mpg better on the highway. The lighter vehicle weight with RWD pays off in spite of more horsepower. Zero to 60mph is in 5.4 seconds with the RWD 386 HP.

The Lexus flagship sedan is the LS 600h L hybrid with 438 total system horsepower from a 5-liter V8 paired with an electric motor and all-weather drive. I mentioned the quietness and comfort of the LS 460. However, if you want a more engaging driving experience there’s an F SPORT Package available with special suspension, 19-inch wheels and Brembo brakes.

New for 2016 is improved body rigidity with more adhesive added to additional areas for even better ride and handling. The multimedia system is enhanced with full screen navigation and remote touch interface with enter and back buttons.

New exterior colors are Eminent White Pearl replacing Starfire Pearl and Atomic Silver is added. There’s an available Lexus Enform Service Connect and available runflat summer tires for LS gas models.


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Autonomous (self-driving) cars are a ways away. Some experts say we’ll have them in a few years, others say around 2020. We’ll just have to wait and see how the technology, legislative and moral issues blend together. However we have today many features that do things for the driver. A 2016 Lexus LS driver-assist technology is Advanced Pre-Collision System with Collision Avoidance Assist. This system is designed to assist the driver in avoiding or mitigating frontal collisions with vehicles and pedestrians, under certain conditions, in a wide range of city and highway speeds. At speeds lower than 24 mph can automatically bring the LS to a full stop.

Also available is Lane-Keep Assist that helps the driver stay in the current visibly-marked lane. Blind Spot Monitor uses rear millimeter-wave radar to monitor the vehicle rear side blind spots at 10 miles per hour or more. This feature includes Rear Cross Traffic Alert which automatically operates when the vehicle is in reverse, alerting drivers to the approach of other vehicles when backing out of a parking place. Adaptive Cruise Control constantly monitors the distance to vehicles ahead and is capable of operating at a wide range of speeds. The system is designed to bring the vehicle to a complete stop and accelerate once the road ahead is clear. Lots of good stuff to help make our driving safer.

There’s an Automatic High Beam system that features a camera located in the inside rear-view mirror that detects light sources in front of the vehicle — including the headlamps of oncoming vehicles, the tail lamps of a vehicle ahead and street lighting - to automatically switch the high beams on and off accordingly.

I mention all these items with some level of detail because if you are new vehicle shopping they all should be given consideration. Don’t say, “Oh I’ll never use that.”

More info and specs on the the 2016 Lexus LS 460 can be found at www.lexus.com. If you want to cross-shop the LS 460 to other luxury sedans you can do that right here at www.theautochannel.com.

2016 Lexus LS 460 base MSRP pricing starts at $72,520 and tops out on the LS 600h L at $120,440. Lexus was named the Luxury Brand with the Best Resale Value in Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 Best Resale Value Awards.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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