ROAD TEST: Lexus LS 460
by Stephen Walker
20th July, 2009
Road Tests >
The big Lexus is all about 'first class' motoring.
Toyota's luxury car brand knows nothing else but class. And the Lexus LS 460 demonstrates class in a big
way. So big, in fact, this just over 5 metre long car weighs in at 2 tonnes (approximately). That's a
lot of luxury. But it isn't too much luxury for those who need it!
We take to the streets of Melbourne and the west Gippsland region to road test automotive pampering
for some 476 indulgent kms.
Externally, this car exhibits very conservative styling cues. So conservative that it borders on
bland, but perhaps discreet is the preferred expression. Another way to look at it is to suggest the
styling is deliberately understated opulence.
Driving the car produces a unique sensation. The get and go department is quite convincing and the
ride is absolutely superb. This car provides comfort beyond expectations. It really is travelling first
Mechanically, the Lexus LS 460 is relatively conventional. The rear-wheel drive sedan features a 4.6
litre V8 quad-cam engine (producing 280 kW of power) with an 8 speed automatic transmission. There are
disc brakes at each wheel and, on such a heavy car they need to be effective and they are just that. The
Lexus LS 460 sits on big 19" alloy wheels.
Who cares about fuel economy? But surprising, the LS 460 is quite reasonable on fuel. On the combined
cycle this big luxury car is rated at 11.1 litres per 100 kilometres. Our driving experience in Melbourne
and beyond may have come close enough to be called 'combined' and I must admit I felt the fuel
was quite reasonable. Remembering that this is a big car and a heavy one at that. Yet with an 11.1
figure, there is a distinct reason to smile at fill-up time. By the way, the tank can take a big dose of
fuel as it has a capacity of 84 litres of 91/95RON petrol.
Travelling in the Lexus LS460 is rated as very comfortable. With plenty of controls for the front
seats, comfort is just as you 'dial' it. But best of all, the interior is very, very quiet. The big Lexus
takes noise away from the occupants. Even the motor for the power windows operates on 'silent service'.
The big boot can accommodate 440 litres of luggage.
Standard equipment for the big Lexus is complete, shall I suggest. A moon
roof is included (which must
be better than a sunroof, but don't ask me why), electrically operated 'fold-in' external mirrors, power
steering, 4-way adjustable steering wheel, dual-zone climate control air conditioning upfront, heated
front seats, together with satellite navigation are just some of the many features provided to justify the
first class ambience of the Lexus LS 460.
The price of the Lexus LS 460 puts it into the segment where shoppers are likely to be very successful
professionals and executives from the 'big-end' of town, together with hard-working business owners who
are ready to gain a reward their diligent efforts and diplomats representing big spending governments.
Optional equipment is non-existent, reflecting the high level of standard component fitment.
Safety is paramount, as you would expect of a car in this league. Ten airbags will be a comforting
factor, so too will the Lexus "Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management" system which is programmed to
maintain the vehicle's stability. A novelty item, known as "Pre–Collision Safety System" (which should
never be relied upon), is of great assistance in slowing the vehicle when the cruise control is active
by using radar signals. It works surprisingly well, but not near as good as an alert, confident and safe
driver. Whilst it a great feature, it does prove that having an attentive driver 'at the wheel' is the
best method of avoiding a collision.
This car is an understated example of luxury. Surely, that is the way that Lexus sees the market for
their very smooth LS 460. Equally, that must be way many buyers would see it too.
Our Lexus LS 460 road test proved something to us ..... and that is that this car is best suited to
those who only travel first class! Be assured, if you don't travel first class there is every
possibility that you could get used to it. But only if you try hard enough!