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Lexus LS 460 
Location: suburban Melbourne (copyright image)

ROAD TEST:   Lexus LS 460

by Stephen Walker

20th July, 2009

Home > Road Tests > Lexus

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 class.

Stephen Walker with the 
Lexus LS 460 (copyright image)

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 usage 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.

Lexus LS 460 
Location: western Gippsland (copyright image)

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!


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