The flagship of the luxury Lexus fleet is the LS, the first model offered by Toyota’s pinnacle brand. This full-size sedan offers everything the preeminent European sedans have and the Lexus level of quality to go with it.
2007 to Present: Lexus LS 460
The fourth-generation Lexus LS was introduced in 2007. Officially known as the LS 460, this model comes in standard and stretched wheelbase editions, the latter known as the LS 460L.
Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available and both models offer standard and F Sport packages. A hybrid 600h L model is sold separately. The all-wheel drive 460 L arrived in 2009, joining the previous rear-wheel drive version. The introduction of the F Sport coincided with a major refresh in 2013.
All models are powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine making 386 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Lexus LS seats five, however with the executive-class seating package in place, this model seats four. Various factory packages, including an Ultra Luxury package, allow shoppers to customize their sedans. For 2015, a Crafted Line was released to celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary.
The exterior of the Lexus LS offers a stately appearance, a silhouette that matches the outline of other top-end luxury sedans. Beginning in 2013, Lexus refreshed the LS to align it with the brand’s new design language. All models are marked by a prominent fascia with a large spindle (hourglass) grille. Distinct arrow-shaped LED lights amplify the wraparound headlamp assembly. The lower grille is hemmed in by pockets containing the fog lamps.
The Lexus LS has a massive hood marked by distinct creases that run from the grille to the windshield line. Soft shoulders, tempered character lines, and rocker panel embellishments are also present. The roofline and beltline run perpendicular; a raised rear deck is marked by a built-in spoiler, oversized wraparound combination lamps, reflectors and embedded exhaust finishers.
Inside, the Lexus LS offers a palatial layout with generous room for five. With the executive seating package offered, the three-place rear bench seat is replaced by a pair of individually reclining seats.
Each model features a substantial dashboard, including an instrument panel with a four-analog layout and a digital driver’s information display. The center stack is topped by a large color display providing access to the brand’s Lexus Enform telematics system. Audio and climate control systems, the transmission shifter and a drive mode selector are also present. Wood trim with aluminum accents and leather touches are found throughout the cabin.
This model has a long list of standard features, including dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key with push-button start, and Bluetooth. Later models bring in features like navigation, a USB port, smartphone app integration and a 12.3-inch display. Upgrades include a heated wood steering wheel, a five-mode drive selector, advanced collision mitigation and rear power seats with climate control and lumbar support. A rear seat entertainment system is also available.
In 2013, the LS received the Remote Touch interface to operate the color display screen with a mouselike controller. In 2016, that system was upgraded to include side “enter” and “back” buttons.
Earlier Lexus LS Models
Introduced in 1990, the first-generation LS was produced through 1994. The second-generation model was produced from 1995 to 2000. Both models are formally known as the LS 400 to coincide with the sedan’s 4.0-liter V8 engine.
The third-generation model is officially known as the LS 430 and was produced from 2001 to 2006. Powered by a 4.3-liter V8 engine, this sedan had a five-speed automatic for its first three model years and then a six-speed automatic for its final three model years.
The Lexus LS 430 offered the most extensive overhaul of the LS series to date. It was the first Lexus model to introduce an adaptive cruise control system and did so when it launched. Lexus also introduced an Ultra Luxury package with an air suspension and a hard-disk drive based navigation system. Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera also became available when this model was refreshed in 2004.