The Lexus LS has taken the full-size luxury segment in a new direction ever since its initial conception as a 1990 model year in early 1989. Many thought that the Lexus LS, pitted as a baby Benz at the time, wouldn’t ever captivate the coveted segment that the Mercedes S-Class continued to dominate. Bringing forth a long-lasting item with impeccable fit and finish refined to the highest standard, the Lexus LS won over the pundits and those new to the full-size luxury world.
In its fourth generation, the Lexus LS has matured to a level to tout its proven engineering and reliability track record yet still offer supple luxury appointments.
For the 2016 model year, the Lexus LS embodies the newfound face of the brand with its signature spindle grille that flows into contemporary-styled body panels, which can be subtly accented with a sporting flair by way of an optional F Sport package. In my recent test drive endeavors, I get to explore the Lexus LS once again but in its LS 460L tone, which sets precedence to a longer wheelbase, one at an elongated 121.7 inches but only adding about an inch of rear legroom. Though, the addition of the long wheelbase variant opens up the rear seating accommodations to make room for power-adjustable rear outboard seats with heating, ventilation and a variable massage feature as equipped on my test vehicle.
See Also: 2015 Lexus LS 460 F Sport Review & Test Drive
Powering the 2016 Lexus LS 460L is left to its familiar 386 horsepower and 367 ft-lbs of torque 4.6-liter V8 engine mated to a silky-smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine and transmission do a decent job to quietly move the large LS 460L along but could use a little more grunt in the midrange, especially when compared to high-trim variations of its more-powerful direct competition. However, the Lexus LS 460L reaches 60 mph in about 5.6 seconds, an adequate feat for a vehicle of such a large stature.
Performance of the Lexus LS 460L leaves a little to be desired as the body tends to loft around when pushed slightly hard. While the LS and its soft-oriented air suspension and adaptive dampers have a priority of providing the smoothest ride possible, the LS 460L suffers from a bit of uneasy body roll resulting in an unsettling feeling when braking hard or performing common tasks, such as entering or exiting an exit ramp.
The exuberantly soft ride of the LS 460L remains mostly composed and nicely damped. The LS tends to eat up bumps and road imperfections while keeping the body level where at times the air suspension system will perform a self-leveling adjustment. Use of the Drive Mode Select’s settings only change the ride quality mildly whereas Comfort mode seems to exhibit the softest ride and Sport and Sport+ modes moderately firm up the suspension but gives precedence to a soft quality that still shows uncertain handling traits. Slowing the rear-wheel-drive long-wheelbase Lexus LS to a stop is assuring but with a tad of unwanted body dive. The sophistication of the braking often boosts braking pressure for assured stops under panicked situations.
The interior of the 2016 Lexus LS 460L is an airy cocoon of supple leather, soft touch accents, and tastefully-placed wood and aluminum trim. The perforated leather seats offer just the right amount of support and comfort while having the added benefit of 12-way adjustments for the driver’s seat and 10-way power adjustments for the front passenger’s seat. Adding in the optional Ultra Luxury Package on my LS 460L test vehicle, Lexus upped the ante for the rear seating area to provide climate-controlled outboard seats with power adjustments and seat memory, four-zone climate control (two-zone rear) with overhead air ducts, power rear side window shades and a power rear window shade, and a rear seat cool bad and air purifier. Mostly no stones were left unturned with the exception of the rear seating not providing a power recliner with ottoman and a multifunction shiatsu massage feature, which is available through the optional top-tier $16,400 Executive-Class Seating Package.
The 2016 Lexus LS retains its Remote Touch interface for the infotainment system to navigate a 12.3-inch high-resolution screen. Though, for the 2016 model year, the system gets some enhancements with full-screen navigation and a pair of “enter” and “back” buttons on the side of the Remote Touch interface control pod. While the system remains to be an acquired taste for some, its functionality proves to be solid and feature-packed without many unwanted surprises.
The creature comforts expected in a luxury class full-sized vehicle are all bundled up in the Lexus LS 460L exuding a feel that nothing was left untouched. As expected, the LS 460L has a noticeable high level of craftsmanship in its fit and finish, and the details are expected to add to its long-standing reputation for reliability. Such quality-minded characteristics can be found throughout the Lexus LS 460L from its overly-plastic-insulated engine compartment to the eerily quiet cabin when cruising at highways speeds.
With the 2016 Lexus LS’ pricing structure, slightly undercutting its competition, the LS 460L becomes a much more attractive collective of true Luxury parts. In that, the exceptional quality and durability of the Lexus name shines ever-so-brightly potentially making up for the LS 460L’s few middling performance traits.
Starting at a price of $78,820 for the base 2016 LS 460L and just $72,520 for the normal wheelbase LS 460, Lexus has once again stated their claim in the full-size luxury game with a decent hand to boot. My nicely-equipped 2016 Lexus LS 460L comes to an as-tested price of $92,770, including a $950 delivery, processing and handling fee.
Copyright: 2015 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base LS 460 $72,520 / As-Tested LS 460L $92,770
- Engine: 4.6 liter 32-valve DOHC V8 386 hp @ 6,400 rpm / 367 lb.ft. of torque @ 4,100 rpm
- Transmission: 8 speed automatic
- Wheelbase: 121.7 inches
- Total length: 205 inches
- Total width: 73.8 inches
- Track: 63.4/63.6 inches
- Headroom: f/r-38/37.9 inches
- Legroom: 43.7/36.7 inches
- EPA cargo (trunk) volume: 13.9 cu.ft.
- Curb weight: 4,277 pounds
- Turning circle: 35.4 ft.
- Fuel tank: 22.2 gallons
- EPA fuel mileage: 16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
- 0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds
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