The word for the day: Luxury
By Ron Amadon
Point of Rocks, MD – You cruise down the road with a Strauss Waltz on the 19 speaker audio system, in what would otherwise be nearly complete silence.
The leather, stitching, wood and other trim items around you exude luxury, bumps in the road are nothing much more than a rumor, and the V8 under the hood purrs along in calm contentment.
In short, Lexus-top-of-the-line model is one of those cars that when you drive off delivers one very clear message – “You have been good, very good.”
Lexus decided that there just might be an audience out there that wants a softer riding luxury car than its German competitors, but one that never wallows.
Pick the 205-inch long extended wheelbase model, and two passengers to the rear will have limo like room on seats that invite them to stick around for a long ride. In the test car they were heated, of course, just in time for the cold weather, and a power rear sunshade offers some privacy. Check the option list for additional items that come pretty close to all the comforts of home.
Not that the operator and copilot have been ignored, heaven forfend. The driver gets a 16-way adjustable seat with a 12-way adjustable chair on the copilot’s side. Both seats are “climate controlled” and there are power seatbelt shoulder height adjusters.
Of course, in this day and age, information abounds. Between the instruments is a color display that shows, among other things, outside temperature, how far you can go without running out of gas, average fuel consumption and average speed.
Speaking of fuel, the LS likes premium and is EPA rated at 16-23 miles per gallon. I came in a fraction under 18 mpg, as if that is a big deal at this price range.
A 12.3 inch high resolution screen atop the center stack shows navigation, audio selections, a backup monitor that could have been brighter, along with traffic, weather, sports, stocks, and fuel prices with a 90 day subscription to same included. And of course there are connections for virtually every audio device while fit and finish were impeccable.
A center console mounted mouse like device is sort of the Master of the Universe when it comes to that screen. I generally like it, but would prefer the screen movement be slowed down a bit to make it easier for the operator to hit the desired target. You might want to give it a good workout during your test drive.
Attention coffee drinkers! A small cup of coffee to go will not fit very well in the two cup holders up front. In fact they knocked the lid off the cup I tried to fit in. Order a large and it works just fine.
The 4.6-liter, 386 horsepower V8 with 367 lb-ft of torque, is a robust roast and more than up to the task of briskly moving the 4,277 pound luxury car. It produced a subdued but throaty roar when the driver put pedal to the metal.
It’s new for 2013 styling attracted attention in this sleepy commuter town along the banks of the Potomac, and even in ritzier suburbs of your nation’s capital.
Those with reasonably long memories can remember when Toyota stood the luxury car market on its head when it introduced the Lexus. Today, those who could give a hoot about what their luxury car can do at the track, or how fast it gets to 60, (about 5.5 seconds,) would do well to take a good look at the LS460L. That L, of course, is for long wheelbase.
(Note: our test car was a 2013 model, but it is identical to the 2014.)
Oh you’re a bottom line type, eh? With a modest $5,430 in options the test car, with delivery, would roll off the lot for $88,100 along with Lexus legendary long life and proven dependability.