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Lexus LS 460/LS 460L: First Drives

2

Comments

  • I agree that the L is not all about legroom. Buyers in this segment want the total package: speed, prestige, engineering, size, comfort, value, techno-bragging rights, to name a few. Since no car wins all the categories, buyers justify their choices based on their wants and needs.

    I drove both versions, and each demo had the same trim level. The handling was not discernably different between the two. Because they were outfitted the same, the only difference was the extra rear legroom and the nicer leather/headliner (which I didn't actually notice while driving). So in that instance, that's what the extra money bought. Of course, you can outfit an L well beyond the standard car, and those who do will probably enjoy a higher automotive experience.

    Certainly if I were a reviewer who wasn't plunking down my own money, I would prefer a decked out L over the SWB model. But even Lexus expects 65%-70% of its 460 sales to be for the standard version. Since much of the extra cost of a fully optioned L is south of the front seat, that's not surprising.
  • Pearl,

    I'm glad to hear that someone else thinks the drivers side footwell area is smaller than previous years.I thought it was and I planned to get a tape and measure it.
    Could you figure what might of made it smaller? It first I thought it might be the automatic brake but they should be able to do that without using floor space. How about the extra speakers? I'm use to a GS300 and I think the footwell is even smaller than that.

    Go figure bigger car, smaller footwell.
    My wife even think the seat width is less.

    DK
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    dennyk....I need to stress that I like the 460 (a lot); however, after climbing out of my 10 year old BMW 528 and finally getting to sit in the 460, I had an instant thought that the footwell was somewhat restricted and certainly smaller than I would have expected. I don't think that this is a showstopper in whether or not I might buy the car, but it was clearly noticeable to me. Along the same lines, I thought that the trunk was not especially large and that the back seat, while adequate, was not huge by any stretch. Again, these were not showstoppers for me, but upon leaving the dealership and driving home, I thought about all the great features on the 460, but also that this car is definitely smaller on the inside than one would expect from looking at the outside. Apparently a great car, but one in which Toyota/Lexus does not appear to take advantage of the large size to open up the interior dimensions.
    Probably some folks won't notice or care, but others will.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    however, after climbing out of my 10 year old BMW 528 and finally getting to sit in the 460, I had an instant thought that the footwell was somewhat restricted and certainly smaller than I would have expected...

    This statement has been repeated ad nauseum already... Anything else to add besides the footwell issue ?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'm glad to hear that someone else thinks the drivers side footwell area is smaller than previous years.

    This could be a problem. I actually don't even like a dead pedal - but I tolerate it. With less room for my size 12 shoes, this isn't going to be good.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Sounds like the same problem I found driving the GS last year. Couldn't get comfortable with the left foot.

    Sounds like Lexus is regressing. One guy here who drove the car says the LS 430 has a better foot well than the LS 460 and Car and Driver has found the braking stopping distances better for the LS 430 than the LS460 from 70mph by 30 feet.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Also have heard the trunk is smaller on the 460. Well, tomorrow, I'll be checking it out for myself. Not the braking, but the footwell and trunk for sure. :shades:
  • jd14jd14 Posts: 128
    A guy over at clublexus who claims to be 6'7'' said that room is overly generous in all places, and didn't even mention the footwell. At his height, this means a lot. He has the 460L though, so apparently the added wheelbase room makes a BIG difference.
    http://www.clublexus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=244805
    He also has a Phaeton and compares them frequently throughout his review, and states that the Phaeton, a huge car by any standards, is inferior in all interior dimensions except cabin width.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Sounds like the same problem I found driving the GS last year. Couldn't get comfortable with the left foot.

    Sounds like Lexus is regressing. One guy here who drove the car says the LS 430 has a better foot well than the LS 460 and Car and Driver has found the braking stopping distances better for the LS 430 than the LS460 from 70mph by 30 feet.


    Could you find anything positive... anything at all... to say about the LS ??? This constant negative chant is getting real tiresome.... Have at it, but credibility is certainly lacking when its such a one-way street concept you harp on all the time...
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Sure. I wish I had that ML 19 speaker sound system.
    I'm sure it's fabulous.
    And I hear the driver's seat is much better. And the adaptive suspension should be nice. And I read the new LS handles better than the outgoing model.
    And of course the new look is a tremendous improvement.

    I will be attending a Lexus Taste in a few weeks myself and am looking forward to driving the new LS as well as the LS 400 flagship beater, the ES350.

    I knock my car's ridiculous iDrive every chance I get, on Edmund's threads.
    I could make a fairly long list of other negative stuff about my vehicle too. It's not exclusively a Lexus thing.

    I think for this kind of cash, some of this stuff shouldn't even be talked about. It just shouldn't be.

    When you purchase a car for $60k or "better", the vehicle should be flawless, IMO.
    Shouldn't read about the foot well or the brakes or an iDrive controller that most people find frustrating.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Everybody's different. Before I checked out the GS, a guy my height told me my head would practically be touching the sunroof, but for me, my head didn't come close to hitting it.

    You have to drive it yourself and see if it "fits."

    One incredible aside: Lexus claims the new ES350 is more advanced and powerful in every measureable way than the initial Lexus LS400 flagship.
    Now that's what I call progress!
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I will be driving the New LS460/L at A Taste Of Lexus this Sunday! :shades:

    My battle plan is to drive the S-Class first, than 750, than LS460L, to see how it stacks up.

    Eye sore a 750 recently on the street and they really cleaned up the rear! Very nicely updated. ;)

    Wish they could do the same with the S :sick:

    I'd like a 335i to match against the IS350. :)

    I'll let you know how it went after the Giants game! :blush:

    DrFill
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I attended the Taste of Lexus tonight. I have very little to say that isn't glowing about the car. The driving position is pretty much unchanged from my 05. The steering is like butter, folks, and I love butter. It's so quiet and smooth, you can barely tell you're on the road.
    The dash is similar in layout, but way enhanced, and styled beautifully. The trunk is fine, I noticed no difference in the dead pedal or driving position at all. The engine is great. I can't think of a downside except the price....
    I'm gonna want one of these. :P
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,278
    I agree with everything you say except that the trunk with the rear seat upgrade is a bit small (not a deal breaker though). I test drove it last Friday. I have a huge dilemma. I was planning to purchase the LS600HL in April. However, that horror story I hear about the minuscule trunk has likely turned me away from the 600HL. I don't want to spend 100K and then be unhappy because of the damn trunk space. What are we suppose to do if my wife and I take a trip with a couple friends?

    Meanwhile, I would pull the trigger and go for the LS460L immediately. However, there is one thing holding me back. It does not come with AWD. Living in snow country, I really feel that AWD is a must. I drive a 2004 LS430 now, but I do get tired of changing to snow tires for winter driving. I want the security of AWD. I am hoping against hope that the LS460L will have the option of AWD next year. Have you folks heard anything new on this front? My dealer told me just the other day that they have heard nothing of the sort. They do not think AWD will be available even next year. But, what do they know?
  • Classification correctionThe new Lexus LS460 is regular wheel base and long wheel base. RWB and LWB. The regular wheel base is by no means short
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Your in a tough spot! :mad:

    It could show up in time for next winter, since Lexus made that mandate about all their cars having AWD. And I'm sure every Detroit/Chicago/Boston/NY dealer is in lexus' ear about that issue.

    If demand is as strong as I think, they may just wait until the the mid-gen update in 2009, when everyone's 3-year lease is up from the launch this year.

    Personally, I would wait more than two years.

    BMW doesn't offer it on their 7, do they.

    DrFill
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    What competitive models did they have from Germany to drive?

    DrFill
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Ok - I also drove both cars (LWB and regular)and they are spectacular. Handling is definitely crisper and cars are very luxurious in and out. Trunk is fine, footwell nonsense is nothing but bunk and seats are very comfortable. Brakes were excellent. The LWB car was the looker and the better ride but it had air suspension vs the base suspension so the comoparo is not an even one. Car looks spectacular in the smokey granite mica and that's the color of the SWB model I drove. Heck it's a beautifully designed car and should look great in any color. I'd say the SWB car (the one I drove stickered at $68k) is a great upgrade of the existing LS430, with sportier handling, a firmer ride yet one that sacrifices nothing in smoothness, has more luxury and a lot more power and great styling. Everything about the LWB is perfect. The car I drove stickered at $83K and change. The ML is unbelievable with the 19 speakers. The car just exudes luxury, confidence and has excellent performance particularly in sport mode. This car is like a bank vault. Can't wait till it's in my garage. I didn't even care about AWD when I left, I just knew I wanted the car yesterday.

    Now the LS600HL is going to blow us all away, I just see that coming. If you can afford it you may not be able to pass it up unless the trunk really is small and is a deal breaker. But that car is going to have so many deal winners.

    Bottom line is Lexus built versions of this car that meet a variety of economic demographics and will hit each demograpic perfectly.

    Some news I got - AWD is a definite but when is unknown - likely in the spring (what timing!). At my dealership the demand is high on the LWB model and people are writing checks and buying those cars and tending to lease the SWB model. Anyone who thought Lexus would have a hard time selling cars at $90K better rethink that one real fast. Car is red hot and not easy to get but we all knew that would be the case.
  • The first 100 LS 600h L vehicles will offer unique traits such as Truffle Mica exterior paint coupled with Alabaster leather and black trim interior, special alloy wheels, a commemorative interior badge, and a custom-made, three-piece Italian luggage set in coordinating Alabaster leather with black trim.

    From a post at CL, quoting an article
    http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/708278/lexus_and_cedarssinai_continue_on_the- _road_to_a_cure/index.html?source=r_health
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I'd say the SWB car (the one I drove stickered at $68k) is a great upgrade of the existing LS430, with sportier handling, a firmer ride yet one that sacrifices nothing in smoothness, has more luxury and a lot more power and great styling..

    Len, can you lay out what features were on this car ? BTW, your description of your test drives was crisp and matter-of-factly... the way I like it... Thanks. Are you taking home that LWB next March or are you going to get in early before your lease ends ?

    And on the $80K+ LS selling briskly, what would those who have knocked Lexus as a cheap alternative to the pricier German brands now say, eh ? Seems the LS is now priced even higher than the 7 and A8, and is a whisker off the S550 price. Good for Lexus.... They have achieved the prestige and status, and are showing it off in their new 460 twins. So when a $100K 600hL arrives, that'd just be a cinch for the arrival of Lexus in the upper tier of luxury brand...
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,278
    Len, I did not drive the SWB but yes everything about the LS460L is pretty much perfect. The only possible exception, as I stated above, is that the trunk with the rear seat upgrade is a bit small. I don't understand why a few reviews were complaining about the brakes, handling, etc. This car is spectacular in all respects.

    I am hoping that the salesman is wrong about the minuscule trunk space on the 600HL. If by some chance it is as large as the LS460HL with the rear seat upgrade, I would immediately jump on it. But I very much doubt that will be the case. It would be awesome if your information on the AWD is correct and that it will be available in the spring. I doubt that will be the case, however. Wouldn't that upset the folks that are now purchasing the RWD LS460L if they preferred the AWD? I know that I would be ticked. Also, wouldn't that take something away from the launch of the LS600HL which comes standard with AWD?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I am hoping that the salesman is wrong about the minuscule trunk space on the 600HL.

    Finally got my first visual of the LS460 today... Well my initial feeling from a distance was "muted", but closer inspection led to a more excited feeling... but that's not why I am responding to this post...

    The reason is that my dealer told me he expects the 600hL to be low production, and loaded.... get this... the price will start north of $100K, and he expects a loaded version to sticker at $115K... His words not mine...

    If I were you, I'd just buy the 460L loaded at $85K and save yourself another $20-25K over the 600hL. YMMV
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,278
    oac, I would buy the LS460L immediately but I really want AWD for winter driving. Therefore, I have a dilemma.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    OAC - It was actually $69K. I made a typo there. It had the ML, Nav, comfort package and the parking assist. Don't remember exact figure but was something like $69,750 give or take. Most of the SWB cars are coming over equipped like this, at least over here. I went there early this morning because they get very busy on a Friday and I had each car for about 25 minutes. I drove the LS460 first. It was a dream and I'd love to see how an air suspension LS460 - if they had included that as an option - would stack up against the LS460L. The air suspension plus the added space gives that cavernous lux feel and a different experience/driving dynamic to the LS460L and that's the big difference between the two cars. Anyone who gave out a less than perfect review on the LS460 will change quickly when they review the LS460L. That's the real deal car here and the one to compare to an S550.

    I did price out a LS460L sport suspension and that can be had for around $78K. That is the car I'd go for in a warner climate like yours. They didn't have one around though and I told them I want to test drive that if they take one as a demo.

    The news I got was that Lexus would become more and more flexible over time. So what you see now will only grow. The dealers don't know anything about specifics, timing and nothing is a done deal yet. For example they don't know when they'll bring in AWD. They certainly will not do so until the 600HL debuts and then they are wrestling with whether it should be released just after that or whether it will be deferred until September as a 2008 car. The reason for the latter is that the LS600HL will be a 2008 car. Japan has this thing about hierarchies it seems. Just like the GS has to wait for the LS to hit before the bigger engine gets into the GS so now do the LS460 and 460L have to wait until the 600HL debuts.

    I don't think you'll see the sport suspension on the LS460. The sport suspension is a fine-tuned air suspension and it appears the air suspensuion is only going on the LWB car - at least in this model year. I'd hold off, save extra and get that LS460L sport if I were you. Supposedly it handles like a dream and once you experience the L it's hard to go back to the 460. The LS460L handles very well as it is, so I can imagine the sport variant. Dream car and when I got back with it there were two othe people waiting to test drive it. I'm friendly up high at that dealership and the manager said give him till Christmas when things cool down and he'll let me have a demo for a weekend. Can't wait.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    OAC and Cyclone - I got the feeling today that custom versions of the LS600HL will top $120K and that most of them will top $100K as shipped. The car will have custom options that have not been made public yet. That pricing makes sense when you think about it as ther LS460L can already be optioned to prices well above a 750LI.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Cyclone - when I leased the GX470 a few years ago I got one of the first ones that had the upgraded Nav and back-up camera. I never heard any bad stories from folks that took that truck before and the added cost was only about $400 or so. I'd bet that only 1 of 4 LS460L's in cold weather climates would be AWD. Most folks will bank the $2K and just put on snows. The other thing is that you get the best out of AWD if you put snows on anyway. My old boss had an A8 for 6 years and because of the sportier tires on that car he needed snows for AWD to be effective in winter. He always told me not to kid yourself with AWD cars - they still need snows.

    As for the early LS sales when AWD is not available - I don't think anyone will really get mad. It's not like AWD is free (likely a $2K option) and it's not like MB has a record of selling nothing but AWD S-class cars in cold climates. Most S-class buyers in cold cities still bypass AWD. Lexus probably expects the same sale ratios as MB gets or the GS300 gets anyway.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    OAC - It was actually $69K. I made a typo there. It had the ML, Nav, comfort package and the parking assist. Don't remember exact figure but was something like $69,750 give or take. Most of the SWB cars are coming over equipped like this, at least over here.

    Thanks... Looks the same out here on the west coast... I finally got to talk to my dealer today (was away on a trip last weekend for the LS460 bash at my dealership, so I missed all the fun :() Here is what I got:

    460 SWB = $61,000
    ML + Nav + XM = $5,465
    Parking Assist = $395
    Door closers + $500
    Accessories = $245
    Destination = $715
    --------------------
    Total = $68,320
    --------------------

    A comparative LWB model prices out at $74K. The dealership has sold only one with a Touring Pkg, but they have none en route... My next issue is color combo... I want cashmere or alabaster interior, but only two cars come with these colors - obsidian and white. The truffle mica is not a color in production yet (until spring), so I can check out other combos.... Alternately, the dealer offered to special order one for me; ordering takes 90 days...

    I am waiting to actually get to test drive both L and S trims before deciding... We'll see...
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,278
    As always, I really appreciate your input. I guess time will tell. We'll see what is available 6-8 months down the road. I don't think I will make a decision until at least next spring. Given a choice, I am definitely going for the AWD version. And who knows, maybe there will be a miracle and Lexus will have found a way to have more trunk space than the current thinking when the LS600HL is released next April. It will also be very interesting to see what the MSRP for the 600HL will be.
  • I am just back from driving the LS460L at Taste of Lexus. After sitting in both, my wife did not even want to drive the LS460. The rear seat leg room and comfort are impressive. However, an earlier poster is correct, the driver's footwell on the LS460L is NARROWER than the LS430! The ride and cornering are improved over the LS430 (I don't know what suspension we drove). The car looks better in person than in pictures and the transmission is sooo smooth. I thought the road course was too short, about a 3 minute drive (we went three times). She did say the brakes were grabby, however, I did not notice that. The Taste of Lexus was a first class show with the nicest PortaPotty I have ever been in.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I will try the foot well for myself on Thursday at the auto show. Wonder how Lexus goofed this up. You are the third person to complain loudly about this.
    Disappointing.
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