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Lexus LS 460/LS 460L: First Drives



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    A 750iL and S-500. I didn't drive those though, as I already have driven them. Previously, I thought they drove better than the LS, but weren't worth the money and maintenance issues. Now, however, the LS drives as well or better - maybe not as agressively, but that's ok with me. I'm into smooth, quiet and comfy. The seats in the 7 are too small for my fat American butt, and the S fabulous, but the LS is much less expensive to keep up. I think the LS has made a quantum leap - which is hard to do when you're playing with the big boys already.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    After a brief floor plan lesson, I'm out to test drive, not eat pastries! :P

    There are 4 LS460/L to drive, 2 750i, and one S550 are available, so the line for the S is about 45 minutes.

    After a scoot in the IS350 (no MT 250 was avilable), I drove the 750i, as the line was shortest here. Had a approx. 500 ft. straightaway for what was labeled "Acceleration Run". The straight was not flat, and the braking area was marked at about 300 ft., so I got to about 50-55MPH before braking, all too soon. :mad:

    The BMW broke out fast, but midrange didn't impress, but it had plenty of power. The handling section was fairly difficult, and the car had no problem with it. Couldn't tell if the skid systems were activated.

    Next was the Lexus LS460L. It didn't run as hard from the blocks, but the midrange was much better than the 7. It felt slower than the 7. But it's handling was not far behind. I disabled the skid control, and yes, I has it on Sport and Power modes. There was a large radius 180, a tight 180, and a 3-turn slalom.

    Then I tested the S550, which had more heart than either vehicle! No replacement for displacement! It also seemed quite happy on the handling course. And it had acres of legroom. No real dynamic weaknesses, it's just not very appealing to me, inside or out.

    Then I drove the LS460 SWB before driving the RX400h and SC. This car accelerated similar to the 750, but with the same midrange the other LS had, so it seemed faster. Not as fast as the S, but close. :D

    My estimates are: IS350 5.2

    S550 5.4

    750i 5.7

    LS460 5.6

    LS460L 5.8

    BTW, the IS350 drove well. No demons in the steering, and strong quiet brakes!

    I had no problems with the LS' footwell, brakes, or tranny. They all seemed appropriate for the mission. ;)

    This just in........For 2007......the S550's rear end ......has replaced the 750 for ugliest in HELMdom.......Lincoln Mark III-VII sues for design infringement.....more next hour....

    Surprise of the day?

    The SC430! It was quite the kick in the pants! I would call it "Snappy"! No squeal from the run-flats, and I was puttin' it down!

    RX400h was as quiet as a dinner napkin at the start light! Very powerful.

    So in closing, I didn't really learn too much, but the SC and IS drive better than I had been led to believe. The SC is powerful, and roomy (I'm well over 6'!). The IS is not roomy, but wickedly powerful, and would make any garage a better place to spend time!

    You can only learn so much from a 30 second drive, but if Lexus is a very confident company, it is very easy to see why. The Germans drive great, but their designs are not cohesive or well-thought out, inside or out.

    If you are looking for nits on the LS, you've got your work cut out for you. The interior, and exterior, are in another league above the Germans on hand.

    Other than the torque on the S550, the LS is equal to, or superior in every way from what I could tell. And the style is clearly more advanced.

    The Germans came off as well-built, but rather complicated.

    The LS was more stylish and had a finely crafted way about it. Easy to use, easy to drive, easy to like. And with the windows up, you could get a good whiff of engine note in the cabin. This is a good ting!

    I will now take your questions.....

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Good assessment, Drfill. I think you underscored the S-550, but your description of the car was spot on. IMO, the S550 beats all, but at a price I am not willing to pay. Not just money.
  • The S-class would need better quality, but I think most will agree that the S-class is the bench mark of the High end cars, and will likely remain so.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Good assessment, Drfill. I think you underscored the S-550, but your description of the car was spot on. IMO, the S550 beats all, but at a price I am not willing to pay. Not just money.

    You see why I wanted the LS to cost more. Maybe the S-Class is $5k more car than the LS, but not $15-25k. The LS is a smarter buy. Period.

    And it's kinda fly! :blush:

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The LS is a smarter buy. Period.

    So true. In my Lexus, people think; "He's good, and he's smart".

    In an S-Class they think; "That guy can afford $150 for an oil filter!"
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Trunk is fine, footwell nonsense is nothing but bunk
    Well, to each his own - BUT - the LS460 has LESS footwell space than my 528 - AND - it is noticeable to those of us who drive cars with more room. Obviously, that has not included you. If you took time to actually read the posts of others, you would not find much "criticism" of the LS, just observations that this car does not have as much room inside (SWB) as one might think from looking at the outside. Most of us still "fit", and most of us may still buy the car - but NOT because of its generous trunk and footwell room.
  • just ordered a LWB today... will find out in a few days when it we be available... I have read many of these posts on this forum and the other 460 forums. I have driven both the SWB and the LWB. I have read about all of the different things that have been posted so far since I have been serious about this purchase decision since September of this year. I feel that the footwell is adequate for most people and may take a little time to get used to but I also drive with my left foot moved back sometimes also resting my left arm on my left knee so this isn't a problem for me. I have NOT found the brakes to be grabby at all. The brakes are just like any car that you are not used to like a manual transmission clutch that is a few years old will have different spots that it will grab at on exactly the same model of car from the same year. I own a 40ft diesel bus motorhome and when I first drove it I found that its brakes were VERY grabby also. I just had to learn to have a lighter foot. ANYWAY... I will post further comments when I take delivery of the vehicle and have had a chance to experience it for a while. I hope that this will then help those who are REALLY looking to purchase one these cars like I was in making a decision.
  • gumpsgumps Posts: 17
    I currently drive a 745li and am trying to make a decision. At the risk of causing a's some comments.


    As far as driving goes, at high speed 75+ the steering is loose. (I drive in Califorinia)More so than my GM truck. I feel as though at high speeds, BMW definately has the car beat. The BMW just gives you more confidence at that speed.

    Yes...there is something definately going on with the brakes. They are different. A few times I found myself trying to figure out what they were doing and ended up over braking when I couldn't get it right. It was almost as if there was a brake computer that was trying to figure out what I wanted instead of just doing what my foot was telling it. That too did not instill driving confidence. I guess Lexus is asking me to adapt. I would think, they would want me to say what an unbelievable braking experience. (It's possible some may say that if they have a close call)


    The seat pan in the LS is a little concave vs. BMW or even a new GM. Not as supportive in the pan as it could be
    It's easier to reach everything in the LS and No IDrive
    The LS FEELs just a little snugger than BMW. (I have always had a philosophy that the Japanese don't understand that the average American is a little bigger than the average Japanese person.)
    Nice big display in the LS. Great for safety.

    OK...Here's the deal breaker. (not really but...)The LS does not have 1 touch 3 second turn signals. Go figure. Even a GM Denali has that. I would have gladly taken that over a car that parks itself. Self parking is a cute feature, but is Lexus forgetting it's heritage. The world loves usefulness, but making new car owners pay for a useless marketing gimic is not good business. This is a feature a 16 year old needs for a driving test. The average purchaser of this car will not have the patience for this. Plus how much more R&D, and manufacturing expense did they put into this just for marketing buzz. They should make gimics optional and then decide if it's really worth the effort to put it into manufacturing. Most gimics have short lives. After the gimic wears off, you still have to pay for it with higher prices which means less units sold.

    The LS has come a long way and this is the first year of a new model. However, if Lexus is truly seeking "The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection" hopefully these comments will help.


    Really nice interior. Will keep the 7 for the moment.
  • but is Lexus forgetting it's heritage

    I could not agree more. $10000 for a larger rear seat and cutting down the driver's space at the same time while increasing the base vehicle to over $60000 (up almost 8%) tells me they have forgotten their value seeking customer base in favor of glitz. Too bad.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Own a LS430, have driven a 460, then yesterday, test drove a 750i.

    Must admit, I like the Bimmer lots. Like the goofball controls, the little electronic shifter, parking brake button and seat controls.

    Like the footwell space - I also have felt the LS is a tad short on legroom up front, but have gotten used to it. All Toyotas are that way to me.

    The Navigation on the LS seems way superior to the BMW to me. The Bimmer screen was tiny, too far away, and impossible to control with the mouse.

    The Bimmer cabin seems smaller to me, and more confining. I'm a big guy, and the seat seemed small. I love the looks of the cabin though - it's beautiful.

    I'm ok with the steering in either one, as well as the brakes. I adapt quickly to grabby brakes.

    The road feel is decidedly different, however. Not that the LS is bad at all, but the Bimmer does convey a better road feel - more of a "driver's" car than the LS, which is still very much an isolation chamber. Again, either is great, just a matter of preference.

    The deciding factor to me will likely come down to the price again, reliability factors, and that damned I-drive.
  • hendjazhendjaz Posts: 155
    For those doing the comparisons you may want to test drive the 460L with Touring Package, if you can find one. It has the 19" wheels and tires and larger brakes. I have had mine for two weeks and have not experienced any brake issues, other than being very strong and predictable stops (i.e no grabbiness).

    The touring package is is probably the driver's LS relative to the others. It does not include the rear seat upgrades which while nice also reduce the size of the trunk (extra AC unit and small cooler box instead of trunk pass through) and even effectively reduces the rear seat area if you go with the "throne" seat which requires that the front passenger seat to be moved forward all the way to allow the throne to be extended. Thus the Touring L provides even better driving dynamics and full room in all seating and trunk areas.
  • I have just put a deposit down on a 460L with all of the upgrades except for the full executive Throne Seating. I sell Real estate and it is important to me to have the heated and cooled rear seats for my clients to ride in. I actually was all set to order the Touring package as I liked the look of the Rims and the Active suspension idea. I then found out that the 460L cannot be ordered with the touring package and the configuration that I wanted. I had to debate what to take and what to give and ended up deciding that the seating was more important than the suspension. What are your thoughts since you have one? I have not been able to test drive a Touring Pkge 460L ... only the SWB and the LWB. I would appreciate any input since I can still opt for either one at this point.
  • gumps, what are "1 touch 3 second turn signals"?
  • gumpsgumps Posts: 17
    I call them 1 touch but basically you do not fully actuate the turn signal. You just give it a slight pull and it blinks for three seconds. Used to change lanes. The LS does not have this but BMW and even GM do. For constant blinking just fully actuate the lever.
  • atlas7atlas7 Posts: 126
    Drove the LS460 SWB the other day, 20 minute drive. I am 6'2", very comfortable driving position. Don't have any comparisons regarding footwell as I currently drive an SUV. Car very fast, very quiet, and nice looking. Not wild about the rims, but they showed me optional 7 spoke alloys on the website that looked very nice. Also, sat in the back seat with the drivers seat positioned with my settings. Rear seat leg room is adequate. Given that I will usually be the only person in the car, no need for the LWB.

    Drove a 750iL, very nice ride, little sportier than the LS and I liked the look of the larger tires. The i drive, geez, a real show stopper. Why would they put that in this car? Also, I much preferred the LS interior and the 750 IMO is starting to look dated. So the 750 is out of the running. Next test, Bemz 550, stay tuned
  • hendjazhendjaz Posts: 155
    Lexus 111, the non-touring L may be the way for you to go if the luxury and rear seat upgrade packages will be a perceptible benefit to your work with clients. The Touring L comes with heated but not cooled rear seats and individual heat controls for each rear seat. There may be some question about how much your clients will actually use the individual seat controls and not sure if you will want them playing with the settings and the audio controls that will be at their disposal.

    You would have the extra AC unit in the back and the side sunshades so maybe that will be of some benefit. The Touring L comes with AC outlets in the back and the rear window sunshade. It has a very good level of luxury built in to the rear seat area and tons of room but not quite all the bells and whistles that the lux/rear upgrade packages add.

    With the Touring L there is an appearance benefit (imho) and handling benefit too but for your needs you may have made the right choice.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Next test, Bemz 550, stay tuned

    Well, IMO, the S-500 was superior to the LS430, however, the price difference, and the reliability issues turned me off. The LS seemed to be the value of the 3 contenders. Let us know what you think of the 550. We'll be watching. :shades:
  • atlas7atlas7 Posts: 126
    In the Washington Post a few weeks ago, there was a section on Luxury cars...Lexus was #1 in brand loyalty ( repeat buyers ) #1 in reliability and #1 in percentage of service dollars spent on repairs at 28%, Mercedes was at an alarming 50% and BMW was at 52%. I can't ignore these numbers in my final decision.
  • Thanks for your thoughts. I didn't purchase the super lux package for the LWB 460 with the separate audio controls... I purchased the package that comes with the adjustable rear seats and the HEAT/COOL rear seats. I live in Las Vegas and the Hot weather is the concern for my clients in the back seat and I feel that the Cooled seats feature will help them out. No rear cooler box or air filter system or separate audio controls in the one that I ordered. I love the rims on the touring package car though and will probably try to find some like those to fit my car.
  • gumpsgumps Posts: 17
    This is interesting since BMW pays for all maintenance during the first 50k or three years. They must be talking about after warranty repairs.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    In the Washington Post a few weeks ago, there was a section on Luxury cars...Lexus was #1 in brand loyalty ( repeat buyers ) #1 in reliability and #1 in percentage of service dollars spent on repairs at 28%, Mercedes was at an alarming 50% and BMW was at 52%. I can't ignore these numbers in my final decision.

    Exactly how I felt. And, since all three offer the same warranty, and BMW changes your oil too for the warranty period - that REALLY speaks to what it costs to keep one after warranty is up.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    When I purchased my first LS430 about five or six years ago, I decided to use dealer service and oil changes (at least until the warranty expired). I feel that the dealer is entitled to a respectible profit and I feel better in knowing that he will be there when I need him, even if it costs a few dollars more to dealer service during warranty. I have only had a few warranty items replaced, e.g. 6 speed transmission and fuel pump (recall), heater/AC core, driver seat bottom (leather cracked), rugs (front & rear)due to a poor fit at the door jamb, all done on a timely basis and without hassle and loaner vehicle provided. This has occurred over a period of about 6 years in several different LS. Just my 2 cents worth and thots on the subject.
  • The normal car is huge! The bigger version is really huge! The drive is very nice! It feels like a smaller sports sedan... the luxury and feel of the car is great! I was impressed!!!! The information center uses high rez graphic elements for mpg, tire pressure monitor and more... really nice! When you sit down you see lots of buttons... a little confusing at first!
    LS Test Drive Video/Photos and more
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