Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:55 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Sedan
Let's try to define this forum as being limited to luxury performance vehicles where the mainstream version in a typical configuration has an MSRP of at least $60k.
A luxury vehicle with a base price of $59k qualifies because it would typically be bought with some additional equipment, bringing the MSRP over $60k.
Vehicles like the E, 5, A6, M, or GS, even if available in certain versions over $60k, don't qualify because they are cars from companies that have higher end cars in their lineups.
#22056 of 24726 LS460 Review
Dec 10, 2006 (7:05 pm)
Here is another review of the Lexus LS460. This reviewer loved the 1990 LS400 so much that he almost bought one. Unfortunately his opinion about the LS460 is a bit different
And I would like to pre-empt anyone from accusing me of writing this review. Honest it wasn't me that wrote this. In fact it was a very fine fellow by the name of Jay Shoemaker that wrote this very engaging and insightful review below.
Lexus LS460 Review
Driving a Mercedes E63 AMG just prior to testing the Lexus LS 460 was a big mistake. The German and Japanese machines define the opposite poles of the luxury sedan spectrum. The E63 is for driving enthusiasts. The LS 460 is for people who hate cars.
At first glance, the LS 460 has finally stopped cribbing its design cues from Mercedes– and started cribbing from the BMW 7 Series. In the flesh, it’s clear that Lexus has turned inwards for inspiration. As I patrolled my dealer’s lot to scan color variations, I couldn’t distinguish an ES from an LS. In fact, the Japanese brand’s “L-finesse” design philosophy Lacks-finesse across the entire model range. There are no exterior character lines worth mentioning. I like the way the LS’ exhaust pipes integrate into the rear valence. And, um that’s it.
This deeply conservative (not to say bland) approach carries over into the interior, which seems carefully designed to avoid offense. While you can’t fault the LS 460's ergonomics or the luster of its wood accents, the $61k-and-up car's cabin comes off just a little bit, well, cheap. The buttons are made from plastic that Audi wouldn't use for the A8's trunk release. And Lexus can buff that leather as much as it wants; it still feels like it came out of a Camry. Of course, the LS 460 boats— I mean boasts every luxury car toy on earth, including intuitive parking assist (Danger Will Robinson!) and power everything you can imagine (and much you can’t or wouldn’t).
Firing-up the LS’ 4.6-liter V8 is about as aurally exciting as switching on a pool heater– which is fair enough. The driving experience is a bit like swimming in warm water. Helming the LS, I thought I'd become an automotive quadriplegic; my mind was operating the vehicle rather than my extremities. I had no sensation whatsoever from the steering wheel, throttle or brakes. Every control involved with the vehicle’s operation lay just within the range of human perception.
The LS 460’s electronic brakes were designed for women wearing high heels; the slightest touch of a stiletto brings the car to a complete stop. Steering feel isn’t. There's only one way to know the slushbox is changing gears: watch the tacho needle bouncing gently up and down. Unless you depress the throttle at 45mph. Then there's an unacceptable hesitation as the transmission rows through a few gear changes before finding the meaty part of the engine’s torque range. Remind me again why Lexus needs an eight speed transmission? Oh yes; Mercedes has a seven speed.
The LS 460’s handling reminded me of a 10-month old Golden Retriever puppy: affectionate but clumsy. Turn-in is irrelevant. You can’t feel the car settling into a corner and you only realize that you are exceeding the vehicle’s limits when the door’s angle of attack relative to the road exceeds 15 degrees, and the traction control wrests control (you mean I was driving?) away from the driver.
Lexus claims the LS 460 wafts from zero to 60 in 5.4 seconds. Given 380 horsepower and 367 lb. ft. of torque in a 4244 pound luxobarge, that sounds about right. But it felt a lot slower. It could be the complete lack of sensual feedback or the effects of that pesky E63 again. Anyway, the LS 460 desperately needs a sport package. Alas, none is available. I suspect Lexus knows its target audience will be more impressed with (though not concerned about) the sedan's extraordinary 21 city and 27 highway miles per gallon.
I last drove an LS in 1990. Compared to the competition over at Mercedes and BMW, the LS was a breath of fresh air: bargain-priced and elegantly engineered. I almost bought one. OK, I’m trying to impress you with my open-mindedness. And it's true: I can see the virtue of a machine that functions without any apparent effort from man or machine. But I struggled not to giggle at the LS 460’s “Luxury Car for Dummies” perfection. If Lexus added an in-dash popcorn maker, I’d find more reason to buy this mobile entertainment lounge. But nowhere near enough.
#22057 of 24726 Re: Lame... [laurasdada]
Dec 10, 2006 (7:20 pm)
Nobody in these past decades makes more entertaining auto advertisements like VW. And nobody today makes more entertaining ads like VW. NONE!If you saw an Audi ad and a VW ad you would never think that their cars are from the same company.
#22058 of 24726 Re: LS460 Review [dewey]
Dec 10, 2006 (7:36 pm)
Never heard of the guy, but the review seems about right, after reading the other reviews. He mentions the overly grabby brakes and the numb steering. I've seen those things before. He indicates the car feels slower than its supposed 5.4 seconds 0-60 mph time, which corroborates C&D's findings.
The only thing I disagree with is his rather ridiculous statement that the LS460 is for people who hate cars.
I would change that to the LS460 is for people who know nothing about cars and couldn't care less.
My question is how does Lexus justify charging so much for a vehicle which offers so little?
#22060 of 24726 Re: LS460 Review [dewey]
Dec 10, 2006 (8:27 pm)
This review seems to target the same lengthy list of the LS460's weaknesses as most of the other reviews, however the writing style seemed a bit too harsh, IMO. In any event, I agree with the general content.
#22061 of 24726 Howard and Tagman
Dec 10, 2006 (8:31 pm)
1)The LS 460 is for people who hate cars.
OK Howard I do agree his statement above is a bit extreme. But other than that one very extreme sentence the rest of his review appears to be fairly balanced, objective and unbiased
2)This review seems to target the same lengthy list of the LS460's weaknesses as most of the other reviews, however the writing style seemed a bit too harsh and sarcastic, IMO.
I am almost hundred percent convinced that this reviewer must of had a heated dispute about that MEGA BOW Lexus Ad with one of our forum members just before test driving the LS.
#22062 of 24726 Re: LS460 Review [dewey]
Dec 10, 2006 (8:33 pm)
Yes. The criticisms are not only well-taken but also well-documented.
I would like to see a new December to Remember commercial where when confronted with a new LS460 topped by a red ribbon, the person is shown pouting and says, "Well, I really was kind of expecting a Longines."
Dec 10, 2006 (8:42 pm)
I noticed that you dropped that little "bomb" on the LS forum... and you and your article weren't all that well received.
I've noticed something unusual over there lately. There are lots of posts trying to determine who now writes the proper reviews of the LS... and interestingly, they are discrediting all those magazines and reviewers that criticize the LS, and giving high marks to those reviewers and magazines that like the LS.
Is "selective criticism" a new terminology for the 21st century?
Oh well, I guess some hear what some want to hear...but I still believe there is always more than one side to a story.
#22065 of 24726 the other point of view
Dec 10, 2006 (8:54 pm)
Well, just as Dewey shows us the more typical review, here comes one of those that reads like it was written at Lexus headquarters.
I gave this little present to the LS forum. It ought to pump them up for a while.