Friday 28 October 2016
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Rapid Review: 2015 Lexus LS 460 F Sport

Rapid Review: 2015 Lexus LS 460 F Sport

It would be extremely difficult to find a more comfortable car than the 2015 Lexus LS 460 sedan that I am reviewing this week.  I have the F Sport package that adds a new element to this 4200-pound, large 5-passenger luxury sedan.  This one is rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel is available at an extra charge.

Under the hood, you get a 4.6-liter V8 that is rated at 386 horses and is hooked to a terrific 8-speed automatic transmission.  The LS has strong acceleration and the transmission shifts as smooth as butter, you can’t even feel it.  The downside is less than impressive fuel economy.  It is rated at 16 in town, 24 on the highway.

For me, the real story of this car is the interior, which is nothing short of amazing.  The front driver and passenger seats have so many adjustments, you can’t help but be comfortable.  Brushed aluminum accents inside the car add a touch of class that you would expect in a top-of-the-line Lexus.  The quietness inside this car is very noticeable.  I had the LS on a 100-mile road trip, and it is spectacular on the highway, even at 85 miles per hour, you cannot hear a thing, or feel a bump in the road.

The center point of the interior is a massive 12.5″ high-resolution screen that houses the navigation system, Lexus Enform app suite, climate control, and the amazing 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system that puts out 450-watts of power.  Everything is controlled by a computer mouse mounted on the center stack and can be accessed by either the driver or passenger.  It takes a little while to get used to it, and at times, it is annoying and causes you to take your eyes off the road a little too much.

As you would imagine, the LS460 comes incredibly well-equipped with power moon roof, Bluetooth, high-intensity headlamps, pushbutton start, rearview camera and parking sensors, Smart Stop technology, LED interior lighting, and much more.  This car has everything you can imagine.  The back seat is large and roomy, and the trunk is massive.  Headroom is very good throughout the cabin.

One knock on this car when I have had it in the past was that for me, the ride was actually too soft and floaty. The F Sport package handles that and makes the suspension system very different if that is what you want.  It is still a soft ride in eco, comfort, and normal settings, but turn a knob to sport mode, and you have yourself an awesome handling machine and a firm ride.  Go to Sport+, and the driving dynamics feel more like a BMW than a typical Lexus.

The F Sport gets special treatments inside and out, including a mesh grille, front fascia with brake-cooling ducts, the wheels are forged and 19 inches in diameter. The ride height is lower by 0.4 inches, the cabin has brushed aluminum in place of the other cars’ wood trim and the pedals are finished in aluminum. The F Sport also features a sound generator that increases engine noise in the cabin under hard acceleration. What it doesn’t offer is an increase in power; the package mostly improves driving feel and provides better body control.  The F Sport steering wheel is terrific, but my favorite addition is the Alcantara headliner, it’s awesome.

My evaluation car has the F Sport Comfort Package which gives you air conditioned front seats, a power rear shade, and power trunk open and close for $1650.  It also has blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert for $500, and a Mark Levinson sound system that adds $1500.

This is a super comfortable car to drive, and the F Sport addresses my concerns about the soft suspension.  My only other concern is the price.  As you near $90,000, there are some awesome cars out there like the Audi A8 and BMW 7-series for about the same money.  However, if you are in the market for a large, luxury sedan, this car should be on the shopping list.

One thing I LOVE is this car has a real, full-sized spare tire and even has a matching F Sport Alloy wheel.  In a day when many cars have no spare at all, this is refreshing!

What I liked most:  Interior, quietness, and smoothness of the engine and tranny.

What I would change:  I would like the mouse interface to get caught in a trap.

MSRP: Base price $75,520, as equipped $86,975.

Fuel Economy:  EPA rated at 16 City/24 Highway, 19 Combined.

2015 LS460 in a few words:  Great car, exceptional ride, looks GREAT!

Warranty:  4 year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper, 6 year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance.

Car Pro Rating:  4 1/2 out of 5 Stars.

Manufacturer’s website:  Lexus

Photo Credit: Lexus