I remember that in 1989 when the Lexus LS400 was introduced, many in the auto industry predicted complete failure of a large, luxury, Toyota product. It did not take long for people to figure out what a great car the Lexus flagship was. In fact, the LS has been the #1 selling luxury car 15 out of the last 17 years. I have a prototype 2013 Lexus LS 460 L this week, and I can tell you that this new version is the best ever, and that is no easy feat. My test car is the long wheelbase version and has all-wheel drive. Under the hood, it has a 386-horse 4.6-liter V8 hooked to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This car has extremely strong acceleration, which I did not expect given the size of this Lexus luxury sedan. If I had complaints about the LS in the past, it was that the ride was too soft, or squishy as I like to describe it. Lexus has fixed that with the turn of a knob on the center console. You can choose from Sport, Normal, Snow, or Comfort Eco modes. In Sport mode, it solves the softness issue, but thanks to a new air ride suspension system, you still don’t feel the bumps and imperfections in the road. The 2013 is restyled in the front and rear and the end result is a more aggressive look. The lines are still classic LS from the side, but new headlights and taillights add a fresh new look. The headlights are adaptive, meaning they move as you turn the steering wheel for greatly enhanced vision.
The interior of this car is amazing. The leather is soft and supple, but the wood inside is the prettiest I have ever seen. This is one of the quietest cars I have ever driven, bar none. As you would expect, the car comes completely loaded with navigation, 4-zone climate control, front and rear heated and air conditioned seats, and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. It also has a power moonroof as standard. Most everything is operated from a console mounted mouse that is accessible to both the driver and the front seat passenger. The App Suite gives you the convenience of live, 24-hour navigation assistance and the peace of mind of knowing emergency services can be requested at the press of a button. You can even use your LS to make dinner reservations and order movie tickets on the fly. Lexus NavTraffic provides real-time traffic information, including speed, estimated travel time and rerouting suggestions so you can avoid congestion. Other available services let you receive real-time local weather reports and fuel prices, plus you can follow your favorite sports teams and investments.
On the safety front, Advanced Pre-Collision System (PCS) is engineered to detect an imminent frontal collision and, while retracting the front seatbelts, automatically helps to provide increased braking pressure the moment you step on the brake pedal. It's also designed to detect three-dimensional objects in the vehicle's path, and it can apply the brakes to help reduce vehicle speed and bring the vehicle to a complete stop at speeds up to 24 mph. It also comes with blind spot warning, backup camera, and lane departure warning. Needless to say, you are safe inside this Lexus. My test car also has the Executive Class Seating package, which most of you won’t want. With the push of a button, you can take the right front seat all the way forward, and from the right rear seat watch a DVD, get a massage, and kick up the power ottoman. There is even a desk that pops up from the rear center console. This car can be used as a limo or for personal use. The Lexus LS 460 was already a great car, but the 2013 takes it to a whole different level.
What I liked most: The exterior changes, interior plushness, and suspension settings.
What I would change: Nothing.
MSRP: $71,900 base price, this one comes in at $99,000.
Fuel Economy: It is not EPA rated yet, but I am getting 20 combined.
Warranty: 4 year/48000 bumper-to-bumper, 7 year/70,000 powertrain.
2013 Lexus LS 460 in a few words: A great car got even better.
Car Pro Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.