Coming off an extensive overhaul for the 2013 model year, the long-running Lexus LS line continues to shine as an all-around performer in the elite class of full-size luxury sedans. What the LS lacks in sheer pizazz and athleticism it more than makes up for in comfort, reliability and predicted resale value.
You'll Like The 2014 Lexus LS If...
The 2014 LS delivers the dignified indulgence expected of a full-size luxury sedan while carrying on the traditional Lexus brand pillars of quality, reliability and value.
You May Not Like The 2014 Lexus LS If...
While the LS can go toe-to-toe with the segment’s best when it comes to refinement and in-vehicle technology, the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Porsche Panamera offer considerably more in the way of all-out performance and driver involvement.
After undergoing a moderate refresh for 2013, the 2014 Lexus lineup carries over unchanged.
With a cleanly arranged dash, attractive interior accent lighting and a big 12.3-inch screen controlled by Lexus’ easy-to-use 2nd-generation Remote Touch interface, the interior of the 2014 Lexus LS strikes a smart balance between style and functionality. Occupants are treated to comfortably contoured seats and, especially in the long-wheelbase LS 460 L and LS 600h L, more than adequate head- and legroom. Buyers of the standard LS 460 have their choice of five unique interior themes. Attractive bamboo trim is reserved for the LS 600h hybrid while a sporty steering wheel, aluminum interior trim and extra-bolstered seats are found exclusively in the LS 460 F Sport.
A bulging hood, menacing face and a contemporary rear-end treatment make the Lexus LS sedan the most radical-looking LS to date. Variations from the basic LS 460 body style include the roomier, extended-wheelbase LS 460 L and the LS 460 F Sport featuring aggressive front and rear fascias and a 10-millimeter-reduced ride height. Standard wheels are 18-inch alloys while the F Sport wears 19 inchers. Available as an option are special wheels featuring a hollow section that reduces tire noise through the technical wonders of science.
Even though the suddenly-sexy LS sedan uses the same suspension, powertrain and chassis found in the previous-generation LS, numerous structural enhancements and suspension tweaks improve ride and handling. Lexus’ full-size sedan glides lightly over bumps and steers with a casual feel, all the while isolating those inside from the world outside. Meanwhile, a feature called “Drive Mode Select” lets the driver customize steering, powertrain and suspension settings to personal preference. For a slightly more thrilling ride, consider the LS 460 F Sport, which uses a sport-tuned air suspension and Brembo brakes to deliver confident deceleration and noticeably sharper handling. It’s a nice effort but, with no increase in horsepower versus the standard LS 460, we doubt the F Sport package will dazzle real performance enthusiasts. Likewise, the slightly more powerful LS 600h L provides a slight uptick in straight-line acceleration, but feels rather lethargic in corners on account of its portly 5,159-pound curb weight.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2014 Lexus LS 460 starts just over $73,000, with long-wheelbase “L” versions checking in closer to $79,300. The line-topping LS 600h L opens at roughly $121,000. For comparison, the Jaguar XJ, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series start in the $75,000 range, while the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz S-Class carry sticker prices of $79,000 and $93,800, respectively. No one should overspend or under-save purchasing a new vehicle, regardless of price point, which is why we recommend you take a look at KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price tool at the bottom of this page to ensure you get the best deal on your next car. In keeping with its value-intensive persona, the 2014 Lexus LS is expected to retain the highest residual values in the segment.
Even with the lowest starting price in its class, the 2014 Lexus LS offers an impressive roster of standard equipment. Highlights include a 16-way power driver’s seat, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, keyless access and push-button start, a 10-speaker audio system, front and rear sonar proximity sensors designed to help avoid collisions during parking maneuvers, a rearview camera, and navigation with integrated smartphone apps and data services. On the safety front, every LS is fitted with eight airbags, whiplash-lessening front seats and adaptive front headlights that pivot into corners as the car is steered.
If the standard variety fails to arouse your senses, the Lexus LS can be had with a number of high-end add-ons. Aesthetic enhancements consist of an Alcantara headliner, semi-aniline leather upholstery and wood-trimmed rear-seat accessories. Adaptive air suspension, an audio system by Mark Levinson and Lexus’ Driver Attention Monitor (sounds an alert if the system senses the driver isn’t watching the road) underscore the sophisticated side of the options list. As for semiautonomous features, the 2014 LS offers adaptive cruise control to maintain a preset distance behind the vehicle ahead, pedestrian detection and a pre-collision system capable of applying the brakes in the event of an imminent collision.
REMOTE TOUCH INTERFACE
Much like a keyboard mouse, this system, operated by a controller mounted adjacent to the driver's seat, allows for the movement of a cursor across the dash-mounted LCD display, providing sensory feedback when the cursor passes over a clickable icon. The sensation is analogous to rolling a marble over a small indentation.
EXECUTIVE CLASS REAR-SEATING PACKAGE
Vibrating and shiatsu massage, a Blu-ray entertainment system, wood-trimmed tables and a power recliner in the right-rear position make this a must-have package for high rollers who demand posh transportation between business dealings.
Under the Hood
All LS 460 models are powered by a time-tested 4.6-liter V8, while shifting duties are still handled by the 8-speed automatic transmission that debuted in 2007. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard on LS 460 models, with all-wheel drive (AWD) available as a $3,000 option. In the LS 600h L, propulsion is generated by the combined efforts of a 5.0-liter V8, a pair of electric motor/generators, a nickel-metal hydride battery, a continuously variable transmission and a full-time AWD system. All that technology allows the hybrid LS to accelerate as quickly as its non-hybrid counterparts while giving it a 3-mpg advantage in city driving. As you may have guessed, every Lexus LS requires premium fuel.
386 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
367 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg (RWD)
360 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
347 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (AWD)
5.0-liter V8 + electric motor/generator
389 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
385 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
Total power: 438 horsepower
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/23 mpg
An enviable reputation for world-class comfort, impeccable construction and class-leading value have established the Lexus LS as a prominent player in the world of large luxury sedans for over two decades. As a brand flagship, 2014's Lexus LS 460 is chock-full of the latest and greatest safety, comfort and multimedia technologies available. Last year’s revamp infused a new sense of style and dynamism into the LS lineup, as evidenced in the sportier F-Sport variant and performance-oriented LS 600h L hybrid. Although it maintains the lowest ownership costs in the category, the Lexus LS is every bit the equal of pricier European rivals like the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Porsche Panamera and the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class.