2015 Lexus LS Expert Review

Editor's Overview

For 2015 the Lexus LS lineup continues to offer level-headed maturity in the evermore youthfully designed Lexus lineup. While still sporting the "spindle" grille treatment, the 2015 Lexus LS emphasizes quiet sophistication, with exceptional build quality, first-class luxury and technology features, a long-wheelbase model for extra rear legroom, and a top-of-the-line hybrid that marries power and fuel economy.

You'll Like The 2015 Lexus LS If...

The 2015 Lexus LS combines the seemingly incompatible goals of offering first-class luxury at a relative value. It delivers the dignified indulgence expected of a full-size luxury sedan with plentiful features, but with relatively low cost of ownership and excellent reliability.

You May Not Like The 2015 Lexus LS If...

Although the 2015 Lexus LS is tough to beat when it comes to refinement and technology, it's not particularly engaging to drive. The BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Porsche Panamera are consistently more entertaining to drive, while the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is almost a class apart.

What's New

The 2015 Lexus LS gets an updated infotainment system that includes navigation with predictive traffic information. There's also a new smartphone app called Lexus Enform Remote, which lets you remotely start the vehicle, lock or unlock the doors, and more. The limited-edition Crafted Line based on the LS 460 F Sport celebrates Lexus' 25th year.

Interior Features

A center-mounted 12.3-inch infotainment screen, controlled by the Remote Touch interface, dominates the 2015 Lexus LS dash. This big luxury sedan balances style, functionality and luxury, treating occupants to comfortably contoured seats wrapped in soft leather. Rear-seat passengers aren't ignored, especially in the long-wheelbase LS 460 L and LS 600h L, where there's excellent headroom and legroom. Standard LS 460 models have their choice of five unique interior themes, while the attractive bamboo interior theme is reserved for the LS 600h hybrid. F Sport models get a sporty steering wheel and seats, plus aluminum interior trim, while the Crafted Line LS F Sport boasts black leather seating with scarlet contrast stitching.

Exterior Features

The wide grille, bulging hood and distinctive rear end make this the most radical-looking LS to date, although compared to other Lexus cars like the new RC, it's practically restrained. The long-wheelbase LS 460 L and LS 600h L hide their extra length well. The same can't be said for the LS 460 F Sport, which feature aggressive front and rear designs, a 10-millimeter-reduced ride height, and 19-inch wheels instead of the standard 18-inchers. Crafted Line models are dressed in white and feature obsidian accents to the door handles, side mirrors and more. Available as an option are special wheels featuring a hollow section that reduces tire noise through the technical wonders of science.

Driving Impressions

Lexus built its reputation on effortless luxury, and the newest LS model does nothing to diminish that. This big luxury sedan glides over bumps, with lightweight steering and a silent interior that isolates occupants from the outside world. If you want a little more bite to your suspension though, you can twist the Drive Mode Select knob, which alters the engine, suspension and steering settings for a sportier or more relaxed feel. The LS 460 F Sport uses a sport-tuned air suspension and Brembo brakes for more confidence-inspiring handling and braking. Despite this, enthusiasts are likely to be disappointed that the F Sport doesn't offer additional power over the standard LS 460. Additionally, while the LS 600h L offers more than 50 additional horsepower for slightly better acceleration its 5,159-pound curb weight makes it feel porky around corners.

Pricing Notes

The standard-wheelbase 2015 Lexus LS 460 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $73,500 including the $925 destination charge. The extra rear-seat room of the long-wheelbase LS 460 L will run you just under $80,000. If you want your Lexus LS 460 to have AWD, bring an extra $3,000 or so, or about $4,000 for the LS 460 L. The Crafted Line LS F Sport, limited to 750 total models, starts just over $85,000 for RWD and above $88,000 for AWD. If none of that proclaims your status loudly enough, the range-topping Lexus LS 600h L opens at roughly $121,500. By comparison, the Jaguar XJ, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series start in the $75,000 range, the Porsche Panamera is about $80,000, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is well above $90,000. Still, everyone loves a bargain, so check out the KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid. Smart investors will be happy to know that no other car in its segment beats 2015 Lexus LS residual values.

Notable Equipment

In the world of full-size luxury sedans, "base" models are impressively equipped. The 2015 Lexus LS comes standard with a 16-way power driver's seat, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, keyless entry with push-button start, a 10-speaker audio system, parking sensors and 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.

Notable Options

Of course, luxury means self-expression, and there's a long list of options for the Lexus LS. You can pick your interior trim, including soft Alcantara headliner and semi-aniline leather upholstery, plus wood-trimmed rear-seat accessories. The adjustable adaptive air suspension smooths out the ride even more, and the Mark Levinson audio system is really a must. The Lexus Driver Attention Monitor sounds an alert if the driver isn't watching the road, adaptive cruise control maintains a preset distance behind the vehicle ahead, and a pedestrian-detection and pre-collision system can apply the brakes in the event of an imminent collision.

Favorite Features

REMOTE TOUCH INTERFACE

Used on several Lexus vehicles, the Remote Touch is a mouse-like system used to select functions on the infotainment-system screen. The combination of an LCD screen, a cursor and tactile feedback similar to rolling a marble over a small indentation makes it easy to learn and use.

EXECUTIVE CLASS REAR-SEATING PACKAGE

If you think European manufacturers have an edge in luxury, you've never seen the Executive Class package for the Lexus LS. The right-rear seat reclines, there's vibrating and shiatsu massage, a Blu-ray entertainment system and a wood-trimmed console table, making it as luxurious as anything you'd find in a European sedan.

Under the Hood

The 2015 Lexus LS 460 offers a 386-horsepower 4.6-liter V8, routing that power through an 8-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels (RWD). All-wheel drive (AWD) is available, but horsepower drops to 360. The top-of-the-line Lexus LS 600h L uses a 5.0-liter V8 combined with 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. It should come as no surprise that these premium cars require premium fuel, too.

4.6-liter V8

386 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm

367 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg (RWD)

4.6-liter V8

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

Editors' Notes

The 2015 Lexus LS maintains and expands this full-size luxury sedan's enviable reputation for world-class comfort, impeccable construction and class-leading value. For more than two decades, those values have kept the Lexus LS a prominent player on the premium luxury-sedan stage. For 2015 that continues, as Lexus offers the standard LS 460, sporty LS 460 F Sport, long-wheelbase LS 460 L, and the powerful LS 600h L hybrid. Most important, the Lexus LS family offers a significant value against more expensive cars like the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Porsche Panamera. Value and luxury are strange bedfellows, but the low cost of ownership boasted by the Lexus LS is a strong selling point for sensible types who are ready to splurge.

Road Test Video Reviews

2015 Lexus LS Owner Reviews

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The fact that my seats get cold as my hair flows with the wind is awesome.

2015 Lexus LS

I honestly live the way the leather smells when I sit in my car. I do not have to hook nothing up to hear my favorite song on YouTube loud in my car. I just hit Bluetooth and on top of it all my windows are slightly tinted. It really protects my eyes while driving and the seats heat up and they also get cool for the summer with the windows down. I love my car and the way the shape of it reminds me of a sports car from out of space intrigued me before anything.

- Shay B

Smoothest ride ever with the perfect temperature.

2015 Lexus LS

I love this car. The only issue I really have is with the quality of the radio and speakers. Very poor. Otherwise you will love it. Very roomy and you feel like you're on a cloud it rides so smooth. I love the heated seats and my husband loves the cooled seats. One issue is that I go too fast because you cannot feel or here it.

- Lu H

Most bang for your buck/great investment

2015 Lexus LS Base

Not much storage space, but it is considered a smaller sedan, so that's not a huge issue. It's sleek and even comfortable for long rides, considering it's tight knit spacing. Parts and labor aren't too pricey and it's very reasonable. But I rarely even have issues.

- Tiff A

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