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2011 Lexus LS

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2011 Lexus LS Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 4/11/2011


Lexus continues to defend its territory as a purveyor of technologically-advanced luxury cars with the 2011 LS 460 and LS 460 L. The company's flagship sedan is the embodiment of the best in build quality, advanced features and craftsmanship - characteristics for which Lexus has come to be known. With the additional option of air-ride suspension, the 2011 LS 460 builds on an already-impressive level of comfort and sophistication.

You'll Like This Car If...

While some luxury offerings, such as the Audi A8 and BMW 760i, tilt more toward the sport end of the luxury spectrum, the LS 460 and LS 460 L are built with your comfort in mind first. If you're looking for a slightly softer ride that still offers plenty of power, this is the car.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If precision handling and world-beating acceleration are on your must-have list, you may be better served with something from Germany or Britain. Additionally, the conservative styling may be too bland for some buyers.

What's Significant About This Car?

Lexus has kept the revisions to the 2011 LS 460 and the LS 460 L fairly minimal. Buyers may now choose an optional an air-ride suspension in place of the standard coil springs. In addition, 19-inch forged alloy wheels are now available with the Sport Package.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Both LS 460 variants possess all of the character traits you'd expect in a Lexus luxury sedan. Each excels in smooth, quiet and effortless cruising with little meaningful performance variation to differentiate between standard and stretched models. We noted an occasional bout of tire thump over rough pavement and slight wind whisper at freeway speeds, but overall cabin isolation is outstanding. The drivetrain also merits high operational marks for responsiveness and the confident feeling that there's always plenty in reserve for freeway passing or emergency maneuvers. Predictably, the suspension is far better suited to long-distance cruising than to attacking twisty back roads. The focus is on keeping things under control, thanks in part to the LS 460's well-sorted Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system. Those seeking a more responsive drive should definitely consider the Sport Package, which not only returns a firmer ride but delivers better braking and handling.

Favorite Features

Eight-speed Automatic Transmission
Both versions of the LS 460 are fitted with an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission. With a superb ratio spread, the transmission delivers both excellent performance and solid fuel economy. Shifts are nearly seamless and the logic behind the gear changes is perfectly intuitive.

Outstanding Seating
Lexus has bestowed its banner sedans with a cabin that lands the vehicles in hot contention with some of the best cars in the segment. Excellent seats, high-quality materials and a host of technology features make the interior of the LS 460 a complete winner.

Vehicle Details Interior

Buyers can expect to find the cabin of the LS 460 providing the same level of refinement and quality materials as its predecessors. Those include the judicious application of brushed aluminum and polished wood inlays along the dash and doors, while the vehicle's seats are clad in supple perforated leather. A comprehensive array of power assists, 10-speaker premium audio system with six-disc CD-changer, signature Optitron electroluminescent gauges, legible displays and intuitive control layouts make for a uniquely enjoyable driving experience. Rear passengers will find ample space, even in the short-wheelbase vehicle, though the additional 4.8 inches of the long-wheel base version deliver an added level of comfort. Buyers may also choose additional niceties, such as power reclining rear seats with a massage function.

Exterior

The 2011 Lexus LS 460 won't quicken too many pulses with its design. The artists behind the vehicle's bodywork purposefully opted for a more conservative look compared to bolder designs like, for example, the Jaguar XJ. Nevertheless, the big Lexus carries itself confidently with the tried and true design elements of a luxury sedan, including a long hood and short trunk deck, and large wheels and chromed exhaust tips do much to add spice to an otherwise demure exterior.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2011 Lexus LS 460 boasts an extensive standard-equipment list that includes power front seats with 16-way driver and 12-way passenger adjustability, an integrated memory function, dual-zone climate control, power moonroof, keyless remote entry, eight airbags, a Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system that includes traction and stability control, anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Controlled Braking functions and high-intensity discharge headlamps with a corner-following adaptive feature. The LS 460 L adds a host of items that are LS 460 extras, including power door closers, rear-view backup camera, one-touch power trunk open/close, climate-controlled front and heated rear seats and a power rear sunshade.

Notable Optional Equipment

Buyers may option the LS 460 with a 450-watt/19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Intuitive Park Assist and an Advanced Parking Guidance System. For the non-L versions, Comfort and Comfort Plus Packages include a host of luxury features. A Sport Package includes Brembo brakes, a sport-tuned air suspension and additional sporty items. The L version is available with a Luxury Package that includes semi-aniline leather with Alcantara headliner. The Rear-Seat Upgrade adds power rear seats with lumbar massage, four-zone automatic climate control, a rear-seat cool box and rear-seat side airbags. And a four-seat Executive Class Seating Package includes right-rear-seat power recliner with multifunction massager, rear-seat wood-trimmed table, DVD rear-seat entertainment with nine-inch screen, rear-seat audio controls and numerous other rear-seat luxury features.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Lexus LS 460 family comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 380 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque in the rear-wheel drive configuration. All-wheel drive models boast a somewhat more modest 357 horsepower and 344 pound-feet of torque. Combined with a well-sorted eight-speed automatic transmission, either model can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in around six seconds. Thanks to electronically-controlled intake valves and hydraulically-manipulated exhaust valves, the LS 460 manages to meet ULEV II emissions standards and return 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway in rear-wheel drive models and 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway in the all-wheel-drive versions.

4.6-liter V8
380 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
357 horsepower @ 6400 rpm (AWD)
367 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
344 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm (AWD)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 (RWD), 16/23 (AWD)

Pricing Notes

For 2011, the Lexus LS 460 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of over $67,000, while the Lexus LS 460 L is over $72,000. Adding all-wheel drive to either vehicle will increase the bottom line by $2,305. Don't be surprised to see the long-wheelbase LS 460 L reach closer to $100,000 when loaded with all of the available options. For the most accurate pricing in your area, make sure you check out our New Car Blue Book Value price to see what people are actually paying at the dealership. No matter what you pay, rest assured that the LS 460 boasts a high resale value, so you'll get more money back down the line when you decide to sell it one day.

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