Share This Article

IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Tue, Apr 3, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES By Reed Berry

Normally, writing an auto review isn't that difficult. As I sit behind the wheel of the Lexus LS460L, I am a little confused. It looks like a car on the outside. On the inside, however, it has the luxury of a business jet, plus the comfort and amenities you find in a Hollywood director's private screening room. I'm rapidly approaching the point of sensory overload in a vehicle that is designed for those who like to, and can afford to, pamper themselves a bit. Cars are no longer merely a form of transportation. As more time is spent in our vehicles, we now seek creature comforts and high-tech gadgetry to keep us entertained on the road. From an outstanding sound system with satellite radio, to a DVD system for the enjoyment of my rear seat passengers, this Lexus seems to have all bases covered. There's even an advanced navigation system that will take the guesswork out of finding my way to a new restaurant.

Upon arriving at the chosen eatery, this car will actually park itself - thanks to the optional Advanced Parking Guidance System. Actually, the system assists with parking. The driver must still apply the brakes and take necessary safety precautions. By positioning the vehicle properly and pressing an icon on the driver display to select the desired parking method, the car will either parallel park or back into a parking space on command. The first thing you notice about the LS460L as you peek inside is that the interior is strikingly attractive. Trimmed in leather and genuine wood, the passenger compartment has an elegant look. The wood and leather steering wheel with multifunction controls conveys a sense of sportiness and luxury. The interior appears spacious and comfortable. As for the exterior design, step aside BMW. Move over Mercedes. A sleek, aerodynamic appearance combined with a European influence make this one great looking car. From the bold lines to the big, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, the LS460L has eye appeal - as well as a look of strength and quality. This car, without question, is getting more attention than any vehicle of its kind I have reviewed thus far. But, then again, this is unlike any Lexus people have seen in the past.

Other differences from previous models are apparent as I drive. Impressive performance is delivered by a 380 horsepower 32-valve V8 engine with a dual fuel injection system. Attaining the desired speed is rapid and effortless, and the engine is electronically limited to 130 mph to prevent one from reaching autobahn-type speeds. Take this spirited engine, add the world's first eight-speed automatic transmission, and the result is a high-end luxury sedan that provides an exciting driving experience. Vehicle handling is exceptional. I have a healthy respect for any automobile that provides a smooth, comfortable ride and performs this well without sacrificing road feel. Four-wheel independent suspension helps smooth out any little bumps or potholes you may encounter, and the electronic power steering system is quite responsive. Traction control and an anti-lock braking system allow you to bring the vehicle to a stop quickly and safely. The LS460L is the longer version of the LS460, and the extra five inches in the wheelbase results in a spacious rear passenger compartment with a limo-like feel. As I park the car and move to the backseat to investigate further, I notice an array of buttons, dials and compartments. There are controls for the audio system, buttons to operate the power rear door sunshades, and even a "cool box" to keep your Perrier at just the right temperature.

Open another compartment, and you find two remote control units. One controls the right rear passenger seat that reclines and massages and, as you recline, a footrest extends for added comfort. The other remote allows you to control a Mark Levinson DVD entertainment unit with a 19-speaker MLAS Reference Surround Sound audio system. In order to adequately test the DVD system, a friend and I are now positioned in the rear seats preparing to watch a rented movie. A press of a button and the video screen lowers for easy viewing. The sound quality is nothing short of exceptional. If you desire a little privacy as you watch your favorite film, open another compartment and you will find a set of wireless headphones. An off-frequency buzz in the headphones each time I turn my head is a bit annoying, but overall a very pleasant cinematic experience given the fact that we are also enjoying a supply of Goobers and Raisinets. While we are enjoying the comfort and conveniences this vehicle has to offer, it's nice to know that we are also well-protected by a variety of safety features. Airbags throughout the vehicle, including knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, should offer superior protection in the event of a collision. There are child safety seat anchor brackets at all seating positions.

My favorite safety feature on this car is the backup camera discreetly placed on the back of the car. When you shift into reverse, the driver display becomes a video screen giving you the ability to see behind the vehicle as you are backing. According to KidsAndCars.org, 49.5 percent of the non-traffic fatalities in the United States from 2002 to 2006 involving children up to the age of 15 were back-overs. Thank you, Lexus, for including an accessory that will save lives. My colleague compares this car to the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and, admittedly, there are similarities in size and features. A proximity sensor allows me to open the door as I approach the vehicle without removing the key from my pocket, and an engine start/stop button on the console is another feature found in high-end luxury cars. As an added convenience, the trunk lid opens and closes at the push of a button. If you don't mind sacrificing the larger, more powerful engine of the Flying Spur, all this Lexus luxury comes at a bargain price by comparison. This car, as equipped, has a price tag of just under $94,000 - approximately half the price of the Bentley. If you can afford it, if you deserve it, and if you don't mind turning a few heads as you drive it, the Lexus LS460L is definitely a car worth considering. Sorry, the Goobers and Raisinets are not included.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT Sensory overload never felt so good. For more information on Lexus products, visit www.lexus.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: Lexus LS460L 4-Door Sedan Price: Base MSRP: $71,000 As equipped: $93,990 Engine type: 4.6 Liter 32-Valve V8 with electronically controlled intake valve timing Horsepower: 380 hp at 6,400 rpm Torque: 367 lb-ft at 4,100 rpm EPA mileage estimates (city/highway): 18/27 Drive configuration: Rear-wheel drive with Electronic Traction and Stability Control Transmission type: Eight-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission Steering: Electronic power steering system Suspension: 4-Wheel independent multilink suspension Wheels and tires: Wheels: 18" Aluminum Alloy Wheels Tires: 235/50R18 V-rated tires with full-size spare tire Brakes: Four-wheel power-assisted disc brakes with ABS and Brake Assist Overall length: 202.8 inches Overall width: 73.8 inches Overall height: 58.1 inches Curb weight (lbs.): 4,332 lbs. 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds Quarter-mile acceleration: 13.9 seconds Top track speed: 130 mph (electronically limited)

You Might Also Like These Articles:

917 restaurant waiter food burger

917 (K)afe

Porsche 356 made by Reutter

Book Review - Porsche 356: Made by Reutter

2022 GR 86

2022 GR 86

harbor freight tools for school red pliers tools bench

Harbor Freight "Tools for School" Prize

Volkswagen ID.4 petersen museum ev electric car blue car

VW ID.4 Added to Petersen Exhibit